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Rutger Bremer3/20/16 12:00 AM4 min read

6 Reasons NOT to build your own event software

There comes a moment that you as an event manager decide you want to work more efficiently, and find yourself looking for an appropriate event tool. When searching for solutions, your IT colleagues may offer developing software themselves. That saves you a lot of money, right? Actually, that’s not the case. Not even in the short term...

Why do tech giants like Facebook, ServiceNow and Insight choose to use Momice event software instead of building their own? Their vision: stick to your core business and use specialist tools for specialist projects. And besides, why build something that already exists? Building specialised software is very costly - both in time and money. Here are 6 reasons why building your own software is not a good idea.

1. Creating something simple is really difficult

You, as an event organiser, want user-friendly software for yourself, your colleagues AND your visitors. A bad user experience can be detrimental to the experience of the event. Communication for B2B events quickly becomes complex due to workshop registrations, introduces and multiple target groups.

Your visitor must decide whether to sign up for the event - and the user experience (UX) often plays a crucial role. Creating a flawless UX is one of the hardest things to do. The general rule: the simpler it looks, the more time you have to spend on creating the perfect UX. This requires a lot of time, energy, money and specific expertise. Ask yourself if you are really up for this.

2. Knowing the ingredients does not make you the chef

As an event manager you are well aware of the elements involved in the communication with your visitors: sending mailings (invitations, updates, reminders), monitoring registrations, managing a website with all event information for your visitors and conducting a survey after the event. To do this properly, you need a lot of different applications: Google Forms or Microsoft Excel, MailChimp or Outlook, WordPress, SurveyMonkey... Instead of manually processing all the data in each separate tool, you would rather have one integrated system. Assimilating software is complex and requires in-depth knowledge. It takes more than just copying the elements and mixing them together. Best to leave this to the real experts!

3. The job is never done

The market is ever changing - and therefore the software is never completely finished. After launching the first version you will always find a (tiny) mistake, or things that can be improved. In addition, if you want to support different browsers (Internet Explorer, Edge, Chrome, Firefox, Safari) and devices (computer, tablet and smartphone), you will constantly have to monitor updates for each specific browser or device.

Moreover, each event is unique and therefore likely to require new (more complex) features. Finally, you will notice that your own wishes get more and more specific as soon as the software evolves and becomes more professional. In short: creating software is a full-time job. Do you have time for this? At Momice, a team of 15 people has been working 24/7 for 5 years now, and we’re still not finished!  

4. The risk of Sunken Cost Effect

Imagine you have been watching a movie for over an hour, but frankly you don’t like it. It will not get any better, and yet you still keep watching - because if you stop, that hour would be wasted. Sounds familiar? This is called Sunken Cost Effect: you have invested a lot of time (or worse: money) in a particular project, so you have the feeling quitting is not an option - and thus you decide to invest even more.

When developing software, it’s often very difficult to estimate how much (time/money) it will cost. Especially when developing software is not your core business, it is possible that the project will spin out of control. By the time you find out, Sunken Cost Effect has already occurred - and there's often no way back.

5. Security, privacy and legislation

When organising an event, you will be confronted with the privacy guidelines of the country you operate in. When sending mailings, storing registration data and protecting sensitive data, there's a lot of details to look into. For example, in the Netherlands you must ensure that a contact can unsubscribe from a mailing list at any time. In addition, an organisation is considered an editor of data, and you are obliged to properly protect them.

Are your data stored on servers in the Netherlands, the EU or outside the EU? Is everything clearly stated in your terms and conditions? You need specific juridical knowledge in order to make the right choices. Don’t underestimate the consequences (in time and cost) of (not) following rules and regulations.

Find here more in-depth information about privacy & security.

6. Who will help you out?

The event industry is a sector full of deadlines. Everything is tightly planned and carefully prepared. Imagine that you cannot send your mailing due to a bug in the software. Or that an error occurs when building the website. These situations are not unlikely - nobody can guarantee software that is 100% error-free!

Therefore it is really important to have someone standby to solve the issue, so you can focus on organising your event. You want the software to give you less stress, rather than more. Keep in mind that, when developing your own software, you will need to set up your own (full-time) ‘helpdesk’. This also costs money!


The development of (event) software is craftsmanship. Event software is much more than an online registration form and an invitation email. That's why our advice is: focus on your core business and choose professional software from a company that is dedicated to the development and will always be ready to help you out. This way you work as efficiently as possible and offer your visitor the best experience, without concerning your colleagues in IT.


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