The 56 Event Management Tools, Event Tech, And Other Apps You Need
As an event planner, there is so much for you to worry about.
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So why wouldn’t you want modern event tech to help you out?
But you won’t need to pay for super expensive softwares or services to get what you need.
There’s so much out there today that you can find great value and great products with relative ease.
So here’s our list of the top free or low cost software out there:
For events with ticketing, registration can kind of be a pain.
This platform allows you to create event registration forms.
In its free version, you can have 5 forms with 10 fields in each. You can also integrate the software to WordPress and other publishing platforms like Facebook and Twitter.
Unfortunately, to integrate with a payment, you’ll have to upgrade to a paid version.
Not all tech needs to come in app form! Some of the tech we will look at is just about finding an online solution.
Have you ever wanted to look for art for your event but didn’t want to pay extravagant costs?
Artsicle allows you to rent art for your events starting at $25/month. That’s fairly cheap for what could cost an arm and a leg.
What’s also really cool is that the site allows you to build relationships with up-and-coming artists.
We will look at several project management tools in this article and this is the first one!
If you have been an event planner from some time, you’ve been doing project management the whole time.
As an event planner, you have a million tasks, assigning some to yourself and delegating to others.
And here’s the thing:
Keeping deadlines, assigning tasks, and monitoring your employees and vendors can be very difficult manually.
With Asana, you can organize the event by tasks and make sure employees have established deadlines and timelines.
It also comes with a useful commenting system which aids in communication.
Sometimes it’s hard to think of a product that can give you exactly what you need 100% of the time.
The great thing about a company like Attendify is that they give you the ability to create, essentially, your own customized event app.
This allows you to put in things specifically for your attendees such as the ability to create quick polls and allow attendees to message each other.
So as the name implies, this is a product that is meant for allowing your attendees to better engage with each other and with the event itself.
It’s the little things that separate good events from great events, right?
Things such as name badges and lanyards may seem small but the extra effort can go a long way.
Bag Tags Inc. will create custom badges and lanyards and can handle last minute orders.
Another project management software, Basecamp has been around for quite some time, since 2004.
It’s not as suave as newer softwares but it still gets the job done, managing projects and tasks. It also allows for file sharing.
It’s not as great at communication as some of the newer technologies but still a great tool nonetheless.
For marketing your event, it’s important to know what your guests care about. Using a tool like BuzzSumo, you can figure out what is trending.
Why is this important?
You can figure out what influencers you may want to target and what type of content will be important in marketing your event.
If you need last minute digital designs, Canva is the software for you.
Nothing beats a great designer but Canva has some great templates so that even if you have no design experience, you still get a pretty decent product.
The great news is that the base product is free.
So if you wanted to send out a last minute Facebook post or make a custom email header, Canva is the way to go.
If you own your own business, you know how important marketing is.
One of the newer ways to incorporate digital marketing is by starting a podcast.
This can be an opportunity for you to talk about the latest developments in the hospitality industry, to interview industry professionals, or just promote yourself.
Tools like Clammr allow you to create audio teasers for your podcast to help promote the podcast.
This is taking content marketing to the next level!
There is no shortage of what you can do on social media to promote your business or a particular event.
Infographics are great pieces of visual content that allow your fans to consumer information in a succinct manner. So they are pretty useful in marketing.
Easl.ly allows you to make infographics yourself, without the need of a designer.
The site gives you 1000s of templates and design objects for you to play around with.
When all is said and done, one of the most important apps you need is something that takes care of the day to day event management stuff.
For instance, you want something that organizes your agenda, allows for guest management, and 2D/3D diagramming.
That’s where EventForte comes in. It’s an all-in-one cloud solution.
Probably the coolest feature is the ability to render your event space and furniture layout in 3D. This gives you the spatial awareness you need to know if your design makes sense based on the dimensions.
You can also share your designs to anyone such as a client or vendor.
EventForte doesn’t just have the event management app. EventForte also has some nitfy free tools that help out both venues and event planners.
