Archive May 22, 2017

Event planning tools

Event planning is a stressful business. In fact, on CareerCast’s annual list of most stressful jobs, event coordinator lands just after police officer, airline pilot, and firefighter. You might not be saving lives or fighting crime — but it certainly feels like it sometimes.

Getting an event out the door requires serious multitasking and a Ninja-skill level of organization. Which is why there are so many apps on the market today — tools that can help you with just about every aspect of event organization.

Too many, in fact.

You want to spend your time focusing on doing great work, not on managing tools. The goal is to figure out which problems you’re trying to solve for, and use the right tools (and only those tools) to make it happen.

Here are the four tools you can rely on to simplify event management and become more productive. They work on their own, and they’re even better together.

Salesforce & Hubspot: Organize attendee information and maintain strong relationships

There’s no more important tool than a CRM (customer relationship management tool) for any business that cares about customers — which is every events business. With a world-class CRM like Salesforce or HubSpot, you keep all your attendee information organized.

Your CRM is particularly critical if one of the goals of your event is to generate sales or fundraising leads. Once you have customer information stored in your CRM, you can track and manage each customer’s journey over time.

But a good CRM also helps you manage vendor, sponsor, and partner relationships. So this tool can be your central hub for organizing every human aspect of your event.

Eventbrite: Simplify your ticketing and registration to drive attendance

Chances are you’re already using an online platform to sell tickets or collect registrations — but not all solutions are created equal.

Your online ticketing platform should go beyond transactions to help you manage your event end-to-end. It should also supply you with valuable data and reporting you can use to make strategic decisions at the right times. And it should help you drive attendance by integrating with attendees’ favorite apps like Facebook and Instagram.

If you use Eventbrite, you’ll get detailed insight about the people attending your event with access to visual analytics, charts, and reports. Plus the Eventbrite Organizer app helps you track ticket sales on your phone in real-time, facilitate mobile event check-in, and stay up to date with live attendance tracking.

Your event management tech should also sync automatically with your entire event planning toolkit, including…

Emma & Mailchimp: Engage potential attendees with email

73% of event professionals say email is a top marketing strategy to improve in 2019, according to a new Eventbrite survey. To get (and stay) in touch with potential attendees, there’s no better channel.

At the same time, 52% of event professionals say they think it will be more difficult to drive sales via email in 2019. That’s why an email marketing platform is critical to track your efforts and improve your sales.

Emma and MailChimp are two of the best email marketing services out there. Using them, you can:

  • Create on-brand, well-designed email campaigns
  • Organize your email contact lists by category (potential attendees versus registered attendees versus repeat attendees, for instance) and target customized messaging to each group
  • Schedule and automate the sending of emails

Bonus points if your email platform syncs with your event ticketing platform, as both Mailchimp and Emma do with Eventbrite. That way, when people buy tickets to your event, they’re automatically added to your email lists, saving you an important manual step (and preventing mistakes or the risk you’ll forget).

Asana: Manage every single detail of your event planning

This list wouldn’t be complete without mentioning our go-to tool for tracking all the moving parts of event planning, Asana. Asana is a work management tool that helps users plan better projects, track what’s important to their team, and produce better work, faster.

Use Asana to create a project for each event you manage and populate it with every step in your workback schedule. Then, share the project (and it’s workflows, roles, and deadlines) with anyone within your organization who touches the event, so they know who’s doing what by when, and can monitor progress as you plan.

Whether you’re in a big organization or a team of one, Asana even has a customizable event planning template to track to-dos and progress specific to event workflows. You can also integrate the tech with your other go-to tools like MailChimp and Salesforce.