Aileen Pablo, an event management blogger from Open Colleges, a pioneer in online education in Australia and a leading provider of event management courses. Contact her via e-mail.
The food is getting cold because your caterers are waiting outside in the snow while you argue with an obstinate hotel concierge who swears up and down that you don’t have any reservation with them despite the receipt you’ve been waving in his face, and now several of your workers are arriving to bask in your panic.
What seemed like a great way to tout your company’s monster year and reward your employees for all of their hard work has turned into a nightmare. How did it get to be this way? Because you didn’t know how to manage things to ensure that all of these problems were taken care of in advance.
But it didn’t have to be this way. Today there are dozens and dozens of great tools to help you to better manage everything about your corporate event and make sure that it runs smoothly. Here are eight of the best ones out there.
Eventbee. Keeping track of reservations and tickets can be a pain, but Eventbee makes it easy by offering a simple online system that puts everything in the same place. Sponsored events have to pay $1 for every ticket sold (far, far less than similar services), but free events don’t have to pay anything at all, which should be music to your ears—and bottom line.
PerfectTablePlan. The easy way to go with seating for corporate events is to divide tables up by departments. Unfortunately, that can mean that larger departments are split up and smaller ones have to share their space with entire groups of people they may not know. And what if you know that two employees don’t get along very well?
This software lets you get around all of that potential drama by importing your own spreadsheet, setting up relationships between people, and clearly marking it when you know there will be a problem. You can even use their RSVP feature, if you wish.
Moreganize. Want to make sure that your company event is well-attended and makes everyone happy? Well, that last part probably isn’t even going to be completely possible, but Moreganize will sure help you to try by offering up ways to let your attendees help you figure out things like the time, date, venue, and menu with polls and surveys. Maybe you won’t please everyone, but at least you can say that you tried.
WhoDoes. If your event is a large one, you probably have the blessing—and curse—of working with a team of people to help you organize it. WhoDoes makes this process go more smoothly by showing you what has to be completed, prioritizing tasks, creating due dates, managing progress, and, most importantly, assigning tasks to your various team members from one central place where you can easily keep track of everything.
Pageonce. Because someone has to pay for this thing, right? Pageonce manages everything financial about your event by letting you create and edit budgets, and see when accounts are being charged and payments have been made. This, more than anything else, will help you to make sure everything goes as planned.
Evernote. Drop those big heavy binders and stop lugging around your laptop. Evernote is a smartphone app that lets you keep every piece of information you need in the palm of your hand—media, notes, files, and budgets. But perhaps even better is the fact that the program lets you use Facebook, Twitter, and even email to share this information.
CrowdVine. Is part of your goal to get your workers to network with each other and bolster teamwork? CrowdVine is kind of like Facebook for events, where you can build a community around your event and really help people to make connections that will help both them and your business.
Qik. This innovative tool can be quite useful for large corporate events where you have thousands of attendees and possibly even multiple locations. What’s the big idea? It lets you broadcast live video to other smartphones in your network so that it’s easier for all of your employees to see your big announcement or witness the speech of the special guest you paid to come in as it happens. Sure beats big, expensive audio-video setups.