The first we’ll go over is the Attrition Calculator. This helps calculate the likelihood that you will meet or fall short of the attrition amount.
All you have to do is put in some specs of your event and the calculator will tell you whether you are on track or not to meet your attrition pick up!
One of those small things that event planners and venues need to worry about is internet bandwidth.
Attendees complain all the time that the internet is too slow.
That’s why it is important to check the bandwidth of your venue in advance to make sure it can accommodate the amount of guests you have. And that’s where EventForte’s Bandwidth Calculator comes in as the calculator lets you how many people can be sustained by the venue’s wifi!
Event Budget Calculator
Budgeting is one of the most important things you need to do as an event planner. It’s how you determine your event’s ROI.
With EventForte’s Event Budget Calculator, you just add in some simple metrics such as the number of days of the event, number of attendees, the location, and the star rating of the venue, and you will get back how much you need to budget for.
It’s not always easy to figure out what colors go with what.
But with EventForte’s Event Color Palette Generator, you can figure out the color scheme for your event in no time at all.
You can custom pick the palette you want or see the presets EventForte has depending on the type of event you are planning.
Event Date Suggestion Tool
If you are having trouble picking a date for your event, you can just search your calendar. But sometimes a basic calendar is not good enough to tell you if there are major holidays or important events happening on a certain date.
With EventForte’s Event Date Suggestion Tool, you can see all the major conflicts your event date may have. You also can see popular dates for events like famous dates in history or famous people's’ birthdays. You can also see which are the high and low seasons.
When you are planning an event, it can sometimes be hard to figure out how much you need of certain things such as different types of furniture or different types of food and beverage.
With EventForte’s Event Estimator, you can figure out the quantities of all these items by putting in some simple inputs such as number of attendees and event duration.
This is a test that allows you to see what type of event planner you are? Are you the negotiating type or the hardnosed “must have it your way type”
Find out with this free test! Takes less than 5 minutes!
It is difficult to determine how much space you may need.
With EventForte’s Layout Calculator, you can figure out how much square footage you will need based on the number of attendees and the room setup type (e.g. classroom, theater, banquet, etc.)
If you are a venue, you are looking to market yourself through as many channels as possible. If you are an event planner, you want to be able to showcase your work to market yourself.
EventForte’s Portfolio app allows venues and event planners to do just that by creating a platform for event planners to market themselves and find venues.
This tool allows venues to put an interactive capacity chart on their social media accounts, blog, or their own website.
This allows a venue to advertise its function spaces to its customers in other marketing channels that are sometimes neglected. And the interactive capacity chart allows customer to explore the venue’s spaces in 2D and 3D.
Oh and did I mention the base version is free? Even better yet, it takes only 5 minutes to set up.
When marketing your event, it is important to have easily available social sharing links.
With EventForte’s Share Link Generator, you can create these share links that you can then easily distribute to help you market.
If you are in between a few venues that you may want to use, thinking of all the ways one is better than the other may be difficult.
With EventForte’s Site Selection tool, just answer some basic questions about the venues and EventForte will generate a score which you can use to determine which venue is better for your event planning needs.
Evite is a great free tool if all you need is a way to invite and RSVP guests en masse.
There is a limit of 750 invitations for the free version so if you have a very large event, it may not be a great idea.
If you need something done in a pinch, Fiverr is one of the first places I would go to.
It’s essentially a giant freelance marketplace and you can pay for services from many categories including graphic design, writing, and voiceovers.
How can you use this?
If you want to make marketing content, you can use Fiverr to get voiceovers. Or even for a specific event, you can get someone to design a logo.
And why is it called Fiverr?
All services have a starting price of $5.
Another registration/ticketing system!
Users can use Flavorus to purchase tickets online or on mobile. Some cool features allow you to set up a will-call option and create payment plans for pricier tickets.
The catch is that Flavorus collects 2.5% of the ticket price with an additional $1 per ticket. But on the plus side, Flavorus can be used for free with free events.
