This megalist of Event Planning online tools appeared in my Feb/Mar Connections column in Event Solutions Magazine.
Planners are being challenged to work faster, harder and more efficiently. The past few years have seen a cumulative number of tools created to help us accomplish more. I take great delight when I find a tool that helps me and my clients. So as 2011 harkens a new year with new goals, I thought I’d share some of my favorite tools to make your life and job easier this year.
ENGAGEMENT Quora – Ask and answer questions about an event. Listen to what people are asking about you. A tool that’s getting a lot of buzz right now…good and bad. But definitely worth checking out. Survey Monkey – Create surveys for free and share and embed them easily. Storify – Turn what people post on social media into compelling stories. You collect the best photos, video, tweets and more to publish them as simple, beautiful stories that can be embedded anywhere. BuddyPress – Create your own social network for your event.
AWARENESS Eventbrite – Create events online, share via social networking sites, sell tickets and manage affiliate partners. Plancast – A way for people to share what they’re doing (think events) with their friends. MailChimp – An email marketing tool that is 100% free. Facebook Events – An incredibly powerful tool to share events. When someone indicates they’re attending, all of their connections will be notified. Lanyrd – A site that allows you to promote your conference, incorporate social conversations about the event and include links to speaker bios, presentations, videos and podcasts.
SEO (search engine optimization) Thumbtack – Create a great looking listing for your business and be notified when someone is looking for your services in your area. Google Places – Create a storefront for your business so that when people search for products / services like yours they find you in Google local search results.
CREATIVITY Elance – Post a project (logo design, web design, invitations, newsletter design, etc) and let tens or thousands of designers bid on your project. 99 Designs – Post a project and review design submissions from designers from around the world.
WEBSITE Snappages – Let’s you create a great looking website, for free, with no HTML/CSS knowledge. Simply use their templates as a base and drag and drop to create your own custom site. Unbounce – Create landing pages simply, then split test to determine the most effective design. Stipple – Label your website photos with descriptions and weblinks (and even shopping information).
PRODUCTIVITY Skitch – Lets you capture images, share them across multiple web platforms and create discussions. Teux Deux – The most visually and functionally simple To Do tool I’ve seen. SelfControl – Email, social media and web surfing can be procrastinations best friend. This application lets you block access to specific sites for a predetermined amount of time. MinutesPlease – Unlike SelfControl, this tool lets you time exactly how long you want to spend on a site so you can control your time on the web.
CUSTOMER RELATIONSHIP MANAGEMENT Batchbook – Great for small businesses. Manage all of your contacts, pending deals, confirmed revenue, customer social media accounts, calendar and to do items at a very low monthly fee. Batchbook also integrates well with MailChimp, EventBrite, FreshBooks and many other small business management tools.
INSPIRATION Thirty Conversations on Design – They asked 30 of the world’s most creative professionals two questions: "What single example of design inspires you most?" and "What problem should design solve next?". Ted – Video inspiration from some of the biggest thought leaders around the world. Notcot – A collection of some of the most beautiful and inspiring design content on the web. Stumbleupon – This tool helps you discover the best on the web. Click on Stumble and discover a new website based on the recommendations of others.
TRAVEL Kik – For those who travel…a lot, Kik lets you send FREE, real-time text messages between iPhones, Androids and BlackBerries. TripIt – Keep track of your travel details and share your schedule with friends. Yapta – Track flight prices and save money before and after you buy.
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