In our fast-paced world, the expectation that information gets disseminated quickly and communication is immediate makes high-tech gadgets a must in the event planning industry. The old days of leaving a paper trail won't cut it if you want to stay competitive. Sadly, you know what that means -- buh-bye day planner, hello iCal (a calendar that keeps up with your entire schedule electronically). Take heart, though. These devices really do increase efficiency and therefore, business. Read on for five technology devices used for event planning that will ultimately make your job easier.
While desktop computers are suitable if you sit at a desk all day long, event planners are often out and about planning events. Having access to programs and files throughout the day will not only save you time, but they could also create more job opportunities by allowing you to create proposals from out in the field. Many event planners also rely heavily on industry-specific software to help them keep track of event details, so having this information at your fingertips is no longer a convenience -- it's a must.
A picture is worth a thousand words and perhaps a lot more dollars if you're an event planner. When trying to land a client, you can do your best to verbalize your vision or describe details of past events, but a photo will always do it better and faster.
A camera is great to have on hand as a reference tool, as well. You can take pictures of potential event spaces, take photos for an inspiration board or photograph possible purchases and their prices for reference later. A CD full of photos from an event is a great parting gift to a valuable client, and a digital camera makes it happen in a few clicks. The great news is that digital cameras are getting smaller, higher in resolution and cheaper every year.
Even in an era of continual technological breakthroughs, nothing gets the message across as fast as an old-fashioned walkie-talkie. Cell phones and computers are essential in the planning stages, but on the day of the event, you and your staff need to be in immediate contact at the push of a button -- no running around looking for a bar of signal on your phone. Plug in like the pros by renting the professional walkies that clip on your belt and work with a headset or cough up for the consumer grade radios that fit in your pocket.
A tablet may not have all of the functionality of a laptop computer, but it does work well in conjunction with a laptop for event planners. The inner workings are similar to a smart phone but with a substantially larger screen, which makes e-mailing and Internet searches easier to maneuver.
Internal phone network capabilities allow for an Internet connection when no wireless signal is available without the additional equipment a laptop requires. And many software manufacturers have apps that work in conjunction with laptop applications that allow you to work on documents on your tablet.
No longer is it simply acceptable to be reachable via phone at all hours of the day; when time is of the essence, as it is to all event planners, you also need to have constant access to e-mail. Enter the smart phone. With Internet and e-mail capabilities along with phone service and access to your contact lists, smart phones have become the most essential tool an event planner can have that can fit in your pocket or small purse.
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- Hurley, Lisa. "Divine Devices." Specialevents.com. May 1, 2005. http://specialevents.com/eventtools/events_divine_devices_20050513/
- Thomas, Tara. "5 Technologies Event Planners Can't Live Without." Successfulmeetings.com. October 31. 2011. http://www.successfulmeetings.com/Event-Planning/Technology-Solutions/Articles/5-Technologies-Event-Planners-Can-t-Live-Without/