Overcome the Limitations of Excel and Become a More Successful Event Planner

 

“The future will belong to people who empower themselves to do more creative work” – Richard Florida in his famous book ‘The Rise of the Creative Class’

As an event planner it is very likely that you rely  on Excel (or similar tools like Google Docs) to plan and manage  your events, to track budgets and expenses, generate reports, etc.  However, a big limitation of Excel and similar applications is that they are static and siloed in their behavior.  By ‘static’ I mean that they cannot actively communicate with you and let you know that some action needs to be taken (such as a deadline is approaching.)   And, by ‘siloed’ I mean that Excel files ‘lock up’ information in a file in some folder somewhere and by themselves have no way to share information with the outside world.

In today’s technology-enabled world where Internet access and Smart Phones are pervasive, there is a vastly different opportunity that is beckoning us:  An opportunity to let technology do the tedious, mind numbing administrative work and free up time to let our creative juices flow.  And utilize technology to obtain deep insights to help us work smarter and generate more happiness and wealth!

So, what can today’s Cloud and Mobile technologies do to change your life as an event planner?

  1. Provide Easy Access to Information – By having information stored in the cloud, like your music from the iTunes store, you and your team can now access it anywhere, anytime and on any device.  You can eliminate concerns about who has the latest Excel spreadsheet or Word document, and whether the recipients have the latest version
  2. Collaborate With no Borders – Cloud and Mobile technologies make it very possible to have your team be located anywhere in the world and still execute to a plan.  Think about the opportunities this offers:  You can have lower cost resources in other locations do work that doesn’t require local presence (e.g. updating and distributing content, processing invoices and payments)
  3. Automate the Mundane – Anything that has a timeline to it can be automated so that you don’t have to pore over line items in spreadsheets to identify what is due when.  Automation can take care of time consuming work like gathering information, consolidating them, notifying people and alerting them thereby saving you hundreds of hours every year!
  4. Multi Device Access – Applications built with today’s technologies make it easy to access information and communicate through any connected device like a laptop, smart phone, or tablets like iPads.  Think about the amount of emails or printed materials that can be eliminated and the hours it can save you
  5. Reuse, Repeatability – You come up with a cool event concept.   It is wildly successful.  Now, others in your team want to repeat it.  Perhaps in other locations.  Having the design and processes defined in a Cloud application will make it easy to share ideas and best practices, and enable others to execute successfully with much less effort
  6. Secure Deep Insights – This possibly is the greatest long-term benefit of all.  Having information from multiple events in a structured way in the Cloud now makes it possible and easy to gain all kinds of deep event insights.  You can get quick answers to simple things like ‘Who were my top sponsors for the year?’ to ‘What levers (Location, Speakers, Registration fees, Time of Year, etc.) have the most impact on attendance for your events?’

If what I have described above sounds futuristic, think again!  It is current reality.  A lot of other job functions in marketing, sales and customer service have been successfully leveraging automation for greater efficiency and effectiveness.  With Goombal, event planners now have the opportunity to get ahead as well!

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