Being an event planner could easily be described as one of the most stressful yet entertaining jobs in the universe. With all of the food, guests, promoting, tracking, analyzing, connections, etc. to keep track of, there’s hardly a moment to just breathe and enjoy the event! But thanks to how fast and innovative technology has become, there are a number of tools to help ease the stress of planning and to help you not only plan in ease, but become an even more successful event planner. We share with you our top tech tools for event planners:
1.) HeyTell: While hand-held radios are a smart way to keep in touch with your team during an event, they can also be bulky, hard to hear, and difficult to carry. Text messaging is also useful, but it can be time consuming to stop and type out a text. Thankfully, HeyTell solves both of those problems. This walkie-talkie app allows members of the same team to respond to one another via their smart phone (it’s exactly like a hand-held radio, only without the bulk). HeyTell allows planners to go about planning their event with only their smart phone in hand – or even with just a blue tooth. HeyTell is always free to download and is available for all androids and iPhones.
2.) Square: Although Square is not particularly new, its popularity has just now begun to surge among event planners. Square is a small reader that one attaches to the top of their iPhone, iPad, or smart phone, and allows planners to accept credit cards anywhere, with only a 2.75% for all major credit cards. The swipes are deposited the next day into the correct bank account, and works with all major credit cards. This ground-breaking app is also highly popular among small business owners and exhibitors. You can get Square shipped to you for free, with no monthly or start-up payments.
3.) Pathable: Pathable is a social network that allows attendees and exhibitors at conferences to connect prior to, during, and after conferences. Users set up a profile, pick which conferences they would like to be connected to, and are able to start networking all under 15 minutes (time to say goodbye to keeping track of business cards!) Organizers of conferences can also add their conference prior to the actual event to help build buzz and allow participants to get to know one another before hand. If you love to network and have dozens of contacts in your smart phone, then this is definitely the tool for you!
4.) Planana: Planana is an up-and-coming Los Angeles startup that wraps social rewards around an RSVP system for events. Think of it as an incentivized Eventbrite that gets attendees cool prizes and discounts for doing things like tweeting, sharing or liking an event on Facebook and Twitter. The concept of social rewards is gaining momentum for brands and events alike. Using Planana is not a mutually exclusive platform from other RSVP services so why not add them to the mix and compare.
5.) Maestro Market: Although Maestro Market is not a specific tool that is only meant for event planners, this nifty site can connect you to dozens of event planning experts as well as professional speakers within seconds. If you’re looking for a new voice to add to your event, look no further than Maestro Market, where you can find the perfect speaker, personal coach, author, or even stylist. Users can also list themselves and their skills on Maestro Market, which is a great way to generate buzz about your events and connect with new clients. The site also features one-on-one skype chats and Twitter chats with speakers. If you’ve got a question or need a solution to a problem, Maestro Market may have your answer.
6.) Yapp: Currently invite-only (which is bound to change soon), Yapp is the ideal tool for all of the luddite event planners out there. Yapp allows you to custom design a mobile app for your event, even if you have no idea of design technology or simply technology in general. The apps that are created can be downloaded and interacted with on users’ iPhones. The opening page to Yapp precisely asks about how many apps you currently have on your smart phone, and if you have ever thought of designing apps. And the best part is: it’s completely free!
7.) TicketLeap: If you run bigger events, such as concerts, then TicketLeap is the ideal app for you. TicketLeap allows users to lay out their space including color-coding seats according to price, as well as adding bathrooms, Wi-Fi points, and handicapped access spots. In addition to being completely free, TicketLeap allows you to drive sales with SEO, e-mail, and social media, eliminate long lines, promote your event on its own special page, and offer special promotions and discounts – all from your smart phone. And since all payments are accepted via PayPal, TicketLeap is an innovative tool for international events as well.
8.) LinkedIn CardMunch: This free app from LinkedIn helps eliminate the time spent searching for business cards for their profiles on LinkedIn, giving you more time to network. CardMunch allows users to take a picture of the business card with their iPhone, and the business card is transformed into a contact immediately. Afterwards, the app searches for the contact’s profile on LinkedIn, and allows you to connect to them – and to view which connections you both have in common. This is a particularly useful tool when it comes to networking – and to keeping all of your contacts straight.
9.) Storify: If you really want to get the word out about how fabulous your event was, then turn it into a story! Or at least that’s the idea behind Storify, a site which allows users to share their pictures, videos, tweets, and Facebook posts into a single stream on the site. The collection of memories from the event are filed into a single stream on Storify, and the conversation following the stream turns the event into an interactive story. Once your tale has been published, users can share the story via other social media. Storify is essentially the ultimate social media experience (and a fantastic way to promote your events!
10.) Pinterest: Easily the most discussed social media tool of 2012, Pinterest is an online pin board that allows you to share images that you love. This is, of course, an ideal way to share information and photos of your event – and to not only promote your current event, but generate interest for other events. Pinterest is also a great way to connect with other planners, as well as caterers, venues, lighting specialists, florists, photographers – you name it, they are probably on Pinterest! For wedding planners, Pinterest is a particularly useful tool, as many brides enjoy planning and showing the process of planning on Pinterest.
Let us know what are some of your favorite tech tools – we’ll be sure to check them out!
-Written by Sarah Osman. You can read more from Sarah on Twitter.
For inquiries, please contact us at editorial at eventplanning.com.