Planning an event is a lot of work, and it certainly can be overwhelming for someone who doesn’t do it all the time. But there are plenty of tools out there you can use to take off some of the pressure and pull off an amazing event.
Although the ticketing services listed below essentially offer an all-in-one solution, you may want to consider utilizing a combination of tools, as some are better for promoting your event, and others are better for managing other processes.
Ticketing Solutions for Your Event
In addition to managing you ticket sales, the three platforms listed below have extra features, such as QR codes for ticket scanning and contact lists storage, that will make the overall planning process much easier. Each platform offers different features and uses its own pricing model. Some advanced features, however, cost more to use.
This is one of the most popular online ticketing vendors, but you also can use it to sell tickets to your own event. Eventbrite allows you to create your own event page, collect payments for ticket purchases and it offers a ton of additional features. The cost of using Eventbrite varies, depending on which features you’re interested in using.
There’s an Essentials package that includes a few basic tools that has a fee of 1 percent + $0.99 for each ticket. The second tier, called the Professional package, comes with a few extra features, such as unlimited ticket types and reserved seating. The Professional package is 2.5 percent + $1.99 for each paid ticket. You can compare the two options on the Eventbrite website.
Probably the best thing about Event Smart is the fact that it’s 100 percent free to use all the basic features. You’re not forced to choose between plans that offer specific sets of features – although you have the option to pick a Personal or Business pIan that’s charged monthly – and Event Smart doesn’t take a cut of your ticket sales.
If you choose the free plan, you’ll pay monthly only for adding specific features you’re interested in using. Those additional features allow for more advanced customization options. You can see all the add-on features here.
In addition to ticketing services, Eventzilla offers several features that can be unlocked by allowing more fees to be added to each ticket price. The entry-level service charge, which grants users access to all the Basic services, is $1.25 per ticket. All other features, which fall under the Pro level, can be used by allowing Eventzilla to add to each ticket a 1.5 percent fee that’s capped at $4.99 plus an extra $0.99 charge per ticket.
Eventzilla’s Pro features, such as customized order confirmation messages, are comparable to those offered by Eventbrite and Event Smart. For a complete list of Eventzilla’s available features, head here.
Tools to Help You Promote Your Event
Depending on the type of event you’re planning, you may need to promote it in order to get people to buy tickets. These tools will help you get people excited about the event, and give them an idea of what to expect when they arrive.
There are several email marketing tools available online, but MailChimp is one of the best for smaller events because it allows you to send emails to up to 2,000 subscribers per month at no cost – although it limits you to sending 12,000 total emails per month. MailChimp allows you to create customized emails using your own messaging and style so that it aligns with your brand or event theme.
You’ll also be able to view detailed analytics, such as open and click rates, that show how your emails are performing. If you need to increase the number of subscribers or number of emails you’re sending out, you can easily pay for more.
Social media platforms are great for promoting events, but it sometimes can be tough to stick to a posting schedule. That’s where Hootsuite comes in; it’s a tool that automates social media posts in advance. That way, if an unexpected planning emergency comes up, you don’t have to worry about a post not going up at the right time.
This can be extremely helpful as planning the event becomes more time consuming – it definitely will as the event date draws closer. But with Hootsuite, you’ll be able to prepare posts in advance, which will give you extra time to make sure everything else runs smoothly.
Other Useful Management Tools
Some of tools mentioned above are almost necessary to run and promote your event online. The tools in this section, however, provide other services that may save you a surprising amount of time and effort leading up to the event.
This is especially useful for wedding planners, as it includes a space layout feature you can use to determine where tables, bars, the dance floor and everything else should be located at the venue. You can even assign names to each table.
You can also use AllSeated to build timelines for tasks and assign names to each task. There’s a notes feature to help you keep track of additional details, such as guests’ food preferences and food allergies, and any other information that may be important to have on hand the day of the event.
If you open a bank account to use for the event, you may want to create a PayPal account as well; it will make tracking budgets and expenses much easier. If you’re planning to use a personal bank account to fund an event or use multiple personal accounts to fund different items, you could instead store all the funds in a PayPal account to make sure all items related to the event are paid for with the appropriate funds.
And, being as you’ll likely make a lot of transactions over a short period of time, it’s good to have the extra level of security that PayPal offers. You don’t want any issues gaining access to funds when you’re trying to lock down services or equipment for the event. Some attendees may also prefer to pay for their event ticket or make a donation using PayPal.