As an event or meeting planner you're often on the go. Fortunately there are many ways you can add more flexibility to your busy lifestyle without compromising your client's happiness. Imagine the freedom you'll feel when you're able to plan out your next conference or meeting while on vacation, or fulfill a client's every whim without having to step into the office. With the right tools you can easily stay in touch with your clients, regardless of your location.
A party wouldn't be a party without invitations. Suggesting paperless invitations to your clients will make it easier to decide on a design. Even if your client prefers physical invitations, a tool like Paperless Post can be helpful when showing digital proofs and getting final approval before printing. This is also a great way to find out about your client's personal tastes and unique story before moving on to more complex party planning decisions. In addition to paperless invitations, consider going paperless when creating seating assignments. Inevitably this document will need to be changed time and time again, so keep things simple by using a digital seating chart like the one from Wedding Wire.
Stay in touch no matter where you are with a satellite phone. These phones offer global coverage and can be used beyond the limit of wireless networks. A lost signal will never cause you to miss an important call from a client again. This mode of communication is great for talking to clients outside the U.S. or relaying information should an event be held in a remote location.
Use an Online Project Manager
Project management software is a must for all party planners, but especially for those who are interested in working away from the office. Gantter can help you plan your next event by letting you schedule everything that must be done, along with the dates and costs, before the big day arrives. Your client can even collaborate with you and discuss event details through the integrated chat program in Gantter.
For a more image-based approach, Trello offers event planners a way to collect ideas in one place through pictures, drawings and sketches. You can also create digital cards that contain important pieces of information. Say you have to help the birthday girl choose a cake. Picking out the cake would be the big idea, but you also have the ability to add a checklist with smaller tasks to the back of the card (research cake vendors, set cake tasting date, etc.).
iPads and other tablets are often used as forms of entertainment. However, these devices can also be great tools for event planners. Whether you're meeting with a potential client to show him or her examples of your work, or you need to snap a quick picture and send it to the guest of honor, tablets are a portable way to maintain communication with clients without having to lug around a laptop or entire image portfolio. Tablets are also versatile as they can be used both for event planning and to ensure everything runs smoothly the day of.
What are your favorite tools? Share with us on Twitter @Eventinterface or Facebook.