Event Software

In-house, SaaS, or API: Choosing the Right Event Technology for Consumer Events

Victoria Rudi
July 24, 2023

Table of Contents

Event technology has become critical for big retail companies looking to drive growth, engage customers, and strengthen brand presence. 

Gone are the days when event planning was limited to Excel and Google Forms. 

With the rise of robust event management software, retail companies can host large recurring events, gather valuable data, and integrate planning workflows with existing in-house ecosystems. 

As big retail companies strive to leverage events strategically, the choice of event tech becomes a critical decision that can shape the success of their efforts. 

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Exploring Your Event Technology Options

Whether you have expertise in digital transformation, marketing, innovation, or IT, you understand the impact event technology will have on your retail company’s growth strategy. 

But how do you evaluate these event tech options, ensuring you choose the best solution for your brand’s requirements? 

To answer this question, we’ve created a list of three event software technology options you can select from and a list of criteria to analyze before making a choice. 

Here are the three event software technology options most retail companies evaluate before making a choice: 

  • In-house tools
  • All-in-one SaaS with pre-built features
  • API Services

As for the analysis list, it includes the following decision-making criteria: 

  • Scalability: This term refers to the system’s ability to handle increasing demands as the volume of events and attendees grows.
  • Costs: It’s crucial to balance the solution’s capabilities and the budget allocated for event management.
  • Data security: Finding and opting for a secure event tech solution provides peace of mind, knowing customer data is protected and handled responsibly. 
  • Integrations: Integration ensures data flows seamlessly between platforms and departments, reducing manual work and streamlining processes. 
  • User-friendliness: A user-friendly interface ensures that event organizers can efficiently manage event logistics, registrations, and communication with attendees. Also, a smooth and intuitive registration process enhances attendees’ overall event experience.
  • Adaptability and Flexibility: An adaptable event tecnologyh solution enables retail companies to stay ahead of the curve, adapting to emerging trends and meet evolving expectations.
  • Customization: Maintaining consistent branding and customizing the event tech platform is essential for retail companies looking to reinforce brand identity and deliver a cohesive brand experience.
  • Future-proofing: A forward-looking retail company must select an event technology solution that can adapt to evolving industry trends and technological advancements. A future-proof platform ensures that their events strategy remains relevant and competitive in the long run.

For clarity, we’ll tackle every event software technology option separately, analyzing it according to the list above. 

Developing In-House Tools

Some retail companies choose to build in-house event management software. 

This decision comes with absolute control over the platform, as well as with a series of challenges. 

Are in-house tools the right solution for your retail brand? Let’s analyze it according to the list of decision-making criteria: 

  • Scalability 

As the company’s event portfolio expands, the in-house platform may struggle to meet growing demands. Retail companies might face difficulties scaling the platform to accommodate increased event volumes and data flow. 

Additionally, adapting to emerging trends and new event formats might be challenging, hindering the company’s ability to stay ahead of competitors.

  • Costs

Building an in-house event management platform requires significant upfront investment in development, infrastructure, and personnel. 

Retail companies must allocate dedicated teams and resources for continuous development, updates, and technical support, diverting resources from other essential business activities.

  • Data Security 

Retail companies may have different expertise and resources than specialized event technology providers when implementing data security measures. 

This can lead to potential vulnerabilities and data breaches, risking the exposure of sensitive attendee information and damaging the company’s reputation.

  • Integrations 

Integrating an in-house platform with existing CRM, marketing, and sales systems can be intricate and time-consuming. 

Retail companies may face compatibility issues and technical challenges, leading to delays and inefficiencies in data flow and information sharing across departments.

  • User-friendliness 

Different from external event tech providers with dedicated customer support and expert knowledge, retail companies may need help providing 24/7 support and timely responses to user inquiries or technical issues. 

This lack of specialized expertise can lead to prolonged downtime and user dissatisfaction.

  • Adaptability and flexibility 

In-house tools might not offer the quick adaptability and flexibility that retail brands need in a constantly changing event landscape. 

While retail companies control the platform’s direction, pivoting to new features, integrations, or event models may take longer than external solutions.

  • Customization 

While building in-house allows for some customization, it may take work to match the level of personalization offered by dedicated event technology providers. 

Retail companies may need more expertise to create sophisticated user interfaces and seamless branding throughout the platform, resulting in a less immersive and cohesive brand experience for attendees.

  • Future-proofing

Retail companies may need the resources and capacity for continuous innovation to keep pace with technological advancements and industry trends. 

As the event tech landscape evolves, the in-house platform may need to be updated, hindering the company’s ability to adopt cutting-edge technologies and provide modern event experiences.


While building in-house event management tools offers some advantages, such as customization and control, it also has significant drawbacks. 

The limitations in customization and branding, complex integration, inadequate data security measures, and limited scalability can hinder the company’s ability to deliver a seamless and innovative event experience. 

Additionally, the high development and maintenance costs, lack of vendor support, and challenges in future-proofing may divert valuable resources from core business functions and reduce the company’s competitive edge in the market. 

Using a SaaS with Pre-built Features

Opting for a SaaS event management solution provides easy implementation and cost-effectiveness. With no need for extensive development, you can quickly get your events up and running. 

However, like the previous option, analyze its suitability before opting for event management software and determine how well it aligns with your brand’s unique goals. 

  • Scalability 

SaaS solutions are designed to be scalable, accommodating the growing needs of retail companies as their event portfolio expands. The provider handles the infrastructure and resources required to handle increased event volumes and data flow.

