Gadgets Work Magic for Planners
Pockets bulge with labor-saving devices for event planners
The technological revolution affects everyone. But meeting planners — with their constant need to stay in touch with an assortment of colleagues (and sometimes bewildered attendees), probably rely on gadgets more than any other service professionals.
Top mobile devices for event planners
Communications — and immediacy — is key today. Meeting planners need to be in constant contact with office staff, vendors and other personnel leading up to and at events.
Critically necessary options to choose from when it comes to mobile devices
- Cell phones
- Smartphones, such as iPhone series and Android phones
- Laptop computers (MacBook Air, Dell)
- Personal Digital Assistants such as iPhone
- IPad and digital tablets
- Global Positioning System (GPS) devices
- Digital cameras that are Wi-Fi ready
- Universal Serial Bus (USB) drives and other external hard drives
Why and how event planners use them
Most planners use technology to:
- Save time
- Share information
- Manage data
- Have freedom of movement
- Pay bills/collect payments
- Record and compute data
In addition, being “wired” offers an important productivity boost. As Linda, a meeting planner, puts it, “I can operate from anywhere in real time. It frees me up from the office and makes me even more productive in my business than if I was in the office with all the distractions that come with working in a group environment.
“Like the frosting in the middle of an Oreo cookie, planners are in the middle, constantly responding to customers and suppliers,” Kazares adds. “And there’s always a sense of urgency, double that of many other corporate jobs.”
Clients often miss or soon will miss deadlines, she says. “I can track down clients from my car, gym or cocktail party via email to remind them that they are mucking up the works. Most of my clients have email on their handheld phones.” Linda uses her iPhone to view proposals, floor plans and spreadsheets while traveling. “Organizers spend a lot of time on the road,” she says, “so anything that helps speed reservations, simplifies travel planning and makes their personal lives better is welcome as well.”
The future with hand-held devices
Predicting the future when it comes to technology and gadgets is a very tricky business. In just the past few years, text messaging has become commonplace, and the social networking service is growing so fast it’s hard to determine actual numbers. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and other applications are readily available as downloadable “smartphone” applications.
You can count on heavy competition among companies to develop more lightweight, fast, cost-effective gadgets that provide longer battery life. For example, the Samsung Galaxy S5 is a great phone with an improved battery system where customers enjoy the use of their cell phone many hours longer than its competitors. If you don’t have that particular cell phone, there are spare phone batteries that one can purchase to ensure you never run out of power while attending any event.
Another amazing piece of technology is the Janus Concierge Board Mobile Application by Janusdisplays.com. With just one quick update, the contents of the hotel property’s concierge board are uploaded directly to any mobile device, optimizing the use of one’s digital signage network; ultimately, enhancing the guest’s experience.
This technology is perfect for event planners or meeting coordinators which promotes efficiency, decreases stress levels and keeps meeting planners ahead of the game. Once content from the concierge board has been synchronized to any tablet device, the coordinator can quickly access and relay important information to his or her attendees. Meeting planners will love having updated event schedules, interactive maps, current flight information, and many other features, in the palm of their hand!
It’s safe to say gadgets of all types have become ever-present in all areas of society globally. For meeting planners, technology will continue to make communication, networking and registration easier, while — as a result — your pockets and monthly charges may continue to grow.