Event Management Software Tools to Manage and Plan Events

A recent survey conducted by a leading provider of event management software asked UK based event managers what was their preferred tool for managing and planning their events. The most common tool by far was event management software with 67% of the votes. Coming second and third were spreadsheets and ‘other’ respectively.

Spreadsheets are a tried and tested way of managing events – they can track budgets, monitor resources and can be an effective way of creating and managing lists. The main benefit of spreadsheets as an event management tool is the low cost associated with them. The majority of event managers have access to spreadsheets and they are a widely accepted document format.

However, there are a high number of drawbacks if event managers decide to use spreadsheets as their main event management tool. Common issues include:

Poor efficiency: Using spreadsheets is not a very efficient method of managing all the aspects of an event. It is likely that event managers will be using many different spreadsheets, all with dozens of tabs, holding a huge amount of data. Managing all this data within spreadsheets can be confusing to an outsider, and time consuming for all users.

Lost data: Spreadsheets are only as safe as the server/system they sit on. If they are kept on a computer hard drive, there is a risk that all the data will be lost if anything happens to that computer or laptop. Spreadsheets are also prone to freezing/stalling and unless the event manager is accustomed to saving on a regular basis, there is a high risk that data and work will be lost.

Trouble keeping data up to date: Many events have multiple event managers, all using the same spreadsheets to organise and plan various areas. Problems arise when managers update spreadsheets without informing the other event mangers that the spreadsheet has changed. If event managers take a copy of the master spreadsheet and work on that, the master soon becomes out of date. There are also issues when more than one event manger needs to access the spreadsheet at the same time. Only one editable copy can be opened, causing the others to be ‘read only’ – removing the ability to make updates.

Hard to create reports to measure success: A key part of event management is the ability to analyse event success. It is vital to have the ability to understand what makes a particular event successful and what needs to be measured in order to analyse event performance. Using spreadsheets makes this a difficult task. Although creating graphs and charts can be easy on spreadsheets, the amalgamation and sorting of the data can be an extremely complicated and time consuming task. It is quite often the case that when using spreadsheets, the activity of measuring event performance is forgotten or dismissed.

Lack of management information: Similarly to the difficulty in creating reports to analyse performance, there is also a lack of management information overall. For companies organising many events a year it’s important to be able to have a clear picture of these events as a whole; understanding delegate numbers, budgets and other KPI’s across all events can help shape event strategy in the future.

These issues create too many problems for organisations with many events to plan. For this reason, numerous event managers are now turning towards professional event management software to help manage their events. These software solutions have been designed specifically for the event management industry and contain a range of comprehensive, yet easy-to-use features. Common features include:

· Website Integration: Seemless integration with your website gives delegates a smoother, safer journey and ensures you stay within your corporate brand guidelines

· Online Registration: Creating fully customisable online booking forms on your own website, capturing the most relevant information from your delegates

· Online Payment Processing: Allow your delegates to pay online in a safe, secure environment

· Invitation Management: Make sure you are targeting the right prospect delegates with an integrated invitation management tool

· Email Marketing: Powerful, integrated and fully functional email marketing tool to send highly targeted email campaigns to delegates and prospects

· Badge Production: Save time by producing personalised badges quickly and effectively

· Resource Management: Simply manage all your resources though a comprehensive calendar

· Integrated Reporting and Analysis: Ensure you can determine the true ROI of your events though a powerful reporting and analysis suite – quickly and simply drill down to the event data in a matter of seconds

· Event Survey: Create integrated, customisable and automated surveys for effective feedback management.

Event management software tools also have the benefit of multiple deployment methods. Many companies choose options such as Software as a Service (SaaS) or hosting to keep costs and internal IT involvement down. Alternatively companies can still purchase the systems outright, but still gain the benefits on long term, ongoing support.

Why Use Software to Catalogue Your Antiques?

Collectors invest much of our time and resources into collecting valuable antiques and other collectibles yet we do not take the time to adequately catalog them. Yes, it takes time to carefully document what we have collected but the benefits will outweigh the costs for many of us.

Like many people my age I grew up with antiques. As a poor boy on a small farm I was surrounded by antiques but did not recognize them as such. They were our tools, our furniture, our farm implements, our means of transportation and even some of our toys. I was surrounded by antiques but they were just an every-day part of living.