  • Costs

SaaS solutions often operate on a subscription-based model, which can be cost-effective for retail companies. They can choose plans that align with their specific needs and budget, avoiding the high upfront costs of building an in-house platform.

  • Data Security 

Reputable SaaS providers prioritize data security and privacy, implementing robust measures to protect customer information. Retail companies can rely on the expertise and resources of the provider to ensure data is handled responsibly.

  • Integrations 

While some SaaS solutions might have limitations in integration compared to in-house platforms, many providers offer integration capabilities with common CRM and marketing systems.

  • User-friendliness 

SaaS event management platforms are designed with user-friendliness in mind. They usually offer intuitive interfaces that simplify event logistics, registration, and communication, enhancing the organizer and attendee experience.

  • Adaptability and flexibility 

While SaaS platforms are generally designed to accommodate industry trends, they might not be as flexible as in-house solutions in adapting to unique business strategies or emerging market demands.

Moreover, one concern with SaaS solutions is the potential for vendor lock-in. This happens when a company becomes overly reliant on a particular vendor’s products or services and finds it difficult to transition away due to high switching costs, technical incompatibilities, or contractual constraints.

  • Customization 

SaaS solutions may offer customization options, but retail companies may have to compromise on certain branding and aesthetic aspects.

  • Future-proofing

SaaS providers are responsible for updates and improvements, ensuring retail companies benefit from ongoing innovation and new features without additional development efforts.


A SaaS event management platform offers numerous advantages for retail companies, from quick implementation and cost savings to scalability and continual updates. 

The convenience of having a solution that evolves with industry trends, backed by dedicated providers, must be considered. 

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Building with API Services

API services are one of the most flexible event management solutions. But let’s see how it stacks up against our list of decision-making criteria. 

  • Scalability 

API services inherently promote scalability. Their modular nature allows retail companies to expand and adapt their event management capabilities as needs evolve. Instead of overhauling an entire system, businesses can update, replace, or add specific API integrations. 

As the company’s event portfolio grows or diversifies, the underlying technology can be adjusted with minimal disruption, ensuring consistent performance and the ability to manage larger volumes or different event types.

  • Costs

While building with API services requires upfront investment and expertise, it can be a cost-effective alternative to full in-house development. 

Retail companies can build on existing platforms or integrate with specialized event technology providers, reducing the need for extensive development from scratch.

  • Data Security 

Each integration represents a potential vulnerability, especially if not adequately secured. Retail companies must ensure their APIs follow stringent security protocols, including encryption, secure data transmission, and regular vulnerability assessments. 

  • Integrations 

APIs allow event management platforms to interact with other software systems, enabling seamless integration with existing CRM, marketing, and sales tools. 

This integration provides real-time data insights and a comprehensive view of customer engagement before, during and after the events. 

Retail companies can leverage this data to create personalized marketing strategies and optimize event logistics for improved attendee experiences.

  • User-friendliness 

API-integrated platforms offer a cohesive and user-friendly experience for event organizers and attendees. 

The seamless integration with existing systems streamlines registration processes, communications, and post-event follow-ups, resulting in a smoother and more engaging event experience.

  • Adaptability and flexibility 

The adaptability and flexibility of API services allows retail companies to adapt swiftly to emerging industry trends and changing customer preferences. 

Whether incorporating virtual experiences, hybrid events, or novel engagement techniques, an API-integrated platform can accommodate new requirements and ensure the company stays ahead in the competitive market.

  • Customization 

With API services, retail companies can tailor their event management platform to their exact requirements. They can build features and functionalities that align precisely with their event strategy and brand identity. 

This level of customization ensures that the platform reflects the company’s unique value proposition and creates memorable experiences for attendees.

  • Future-proofing

API services provide retail companies with the potential for future-proofing their event management platform. 

By leveraging the latest technologies and industry standards through APIs, companies can ensure their platform remains up-to-date and adaptable to changing market dynamics.


Building an event management ecosystem with API services offers significant advantages for big retail companies seeking customization, integration, flexibility, and adaptability. 

The seamless data integration, user-friendly experience, and potential for future-proofing make this option highly appealing. 

Overall, by making an informed decision that aligns with your unique requirements and long-term event strategy, your retail company can maximize the impact of its events and drive growth in the competitive retail landscape.

Key Takeaways

  • Event technology is crucial for big retail companies to drive growth, engage customers, and strengthen brand presence.
  • The choice of event tech is a critical decision that can shape the success of a retail company’s event strategy.
  • Retail companies can choose between three event technology options: building in-house tools, using SaaS with pre-built features, and building with API services. 
  • In-house event technology solutions offer experimentation and innovation but may need more customization, integration, scalability, and maintenance costs.
  • SaaS event tech solutions offer ease of implementation, scalability, and cost-effectiveness but may need better customization, data control, and future-proofing.
  • Building with API services provides seamless integration, customization, adaptability, and potential for future-proofing but may involve integration complexity and data security concerns.

Need help with the right event technology for you? Our experts are here to guide you. Contact us today to explore how Eventtia can transform your retail events.

Discover how Eventtia helps world-leading brands digitize and scale their events

Learn more

Discover how Eventtia helps world-leading brands digitize and scale their events

Victoria Rudi
Senior Content Specialist
With a Master’s degree in Event Management and a keen follower of SaaS technologies, Victoria is an event content master, producing insightful and valuable for Eventtia’s blog and beyond

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