This article is based on a webinar hosted by Lead Integrations Developer, Ariyo Shahry. Go to www.cadmiumcd.com/webinars to watch the recording.
A software integration is the process of bringing together separate components from different systems so they can function as one. Today, we’ll go over the basics of integrations, quickly list best practices, benefits, and challenges of integrations, then explore 13 specific case studies in more detail.
Types of Event Tech Integrations
There are three main types of integrations when it comes to event technology. Toward the bottom of this article, we will explore case studies for each type, and even some that use multiple types in one overall integration. Here are the terms you need to know:
Single Sign-On (SSO)
The process of authenticating to multiple vendor websites using one set of credentials. Think of all the times you’ve used Facebook or Google to log into a website. This is SSO.
Using an API to automatically provide other applications with real-time information. For example, when you fill out a form on a website and automatically get added to an email list, that’s a webhook.
This allows developers to push or pull data from one system to another using APIs. When you update membership information on a website, for example, and that new information is sent to multiple systems, those systems are typically pulling data from the membership database.
Best Practices While Integrating Event Software
Before you start an integration project, there are a few things you need to know. First, understand exactly what you want to accomplish through the integration before approaching your vendors. You don’t need to get to technical, you just have to know how you want data to flow and why you want to integrate systems. Second, be prepared to discuss the integration with all your vendors so that everyone is on the same page. Typically you’ll set up an initial kick-off call where you will explain the requirements to all your vendors and explain your needs.
Ariyo Shahry, Lead Integrations Developer, also has a few more best practices to remember:
- Set clearly defined goals
- Have a single point of contact
- Stay up-to-date with well-written documentation
- Have a single point of data entry (AKA the source of truth)
- Minimize unnecessary network traffic
- Create a data-mapping document so you know how information moves through your system
- Have a testing plan in place and test often
- Use the most updated versions of software
- Consider data privacy laws and regulations and make sure you comply
- Measure progress with well-defined metrics
Benefits of Integrated Systems
There are cases when an integration doesn’t make sense. If you simply need to pull data once or twice to upload a new system, the time, resources, and energy involved in an integration may not be worth it. However, if you do decide to invest in an integration, you’ll immediately recognize the benefits:
- Improved efficiency across your organization
- Improved data visibility
- IT time/cost savings
- Improved user experience
Challenges While Integrating Event Software
Michelle Wyatt, CadmiumCD CEO and co-founder, recently penned an ebook titled, “The Challenges with Integration: Factors to Consider When Integrating Event Technology.” You can follow this link to download the ebook. She goes in detail about when an integration makes sense, how to prevent so-called “dataquakes,” and how to prevent challenges associated with technology integration. Typically, when something goes wrong it’s because of one of the following:
- Unclear goals and poor communication
- Duplicate accounts
- Data/server availability
- Bandwidth issues
- Poor/no API documentation
- Bad data formatting
- Incomplete datasets
- Ambiguous data mapping
- Use error
13 Event Software Integration Case Studies
CadmiumCD has had the good fortune of working with great clients on integrating the myCadmium Event Management Platform with a variety of other technologies ranging from registration systems to association management software, and even competitor apps and tools. Below, we explore thirteen examples of software integrations we’ve successfully accomplished based on our clients’ specific needs and goals.
The Abstract Scorecard is CadmiumCD’s submission and review software solution. Typically clients use this to collect and review abstracts and awards for their conferences and events.
1. Single Sign-On (SSO) via Association Management System (AMS)
- Background: A client needed a single sign on with Salesforce where they could have members login. They also needed to make sure the profile information was updated inside their Association Management System (AMS) before the user is redirected to Scorecard.
- Solution: We created a Salesforce integration where the user logs-in with their member Email and Password and get directed to a page where they can confirm and update their profile information and then once that is completed, the information is transferred into the Scorecard.
- Important Notes: Every submitter is required to have an association user account before they can start a submission.
2. Member Lookup via AMS
- Background: To ensure the accuracy of the data, the client required all submitters to query the Association’s Membership System (AMS) to find their co-authors.
- Solution: A member lookup functionality was created to allow co-authors to be queried by matching name and/or email address.
Education Harvester Integrations
The Education Harvester is a speaker and presentation management software that allows conference organizers to assign speakers tasks and collect content.
3. Single Sign-On (SSO) via AMS
- Background: The client wanted a single sign on with their AMS. They also wanted to make sure member’s profile information is current before they login to the Harvester.
- Solution: Extra steps were added to a regular SSO integration so the logged-in user is taken to a profile form to update their information.
- Important Notes: All members for the single sign-on in the data management system must have a member id when they are added to the presentation to be able to log in and complete tasks.
4. Member Lookup via Membership Database
- Background: AUA wanted to have a better way to add speakers to their Harvester so the information came directly from AUA’s membership database.
