A recent survey by Quickmobile found that 71% of meeting planners use four or more technologies when planning an event. That begs the question, what did meeting planners do before smartphones and tablets?
Luckily for today’s meeting planners, there’s now a bevy of tech tools, from apps to gadgets, to help boost productivity, streamline processes, stay on budget, increase engagement and more. Here are XMI’s picks for essential event-planning tech.
Event management software: The Quickmobile survey found that the majority of meeting planners, if they’re using tech, are using event management software. These platforms consolidate all of the aspects of meeting planning and execution into one place.
Portable scanner: Smartphones have replaced the need for lots of go-to tools for meeting planners, but have you ever tried snapping a photo of a hotel ballroom blueprint with your phone? Exactly. That’s where a portable stick scanner comes in. Small enough to fit in a handbag or briefcase, it’s just the tool you need for productive site visits.
Portable printer: More expensive than today’s portable scanners but just as handy, a portable printer keeps you and your staff from running around looking for a place to print any last-minute documents, like contracts, receipts or your keynote speaker’s address.
Device chargers: Event planning and execution can be a drain on resources, and that includes your chargeable devices. Don’t let your phone, smartphone or laptop die when you need it most. Instead, invest in a portable device charger. You’ll need at least one for phones and tablets and a larger-capacity external battery for a laptop. There are even portable chargers that can charge more than one device at a time.
Your own Wi-Fi: There’s nothing worse than expecting to have reliable Wi-Fi—only to find out it doesn’t work. While venues, hotels and airports are getting much better about this, there are still dead zones everywhere you turn. Solve the problem with your own Wi-Fi. You can use the mobile hotspot feature on your smartphone to create an internet connection on another device, or you can invest in a mobile Wi-Fi hotspot gadget.
Event apps: These can range from the most basic (conference schedules, speaker bios, venue map) to the more advanced, enabling attendee interaction through gamification, surveys, polling and more. Offering benefits to attendees, sponsors and meeting planners, event apps are quickly becoming the industry standard.
Planning a meeting or event? Let XMI help. We plan and execute meetings, product launches, conventions and trade shows from concept to completion, handling every aspect with care and attention. Contact Lyn Sholl, XMI director of meetings, to get started.