5 Event Apps that Make Your Job Easier
It’s 4:55 pm on a Thursday night. Your colleagues are beginning to meander out the door. You, on the other hand, are considering whether or not ordering Chinese food to eat while working is a good idea two nights in a row. You are an event planner, and you are in charge of a conference this weekend.
As the office becomes quiet aside from the sound of your blaring music, meant to motivate you long into the night, you begin thinking, “There must be a better way to do what I do. Some event planner out there is more organized, has better options for communication, can do their work from home…” and you’d be right. Being tied to a computer is so 1995.
We’ve found five event apps that will change your life. Now, all you need to do is make sure your phone is fully charged and begin downloading!
Where have you been hiding all this time, Asana? This small but mighty addition to your meeting planning toolbelt lets you assign tasks and track progress of your entire team. Forget sorting through a 40-tiered email to find the one that proves Scott was assigned signage. Asana not only helps you stay organized, it holds your team accountable to one another. Take that, Scottie boy.
Bonus: Asana connects to DropBox, HipChat, Google Drive, Box, Evernote (Everwhat? See#3), and a plethora of others to streamline your tasks.
It’s hard to believe that in this day and age, you still have to handle actual pieces of paper. Sadly, some organizations aren’t as technologically adept as you, so you have a stack of papers on your desk that need to be taken to your dinosaur of a scanner, where you have to carefully tap just right on the screen to get your contact’s email address entered correctly. You think about it, and realize that trying to keep your pointer finger touching the screen just so could add up to YEARS off your life. No more. You download ScannerPro, and in moments your desk is free of the trees you were forced to kill.
Speaking of trees, that Moleskin has got to go. EverNote lets you jot down ideas anywhere you find yourself — on your morning commute, during a site visit, while you’re taste testing for your event — you name it. It’s not just a digital notebook, however. Once you input your thoughts, you can find it in your computer, your laptop, your iPad and your phone. All at once.
4. The Pocket Planner
Always thinking ahead, the Convention Industry Council has just introduced The Pocket Planner this month. The app allows the user to input the number of attendees at your event, and spits back recommended quantities of food, beverage, staffing, fire and safety. The next time your client asks you how many gallons of coffee they will have to pony up for (how anyone gets away with charging $90+ a gallon is beyond you), instead of saying, “I’ll get back to you,” you can whip out your phone or iPad, type in the attendee count and say confidently, “Well John, as a matter of fact you’ll be purchasing 10 gallons.”
5. Social Tables
Social Tables is your dream integrated solutions partner. Not only does it help you with your diagramming, it also takes the headache out of attendee management and check-in. Once you upload your attendees, and tag them with whatever information you need (VIP? Allergy? Wine Snob? Covered.), you can pull up the check-in list on your phone or iPad. From there you can swipe your finger right to check someone in, or left to kick ‘em off the list. Out of nowhere you’re sorting attendees based on different fields, getting text alerts when VIPs arrive, and the best part? You can tell your very hands-on client exactly where every. single. person. on their team is sitting in an instant. Bye bye, Excel. At this point, you’re considering yourself a tree savior.
You have discovered a way to save yourself hours of work time. You have automated your event planning process. You have taken control of your life through five event apps. Your event is in 48 hours, and thanks to Asana, EverNote, ScannerPro, Pocket Planner and Social Tables, you are no longer stressed. In fact, you’re walking out of the office right now.
The Chinese food can wait.
Claire Harrington, CMP
Educated in event management at the University of Illinois, George Washington University; the Smithsonian Institution, Claire is a certified meeting professional (CMP) whose devotion to the hospitality industry has seen her work with NPO’s, federal and local governments, political organizations, startups and corporations to develop dynamic and memorable events and campaigns. She serves as a membership committee member for Women In Travel (WINiT), and is actively involved in the MPI, IAEE and PCMA communities.