5 Event Planning Technology You Should Already Be Using
The event planning industry has grown in leaps and bounds over the past 20 years – and that has a lot to do with modern technology! So many apps are at your disposal as a professional planner that it’s easy to get overwhelmed when deciding which ones to use.
We’ve put together a list of 6 event planning technologies that you should already be using. If not, then it’s time to take notes!
1. Social media platforms
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While a website is vital, and certainly should never be overlooked, social media is a key element of your planning career. Whether you’re just starting out as a planner, or have already started your own business, you’ll want to make sure your brand has an excellent online presence.
Before building any social media account, do a bit of research to identify which social media platforms are right for your business. Having a presence on Facebook and Twitter is the most important, and will connect you with a huge percentage (80%-90%) of your target market.
Research other platforms like YouTube, Instagram and Pinterest to determine if they’ll benefit your brand. They may not be, and that’s fine. However, it is very important to investigate, as you can seriously increase your exposure as a planner!
Anyone who has ever attended a busy trade show or conference knows the feeling of not being able to remember names of who they met at the end of the day! It’s natural – these events are extremely busy and leave attendees exhausted and overwhelmed with new information.
This is precisely why Loopd, a startup company focused on wearable technology, came up with an idea that is used as beacons throughout a conference space, and chips that are embedded in conference badges worn by attendees.
This system tracks guests as they move throughout the event, and at day’s end, the guests, business owners, and event planners can open up the app and look at all kinds of data. As the event planner, you’ll be able to obtain real-time information about traffic flow throughout the duration of the event, as well as how the guests engaged with other attendees, how long they spent at each booth, and how many people they connected with.
Pretty cool, isn’t it? No need to exchange business cards with this tool (although we recommend still having yours on hand!).
We’re sure that you’re familiar with apps – whether you depend on them for the weather forecast, to keep in touch with friends, or to even read your daily horoscope, they’re always handy! While these apps are fun, did you know that there are also a myriad of apps out there that will simplify your life as an event planner?
Here are three excellent apps that we recommend downloading:
• Slack: Designed for teams, Slack allows coworkers to update one another on project progress, send direct messages for focused conversations, and even allow files to be dropped directly into the app! If you plan events as part of a team, we would be very surprised to find out that you weren’t aware of Slack.
• Trello: Similar to Slack, Trello is also designed for teams, allowing them to work together and keep in touch regarding projects. This app also has a feature very similar to Pinterest where boards can be created that contain lists of what need to be done by a team, such as booking a venue and creating a seating chart.
• Whova: While the apps mentioned above were designed with the planner in mind, Whova was designed for the guest! An easy navigation tool, this app allows event attendees to check in, start discussions, and communicate with the planner through announcements and agendas. Although designed for the guest, this app is great for event planners too – you can share your business card within the app and store contact information from attendees!
4. Google Drive
If you’ve recently obtained your event planning certificate, or are already working in the industry, you know how organized you need to be! Spreadsheets and documents help you keep track of details, so how do you keep track of those spreadsheets and documents?
Start using Google Drive, even though we’re sure that you already know all about it! First of all, it allows you to keep all of your important documents, including budgets, contracts and schedules, in one secure spot, and allows you 15 GB of storage!
Within Google Drive, you’ll also have access to Google Forms, an application that will help you loads as an event planner – you can create invitations, RSVPs, surveys, and more, and the results can be easily organized into spreadsheets. Talk about a well-oiled, organized machine!
5. Tablet computer
While we’re confident that you have a laptop (or at the very least, a desktop!), so much of your role as an event planner is done on-the-go. Lugging around even the lightest laptop on the market can get annoying and cumbersome. So why not invest in a tablet computer?
Your computer can stay in your home or office, and you can take a tablet with you when you conduct site visits and meet with clients. When connected to a wireless network, you won’t fall behind on your emails – receive and send them from anywhere! And if your client has a question, you can easily conduct an internet search on the fly.
Tablets are also extremely useful for providing a visual aid to clients who may not know exactly what you mean when explain certain color schemes to them, or table décor designs. Keeping photos on your tablet will be extremely handy when working with different clients, and your tablet can host all of them.