Event organisers juggle more balls than a circus performer, so the smart ones will look for ways to manage their tasks and time more efficiently.

The following 6 event planning shortcuts can simplify everything from setting up and promoting your event, through to seeking attendee feedback once it’s over.

So whether you’re super organised, or just a little bit lazy, find out how you can save yourself both time and energy…

  1. Use ticketing & registration software

Issuing tickets and keeping track of sales can become a big job unless you employ the right software for the job. Utilising a platform like Eventbrite lets you carry out the whole process digitally, which starts by setting up a customised event page.

You can send out invitations, offer a range of ticket and merchandise options, take payment online and email out tickets with scannable barcodes – and it only takes minutes to set it all up.

The other advantage of digital event registration is the data it can provide at the touch of a button. Downloadable reports enable you to not only see how many ticket sales you’ve made, but what’s been the driving force behind those sales. See who’s coming and where they’re from and use the intelligence to nimbly adjust your marketing strategy.

Eventbrite also saves you time on the day of the event, with a free app for scanning tickets and checking in attendees, and there’s 24/7 support to quickly resolve any queries.

 

  1. Employ social scheduling tools

Scheduling your social media posts is such a simple way to increase productivity and give you more time to focus on other things. There are numerous programmes you can use, many of which are free, with paid for premium features.

Hootsuite is one of the most popular social media management tools as it allows you to both monitor incoming messages and schedule outgoing posts across all the major social networks – all in one straightforward dashboard. You get to choose three social networks when using the free version and it includes basic data reporting such as the number of times your links have been clicked. The pro version offers much greater insight, allowing for Google Analytics and Facebook insights integration.

Sproutsocial is another popular solution, with some advanced ‘listening’ and scheduling options. The ‘Queue’ feature allows you to precisely schedule your content for automated, future delivery, while it can also analyse your audience and post at optimal times for engagement. You can also set up keywords related to your brand and have results delivered direct to your Smart Inbox, a single, filterable stream where all your social messages appear. The platform offers a free trial, with subscriptions starting from $59 per month.

 

  1. Outsource copywriting

It’s one thing scheduling the publication of your social media content, it’s another writing it all. Coming up with ideas for your posts, blogs and marketing materials and then developing your ideas into fully fleshed out content can be massively time consuming.

This time pressure often results in social channels being neglected or populated with weak content. You can prevent this by outsourcing your copywriting to a professional writer.

You might think this would be too pricey, but if you use a site like Upwork, you can find quality freelancers starting from very reasonable hourly rates. Upwork helps you find the right person for the job, manage the relationship and make secure payments. You can also hire designers, mobile and web developers, virtual assistants and customer service agents.

 

  1. Make use of survey software

If you want to know what your attendees thought of your event, you could print out a batch of questionnaires and ask them to fill them out before they leave, then spend hours writing a report about the results.

On the other hand, you could simply use a piece of software that will do it all for you. SurveyMonkey is popular survey platform, which enables users to easily create and send out surveys and analyse the responses.

Eventbrite offers integration with SurveyMonkey so you can send a survey to all your attendees with the click of a mouse and, to make things even quicker, use one of the event-type-specific templates with preset questions.

If you want to conduct some market research prior to putting your event on sale, try Onepulse. You can seek opinions from OnePulse’s large panel of consumers (and pinpoint your target demographic) from as little as £20 for 100 responses.

Finally, if you want to seek feedback during your event, sli.do lets attendees respond from their mobile devices and provides downloadable poll results.

 

  1. Try online marketplaces

If you have a long list of things to source such as a venue, caterer, AV supplier, entertainment and table centres, you could be at it for days.

Don’t waste your time on Google, head straight to a dedicated event marketplace to find all your vendors in one place. Sites like Hire Space and Eventopedia enable you to search and contact thousands of venues and other suppliers.

 

  1. Turn to contact-finding software

In business it’s often who you know, not what you know that can get you ahead. If you‘re looking for corporate sponsors for your event, you’ll want someone who can give you that all-important foot in the door.

One quick and easy way to find out if anyone in your organisation can help is by using SaneConnect. This new piece of software lets businesses leverage the hidden social network in their company email by analysing it to find colleagues with existing relationships.

It not only tells you which of your colleagues has an ‘in’ at your target company, it also details the strength of their relationship and the last time they had contact. You can request an introduction instantly.

Alternatively, if you don’t have a large network of colleagues, try HubSpot Sales. First and foremost this is a clever piece of software that plugs into your email to notify you when your emails get opened, but a secondary benefit is that it displays sender information. This includes a person’s title, company, social media accounts, recent social media activity and any mutual contacts you have right in your inbox, meaning you can get to know your targets without having to go hunting round the web.

 

Conclusion

The beauty of these smart event planning shortcuts is that they’ll not only save you time and simplify your job, they’ll actually make you more effective at the same time – it’s a win-win!

Do you have any other event planning shortcuts you can share with us? We’d love to hear your tips and tricks…

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