Technology can mean the difference between a business that just survives and one that truly thrives.  With this fun new economy we’ve all become a part of a significantly reduced workforce, so a number of companies are turning to technology-based solutions to manage and execute corporate events.  However, finding the right solution isn’t as easy as it sounds.  A variety of apps and online tools are available free of cost.  Select the perfect event planning software for your organization to enjoy the event that you have the responsibility to put on.

Take a look around you.  The trends of today seem to validate the designs, styles and colors from past years.  It’s almost a confirmation of how much we love the beauty of event planning and the process of identifying all that inspires our romantic and creative style.  While trends in color, fashion, fabrics and themes continue to reinvent themselves, there is one trend that continues to evolve and seldom repeats.  Technology.

Business operations evolve with new technology, opportunities and lessons learned. With the explosion of mobile apps we can set up and run a web video conference, and manage our clients, projects and payroll.  Our businesses need to keep up with technology or be left behind. A business today is expected to be on LinkedIn, have Facebook fans, broadcast a YouTube channel, provide a useful app, and have an active Instagram or Twitter account that updates, entertains and informs followers multiple times a day.  Additionally, a business needs to stay informed as much as it informs others so it has to Digg for information and hope to StumbleUpon something interesting enough to tell followers on Reddit while creating buzz and likes for its brand.

Typical event planning software will have an in-built online event registration platform.  This tool enables the event organizer to design and publish an event registration form in less than 20 minutes.  You do not need to be technically oriented to be able to do any of this work.  Every element, such as the template design or the form fields has been incorporated within a user-friendly interface that makes it possible for anyone to conveniently operate the system.

If you are not sure about which solution to opt for, start by researching some basic background information on the service provider.  Read through reviews on third party websites, which will give you some idea with regards to the reliability of the vendor.  Find out who their clients are and for how long have they worked with their accounts. Particularly, establish if they work mostly with associations or corporate clients and what kinds of services do they offer that might dovetail with what you are trying to get done.

Unfortunately, many businesses do not have the budget or bandwidth to generate consistently valuable content for customers and fans.  But did you know that technology is available that makes it appear as if you do, in addition to helping with a few other business tasks?  Businesslnsider.com provides a list of the top 100 applications that can help a small company operate efficiently, saving time and money and improving the business bottom line. Here are a few of my favorites.

There are good apps for meetings. While not completely interchangeable, both Skype and GoToMeeting provide us the very modern ability to meet with literally anyone in the world at any time. Do you need to do a breakout session with four key stakeholders across four different continents or negotiate a licensing agreement with distributors in Osaka and Moscow?  A Skype or GoToMeeting session from a computer, tablet or smart phone gets the job done efficiently and inexpensively.

There are apps for networking. When it comes to networking, any way to gather and organize contact data more efficiently is welcomed. CardMunch converts contact information from snapshots of business cards, eliminating the need to collect them physically.  I love this because I have a five part business card sales funnel for follow up, and this makes that process very easy.  I used to keep piles and piles of business cards.  CardMunch makes things so much easier.

For file storage Dropbox and Box are great.  I used to have separate homegroups set up on each computer.  Now, my assistant and I just use DropBox and never need to be in the same city.  These allow you to share files of virtually any size across multiple devices quickly and easily. Whether collaborating with a partner across the country or a student in another country, today’s file sharing technologies provide efficiencies and opportunities for communication, learning and growth that simply did not exist before.

For banking and commerce, most major banks provide an application that allows balance inquiries, transfers, bill payments and even check deposits via camera snapshot on a smart phone or tablet. Bookkeeping and accounting can now be managed on the go. Commerce transactions can also now be handled efficiently and inexpensively with Square, an app that allows credit card payments anywhere, anytime. Pinterest is a very popular website with people having events and a great place to see what a potential client is gathering as his inspiration or mood board.

There are apps for travel. When it comes to comparing travel packages, Kayak is an industry leader and we use it all the time at AlexanderMagic to make most of my travel arrangements. We use it to search through hundreds of travel sites to find the best deal for my specific needs and getting to my performances on time.  Time saved while saving money is just that much sweeter.

So jot down your requirements and expectations and cross check the list with what you get in the event planning software package that you wish to implement in your administrative structure.  If you are successful in finding a match then you are ready to roll on with your event management.

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