For all the glamour, camaraderie and excitement, careers in events management can be highly pressurised. So anything that makes the job a little easier has got to be worth considering. But with the proliferation of apps and online tools that are free or can be hired cheaply by the month it can be hard to choose which will work for you.
We asked a few event professionals about the tools available online for event managers that have taken the heat off for them. If you haven’t yet made use of these, it might be time to have a look and find out what works for you.
An excellent scheduling tool if you’re trying to organise meetings with a number of people, each with their own schedules and priorities. You suggest some options for times to meet and your invitees indicate on the shared calendar which options work best for them. Doodle works whether you’re looking to organise one group event or a number of one-to-ones. Once again, a basic version is free to use.
Few marketing professionals will be unfamiliar with EventBrite, the online invitation, ticketing and attendee management platform. You create an event on EventBrite, for free if it’s a free event, and then can promote to your target audience using the built in invitation software. Invitees can then register on EventBrite and you can manage the whole process from dashboard in the background.
Event Kingdom is a plugin app for EventBrite which enables you to send sophisticated animated invitations for you event. Integrates with EventBrite or can be used on its own.
Most of us wonder how we ever managed to find anywhere without Google Maps and it can certainly be a very useful tool for event managers. You can create a custom map for the event, so attendees can plan ahead and book hotels, if necessary. Google Maps is intuitive to use for your invitees, accurate and up-to-date and can save you the hassle of receiving lots of questions about the location of the event, leaving you focus on where you can add most value.
With Facebook events, you can post details of an event to help spread the word to a wider audience. When attendees confirm they are attending this information can be shared with their followers and an additional benefit is that they will be sent a reminder before it, so they have no excuse to forget about it. You might also be able to create a sense of community around your event, which could be very powerful.
Google Drive or DropBox
Both Google Drive and DropBox offer ‘shared drive’ functionality in the cloud allowing you to back up important documents and share them with selected colleagues and contacts. It’s often better than sharing documents by email.
Documents and folders can be password protected so you can control with accuracy who can access what. That said, there have been security issues in the past, so choose which documents are shared carefully and follow best practice.
www.google.com/drive or www.dropbox.com
Hootsuite and Buffer
Hootsuite, Buffer and numerous other competitors are great ways to organise your social media announcements to promote your events. Their scheduling functions and autoresponse systems can be real lifesavers as you approach the critical, busy few days just before an event. There’s some debate about which is the best platform. This particular author likes Buffer for scheduling and Hootsuite for monitoring but why not try them both out on a free trial and see what you think?
www.hootsuite.com or www.buffer.com
Helps with the arduous task of finding venues throughout the UK, Europe and worldwide. From organising large-scale events and elegant awards to company roadshows or sourcing hotels or apartments for delegate accommodation, Venue Search can match your vision and budget to a venue that will perform.
What else should we have included? Email suggestions to firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll include the best in an update.