What a great year it’s been, especially now that it’s actually over! Evalato received a total of 9 platform updates, some bigger, some not that much so, but each one filled to the brim with excellent improvements and new additions to the platform’s already impressive set of tools. Here are the main new features you got to enjoy in 2019 as Evalato users.
First, we took application evaluation to the next level
We started the year in strong fashion with Evalato’s first ever major update. This one was absolutely massive and introduced multiple judging rounds capability and robust options to customize each voting round – with its own criteria, weights and scales. This update included considerable improvements to the user experience for both applicants and program judges, as well as to the way you approve, reject, and shortlist applications.
Automating program communication has never been this easy
January saw another major update, as we also added new email notifications that are sent automatically when an application’s status changes. With these emails people are always kept in the loop – for example, when you approve an application, the person that submitted it will get an email to let them know. Another improvement with this update was adding the ability to create an exact copy of an application form with the click of a button.
We improved the judging portal
We added new settings which allow you to add instructions and waivers (like a non-disclosure agreement, for example) to the judging portal, where members of the judging panel get to evaluate the submitted applications. These are displayed on the judging portal login page and program judges are prompted to agree or disagree before proceeding. Both the instructions and the agreement are also visible on the judging page so they can easily be reviewed.
And the application forms also got some love
We expanded the number of fields you can use on the application form, including a Waiver field – if added, applicants would need to agree to it before submitting their applications. As with the waiver field on the registration form, you can have multiple waiver fields on the application form, so you can get various consents and agreements. In addition, an option to limit the number of characters allowed for a single-line text field was introduced.
Ability to export a whole application to a PDF file
The PDF format is widely adopted all around the world and works across all major operating systems, on all personal and mobile devices. This makes it ideal as the export option for when you want to view, share, and print out an application outside of Evalato. The entry format is maintained, as created by the applicant and according to the application form, including images, hyperlinks, etc. PDF files can be password-protected to prevent unauthorized access, don’t take much space on a limited storage, and are easier to send as an email attachment.
Overhauled voting and added 3 new voting types
In June we introduced a ton of awesome voting features to improve the way applications for your programs are evaluated. We also added new voting types – Popularity voting, where each member of the judging panel is allowed to select one or more program applications as their favourite; Simple review, the simple voting option can be used for quickly reviewing applications and choosing to express approval or disapproval toward each; and Points voting, a points distribution evaluation system.
Then came the star of the show – public voting
Oh, it’s only the most anticipated functionality we’ve ever released to date – public voting. A lot of work went into this, but it was well worth it and we absolutely nailed it. Many of you asked for such a feature since the platform first launched and again we delivered. With Evalato now you can let the public have their say, which helps you generate visibility, recognition, and increases the scale of your programs.
The best field an application form could ever ask for
We added an awesome rich media field you can use on your application forms. Оur new Media embed field is hands down our favourite of them all! What makes it so awesome, you ask? Simply put, the Media embed field provides a responsive field, which allows people to add an image, a video or audio file, an article, a website, even a map location to be embedded directly into their applications in two clicks of the mouse. And the best bit – no uploads!
A quality of life feature that totally changes the game
Our last major platform update came in November and it brought you some quite sweet improvements to the system. While it made things easier for you as a program organizer, the main attraction was that it made submitting applications for your programs smoother than ever before! Now, when someone fills out an application form, they can copy everything onto another application with the click of a button. The feedback from applicants has been overwhelmingly positive since adding this feature.
An awards management platform winning some awards
In 2019 Evalato was awarded Best Value Software by SoftwareSuggest – one of the leading business software discovery and recommendation platforms. They award the software products that they believe are exceptional in what they offer, after evaluating hundreds of solutions and presenting a detailed report on their findings.
We were also shortlisted for Best New Technology Product at the Event Technology Awards 2019 – the most prestigious technology awards in the event industry. The awards recognize the achievements of companies delivering digital and technological solutions to the events industry. OK, this one is not exactly an award, but it’s still an amazing recognition that we’re really proud of.
Buh-bye 2019, looking forward to an amazing 2020
So 2019 was obviously an excellent year for Evalato, but that’s in the past now. It goes without saying that we’re already hard at work on the next major update. And we’ve got so many improvements and new features planned for 2020 that it will make your head spin. Evalato being this good a platform for managing awards and programs, we don’t need catchy marketing lines, so there’s going to be none. Just enjoy your work and stay tuned for our next game-changing update!