Meeting Planning Software: Don't Buy Without These 4 Features

Meeting Planning Software: Don’t Buy Without These 4 Features

Long gone are the days when event planning used to be done on word docs and excel spreadsheets – or on paper before that! Today, we have so many options when it comes to meeting planning software it’s hard to keep up with.

With the wealth of options, choosing the right software can be daunting. However, certain key features of meeting planning software prove worth their virtual weight in gold.

1. Collaborative

During the course of the event – from writing the proposal down to the event itself – you are going to work with a long list of parties. For example, A/V equipment specialists, photographers, caterers, guest speakers, on-site staff and so on.

Modern life is hectic as is. And to effectively stay on the ball, you need a solution that helps you keep track of all input. A solution that puts multiple parties in one central place, not to mention all the documents and diagrams.

This meeting planning software should also have collaborative capabilities that include the ability to assign tasks, and contact information, track messages and emails and create automatic reminders. Having this bunched together will keep everyone on schedule and ensure no crucial pieces of information seep through the cracks.

As well, the tool should allow team members to upload their data themselves if need be – scope of work, invoices, diagrams, maps etc. Ideally, this should be from any device.

Meeting Planning Software: Don't Buy Without These 4 Features

2. Cloud-based

A good meeting planning software should also be cloud-based. Good thing is, we live in an era where cloud systems are the new norm – meaning this should be a minimum requirement when choosing an ideal events planning tool.

Why?

Event planning is an around the clock gig. You need a tool that doesn’t tie you to a desk (that is so 2010!)

A cloud-based system allows you to access events information from anywhere, on any device, provided you have an Internet connection.

But that’s one half of it.

A complete cloud-based tool should also have the option to update the data in real-time. This not only makes it easier to work on the event at your own leisure, but also helps in managing a complex RSVP, team members and vendors on the go.

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3. Customizable Meeting Planning Software

The third essential feature you should look for in good meeting planning software is the ability to customize the platform to suit your particular needs.

Customization can come in different shapes.

First, a good solution should allow you to take full control of the software itself. It should also tailor aspects such as the dashboard, event groups, and projects based on your preferences.

Second, the software should make it possible for you to create diagrams and floor plans. And these should be unique to your venue and events. It should also be able to create customizable reports from event data.

This doesn’t mean to spend thousands more on a solution personalized especially for you. That may have been the case a decade ago, but times have changed and the products available these days are flexible enough as to offer brand-specific solutions.

Whether it’s through offering event registration page templates that can be edited, creating unique diagrams for specific events, or an ability to create branded reports from event data, be sure to choose a solution that allows you to tailor these resources to your needs.

4. Solid UX/Customer Experience

Powerful meeting planning software does not have to be complicated to use. The last thing you need is a solution that has your team spending more time figuring out than doing actual event planning.

Time is of the essence. And as you well know, this line of business we are in doesn’t afford you a lot of time to navigate a complex solution. Meeting planning software should be easy to use – intuitive even – without compromising on its capabilities.

Take time to choose a meeting planning software that works well for you. And before you commit to any solution, it never hurts to give it a test drive to find out if you two are a good match.

What key features do you find essential in meeting planning software? Join us on Facebook or Twitter @socialtables to let us know!

73 Event Tech Tools Guide

Social Tables

We envision a world where face-to-face events achieve great things. Social Tables has created the leading event management software used by planners and properties for more than one million successful events. Today, our cloud-based suite includes the best of diagramming, seating, anytime-anywhere collaboration, and check-in.