Without the right set of planning tools, top-notch event planning and logistics are almost impossible. Planning major events may require the inputs of several teams and stakeholders, and ensuring that everyone is on the same page can be a great challenge.
However, when you have access to essential event planning tools and software, you can upscale your planning to craft a memorable event experience for your attendees. We recommend the following tools to help you to streamline the event planning process and get everyone on board quickly. The tools have been grouped as follows into categories based on where they are most useful in the planning process:
- Team and Project Management
- Event Registration Management
- Lead Generation
- Event Marketing
- Lead Retrieval
Ready to learn more about tools that can fast track your event planning process? Let’s get started.
Team and Project Management
Most often, event teams have to work across long distances, and coming together for physical meetings can be a challenge. However, remote collaboration tools can help facilitate everyone planning the event together:
Whether you are working with in-house or outside teams, sponsors, vendors or venues, Monday is a great remote working tool that you can use to plan your events and conferences. Use it to manage marketing budgets, campaigns, and strategies. The tool can be integrated with other work tools such as Dropbox, Gmail, Calendar and CRM tools like Hubspot, MailChimp, and more.
GruupMeet is another collaborative tool that can help your team meet and plan virtually. Its 2-way communication (text message) alerts keep everyone on the same page. Your team can also use the tool to search and monitor important event logistics, such as flights, and get updates about guests’ itineraries. The tool has flexibility across multiple devices, and it provides event analytics in real-time.
Asana is a project management tool that can help through your event planning process, from brainstorming event ideas and sessions, to the event delivery itself. You can use the tool to assign tasks to teams and stakeholders, and track to-do items, milestones, and other progress specific to the event workflow. You can create an event project and share its workflow, roles, or deadlines with anyone involved in the planning.
When it comes to documenting meeting conversations, ideas, and thoughts, Otter is a great tool to consider. You can use it to convert your casual conversations into smart notes, which you can save and share with others on your team. The tool saves you the time and effort of typing and writing, and it can be helpful when you want to pass, and document, important information on the go.
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Scribe is a collaboration tool that will allow you to ensure coworkers or freelancers are performing processes exactly the way you’ve planned. It captures the work you’re doing and converts it into step-by-step instructions, complete with screenshots. These guides can be edited at any time, and they can be shared via a link or embedded in other tools.
Event Registration Management
Your event promotion efforts will reap greater benefits if you have effective registration software and data handling systems in place. The following tools can help you manage the registration process more effectively:
Regpack is an online registration platform that can handle your event registration needs, automate important processes, and save valuable time. The software can be embedded perfectly on any event website so there is no need for redirection. Its registration form builder also has conditional logic that customizes the registration experience for each attendee, and it comes with an automated and encrypted payment process. The software allows for data reporting and analytics, and can also send emails directly to attendees to keep in touch.
Eventbrite is a multipurpose online event registration software that you can use to invite participants, facilitate registrations, sell tickets, and accept payments online. It can also serve as an event listing site to help you attract organic traffic from Google and social media.
Eventbrite offers email marketing features which can easily be integrated with other virtual event platforms for virtual events. For in-person events, you can use eventbrite for mobile check-ins, and to generate attendee badges for your event. Eventbrite also provides real-time analytics and reporting for your event promotions, so you know exactly where your hits are coming from.
Momice provides an extensive software package that helps you automate the event registration process. This includes setting up event websites, ticketing, and email marketing. Their event websites are easy to set up and require no technical skills. The platform can also support session registration and can be used for onsite credential management such as badge scanning.
Email marketing, social media campaigns, and paid promotion are important aspects of event plans.
Below are some examples of tools that can help you upscale and track your marketing campaigns:
9. Marketo Engage
Marketo Engage is a marketing automation software that is good for email marketing, lead management, and revenue attribution. The tool can help you to identify and engage the right customers through behavior tracking and content personalization. You can also build and scale automated marketing campaigns using the software, and measure how marketing and channels are impacting event revenue.
This tool is ideal if your event is geared towards acquiring new leads and converting attendees to customers.
Iterable is a growth marketing tool that you can use to develop a deeper relationship with your existing customers and create better event experiences for them. The software has a workflow studio that helps build engaging campaigns across every step of the customer’s journey. It offers features for personalized marketing, multi-channel marketing, email, and mobile marketing, direct mail marketing, and customer engagement.
Avochato can help your team manage planning conversations, including text messages and phone calls for better team communication. It can also be used to engage your target audience by sending surveys and gathering opinions that can help your planning process. The tool offers a live chat widget that you can place on your event webpage to engage and chat directly with web visitors. The tool makes it possible to easily transition from chat to texts so that you can follow up with visitors after they leave your site.
One of the final and most important aspects of an event is lead retrieval and follow-up. To get maximum results, you will need tools that are designed to optimize the process. Below are some examples:
Pathable provides mobile event apps that can be used to create additional experiences for attendees in both in-person and hybrid event settings. Such activities include live chats, Q&A, polls, gamification, event streaming, content downloads, virtual engagement, networking, and more. The app provides access to user profiles, real-time event analytics, and lead retrieval. Use the platform to identify the specific interest areas of attendees and guide subsequent lead follow-up plans. The app integrates easily with popular event registration and CRM software.
Integrate is a lead follow-up tool you can use to capture and scan badges across a broad range of event registration systems. Plus, you can transfer the captured data into existing marketing automation and CRM solutions such as Salesforce, HubSpot, and others. It is capable of handling intelligent lead routing and follow-up in real-time.
You might find that some of the tools offer similar services. However, each one has something unique to offer. Therefore, make use of the ones that are most adaptable to your needs, and fit your budget or size of event.
Jordan Schwartz is president and co-founder of Pathable, an event app and website platform for conferences and tradeshows. He left academic psychology for the lure of software building, and spent 10 years at Microsoft leading the development of consumer-facing software. Frustrated with the conferences he attended there, he left Microsoft in 2007 with the goal of delivering more value and better networking opportunities through a next-generation conference app. Jordan moonlights as a digital nomad, returning often to his hometown of Seattle to tend his bee hives.