July 19, 2016

Excel spreadsheets are a popular go to for many business professionals to do different works. The actual story of spreadsheets can be dated back to the era of 60s and 70s. Academics in that era were in need of a speedier way to calculate financial transactions and spreadsheets were actually the first “killer app” among all computer programs. This can be attributed to their ease of use and power. It quickly caught on and the 80s and 90s saw that the program was being used industry wide by professionals for management of all kinds of data – be it text or numerical.

Although initially the app was exclusively meant for financial and account service professionals, we have been using computer and spreadsheets for long and it seems they have been around since the advent of computers. Thus, similar to other industries, spreadsheets were also adapted by event management professionals to maintain data and records for schedules, event planning, guest lists and budgets and more.

Since long time many event management professionals can be seen using this excel app for business management processes of event organizing and this can primarily be attribute to two reasons. The primary reason is the ease of customization and flexibility provided by spreadsheets for storage of any and all kinds of data. The second reason can be the fact the spreadsheets app is simple to install, is relatively inexpensive and there is no need of much of training to use basic features.

But the event management business processes have evolved over time and this coupled with the advent in newer technology and online event management software, the limitations of spreadsheets and aligned templates are increasingly becoming apparent. Businesses are in need of improved and faster ways for storage, convenient and quicker access and manipulative element of the event data. These new-age needs of event management highlight the limitations of event management spreadsheets. Here we look at the top few drawbacks of using spreadsheets in event management business.

The FIRST drawback is that these spreadsheets require a lot of time to be set up and equally lot of time to be maintained up to date. In a spreadsheet, it is time consuming to chart out an event budget template and also to plan a schedule. Additionally time is also required to add data and feed in information in these templates. Many-a-times, it is required to navigate on the sheet, field by field, or column by column to put in specific data type. This also restricts the ease and speedy bulk changes in selected part of the sheets – making the whole process slow and tedious. The app as such is low cost to purchase and install but as they say time is money and this app takes up a lot of time.

The SECOND drawback that is mostly overlooked is the fact that originally these spreadsheets were designed to cater to the resolution of accounting and financial data and not event details. How can one expect a justified job delivery from an accountant if we ask him to store expenses and revenues by utilizing a room layout program? This tool was inherently designed for accounting and financial purposes and how can one expect it to perform and ease up processes of event management business. These days with online software for event management and specific modules for attendee and guest management, planning schedule, calendaring, email, invites, task managers, one does need spreadsheets. Online event software is any day a better tool to manage an event rather than an excel template.

The THIRD drawback is that these spreadsheets cannot be used to store critical guest data as they can be easily accessed and password hacked, thus compromising a lot of sensitive and confidential data. Thus there is a risk of fraudulent activity. Similarly, there is a problem of accidentally putting in wrong information.

Instead of generic spreadsheets, it is always a safer bet to invest in online event management software that you can custom use as per your needs.

June 29, 2016

Event planner!

One of the most demanding and evolving job. One has to be quite adept at becoming a part of this evolution in order to stay relevant in this job. Fortunately the modern day era is full of tools and technical advanced conference registration software which make the process an enriching experience for the planners. Before you take the plunge, here are few traits which make Modern day event planners a different tribe than its predecessors:

In love with Data

Data should be the best friend of the Event planners. Every decision should be made based on facts and figures. The necessity translates into the need to identify ways to quantify and learn from the efforts as a planner. Modern Event planners always use quantifiable metrics to determine the decisions in order to have real impact.

Incorrigible Lister

One of the traits which is particular to the Event planners is their love for lists. They usually think in terms of checklists, bullet points and action items. But that might not be the case for everyone involved in the planning process. When delegating tasks, ask your team to rephrase what’s being asked in the form of a list to ensure that absolutely nothing is being misunderstood.

Make events green again

The 2016 Event planners are shifting more towards greener alternatives. Increasing number of planners are asking for greener and more sustainable options available and integrating into their events. This can actually become one of the selling points of the events.

Be creative

One of the most important trait in a successful event planner is to never lose sight of creativity around. Stay creative by looking inspiration outside of the event world.

Never Stop learning

Investing in knowledge acquisition always works in favor of your professional growth. Volunteering time with industry organization or signing up events and trade shows can bring about a great deal of knowledge building.

