Conferences and tradeshows are welcome despite our busy work schedules; we learn new skills, network, drum up business, and down a few free cocktails at the after-hours reception.
Rarely do we stop to think about the herculean effort involved in producing a world class event, or about the event professional, nay… event hero!… that made it all possible.
As a relative newcomer to the event industry I’ve gained a strong appreciation for the work event planners do. From venue and speaker selection, to ticket sales and attendee surveys, event pros handle it all, in a constant effort to stand out in a highly competitive industry.
Fortunately there are dozens of startups working on a new generation of tools to help event pros do their work more quickly and enjoyably. I’d like to profile a few products that make planning your event a breeze.
“Location, location, location!” few things are as important to the success of an event as the “where.”
If you know what, where, and when you’d like to host your event, Froomz makes it easy to find a space. Search filterable by various features, including amenities, location, and price. What make Froomz so cool? On top of being free, all results are updated in real-time and booking/payment is instant.
Allows you to organize venue maps, contacts, dimensions, room surveys, and project details all in one place to make project management—especially in a team setting—more effective.
A free tool for locating and connecting with all kinds of venues–from the swankiest high-profile spaces to more intimate and personal spots. The UI is intuitive and makes searching for your next event space logical and smooth. Although you can’t book directly on the site, Eventup connects you with the right contact person to request quotes and/or schedule visits.
How are your attendees arriving to your event and, maybe more critically, where are they going to stay? If you are planning a big event, you are likely using a destination management company (DMC) to help organize accommodation and travel. In addition to these tips for working with DMCs, you will likely find these apps and services immensely helpful.
Whether it’s a coach to and from the airport or an off-site excursion, Group Shuttle allows you to post a service request for group transport and select a provider from competing bids. It’s free to post a service request.
“GruupMeet provides a mobile application and cloud-based solution to help manage communication with attendees for smooth airport arrival experiences.” How awesome is that? Pretty great. Using flight tracking and geolocation, GruupMeet helps keep everyone up-to-date about who is arriving when.
This neat application would really keep things organized—particularly in tandem with other cool services. WorldMate will take all of your (and your attendees) various travel itineraries and organize them in one place for easy reference.
Speakers and Scheduling:
Organizing the speakers and managing scheduling is really the meat and potatoes of any good event. These services are geared at helping to find great people to speak at your event and keep everyone in the loop about what happens when.
This service is aimed helping businesses showcase their expertise. As a result this is a great resource for finding experts in any industry. The service moves you seamlessly through the selection process, first filtering by industry and then by region, content, price, and/or availability. As an added bonus, if you hang about the page long enough a live support representative will contact you to ensure that you are finding what you need and that all your questions are answered.
If you want a custom application for keeping all your event attendees on time and on track, Attendify is for you. While the app’s offerings go far beyond simple scheduling, Attendify will simplify your event schedule, giving planners the ability to import schedules and other content as well as enabling attendees to customise scheduling and alerts.
Ticketing and Check-in:
There is a huge diversity of ticketing and check-in options for your event. Simply, here are a few of the coolest.
This ticketing service goes beyond sales and check-in. Tymr allows you to use social to really push your ticket sales and engage with attendees throughout the entire funnel. Additionally, the free ticket-scan application (Android only, for now) seamlessly integrates with the ticket sales online.
Tired of lines? Try Boomset, a set of mobile and tablet apps that allow you check-in your guest list in seconds. Great features include the ability to work offline and real-time device sync.
Finding and booking entertainment for your event can be a challenge. Muzeek aims to simplify booking musicians by easing communication between all relevant parties. You can easily filter acts by location and music genre.