Putting together a successful event requires a team effort. There are so many elements to think about and other parties to involve that relying on email, powerpoint and excel sheets just won’t cut it. You need heavy duty, yet easy-to-use collaborative planning tools to get your event in order.
The event tech industry is thriving with new players coming on the scene almost monthly claiming to have new ways to fix your problems. So how do you decide which tool will be right for you? Luckily, we’ve reviewed what’s out there and have 20 of the best for you to consider.
Monday offers planners a detailed, collaborative and interactive way to manage their projects. Made with project management, software development and IT in mind, it allows everyone working on a project to be kept up to date, in real time, with what’s going on and what still needs to be done. It makes meetings a lot easier and lays out every bit of the event planning on a spreadsheet to make sure you don’t miss a thing.
Price: For up to 5 users, the most popular package is £43 per month per user.
As your event approaches and the tasks become more frequent and pressing, Trello is a straightforward platform that planners can use in order to prioritise actions in a flexible and interactive way. By separating tasks “to do”, “doing” and “done”, Trello is a real-time platform (also available on mobiles) that tracks the daily progress of planners. Lists or tasks within lists can be coded to match their category. For example, ‘sourcing car park permits’ can fit under ‘legal’ or ‘transport’. This allows planners to visualise which categories are accounted for, which need more planning, and what might be missing.
Price: From free to $20 per month per user depending on the range of features you’re after.
Asana offers another mix of list/timeline/dialogue that is oh-so-famous in the event planning circles. Each person is delegated a task as well as a deadline, and this is uploaded to the interactive ‘timeline’ (and the calendar) to visualise when each task will finish and how each person is getting along. Files can also be uploaded to Asana, such as venue information or event details. Lists can also be created on Asana to detail the steps within each task, and tasks can be extended or shortened if needed.
Price: $10.99 per month per user.
Imagine Excel but for projects. This is what Microsoft Project is. Tasks, duration (with a start and end) and specific steps needed to complete suck tasks are laid out for everyone to see. Teams can play around with colours to assign tasks, but it is a comprehensive way to keep track of every detail that goes into event planning. What’s better, it’s easy to use and easy to understand so planners and clients alike can log on to track the progress.
Price: The cloud-based solution starts from £7.50 per user per month
Function Tracker is another amazing tool. It allows planners to manage events by viewing weekly updates on tasks, managing contractors, managing pricing with automated calculators, adding daily reminders for yourself/colleagues/customers. Function Tracker can also generate invoices or contracts and any outstanding payments for vendors. While it does not offer real-time communication, Function Tracker keeps track of the really important milestones in the event planning.
Price: From £42.50 per user per month.
Automatic reminders and time-saving templates are what EventGeek boasts will help planners keep track of their events. EventGeek offers an all-in-one platform from marketing to travel that will help planners map out checklists, schedules, shipments deadlines, budgets and ROI. Progress reports are automatically generated for each person working on the project, and it’s an amazing solution for planners. It also keeps the event date and time at the top of the screen, so people keep their eye on the prize!
Price: From $195 per user per month.
Positioned as a cross between a spreadsheet and a database, Airtable is a great collaboration tool for event planning, enabling you to organise every aspect of your event with your whole team wherever they are. Available as an app for mobile or desktop, it gives teams the ability to edit and comment on files and there is also a video chat function and countdown to task deadlines to ensure everyone stays on track.
Price: Between $0 and $20 per user per month depending on the features you need.
Surely I don’t need an app for taking notes when I have a pen and paper? Well, Evernote Business pushes note taking to the next level by helping planners capture and prioritise to-do lists and their projects. Notes can be organised into different categories (sales, marketing, finance, tickets) and can be shared, or kept private, depending on who you delegate the task to. All notes can then be kept in one folder, labelled with the project it’s working towards. Evernote keeps track of every box that needs ticking. With permits, venue queries, and security details, Evernote keeps all your thoughts in one place and doesn’t let them scatter.
Price: To make use of all the sharing features and truly use it as a collaboration tool, it’s £10.99 per month per user.
