Highly useful event planning tools; cart total: $0!
Let’s head into the new year with ambitious goals, a fresh perspective and some absolutely-free event planning tools! We’ve carefully selected the most important, best possible tools out there–designed to make your life easier and help you blow the competition out of the water.
Each of the event planning tools on this list is based on the most common planner struggles, which we derived from this year’s 500-participant event tech report.
1. What you want: A no-bugs to-do list
We all have our systems for staying organized. Mobile-friendly, always-accessible to-do tools without too many distracting “extras” are a planner’s best friend.
Your free event planning tool: Wunderlist
Access lists on your phone and tablet, or on the web. Enter to-dos and tasks and they sync in real-time, globally and seamlessly. Share lists with friends and collaborate together.
I’ve never had a bug or a problem with Wunderlist. Unlike other task tools, it’s easy-to-operate –there’s a miniscule learning curve. Because, well, obviously an event planning tool is useless if you don’t use it!
What you want: to hear what no one tells you
Marketing efforts work better with feedback–that’s why we like measurable channels like digital advertising. But what are people saying about your event/organization?
The free event planning tool for you: Google Alerts
For a more intimate view of what people are saying about your event, set up Google Alerts–a free service that automatically crawls the web for any search term and emails you what it finds.
Beyond taking the temperature of your audience, you can use Alerts to gain visibility into your competitors’ moves.
What you want: more appealing speakers
“The last thing you want is to throw a conference and find that there’s no interest in the topic,” says Romy Yan from PRIME, a full-service events agency in Vancouver.
The event planning tool for you: SurveyMonkey
Ask potential attendees anything with this free survey/poll tool that offers a wide range of question types, including rating scales and multiple choice.
You can use your pre-event survey to get prospective attendees to vote on topics, speakers, workshops and more. It will help your eventual agenda be more relevant to your audience–and it’ll remind your attendees that they’re being heard.
What you want: a more high-tech feel
No matter the size of your event, attendees are expecting more tech solutions. They’re using smartphones multiple times a day, so accommodate them while giving yourself a break on budget.
Your free event planning tool: Guidebook
We have to say it–an event app with Guidebook is your easiest path to giving your event a tech edge–and you can use it completely free.
Cut out paper printing entirely (saving a ton of money), enable your team to make last-minute changes anytime, and show your commitment to cutting-edge tech with a handy event app that attendees can access on their phones and tablets, or on the web. You can even embed the event guide on your website or tumblr, meaning you only have to update in one place when you make a change–it populates instantly, everywhere.
What you want: annual attendee growth
The key to growing your event over time? A drumbeat of valuable communication between events. To make things simple, you need a platform that publishes effortlessly.
Pick this event planning tool: Tumblr
Designed to provoke interaction, Tumblr is completely free and posts are easy to design and publish.
Use Tumblr to share updates, feedback, announcements and more as part of your year-round attendee engagement plan.
What you want: better team communication
It’s hard to move beyond the analog when it comes to collaboration, because many tools have too many useless features that only serve to create busywork. But in the interest of using technology to your advantage, try a clean, simple, mobile-friendly collaboration app.
Your dream event planning tool:
Podio, the collaboration tool, offers free unrestricted use of its core features for up to five team members–even including online support. You can’t beat a deal like this for clean, easy-to-use task management, file sharing and commenting.
You need to be always-in-touch during the high-pressure parts othe event planning process. A collaboration tool lets you communicate and access simple overviews to track progress, all from your phone.