webmasterSeptember 24, 2015September 24, 2015Imagine this: The experienced meeting planner your organization has in place is retiring next month. Instead of replacing her, they have decided to place the corporate annual meeting squarely on your shoulders, and you are not a meeting planner. As you look over her binder filled with post-it notes, spreadsheets and tabs, it occurs to you that very little of this process is automated. If this is your situation, you are in luck. Below are four simple ways you can implement technology into your event planning cycle and reap the benefits of accurate information with real-time results. First, Automate the Registration Process No more paper mail-in registrations or faxes that have to be rekeyed into a spreadsheet. Go to the World Wide Web for ease, accuracy and accessibility. Applications While there are a plethora of registration apps out there, two I have personally worked with are Eventbrite and Cvent. For a complete listing of registration solutions, click here. Hardware Platforms When choosing a registration platform, make sure the app is mobile friendly and can run on any device. What should you do about walk-in registrants? Rent an iPad (with the app preloaded on it) and position it on a floor stand kiosk for easy access. Key Benefits Faster Registration Process because it is available 24/7 Credit Card Processing is immediate Information is accurate because the registrant inputs it themselves Elimination of all paper Second, Simplify Event Check-In Applications Registration and event check-in software go hand-in-hand. Whatever registration software you decide upon, make certain the check-in component is part of it. Hardware Platform Attendees should be able to check-in with any mobile device, including their smartphone. Key Benefits Speedy check-in because registrants check themselves in Real-time data syncing when the check-in occurs Reduction of staff members and volunteers Elimination of long lines Third, Give Attendees Real-time Alerts Since you are new to event planning, it may seem unfathomable that speakers will be late, rooms will be unavailable or the electricity might go out. But these things can happen and you need to have a process to let attendees know what is going on. In the past, multiple staff members and volunteers scattered around the conference and told as many people as they could what was happening. Applications You can ask attendees to opt-in to a text messaging program such as Mozeo or Mobile Text Alerts. These programs will allow you to send alerts when changes occur. In addition, individuals can text you back with questions or comments and you can address their issues individually. If your audience is Twitter savvy, ask them to check your event hashtag or handle for updates. Hardware Any cellphone will work for texting. Smartphones will need the Twitter app in order to read and send tweets. Fourth, Collaborate and Sync Your Data Rather than constantly sending emails to update your shareholders, scanning paper surveys into your system or keying updates into an Excel spreadsheet, why not sync everything to a cloud rental? Applications While there are public and hybrid cloud solutions, a private cloud computing rental option gives you total access to all of your event data in a secure environment. Hardware Any device with Wi-Fi access Benefits Instant saving of data, no need to worry about lost information Secure – only those authorized to see and edit the data can do so Collaborative – multiple people can view and edit the information at the same time Scalable – you never run out of storage Real-time data to see how you are doing against your budget and meeting metrics Always available – access the data from any device, anywhere, at any time Hartford Technology Rental is Your Home for Event Technology Hartford Technology Rental is here to help you justify replacement of “old school” systems with new technology options! Give us a call at 888-520-5667 or contact us online to learn how we help you succeed!