OnePlan is the all-in-one event manager’s dream but don’t just take our word for it. In its first few months of business, it was adopted by over 500 events in 32 countries across the world.
It is an event site planning platform that offers mapping and visual planning tools for any type of outdoor event, anywhere in the world, and plans can be shared in editable or read only format with clients, stakeholders, colleagues and suppliers. With every edit marked with a record of who made it and when, you create living event site plans that everyone can view and collaborate on with ease. What’s more, every sign, barrier and piece of infrastructure can be plotted with as much info as you like so supplier details, arrival dates, pricing and more is there for you to see at the click of a button.
Price: Starting from £10 per month per user.
Basecamp is not only for event planners, but certainly does the trick if you’re planning an event. With a group chat function, to do, a file storage area and a message board: everything has its own place. If you need to contact someone on the team, the message board is where to go; to check up on a project, planners can go to the ‘automatic check in’ to write to those performing ongoing tasks and ask about their progress. Perfect for bringing a remote team together.
Price: Flat fee of $99 per month per company with unlimited users.
Slack is a tool that sets out to replace your work email. Projects and teams are categorised so only the people involves in a set of tasks, or in a project will be kept regularly up to date. In event planning, this may correspond to people working on searching a venue, or those sourcing food/drink vendors. To communicate with those in charge of these tasks, a message can be sent directly towards them to minimise useless messaging. Intentional communication can save time, energy, and can make people more productive, especially when working on large-scale projects.
Price: Ranges from free to £11.75 per user per month
The great trinity of the Googles: Drive, Docs and Keep are three great tools that keep planners up to date and share current information with everyone involved in the event including clients and vendors. Google Drive, as we know it, can keep files and folders in one place to keep track of important information (such as key dates, or receipts). Google Docs allow for planners to work collaboratively with colleagues or clients on the ongoing project and can be a remote communication channel. Finally, Keep is a tool for planners to keep notes (and you can keep such notes in labelled folders). If you need to set a reminder, or jot something down in a meeting, Google Keep is a ‘keep’er.
Price: Get all three as part of G Suite business for $12 per user per month.
Quip is a fantastic resource to help planners keep up with their finances, as well as delegate tasks and communicate with their colleagues in real time. Built with sales teams in mind, this could still make planning events a lot easier. Files, contacts, reports, and other projects are at a mouse click’s reach: this all-in-one solution keeps everything in one place and can also forecast prices to give planners a good idea as to what each decision will really cost them.
Price: Between $10 and $25 per user per month depending on how many features you need.
Artifax is a source of knowledge for projects. It manages the planning, the scheduling, the finances, the venue hiring: all in one place, and all surrounding a huge calendar that details all the tasks necessary to complete each day. Not only this, but you can track your interactions with your clients, attendees, and fellow employees: this includes invoices, as well as the ability to create personalised letters and contracts with your own branding. More than this, Artifax can set up reminders of tasks that need doing and can send automatic emails to those in charge of such tasks. It also works for suppliers, if you’re interested!
Price: Available upon request.
Aventri is a software that can be used from the planning stage straight through to the execution of conferences and major meeting events. Active tasks can be color-coded for their category, and notes can be attached to each task. Other users can collaborate and write notes attached to tasks either to remind themselves or remind others. Payments, contacts and ‘agendas’ (for the day, week and month) are all included on the platform to help everyone keep on top of their planning!
Price: Available on request.
Cvent is another all-in-one solution that gives planners a similar start-to-finish feel like OnePlan. While its indoor venue diagramming is a bit less detailed than OnePlan’s outdoor visual 3D interactive mapping, Cvent offers event insights after the event has been carried out to advise planners on what went well and why (as well as a mobile ticketing app!). Cvent offers venue searches, event payment processing, event websites, to email marketing, and attendee tracking.
Price: Available on request.
The reality is that it’s likely your team will need to use a blend of different tools to find the package of features that suits your needs but fortunately nearly all of the above offer free trials so you can try before you buy. Sign up to OnePlan’s 30 day free trial here.
21st February 2020