Ask any event manager; event management is not for the faint of heart. With so many processes and tasks to track, it can quickly become overwhelming if you’re not suitably prepared. Luckily, there are plenty of helpful event planning tools you can use to work smarter.
Today, we look at the best tools to improve productivity, ease logistics, and ensure perfectly executed events at your venue. With software to take care of critical event management tasks, your bookings and revenue can only increase.
What are Event Planning Tools Exactly?
Event planning tools, also known as event management tools, are apps and software that streamline event planning, logistics, and organization.
Since it takes a lot of effort to plan and manage events, with different tasks required, many event tools are designed to carry out unique functions. Each tool allows busy event managers to control a specific aspect of the planning process. For example, you get separate tools for team communication, taking bookings, processing payments, etc.
What Functions do Event Management Tools Perform?
As mentioned, different tools perform different functions in the event management process. Any event manager's first prize should be finding all the tools you need in all-in-one event management software, like Perfect Venue.
Most leading event management platforms offer integrations to extend their software capabilities beyond what’s been built in to give you greater work scope. There will also be circumstances where you use separate apps to perform more specialized tasks.
In any case, look out for event management tools that take care of the following processes:
Allow Online Bookings
As more and more people opt for the convenience of online booking, it’s critical to have functionality that enables clients to book your venue online. HospitalityNet says over 70% of people prefer to book a venue online. So, if your event management platform doesn’t allow for self-service reservations, you might lose business.
Another excellent reason for adopting online booking functionality is a definite increase in bookings and less demand on your staff. For instance, customers can book your venue 24/7, on any day of the week. They won’t have to wait for anyone to get back to them regarding availability or pricing.
A CRM tool helps to ensure you have the correct context in every lead or customer conversation. It provides information on where each person sits in the sales funnel, allowing your team to communicate effectively and send the right messages at the right moments.
If you’re using a fully featured event management solution, you’ll be able to track all communication in a central dashboard. This applies to customer and team communication, where all emails can be assigned to events and easily accessed in one place without getting lost in your inbox.
Support Financial Management and Payment Processing
Payment processing is an essential part of organizing events. Instead of spending hours going through bank accounts and consolidating payments for online bookings, automated tools can handle this for you.
Say a client pays an installment against their event contract, or perhaps you settle a vendor amount due. These tools automatically update balances to give you a real-time overview of where your event stands financially. This is helpful to ensure you’re always in the green.
Another benefit of an integrated payment processing system is the ability for clients to make convenient online payments. Also, automated reminders help keep them up to date with payments and ensure they don’t fall behind.
The big plus for you is you don’t have to worry about securely storing credit card authorization forms. Nor do you have to pay the high fees that often go with processing payments that way.
To simplify the event planning process, it helps to have a central calendar view that displays all the event details by date. You’ll be able to view details, such as the number of attendees, event duration, guest speakers, and more. This gives busy event professionals a place to quickly access information and stay on schedule.
There are calendar benefits you can pass on to clients too. For example, when your calendar integrates with the online booking features, potential customers can view your venue’s availability and easily select dates that suit them.
Provide Event Analytics
With critical performance data, you will know whether hosting events at your venue generates enough profit to be successful. Selecting an event planning tool that offers detailed analytics is crucial for making the most of your business strategy.
Here, the right tools allow you to quickly generate performance reports, sales figures, menu costings, and other documents to measure event success. You can use this data to improve your marketing efforts, spot gaps in your bookings, improve budgeting, and increase revenue overall.
Cater to Automations
Having event planning tools automatically trigger a sequence of actions helps free you up from busy work. If your tools can automatically do tasks such as create and fill out essential PDFs such as BEOs or proposals, and send email reminders for events, you’ll have more time to focus on critical tasks that need your attention.
How to Choose Your Event Tools and Software
When choosing event technology, there are three critical factors to consider:
Ease of use - how straightforward is the software on the user front? When it comes to event management, the interface is crucial. The easier the tools are to use, the more likely your team will adopt them. It’s best to request a demo or sign up for a (free) trial period to test the waters.
Vendor support - what kind of support is available? Are you in the same time zones? Is support immediate? Is there an additional charge? On what channels can you contact support? When considering your event management tools or platform, these are the questions you should ask yourself. A solid provider will offer an extensive online knowledge base and in-person support.
Reviews and feedback - does a peer or colleague have first-hand experience and knowledge of the software you’re interested in? Hearing what your peers say about certain apps after using them is valuable information for you to consider ahead of making any tech purchases.
10 Event Planning Tools Event Managers Should Try
Now that you know some of the critical functions the best event management tools can help with, it’s time to focus on the apps, platforms, and software that execute these.
From team collaboration to communication, these tools will simplify your job as an event manager:
1. Perfect Venue: Event Management
Perfect Venue is a solid all-in-one event management platform designed for event managers who head up unique venues. It comes with key features and tools such as:
Email and proposal templates: Simplify your work and streamline communication with the ready-to-send proposal, email, and BEO templates. Creative event managers can customize the templates for a look and feel that suits their current venue’s branding.
Automate daily tasks: Perfect Venue can automate daily, repetitive tasks. This event management software takes work off your daily list by auto-filling documents, generating PDF proposals, sending event reminder emails, and more.
