TrustRadius
It does what we need it to do - and probably a LOT more!
https://www.trustradius.com/event-managementEMS SoftwareUnspecified8.8366101
Kristi Finger profile photo
Updated December 26, 2018

It does what we need it to do - and probably a LOT more!

Score 9 out of 101
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source

Overall Satisfaction with EMS Software

My department (Event Services) uses EMS for space reservations and managing resources. It is being used predominantly by the Catering Department and us. There are a couple of other colleges and one other department on campus that use the software, but it is not used campus-wide. We only share a database with Catering.
  • It is very robust.
  • It is very "customizable".
  • I am a basic user of this software. I know how to use it to do my job, but - I don't know what I don't know. I know there is some functionality that we haven't fully utilized based on the conference I just attended. I now need to try and unpack the information I learned recently to better use what currently exists before I can provide suggestions for improvement.
  • Unfortunately, I do not have any hard numbers. But anecdotally EMS is essential to make sure that nothing "falls through the cracks" for events that happen in our building.
EMS is the software our department has been using for nearly 20 years; I have been in my role for a little over a year, so I have not used or evaluated any other software like EMS.
I gave this rating because I do not have personal knowledge of the software's scalability.
  • We have not integrated with other tools.
Again, I do not have personal knowledge of the product's configurability. Everything was done when I took on my current role.
EMS is very well suited for room reservations and resource management. The reminders, comments, and confirmation communication are integral in getting all the details and following up with customers to make sure that student organizations are complying with policies, and that all of our customers have a good experience in our building.

Using EMS Software

12 - We have 12 FT/PT staff who use EMS in our Event Services office; these include our reservations staff and facility coordinators. We have hundreds of customers who use the EMS Web app to reserve space in our building. Our colleagues in University Catering also use EMS to schedule deliveries to various events around campus.
The one person who was our on-campus support/liaison retired this fall; we have someone who is temporarily filling that role only to assist in shepherding our transition to the EMS Cloud service.
  • Reserving meeting rooms and event spaces.
  • Assigning resources (AV/technology) to these spaces.
  • Billing our customers for room rental and resource costs.
  • I don't know that we use it in any "unexpected" or "innovative" ways; the way we use it is the way it is designed.
  • We plan to utilize EMS Web App for reserving outdoor spaces.
  • Currently we have a flat-rate for event spaces regardless of how long the customer uses the space. We are considering "chunking" up the reservation time and charge accordingly; we think it will help with efficiencies in our room change-overs.
We've been an EMS costumer for 18+ years. The product does what we need it to do, and does it better than many of the competitor products some of my colleagues worked with at other schools. The thought of transitioning to a different product is horrible, so unless the company goes out of business, or the customer service tanks, we will continue using EMS.

Evaluating EMS Software and Competitors

  • Product Features
The decision to use EMS goes back almost 20 years, and I was not part of that decision. But I would believe that the product's features were the main selling point.
Again, I don't know what they did 18-20 years ago when they purchased it. However, now we would have 2-4 vendor demonstrations with a committee of folks - including end-users and our campus IT staff - to help evaluate the features, cost, and ease-of-use before making a decision.

EMS Software Implementation

I am unable to respond to this as I was not part of the implementation process.
Not sure - The implementation was done many years before I came on board, so I am unable to speak to this question.
  • I am unable to answer this because I was not part of the implementation process.

EMS Software Support

I am giving EMS Support a "5" because I haven't had any real experience with their support team. When I have had a couple of questions functions and features, I was not able to find a phone number to call to actually talk with a live human for assistance. After some clicking around on their website(s), I was able to find enough information to help me along, or I just forgot about it because it took too long and the question lost its relevance.
The best support I got was when I actually got to sit down with a solutions consultant at the EMS Live user conference this fall. They were able to answer feature and function questions that we'd had for a while and were able to explain some things to us (as new users) that we were presumed to already know by the instructors of the user conference.
I've only been in my role, and an EMS user, for 15 months. Support as a desk-top user is very self driven; you have to find it on the company's website(s) yourself, or already know how to contact someone at the company for support because it is not easily found anywhere on the website, which I find frustrating. The best support I got was during a 30 minute consultation with a solutions consultant at the EMS Live user conference this fall. Sitting with someone, at a computer, with my own database pulled up, was easily the best use of my time and we took away more helpful information (tips/tricks) in those 30 minutes than we did the rest of the conference.

Using EMS Software

I am able to use the system to do what I need to do at a basic-user level. However, I'm SURE that there is a lot of functionality to the system that goes untapped because "I don't know what I don't know!" Because of this, I am also unwilling to "play around" with different features of the system because I don't know the ripple effect, and what I may or may not impact elsewhere in the system.
ProsCons
None
Unnecessarily complex
Difficult to use
Requires technical support
Not well integrated
Slow to learn
Cumbersome
Feel nervous using
Lots to learn
  • Creating simple room/space reservations.
  • Reminders are an easy way to track processes.
  • Creating new rooms, event types, statuses, etc. are all pretty easy and straight-forward.
  • Setting up or creating new "resources" in order to generate useful reports for campus stakeholders.