May 19, 2016

Any event is as good the event speaker. A successful keynote speaker and impactful session are primary factors which spell out the success of any conference. A keynote speaker might have great content but the way it is presented to the audience makes all the difference. Let us look at five pointers to derive the best from the conference speakers:

  1. Social Media head start: A good speaker always involves the audience and makes them feel participative. Encouraging speakers and participants to start an online conversation ahead of the actual event can really help. It will induce a sense of participation from the audience, it can help the speaker to give a final shape to the session and have a larger impact.

  2. Relevant Session Content: The message in the content of the speakers should be in alignment with the conference objectives. Audience is attending the conference to benefit from the speakers message. If there is a mismatch between the conference topic & agenda and the speakers session then the audience will lose interest. Convey the conference objective and agenda clearly to the speakers.

  3. Speaking coaching and run-throughs: Research professionals are often not exposed to speaking in front of an audience. In case the conference has invited speakers who doesn’t necessarily have lot of professional experience, hiring a speaking coach can make a lot of difference. Also, rehearsing prior to the actual event can smoothen technical requirements and does not leave anything to the last moment. Logistically also all is ensured to be in order with the aid of a prior run through.

  4. Choose speakers wisely: You can invite abstracts prior to your selection of speaker. Audience when they choose to attend a conference consider the opportunities to network and learn something new. Inviting celebrity speakers only makes sense if they have something to contribute to the agenda of the conference.

  5. Plan the sessions: Planning scientific sessions is imperative to make a lasting impact on the audience. Sessions over lunch should be highly discouraged to avoid distractions and losing of interest. By lunch time audience are tired and need a break to return rejuvenated to imbibe most from a session.

April 14, 2016

As an event planner for your company you have got loads to do to have the event planned and executed just right! So what step are you at? Charted out your selection criteria for the venue? Let us look at the factors which will help us identify the right selection parameter for your event.

Firstly, give a thorough vetting to the events objectives and the requirements. Is it an employee retreat or a networking set up for business professionals? Is it a large convention or a multifaceted conference? Is it an educational session or a company’s annual day celebrations? Once you have decided the objective of the event, the style of the event immediately becomes clear.

Once you know the style of the event, you can easily decide on listing the right venue or the business center. Ask questions like if the venue reflects the culture and the ethos of the company and if it is a business meet – does it convey a sense of pride or if it is too opulent?

These questions will help you pin-point the venue for the event making you choose the best event location.

These questions will lead you to important defining parameters like: total space requirement, logistic need of audio/visual equipment, availability of technical support, risers and podiums, need and availability of breakout rooms, outside function space, Wi-Fi connectivity and more. These questions are important especially when the business meet has external attendees and reflect upon the company standards.

Also see if the venue offers space for branding, or monitors for digital branding. Again, food and beverage and option of engaging external caterers should be explores for best results.

Lastly do not overshoot the budget and remain focused at the event’s objectives. To achieve that, there are free resources available online like the free event scheduling software – eventsbot. The program helps you concentrate on your objectives of the event while automating an online RSVP, ticket sales, seat confirmations and more for your event.

March 22, 2016

Are you starting out to plan your business launch conference and don’t have time to run around distributing invites, collecting registration fees and handle administration tasks ? Read on!

Samantha Green is a young budding entrepreneur and is low on task force. An event registration app has made her life simpler and that too in a budget!

Not only did her event registration systems minimize the workload but offered plenty of useful tools like a dedicated scheduling technology stack.

Specific to event scheduling and the segmented conference program schedule, an event management app can offer speaker management platform, call for papers or presentations features, session picker app, attendance monitoring app and a tracking system.

The overall scheduling for event cycle with a software includes, Budget Preparation, Venue Selection, Exhibitor/Sponsor Sales, Conference Program Development, Audience Promotion/Exhibitor Marketing, Registration, On-site Event Management, Surveys /Data Collection. Each of these also has various sub tools for effective execution and event schedule implementation.

Online event scheduling and your business – a new parameter

It is time you use digitally managed events for your new business. It is a smooth, seamless, hassle-free process which can not only automate your event but also your business. The various scheduling platforms that such software offers can be easily customized to suit your event needs and form an integral part of the business operations. It mimics the business functionalities with reduction of workload and no staffing requirements.

The flexible options extend much further than simply booking of seats or online ticket sales. It is used variably by smart entrepreneurs for variable business needs and takes the business to a whole new automated, wider reaching, more accessible platform.

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