Perfect integration: Perfect Venue comes with seamless integration. From payment systems like Stripe to CMS platforms like WordPress and Squarespace, it’s flexible enough to work alongside your current software.
Perfect Venue has several affordable payment plans and offers a free trial.
2. Canva: Graphic Design
Canva is a popular online graphic design tool. The software features an easy-to-use drag-and-drop interface. Even if graphic design isn’t one of your strengths, Canva has thousands of templates and ready-to-use ideas.
Event managers can create social media adverts and update their newsletters, event announcements, or sign-in sheets for event registration in minutes. With Canva, you won’t need to hire an outside graphic designer to keep your marketing and branding on point.
Suppose you and your staff want to collaborate on design. In that case, Canva allows you to do this quickly and efficiently from anywhere in the world.
Canva is available on free and paid pricing tiers. You can test it out and upgrade it if you require more functionality.
3. Slack: Team Communication
Communication is essential in any industry, but more so in event planning and management. With so many logistics to take care of, it’s crucial that event managers and their teams can communicate effectively.
Slack is an online communication tool that allows instant, easy messaging between coworkers, including on mobile. You can create channels for focused conversations and invite the relevant team members to participate.
Slack integrates with over 2,000 other apps and platforms, including Gmail, Zoom, Google Drive, Google Calendar, and Outlook. This means you can manage calendars, join meetings, and work together within your current context.
Currently, Slack is available on a free or paid pricing plan. The free plan has several limitations, such as the number of team members who can join the platform. It also lacks certain features like video or voice messages and extended message history.
4. Google Drive: Online File Storage
Google Drive is a must-have component in your event planning and management toolkit. It’s perfect for creating and storing spreadsheets, documents, and presentations. With a certain amount of free storage, you can create folders where you upload and store business-related documents, photos, and videos.
Google Drive is collaborative, allowing you to share links to files and folders with your team and clients. There’s no need to worry about the file size of email attachments, as collaborators can access and download documents online. And, since it's cloud-based, those with access permission can use Drive from any location on any device.
5. Zoom: Video Meetings
Zoom is fantastic for quick online meetings with your staff, subcontractors, guest speakers, or clients. No matter the distance between you, Zoom can connect everyone face-to-face to hash out important details.
Zoom offers free and paid options. The paid option allows you to host meetings with no time limits. In contrast, the free option lets you only host a meeting around 40 minutes long.
6. Loom: Quick Video Messages
Loom is an online video-capturing tool. Event managers can use it to quickly record a video message to share with team members, clients, or event vendors.
With Loom, you can record from your webcam and capture your screen at the same time. This makes connecting with and explaining certain points to your audience easier.
Every video you create with Loom features emoji reactions and analytics. You can use these to determine how popular a video is and whether it’s having the desired impact.
Videos are also instantly shareable. With no delays, you can quickly share vital information or instructions. Viewers don’t need to register a Loom account to view recorded videos. This saves time and effort and ensures effortless communication when managing your venue.
7. Feedly: Content Creation
Social media marketing is essential for any business that wants to thrive in the modern world. In fact, Oberly reports that there are over 4.59 billion social media users. This is an enormous market, and it would be an oversight not to take advantage of it.
However, creating and sharing content on your social media channels can be a slow, time-consuming process. As every event manager knows, time is precious.
Luckily, Feedly helps with content creation and sharing. How it works is you log into your dashboard and search for content using specific keywords. Feedly then finds matching content and lets you share it on your socials.
You can also save content to read later on or use as inspiration for your next venue marketing campaign.
8. Notion: Perfect Notes
Notion is an online collaboration space for teams of any shape and size. Event managers can use Notion to coordinate deadlines, do project management, assign tasks, and determine objectives.
With this platform, it’s easy to split tasks and create workflows, making it simpler to stay on top of crucial project management details. Because Notion houses company docs, meeting notes, task lists, and work roadmaps, you can use it to boost productivity.
Notion has a free option limited to five users. Pricing gradually increases with added project management features and other collaboration and productivity tools.
9. HubSpot: CRM and Lead Conversion Tool
Suppose you aren’t using a venue management system with integrated customer relationship management (CRM), like Perfect Venue. In that case, you can look into HubSpot’s free CRM to get started.
Using a CRM helps you build and maintain relationships with clients. It’s a space where you can neatly organize lead and client information, and track and manage their journey over time.
10. Reclaim.ai: Calendar and Booking Assistant
If you’re looking for a personal online booking assistant to help you manage your time better, Reclaim.ai might be worth trying. Connect your personal and business calendars to Reclaim, tell it what you want to make time for, and it will automatically shuffle your schedule to meet those goals.
The event management software market has produced thousands of practical planning and management tools. Many professionals will stand up for their all-in-one event management software, saying it’s easiest to find a platform that offers excellent tools and integrations.
Inevitably, there will be specialized tools outside of your event management system that you need. Ultimately, they should help you execute tasks more quickly, become a master planner, and integrate with your other event technology.
Want to know more about Perfect Venue? Watch a demo to see how our all-in-one event management software can support your unique event venue. It’s designed to streamline your day-to-day operations, improve event management, save time, and increase revenue.