Event planning can be very stressful sometimes and can cause endless headaches. Luckily there are so many great tools on the market that can make you work more efficient and keep you from going crazy at the same time. These tools can help every event planner in so many ways - they will save your time, keep you organised and make the communication a lot easier.
Let's see the 13 free tools for event managers that are at least worth a try!
Trello is probably the best free tool for project management. It is very easy to use and visually oriented. Based on the Kanban method, the project is divided into separate columns, each of them represents certain phase, e.g. To Do, In Development, Testing, Done. These columns then contain cards with individual tasks, such as creating a conference page, sending an invitation e-mail, etc. Each task can be assigned to a specific person or can be labeled with colourful tags named by your choice, like marketing or development. Thanks to this approach you will never get lost while planning the conference.
Basecamp is a great tool for projects that are more complex. In compare to Trello it is less visual, but it offers more control over the project and more tools. With the basic version you can simultaneously manage up to 3 projects. In one app you can find tools like Message Board (posts), To-dos, Docs & Files, Campfire (chat), Schedule and Automatic Check-ins. Basically, you have all the important tools at your fingertips.
Jira is a wonderful combination of Trello and Basecamp. The individual tasks can be visualised through Kanban boards as well. In addition, there is Gantt chart, which allows you to see individual tasks on the timeline and the continuity of them. This way you will exactly know which task follows and cannot be delayed or on the contrary which task is not so critical. You can also create documentation for individual tasks. With Jira you can see everything clearly and in one place.
Eventee is a clear and simple mobile app for conferences. Literally everyone can create their own conference in 10 minutes. Attendees can engage during event sessions through mobile or web app and rate individual lectures, providing event organizers with valuable data for statistics and event evaluation. Thanks to push notifications Eventee empowers engagement throughout the conference. The free version is ideal for smaller events with up to 100 attendees.
Eventee offers a great way to save money on unnecessary printing and contribute to environmental protection at the same time. The users have every piece of information at their fingertips, moreover, always up to date.
Eventbrite is the biggest ticketing service. It is completely free in case of registration. If you decide to sell your tickets through Eventbrite, the service charges a fee for every sold ticket. You don't have to take care of selling and ticket checking, including documents and payment processing while using this service. There is also the possibility to integrate Eventbrite into other apps, e.g. if you have ticket registration through Eventbrite and are going to use Eventee app on your conference, Eventee will automatically send invitation to join the app to every attendee registered through Eventbrite and moreover the ticket will be saved directly into the detail of the conference in the Eventee mobile app. It is also possible to sell and do ticket registration through your own website, because Eventbrite offers a whole range of modules and advanced features.
Slido is a tool for Q&A sessions of your conference. It provides simple yet functional solution for live questions and polls. Your attendees can ask questions to the speakers and by voting for the other ones they can contribute to the scale of best questions. In addition, everything can be displayed on a projector.
You can find this useful feature in the premium version of Eventee as well.
Data and Communication
This is a well-known service, where each user gets 15GB of data space for free. However, Google Drive is not just a data storage, it allows document and spreadsheet collaborations like no other service. So besides the photos of your speakers and other data files you can also share program proposals through Google sheets or annotations of individual topics through Google Docs. On top of that, all the collaborations are being done in real time.
Sometimes less is more. In terms of features, Dropbox does not offer you as much as Google Drive, but it is more clear and easier to work with. In the free version you will get only 2GB, which is not much, but e.g. for storage and distribution of the press kit of your conference it is more appropriate.
Clearly the best tool for communication between colleagues. Slack is completely free, unless you want to use advanced features. And even so you still get 10 integrations. You can e.g. get notifications about changes of individual tasks in Trello or just implement Giphy and enable usage of GIFs in your messages. 😊 Compared to other ordinary communication tools, Slack allows you to create different channels (groups) which could be based on different projects or purposes of the communication. So you can have marketing channel, design channel etc. Every user then communicates only on channels that are related to him or her.
Marketing and Sales
Every conference needs a good website. With Webnode you can easily create your own website without coding skills. Simple graphic editor and wide variety of ready-made templates will minimize the time spent on preparing and creating your own website.
If you are looking for the easiest way to get a simple yet functional website for your conference, then look no further, Eventee generates free websites automatically for every published event. You just need to manage the information you want to share.
Hootsuite is a tool that improves your communication on social media. If you are having a conference and you know that there won't be enough time to communicate and promote your partners on social media, then there is no easier way than to put your trust in Hootsuite. Hootsuite allows you to plan your messages ahead, including the specified time you want to send them.
A popular CRM tool that is completely free in basic version. It offers you a clear overview of all the contacts and your interaction with them. With Hubspot you can easily manage and maintain your contacts, record communication with your sponsors, set reminders to follow up on previous conversations and many more.
Mailchimp is an email marketing service that helps you create, edit and send powerful bulk emails to your audience. Give your website visitors a place to subscribe to your newsletter and inform them about all the great conference updates through emails. In addition, you can see how many attendees have opened your email or how many attendees have clicked on the embedded links. For free you can manage up to 2000 contacts. Mailchimp provides a simple editor and a wide offer of pre-designed templates which will make your emails look professional without giving effort.