New event management software solution available in January 2022

09 December 2021

With the completion of the Event Management Task Force at the beginning of November, a final report was prepared by Procurement and Contract Management (PCM) and presented to the Service Excellence Steering Committee (SESC) on November 24. Approval has been given to proceed with implementation of the software solution, Groupize, beginning in January 2022.

The focus will be to work through a consultative approach to replace the following platforms with Groupize: Cvent, Eventbrite, EventMobi, PheedLoop, Pixel Army, Ungerboeck, and Wix. PCM will be reviewing all current contracts and work directly with the units on implementation.

The task force recognizes there are situations where needs are highly specialized and unique. In each situation this will be taken into account as the new event management platform is deployed across the institution. Faculties, departments and units will be able to continue using some solutions that are currently in place, examples include iModules. 

The event management software being used for continuing education course registration is not under review as part of this project. Common continuing education course registration is being pursued through a project focused on continuing education systems and services. The current software solutions will remain in place at present; however, during the next 12-24 months all software solutions that capture attendee data will be investigated with the goal of establishing a more integrated cost effective systems architecture for this work.

Use of a standard event management software solution will enable cost savings, consistency across the institution, reduce individual effort to source and deploy a platform and enhance user experience by utilizing a tool that continues to evolve as event management requirements change worldwide.

More information and training materials to support the implementation will be shared in January. For a preview of the Groupize platform, see the Groupize Demo.

We would like to acknowledge and thank all members of the Event Management Task Force for their time and commitment during this review: Shanshan Wang, Rehana Bennett, Ashley Steeple Anna Mandic, Pamela Sewers, Kate McConnell, John Fontaine, Christian Tremblay, Debbie Yee, Christine Gamble, Jen Stogowski, Vivian Giang, Dave Hemmingson, Colleen Elliott, Tracy Salmon, Kelly Maher, Jason Mills, Allie Voisin, Cody Steinke, Dawn Graves, Mark Karstad, Andrea Cliff, Stefanie Russell, Emily Hoffman, Judith Chrystal, Renee Polziehn, Allen Amyotte, Julie Keyser, Brian Gratrix, Ruma Dualay, Courtney Wagner, Corinne Calihoo, Yvette Mcwatt, Sheila Stosky, Chad Alexander, Donna Pressick, Julia Jones-Bourque, Darlene Bryant and Mara Simmonds.

Frequently Asked Questions

What does event management software do? 

Event Management Software provides a platform for a meeting planner or event host to create a highly functioning event website for their in-person, hybrid, or virtual meeting, conference, webinar, or tradeshow. The event site allows for: visibility on social media or advertising, enrollment, attendee management, event management (to support in-person, hybrid and virtual events), and fee collection. All of this can be accessed through a website or an attendee app, which is available and included for all events in Groupize.

What is Groupize?

Groupize is an all-in-one event management software solution that delivers end-to-end functionality to support events. From sourcing to attendee management and registration, the cloud-based platform is designed for any size or type of event and is easy to use for everyone.

How was Groupize selected as the solution?

The task force identified the following list of requirements needed in a software solution: system access and set-up, event development, marketing, collection of registration, event recording, reconciliation of registrations, reporting, system support, miscellaneous requirements (app, ticketing, attendance confirmation, hotel bookings, breakout rooms, event surveys, calendar functionality, collection of donations). The software management solution, Groupize, was reviewed and assessed based on these needs and was determined to be an appropriate solution. An overview of features and functionality can be reviewed here: Software Requirements.

Why is the university implementing a standard for event management software?

As part of the University of Alberta for Tomorrow initiative, the SET Procurement team has been tasked with reviewing and redesigning the expenditure strategy for goods and services across the university. This includes a review of event management software to understand the current state. The university's current model includes multiple licensing agreements with different service providers. A campus-wide approach, whereby one standard solution is offered for event management, would allow cost savings through reduced licensing agreements and central expertise in event management. Central software licensing would allow for an estimated yearly savings of $100,000.

What solutions are available if my events are highly specialized?

In situations where needs are highly specialized and unique, faculties, departments and units will be able to continue using their existing event management solutions. We have identified these stakeholders through the Event Management Task Force, and as part of our implementation plan, we will be reaching out to those faculties, departments and units to identify whether we recommend moving to Groupize or recommend continued use of their current solution.

Who was consulted and involved in the decision-making?

An Event Management Task Force with representation across faculties, departments and units was established in July to review the current state of Event Management at the university. Over six months, Procurement and Contract Management (PCM) gathered input from the campus community to investigate alternative delivery models and propose an implementation plan that allowed for efficiencies and cost savings. This opportunity was reviewed to ensure standardization across the institution was considered and to ensure implementation of a solution that was progressive, state-of-the-art, cost effective and easy-to-use. The software management solution, Groupize, was reviewed and assessed based on needs and was determined to be an appropriate solution. On November 24, Groupize was approved by the Service Excellence Steering Committee (SESC) as the event management solution for implementation starting in January 2022.

If you have a question or suggestion about this initiative, please leave comments through our feedback form.

Chad Alexander
Procurement and Contract Management

Phil Webb
Director, Finance, Procurement and Planning



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