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May 4, 2016 9:30:00 AM by InitLive

10 Reasons to Ditch Excel

Volunteer Management

We hear from event planners every day who say they would be much happier if they never had to use a spreadsheet to manage their event again. The great news is that this is completely possible thanks to all of the amazing event management systems currently on the market. But saying that you never want to use Excel again is easier than actually leaving your spreadsheet security blanket in the dust. Don’t settle for an old tool just because it’s what you (or your boss) already know. Here are 10 great reasons to ditch your Excel spreadsheets once and for all.


1. Excel is outdated

Managing event data will always be important, but managing your event data through countless spreadsheets has become outdated. The future is now. There are technology tools out there that will help you manage every aspect of your event in a new and exciting way!

2. Excel isn't designed for managing events 

You’ve got it, eventprofs! Excel is not made to manage events. Dress up your spreadsheets with all of the templates you want, but there is a better way. We promise that life will be much easier once you stop trying to make data analysis software fit your event-specific needs. Just step away from the spreadsheets and jump into event management tools like InitLive that are made with you in mind!

3. It's difficult to use in groups

The Excel spreadsheets created and stored on your computer live on your hard drive. None of the data in your spreadsheets is accessible unless shared directly with your team. Even then, Excel isn’t a cloud tool and can’t be centrally edited. This can create a major headache, causing unsaved changes, especially when working with an event committee!

4. It's not secure 

While it is nice that you can protect your Excel spreadsheets with a password, what happens when someone, who has access to that password, copies the data? And... get this, there are specific softwares out there designed to crack the password on your Excel spreadsheets. Not only are you dealing with budgets and numbers, but you’re also dealing with the personal information of each one of your volunteers. Don’t take the risk of using Excel to manage sensitive information. Instead, use an event-management tool that has privacy policies and processes in place to ensure that your event data is secure.

5. It makes volunteer registration a nightmare

There is no easy way to manage the volunteer registration at your event through Excel spreadsheets. While some registration tools allow you to export spreadsheets with volunteer information, they typically create a separate spreadsheet for each volunteer. Great, so you have the data you need, but it’s not stored in a common location. Make the change to an event database or cloud tool that handles volunteer registration, data storage, and scheduling all in one. That way you don’t have to search for the one pesky document that’s been lost in a sea of spreadsheets.

6. It's frustrating for your volunteers

While we’re on the topic of volunteers, let’s talk about the impact that building your event schedule in Excel has on these devoted delegates. Have you ever tried to find your name on a master volunteer schedule? It’s easy to overlook a shift that you’re expected to be on site for. To be frank, most volunteers don’t care about the entire event schedule. They likely only want to see the information that’s important to them. A volunteer will be much more excited to receive their event schedule when they are doing just that… Receiving their event schedule.

7. Excel leaves you stranded on event day

I’m sure you’ve pulled off successful events using Excel. I mean, you’re an event planner - you’re practically a superhero… But your event schedule was probably illegible by the end of the day. Schedule changes are bound to happen. Don’t get stuck referring to a scribbled-on print-out of your Excel spreadsheet. Empower yourself to make those schedule changes in a system that updates in real-time.

8. You need to supplement

Excel has a lot of features if you know what you’re looking for, but ask yourself how many of those features are actually useful to event planners. By sticking with Excel and using spreadsheets to manage your event, you are forcing yourself to supplement with additional tools. Switch to a platform designed for events! You’ll be able to cut back and use one system that has been designed to suit your specific needs as a planner.

9. It's not even free...

I’ve heard event planners say that they stick with Excel for managing their events because it’s how they’ve always done it and it’s free. Oops! No it isn’t. Whether you are paying for your Excel license or your organization provides you with a license, Excel has been paid for. But is it delivering the value you need it to? If the answer is no then it’s time to find another solution that sets you up for success, you’ll have a great ROI when you find the perfect software for your event.

10. They're ugly

There, we said it! Spreadsheets are hideous. They suck the life out of your event. Sure, you can add colours and play with fonts, but that is not the way you should be representing the event brand that you’ve worked so hard to make appealing!

You are an event-planning rockstar who has been making the most of your tools. You’ve planned successful events in less-than-ideal conditions and you somehow manage to pull off one of the most stressful careers in the world. What if we told you that it doesn’t have to be that way? Save yourself the stress! Make the most of your experience by switching to an event management platform and ditching those Excel spreadsheets for good. We’d be happy to help you get started!



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