Articles

The Best Online Tools for Event Management

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

If your company’s annual promotional event consists of pigs-in-a-blanket, an 80‘s cover band, and two varieties of boxed wine, an exciting alternative could be just a click away. More and more frequently companies are turning to web-based event planning software and tools to help plan their next big event. The convenience and accessibility of a variety of online event management tools are making the usual stresses of modern day corporate event planning obsolete. There are numerous online services which can help you gather notes and information, find a location, market your event, manage ticketing and payment processing, and provide post reporting and analysis.

Event Planning (Note Taking)
The initial step in planning any event involves brainstorming and choosing themes, décor, food, drink, and entertainment. There are a couple web-based tools available that can help you pull together all the different pieces of information you will find in your online planning. Services such as Evernote and Woziak can keep and organize all your images, screenshots, articles, and ideas. There’s no more need for 3-ring binders or hefty planners with post-its and highlights. With these new technologies, all your pre-party planning can be kept in a single online location, accessible to whomever you allow, from wherever you go.

Event Venue/Supplier Websites
The next step is finding something every exceptional event needs: the perfect venue. A venue should not only be able to comfortably occupy the projected number of guests, but also incorporate the spirit of the firm involved or the conveyed message of the event. Sites like BizBash and Venues Online are great places to start to find the newest and trendiest hotels, restaurants, nightclubs, and banquet halls for your next event. Both sites are conveniently organized by region so you can easily focus your search in your part of the country. In addition, most any high-profile successful event will be featured on these sites, making them not only a starting point for your event planning, but a coveted destination to showcase your event and maximize publicity potential.

Event Management Software
Once you have your venue, next you have to find a way to promote your event. After all, it’s not a party if nobody shows up. A variety of online event planning tools are available to help you create a website to promote your event, a registration tool so guests can register their attendance, and a tracking tool that will track ticket sales. Sites like Event Brite, RegOnline, and Event Elephant can create your event website, manage reservations, promote awareness, increase attendance, and sell tickets. While these sites have multiple event planning services, some sites have more specialized tools. For example, a site like Tripleseat allows you to utilize a personalized calendar tool to manage your bookings, contacts, details, and preferences.

Social Media
Many of these sites also incorporate the use of social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter to spread the word and create buzz about upcoming events. If utilizing social media networks on your own, it’s important to know that although social media can be highly successful in increasing attendance to your event, it’s essential to garner a very large following first. When you use an event planning service such as those mentioned previously, your event can be promoted across an already well-established network of people. They allow buyers to post comments on event pages through services such as Facebook, maximizing event visibility.

Mobile Ticketing
Finally, there are several mobile technologies that can help you manage your event on the big day. Event2Mobile allows attendees to check-in via their mobile phone using mobile ticketing that incorporates QR codes, just like paper tickets. This real-time check-in can guard your event against gate-crashers, in addition to being more environmentally friendly. The service also provides mobile brochures and maps, so guests can know exactly where they are in your event and locate specific booths and other points of interest simply by looking at their phone. The Apple iPad is a device that could be used in a similar way for on-site check-in and general event management.

It suffices to say that there are enough technologic tools available to make planning and throwing a successful and noteworthy event easier than ever before.