One of the annoying aspects of local software is that two people cannot work on the same document at the same time. Think of writing term papers back in school.
Google Docs is a cloud based word processor and it allows multiple people to edit the document at the same time.
This is very useful because all users can see edits and comments in real time and all changes are automatically saved.
This is great for group work on a single document. No more emailing, redlining changes, and emailing back.
What’s the bottom line?
It’s a huge time saver!
If you are into social media marketing, you probably use Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram regularly.
Softwares like Hootsuite let you know which of the platforms is giving you the most success so you know where to focus.
It also lets you schedule posts in advance so you can post a lot in advance and leave it alone.
Sometimes you need a space on demand. If you don’t work from an office, sometimes that means you need a space to meet with clients or to work for the day.
Or sometimes you may need to make a quick booking for an event.
To all this, you can use Instynt, which was co-founded by one of EventForte’s cofounders.
All you have to do is enter a few metrics such as the amount of attendees, the date, and the duration, and you can make a booking instantly.
Are you overpaying for your venue?
Instynt has a tool to figure that out. All you have to do is put in the number of people the venue holds, the location, the type of event, and how much you are paying and Instynt will tell you if you overpaid for your venue!
Oh, and did I mention this tool is free?
Sometimes you need furniture for your events.
This website allows you to rent trend furniture for any type of event.
So there’s an easy solution if you don’t like the available furniture you have at the venue you booked.
This is a very simple but very useful app.
Imagine you have a team working at a really crowded event and you need to locate each other.
The user just chooses a color pattern and holds up their phone. The phone will then start blinking.
You can use this then to locate the person with the blinking phone.
No more shouting and texting “WHERE R U?”
It is important to know what people think about you and your business.
Your reputation is everything.
A tool like Mention lets you know where people are talking about you online so you get a sense of how your customers view you.
Here’s a hint: you want to respond to what people are saying to you, even the negative things!
As an event planner, you know that one of the more common problems these days is attendees complaining about bad wifi connections.
Venues generally don’t provide the best wifi so looking for other solutions is a good idea.
Meraki will provide you Wi-Fi access with loaner equipment. All you have to do is go to the website and apply.
And then book… your attendees will have a great internet connection.
What’s the catch?
Meraki gets free advertising for its wireless services. It’s pretty much a big win all around.
Microsoft made an alternative to its own PowerPoint. So this would be a great presentation tool for you.
What makes it more advanced?
It is a bit more engaging. You can now build sliding web pages that have videos, link, pictures, and text.
So it’s kind of like a PowerPoint plus.
How could you use it?
You could suggest the software to any speakers giving presentations at events you are organizing.
And of course if you are trying to pitch something to a client or gain new clients, this could be a great tool.
With all the great communication tools out there, we still rely on email to talk to clients, vendors, and venues.
Mixmax is a great email management solution. You can track opens and clicks. It also links with Gmail, allowing you to store templates and set reminders.
So if you feel completely inundated by emails, this may be a way for you to go.
This one is a little expensive but if you are looking for a shocker, it can be worth it.
Perch offers interactive displays that alter the image being shown on a wall or table in response to a movement.
For example, let’s say a customer in a trade show booth picks up an object, that could trigger the display to change.
You can buy or rent these devices from Perch.
PicPlayPost allows you to combine videos, music, and photos from your events into one video collage. You can then post that collage on Instagram and Vine.
Once again, a great tool for content marketing and showing off your events!
Pomodoro Time and other apps like it are productivity apps.
If you are a procrastinator or multitasker, this can really help out.
And as an event planner, you are multitasking all the time. But you must regiment your time carefully to make sure everything gets done.
Pomodoro Time manages your work time and schedules time to work and time for breaks. You can learn more about the Pomodoro Technique and other productivity hacks here.
Truth be told, I use the Pomodoro apps all the time :)
Think of the 21st Century disco ball.
Pufferfish provides a spherical projection module which displays your content in 360 degrees.
