Event management is a difficult beast. A beast we love, of course. But one we’re willing to admit takes a lot of planning, effort and consideration if it’s to be successful. And we’ve crated previous blog posts about the importance of strategy (and yes of course, strategy is paramount, but you’re not going to get anywhere without planning).
Events and brand activations are evolving. As it’s such a competitive and ever growing space, it’s no surprise that we’ve seen a rise in event management software and tools which only serve to help bolster the planning of events – before, during and after. Knowing what these event planning tools and software are, can help improve your efficiency to get things done quickly, well while still ensuring to deliver an experience that’s of a high standard. Better yet, many event management tools offer data-driven insights which means you can make data-driven business decisions.
SO WHAT’S THE BENEFIT OF EVENT MANAGEMENT TOOLS?
The great thing is that there’s not just one single benefit. Depending on what kind of event management software you are after or what tools you need (and in what stage of your event planning) you’ll find that the right tech and tools can help you:
• Save time and be more efficient with tight timelines (and we know all about those, don’t we?) and centralise your management.
• Keep track of a team when it comes to managing different tasks across different locations and being clear on roles and responsibilities.
• Prove ROI and event success including attendance, conversions and any related sales (at the event or as result of it)
• Improve marketing efforts through emailer software, apps and on the ground participation.
• Manage finances and budgets so you can see how you are tracking in the planning phase as well during the event itself.
And those are just a few. After all, we know how complex event planning can be when it comes to managing tickets and seating, to food and sound. Ultimately you want to create the most powerful experience for your attendees. The lekker thing about many of the tools we cover below are that they’re available for a nominal fee and better still, many of them offer a free 30-day trial or a discount for longer service. So you can give them a try and see what works best.
EVENT MANAGEMENT TOOLS: DIFFERENT STROKES
So of course, the best tools are no secret. They have become well known because they work, so instead of just listing them we thought we’d break down some different tools into sections. South African event management tools don’t seem to be as advanced. Yet. But we know that with the growth of our industry, we’re likely to see a big growth and we’re hoping there are smart entrepreneurs out there who’ll be able to offer bespoke solutions for a South African audience.
Event Planning & Project Management Tools
Managing all the moving parts can get pretty hectic, pretty fast. So you’ll want to hook up with a platform or tool that’ll help you house all of the project info at a glance but also be able to give you detailed info where needed. Think tasks and to-do lists, supplier info and daily planning. All of that needs to be accounted for. Here are a tools that’ll help you event management efforts feel a bit more manageable.
• Trello: From the minute detail to broad project overviews, Trello is known as one of the most kick-ass list making applications out there. It’s suitable for any sized team, and enhances the ability to collaborate productively to organise, prioritise and set up key tasks (oh, and it also has a great interface)
• IFTTT: As they say on their website, “IFTTT is the freeway to get all your apps and devices talking to each other.” And this is even better when applied to business, allowing you to enhance customer experiences and get insights on user behaviour.
• Asana: They say it best; “Asana is the work management platform teams use to stay focused on the goals, projects, and daily tasks that grow business.” Asana is a great example of a productivity tool that can aid your event management by keeping you on-task, on-track and on-brand.
• Basecamp: With a similar but slightly different offering, Basecamp also offers a seamless way to aid team communication and efficiency and assign tasks.
Communication & Collaboration on Event Management
We all know how important communication is to the success of any event management process. Sharing updates on the go, checking in on progress and making sure the whole team (including internal and external suppliers) is on the same page is hugely important.
• Slack: When it comes to event management software, this is one tool that can help at all stages of the process. With an app and very simple UX, Slack can help your team stay connected when you need it most.
• WhatsApp: Don’t underestimate the power of an app so simple. With a desktop version and the ability to search and share files, WhatsApp can be a very effective way to keep a smaller team in the know, and on-the-go.
• My Workspace: A Microsoft offering, this is similar to the above in that you can chat, collab, share and edit files on the go.
Your Inspiration Station
Whether it’s visual or images, we’re constantly getting inspiration and ideas for current events we’re planning or even ones we haven’t thought up yet. So where can we store these? Here are some thought-starters:
• Pinterest: Boards and boards of visual inspo, linked and easy to index. What’s not to love?
• Evernote: Super simple note taking platform that’s sophisticated enough to offers business versions that can facilitate so much more than a simple list of words. Store images, create presentations automatically and do it all from any device. Whether connected to the net or not.
Event Management Software on the ground
• Consider something like Howler, an “innovative ticketing and cashless platform” that sees people pay with a simple tap and avoid having to carry, withdraw or deal with cash.
• Then of course there’s Quicket, which facilitates the selling and distribution of tickets (and serves as a marketing platform of its own)
SOUTH AFRICAN EVENT MANAGEMENT TOOLS
Most of these international companies we’ve mentioned also serve as effective event management software in South Africa, but they may just cost a monthly fee to maintain. At the end of the day it’s about seeing what’s worth it for your company to invest in. It all comes down to how you want to approach your event, and how you split the load among your team and your suppliers. Do you prefer to have once central hub for everything or do different apps for different purposes better suit the way you run your events? Here you can read a list of 10 event management apps that get quite specific on certain tasks.
Whatever it is, you want to have a plan, and rely on the right tools to help you get on top of the right details, streamline your communication and keep those events running smoothly and successfully. As a leading marketing, events and brand activations agency, this is something we do daily. Want to chat? Call us on 011 792 2522 or send us a message on our website.