Hosting Events Becomes More Tolerable: Top Tools to Maintain Your Sanity
There is a popular (possibly false) story floating around that claims when British prime minister Harold McMillan took office in 1957 he was asked what he feared and responded “events, dear boy, events”. True or not, the story has hung around because the sentiment expressed resonates. As anyone in charge of organizing an event knows, the number of tasks which need taking care of between now and the date itself have a sneaky ability to spontaneously multiply.
Unfortunately, despite all the hassle, events are pretty important. They afford new connections, time to get to know acquaintances, advertising opportunities, access to new information, and can be a generally good time.
So as technology companies do, a few startups have stepped up to the plate to try and help streamline event planning from start to finish. I picked my favorites for each stage of the event planning process and listed them below because let’s face it, no event organizer would turn down the opportunity to do the boring parts of event planning quicker and easier, so they can focus on the event itself, right?.
So let’s start at the beginning.
Decide what needs to happen
I find the first thing that makes itself known when organizing an event is the number of things that need doing, probably followed by the amount of time there is to do them. Especially if you need to work with other people. There are too many generic project management tools around (is there such thing as an anti-monopoly?) but Eventuosity is event-specific. Set up the roles for team leader, logistics, catering, etc – even if they are all you – and then get to work organizing each task as it’s broken up into manageable chunks. You can see how everyone’s getting on, track effectiveness, and even run multiple events at the same time if you’re really busy/mad.
This is one of the most frustrating bits. You can have plenty of ideas but no idea whether there’s a supplier which will be able to help you execute those ideas. And what about all those weird suppliers you’ve seen people get, who can do really cool things – how did they find them? Eventerprise is your search engine for events. Catering, rental, venues, logistics, transport, the lot. Plug it all in, including any unique requests you might have, and send it off for quotes and the like. The platform looks like it’s trying to cover all bases, but someone should really test that. Maybe they’ll give out a prize for the weirdest idea.
Make sure everyone is having fun
Sounds really cheesy, but obviously the crux of the whole event. There’s nothing worse than only finding out afterward that it’s all gone terribly because something you didn’t know was a problem has become a problem. Or the moment when you unearth a problem halfway through wondering how long it’s been like that. Concierge Eventbot is a chatbot which allows attendees to get in touch in a variety of ways to get their questions answered. They can get access to all the event literature, information, and resources. Mostly it means you can relax (a little) knowing that if someone has a question or an issue, they won’t necessarily make themselves apparent. It’ll just be quietly dealt with. Plus you can send everyone alerts about things going on.
Translate event content
I chucked this one in because it shows event tech is going as far as to get niche. Plus, being a European, the idea of holding a single event with lots of people speaking lots of languages is a distinct reality. Interactio allows translators to project the translation of an event, to attendees through their personal phones. Attendees simply download an app, plug in their headphones and listen to the event. Having been the recipient on many occasions, of a cheap, old, dubiously functioning headset as I walk into an event, this seems ingenious to me. Why hasn’t anyone done this before? Even TED is using it.
Anyway, thus ends my little tour through event software. In short, the whole process is getting much easier, and will hopefully continue to do so. Now, go forth and create things. “Events, dear boy, events”