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Blog: Event management

Why is it so hard to get a price for event software?

22 June 2022 minute read

Ian Dickie
Managing Director

Who doesn’t love Jessica Fletcher?

She’s America’s Miss Marple. Tenacious, resourceful, brilliant. However opaque the mystery, however well-hidden the clues, Jessica always figures it out. Murder someone in Cabot Cove and she will bring you down.

But could she find you a price for some event software?

Maybe. But it wouldn’t be her easiest case.

Astonishingly, of the 10 biggest event technology providers, only 1 makes its pricing publicly available.

They all have pricing pages on their websites. But no actual prices. Instead, you have to call them up or fill out a form.

That will trigger a callback from a junior salesperson whose job will be to ‘qualify’ you as a lead. That salesperson will almost certainly decline to answer any questions you have about price. Instead, they will set you up with another call, this time with a more senior salesperson, who will ask you all the same questions, and maybe some new ones.

Then you’ll be offered a demo.

After a couple of weeks or so of this, you might get an ‘offer’. This will be a total cost for supporting the events you told them about (probably based on the number of events you organise, and the number of registrations / attendees. This offer will be unique to you, based on your circumstances.

There isn’t really ‘a price’ that you can see up-front. There’s only ‘your price’ which is revealed to you at the end of a long, involved sales process.

This approach has always made me suspicious that I’m being played. I bet Jessica would smell a rat too.

If you’re selling something, why not just publish the price? Why keep people in the dark?

If one was feeling cynical, one might start to wonder why companies purposely remain really cagy about price until the very end of their sales process.

One possible reason could be that their salespeople believe they have a better chance to win a deal if they lead with value as opposed to price. Let’s face it, most event management software is seriously overpriced. A buyer might get sticker shock if they saw pricing online, and just walk away. But if the sales team has a chance to build a rapport with the buyer and get more executive decision makers involved, perhaps they could catalyse a deal from an initially sceptical buyer?

Ever noticed how every B2B salesperson you speak with will ask you what your budget is? Then, at the end of the sales process, your customised package price is a few bucks shy of the budget figure you gave them! What a coincidence! Jessica?

To be fair, every event is unique and the needs of every event organiser are different. That’s why we provide a personalised demo for every prospective client, to find out if AttendZen would be right for them, if it can do all the things they need, fit into their team’s workflow etc.

But the price is the price, right?

You expect to pay more for extra features. You expect to pay more for extra users. But the price should be transparent.

We don’t have anything to hide and we have no desire to waste your time (or ours) playing games just to get basic pricing information about our product.

So Jessica can get back to solving murders. Which is just as well, since Cabot Cove appears to have a higher homicide rate than Bogotá.