You can buy or rent but it costs a bit, so be prepared to spend for this eye catcher.
Like we mentioned before, knowing what your customers think about you is very important.
Ideally, it is important to have a high net promoter score (NPS). The NPS is a range from 1 to 10, 10 being the highest, which shows how your customers view you.
A 9 or a 10 means that your customers are generally promoters. That means they will actively recommend you. A 7 or 8 is a neutral. This means customers will neither say good things nor bad things about you. And anything below a 7 is a detractor. These are unhappy customers who will say negative things about you.
Using tools such as Qualaroo will help in conduct surveys for what your customers think about you. And as event planners, you can use such a tool not just to see what your customers think but what your attendees think as well!
And yet another project management tool!
Redbook allows you to create unlimited projects, assign tasks, and create online meetings.
There is also a great chat feature and multiple integrations.
For a smaller event, especially a wedding, this can be a great tool.
RSVPify offers a free plan covering 100 RSVPs and other features such as:
- Custom branding
- Email notifications
- Data imports
There are higher tiered features such as unlimited guest tracking and unlimited RSVPs but those require a subscription.
Slack is probably the biggest name on the group chat market.
It integrates with other tools we have talked about like Asana.
You can use it with your team and segment out different topics.
For example, you can have one channel for “social media” and one for “audio/visual” and so forth.
This helps separate out conversations so you are not dealing with too much clutter.
There’s also a private messaging feature.
This allows for easy discussion especially when team members may be working remotely.
It’s been called “Spreadsheets on steroids”. So if you need something more robust than Excel or Google Sheets, you may want to use this.
Some of the tools it has include live collaboration abilities and communication.
It’s also great for managing an event budget.
We already talked about NPS.
And really, you cannot have enough tools to help you out conducting surveys and NPS.
SurveyMonkey is another great resource to help you figure out what your customers and guests are saying about your events.
If you work with an international team or have a lot of international vendors, it can sometimes be difficult to schedule calls.
It’s difficult to hit that sweet spot when everyone is still awake and working.
Timeanddate.com solves that problem by letting you know when the best time is for your meeting based on where each participant is.
Good, reliable registration software is hard to come by.
But TicketSpice has a lot of great features such as fast ticket scanning, analytics, mobile ticketing, and selling merchandise within your ticketing page.
So even registration is getting an up to date boost with tools like TicketSpice.
If you’re holding an international event, this is a really nifty tool.
Topi allows event attendees to message each other in more than 60 different languages.
It also allows for social integration.
The main purpose of the app is to allow networking amongst attendees from different language backgrounds.
Trello is another brainstorming board, somewhat like Basecamp.
It allows you to create boards based on your project which you can share with fellow collaborators.
It’s very user friendly so definitely worth checking out.
Typeform allows you to create well designed surveys.
Why is this useful?
Let’s say you want to get feedback from a client or attendees. This would be tremendously useful on learning what you did right and what you can improve on.
Especially if you are planning destination events out of town, communication is key.
UberConference makes chatting and messaging easy and allows for easy conference calls.
You can even use features like call recording so there is always a record of the conversation and note taking becomes less necessary. There’s also screen-sharing.
Either for design purposes or just for yourself, Wordle allows you to create word clouds.
What’s a word cloud?
A word cloud gives greater prominence to words used more often than other words. The size of the word is proportional to how many times it is used.
Users can alter their word clouds based on font, layout, and color scheme.
Zapier is a super valuable workflow manager. It allows you to share data from one app to another.
For example, if you get a survey submission via email, you can tell Zapier to move that data to a Google Sheets and notify you on Slack.
That’s a lot of processes it takes care of for you just like that!
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So with all those choices, you can avoid the tedium of planning an event!
You can focus on what needs to get done, and share everything easily.
Because at the end of the day, the most important thing is putting on an awesome event. And you want to make sure that there are no gaps in communication along the way.
That’s what these tools are for.
What tools have you found to be the most helpful for event planning? Let us know in the comments below.