- Solution: CadmiumCD created a member lookup tool so AUA staff could query AUA’s database inside Harvester using speaker’s first and last names. AUA was able to save time re-entering speaker’s information and improve data accuracy in the process.
5. Link Integration with Experient
- Background: The client wanted to streamline the speaker registrations workflow by utilizing a task in Harvester to send the speakers to the registration system.
- Solution: CadmiumCD created a link integration to Experient (the client’s registration vendor) where speakers were automatically logged-into the registration system and started their registration process. Speakers didn’t need to re-enter their information and upon completing the registration, the registration task in Harvester were automatically completed for them.
Expo Harvester Integrations
The Expo Harvester management allows trade show organizers to collect info from exhibitors and sell booth space and sponsorships.
6. Single Sign-On (SSO) with iMIS
- Background: The client wanted their exhibitors to login using their iMIS credentials to start their booth rental process. They also wanted the integration to handle the data exchange necessary to capture all required data points for the exhibitor as well as the person representing that exhibitor.
- Solution: The integration is completed by creating a single-sign-on with iMIS using ATS’s bridge. Once the user is logged-in, the information about the user and the company was brought in from the iMIS.
- Important notes: All payments are processed in the Expo Harvester system using an integration with a payment processor.
7. Link Integration with Showcare
- Background: The client wanted to streamline the exhibitor registrations workflow by utilizing a task in Harvester to send the exhibitors to the registration system.
- Solution: CadmiumCD created a link integration to Showcare (the client’s registration vendor) where exhibitors were automatically logged-into the registration system and started their registration process. Exhibitors didn’t need to re-enter their information.
8. Query Data with A2Z
- Background: The client wanted their exhibitor data to be brought over to the Expo Harvester so they could collect additional information from their exhibitor. They also wanted to display their exhibitor data to their attendees using CadmiumCD’s native conference App.
- Solution: CadmiumCD created an integration between Expo Harvester and A2Z (the client’s other expo vendor) to pull the exhibitor data from A2Z at a pre-determined interval. This process took care of the initial data pull as well as all of the updates thereafter.
9. Webhook with CrowdCompass
- Background: The client wanted to display their exhibitor data in their native conference App (CrowdCompass).
- Solution: CadmiumCD utilized CrowdCompass APIs to push the exhibitor data in realtime. This included all of the changes and updates in the data.
eventScribe Website & App Integrations
eventScribe is an attendee engagement platform that includes event apps and conference websites, which feature many modules to share educational content with event participants.
10. Multifaceted Integration with CompuSystems
- Background: The client required all attendees to use their membership credentials to login to the conference app and website. They also wanted to automatically show their attendees the items that they were registered for and limit the access to conference materials to only those items.
- Solution: CadmiumCD created a two part integration with the client’s AMS (Association Anywhere) and registration systems (CompuSystems) to facilitate the single-sign-on and capture the registration data in the process. This allowed the user to login using their membership credentials and the conference app and website automatically generated a conference plan based on their registration items and allowed access to those documents.
11. Multifaceted Integration with Experient
- Background: AAPD wanted their attendees to login to the conference app and website using their registration badge number and email. They also wanted to make sure all of the changes to user’s registration packages are brought over.
- Solution: Integration using Experient’s RTS to query attendees by their badge number. In addition to that we created a daily/hourly routine that fetched all of the registration updates including all onsite registrations.
12. Multifaceted Integration with Showcare and iMIS
- Background: The client required all attendees to use their membership credentials to login to the conference app and website. They also wanted to automatically show their attendees the items that they were registered for and limit the access to conference evaluations to only those who have picked up their registration badge.
- Solution: CadmiumCD created a two part integration with the client’s AMS (iMIS) and registration systems (ShowCare) to facilitate the single-sign-on and capture the registration data in the process. This allowed the user to login using their membership credentials and the conference app and website automatically generated a conference plan based on their registration items. We were also able to fetch the badge pickup date to ensure access to evaluations to those who picked up their badge.
13. Multifaceted Integration with Eventbrite
- Background: CadmiumCD wanted to use the Eventbrite registration system for our 2019 CadCon registrations. We also wanted to offer hands-on learning labs for registrants to select during registration. As part of the requirements, these selections as well the registrant’s profile information should be saved on CadmiumCD’s database as automatic plan on the CadCon Website.
- Solution: CadmiumCD created an integration between eventScribe (CadmiumCD’s attendee facing products) and Eventbrite (SaaS based registration and ticketing platform). We leveraged Eventbrite’s webhooks to automatically be notified when a new registration has been completed or an existing one has been modified. This data coming from Eventbrite would create accounts on the eventScribe system and automatically create a plan based on the user’s selections during registrations.
What Do You Know About Event Tech Integrations?
Do you have your own case study about a software integration you participated in for your conference or trade show? Share your story in the comments below and tell us what happened. Or, if you’re looking to integrate software systems yourself, get in touch to learn about our APIs and partnerships.
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