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Low-Cost Tech Tools for Event & Festival Planners

Event professionals have their hands full creating, planning, marketing and executing events and festivals. Event managers are increasingly relying on the power of technology to help them manage their workload and connect with their audiences - and to produce better events.

Events of all sizes and types can benefit from tech - small business events, weddings, professional meetings, fairs and festivals, fan clubs, social groups, concerts, or sporting events. Whether you're a seasoned event pro or new to event planning, you can use event management technology to work smarter to improve your events and your audience's experience.

5 Benefits of Event Technology

  1. Efficiency
    Just as technology helps us become more efficient in our personal lives, event automation can help event planners become more efficient and work smarter at critical tasks like event registration and materials.
  2. Increase Reach
    Connect with tech users of all ages and all demographics - computers and smartphones are in nearly every household.
  3. Save Money
    Event management apps and tools are a good investment with a major ROI: they can do the work of many in less time and with fewer errors, such as event registration.
  4. Improve Engagement
    Connect with attendees and let attendees connect with each other on common traits and interests.
  5. Real-Time Communications
    The best-planned events have important news and updates that event managers want to tell attendees asap, such as schedule changes or important facility updates - such as the WiFi password!

Technology can help event organizers at all stages of event management, from planning to during the event itself and through post-event follow-ups. Choosing the right techs can make an event pro's job easier - and their event more successful.

Event tech comes in all price ranges, from free or nearly free to high-cost. But not every event planner has a big budget and unlimited resources. With a little creativity and out of the virtual box thinking, a lot of the tech we use every day can be adapted as a cost-efficient event organization tool. Here are our favorite free and low-cost event management tools and apps.

7 Low-Cost Tech Solutions for Event Organizers

  1. MeetUp
    MeetUp.com is a popular site for people to look for events in their area or where they may be traveling. MeetUp lets you post your event and makes it searchable by user interests, demographics, type and location.
  2. Siri
    Apple's voice-controlled smart assistant Siri can help with many event tasks from event registration to communications. Many restaurants now use iPads for everything from registration to check-ins to menu ordering, and event planners are starting to use virtual assistants and tablets to streamline registration and communications.
  3. Alexa
    Often event attendees have the same questions on arrival - where do I go, what's the password, what restaurants are nearby. Amazon Echo (named Alexa) can answer the same questions over and over - and entertain your guests! Amazon Skills can also help organizers plan and execute an event with to-do lists, time management and planning capabilities.
  4. Trello
    Many project management tools can be used for event planning task management, status tracking and collaboration. Trello keeps track of everything, from the big picture to the minute details.
  5. IFTT
    If This Then That lets you automate digital tasks you do over and over. Sharing real-time photos to social media, posting updates online, sending email welcomes to new signups, organizing receipts and expenses - even silencing your cellphone during the event! If IFTT doesn't have the exact skill you need, you can adapt one to fit your event - or make one yourself!
  6. Eventopedia
    Event organizers need to know the best venues, suppliers, hotels and meeting resources in their hometowns - and in locations around the globe! Eventopedia is a free site full of user-reviewed event management resources - think Wikipedia for event planners.
  7. Canva
    Design beautiful event posters, invitations, flyers and social media posts with the user-friendly and intuitive online graphic design tool Canva. The site offers templates you can use and modify, or for design inspiration!

At MacManda Media, we're big fans of traditional event technology such as Eventbrite, but we're always on the look-out for tools and apps that make event planning and marketing easier and more efficient.

What's your favorite event planning tool or tip - we'd love to hear from you!

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