Succeeding in an event management business takes more than skill. Employing the right tools is essential.
The dream of many people, especially women in Lagos, is to become eventpreneurs. Being an event planner is cool but becoming effective as one is not easy. Therefore, it is important to know exactly what event management business tools to use to attain a high level of productivity in the profession.
As part of The Learning Edge’s Event Management training, we usually train people how to use these tools. Imagine you have an event of 5000 guests to plan, execute and manage. The event will be a flop from the very beginning if not properly approached with the aid of simple but powerful tools. What about managing your business on a day-to-day basis? Without the right tools, you may never find or get found by qualified clients who are willing to spend lots of money for their events.
Let us take a look at these event management business tools.
1. Budgeting software
Budgets are too important in projects. As you already know, every client you encounter is going to ask you to prepare a budget for their perusal. If you have ever participated in a Project Management training before, you will know that there is a knowledge area dedicated entirely to Costs. Since events are projects, you must treat them that way.
Instead of looking for fancy budgeting software to use, Microsoft Excel comes in very handy. I have an Excel budgeting solution that is already prepared with formulas and a beautiful interface that clients love a lot. I got it from a friend. I will ask her if I can share it with others and if up to 20 people ask for it in the comment section of this article, I will share it.
2. Layout design tool
What makes one event planning company stand out from another one is the way they display professionalism. Imagine one company uses a pen and sheets of paper to draw a proposed layout and another one creates a layout on a computer and prints it. Which one do you think will look more professional?
I know of some event planners who went to learn AutoCAD because of layout design. If you ask me, this is not a great idea because of how complicated the software can be. Learning how to use Microsoft PowerPoint is easier and more flexible. Depending on how good they are, one can even create a nice-looking layout with Microsoft Word. Maybe I will organize a free webinar one day on how to create layouts with Microsoft PowerPoint.
3. Scheduling tools
Time is a very limited resource when it comes to planning and executing any event. If you operate (or intend to operate) in a city like Lagos, you know how crazy some clients can be. They have a way of giving you money when it is almost too late to make all the necessary arrangements. Even if they give you money on time, there is much to be taken care of. You have to deal with caterers, decorators, drinks suppliers, and almost 50 other vendors, depending on the magnitude of the event.
To keep up with so much to do and so many people to deal with, you need scheduling software. The software that has helped me the most is Any.do (you can download yours on Google Playstore or Apple Store). I also find Google Calendar very helpful. With these tools, I am able to schedule everything and get alerts whenever it’s almost time to execute.
4. Recordkeeping tools
As an event planner, you are expected to keep a tab on details. Nothing is supposed to be forgotten. Almost every task is tied to the ticking of the clock. For a long time, I used the notes software that comes with my phone and tablet. But when I lose the device, all my notes are gone. Until I found Evernotes. This software helps me to keep all kinds of records. I can use it to write and attach photos and other media to what I have written. I can set an alarm against a note. There are many other features. But the one that stands out the most for me is the fact that it syncs on all my devices.
5. Storage Tools
I am very sure you have had your fair share of flash drives and external hard drive frustrations. Losing documents and manuscripts of many years made me dump the idea of ever using an external hard drive again. I now entirely depend on Google Drive and Microsoft OneDrive for storing and managing my documents. Having a Gmail account automatically gives you access to Google Drive. All you need is to type drive.google.com on your browser and boom, you have it. Having a Microsoft Hotmail or live account qualifies you to have OneDrive. This is an event management business tool I do not think you should ignore.
6. Design tool
You want your website, social media accounts, and Google Map listings to pop with great-looking graphics. But it is expensive to hire a good graphics designer. But not to worry. With Canva, you can create professional-looking graphics using hundreds of templates. All you need to do is to change the words, upload your desired photographs, and if you like, your logo and that’s it! With Canva, I am able to make my online presence as nice as I’d like. The beautiful thing is that using Canva goes beyond an event management business. Download Canva by clicking this link.
7. Team Management Tool
As an event planner and manager, your sole duty is to manage the people who are taking care of the various aspects of the event. Apart from your immediate team members, your vendors need to cozy up with the urgency and changes you have to communicate to them per time. Two tools that have helped me the most are WhatsApp and Zoom. WhatsApp Groups have helped me a lot!
Having a website for your business as an event planner is so important. But many event practitioners are busy building their Instagram followership and craving for likes and comments. Being on Instagram is great! I am on Instagram and so are all my businesses. But I know that Instagram does not belong to me. They can change (and always do change) their algorithm to increase user experience and profitability. Moreover, what if they decide to sell the platform or worse, kill it?
An SEO-enabled website can drive steady traffic of customers to your business.