As a grown up I wish I still had some of these every-day items from my youth. Today they are worth so much more than I could have imagined back then. These days I spend much of my time searching various on-line forums and auctions searching for items from my youth as well as other antiques. As a result I have built small collections of various categories of specialty antiques.

For many years I relied on my memory and scattered written notes and receipts to track my inventory. As time went by I began to forget what I had and would sometimes catch myself considering the purchase of an item that I already had. Sometimes I would consider an item at a local show and wonder if the one I already had like it at home was in better or worse condition than the one I was looking at. Without a description or, even better, a set of pictures it was very difficult for me to know for sure. This lack of information at my fingertips resulted in some purchases I probably should have made and passing on items that I should have purchased to improve my collection.

Other times I would join in a discussion with a fellow collector of like interests and try to describe an item I had only to realize that I was unable to recall some key aspect of it that would be of interest and worth sharing. In a similar manner, when visiting with friends or family and the topic of my collecting interests would come up, I was unable to help them to fully appreciate items in my collection and the value of collecting them.

I am sure many of my fellow collectors share similar experiences and sentiments. These days, with all of the technology available to us, we no longer have to be limited by lack of key information at our fingertips. There are many computer programs available to help us catalog our collections so that we no longer have to rely solely on our memories and scattered notes and receipts. They enable us to electronically track key information about items in our collections as well as detailed pictures and even scans of our receipts and other written materials associated with each item.

Although without this software we could keep detailed hand-written manuscripts describing any and all aspect of our collections that was of interest to us, it is much more difficult to change hand-written records than it is to change electronic records. We might want to update our records and descriptions as we learn more about our items. For me, this meant throwing away my previous writing and rewriting my notes from scratch in order to incorporate important changes to what I had written before. With software, these changes become trivial.

Also, with software, we can much more easily retrieve information electronically that we ever could from hand-written records. In many software packages this information can actually be manipulated, accumulated, organized, and re-organized however we like. Not only can your organize your data how you want, you can gather and accumulate valuable statistics such as total cost, total value, appraised value, current value and more.

With some of the more flexible packages we can even modify what data we collect to suit our individual needs and preferences rather than what someone else thinks we should track. Even better packages allow you to manage multiple collections in one package or run multiple copies of the software, one for each collection.

Some cataloging software can be run directly off of USB flash drives or other removable media without installation on the computer they are running on. This provides the advantage of being able to take your collection anywhere to show others on their computer without lugging a computer around with you. When your collection resides on a USB Flash Drive, or other removable media, you can also secure it without leaving it vulnerable on your computer.

Today’s mobile apps open up a whole new realm when it comes to having information available at your fingertips for checking your collection when considering the purchase of a new item or for sharing information with others. However, with their limited keypads, it can be very difficult to manually enter information into mobile apps. On the other hand, mobile devices make it very easy to take pictures of items and include them in mobile app databases. That is why the best of both worlds is when data can be entered using a desktop or laptop computer and then downloaded to a mobile app where pictures can be easily added and then the results uploaded back into the desktop application.

The software I use runs off of a USB flash drive and allows me to manage one or more collections. With this software I can easily enter information about my antiques and other collectibles on a USB flash drive running on my desktop computer. I can then take the USB flash drive with me to share with others on their computers and lock it up for secure storage when I am done.

I can also download my collection into a companion mobile app on my Android phone to take with me anywhere. This makes it easy to bring up pictures at anytime and anywhere when visiting with others or considering the purchase of a new item to add to my collection. The android app also makes it very easy to take pictures of items in my collection. I can then upload those pictures back into the desktop application. This two-way communication allows me to take advantage of the best features in both the desktop application and the mobile app when managing and sharing items in my collections.

Although it does take time to enter data into a software application, in my opinion, the benefits collecting software provide are well worth the effort.

Virus Protection Software for PC – An Overview of Computer Protection Programs

Creators of malware and viruses are always trying to come up with new ways to gain access to others’ PCs and internet enabled devices. They do whatever they can do to get money from victims, whether it’s hacking into their checking account, stealing their credit card info, stealing their identities, ransomware, etc. This is why you need virus protection software for PC that offers comprehensive protection against all types of threats.

The best security programs are able to keep up with all of the new and rising threats. It’s a race of sorts, so it’s in your best interest to purchase a software solution that includes daily, automatic updates. It should be able to keep up with all of the latest definitions of ransomware, phishing scams, and all types of malware and dangerous files.

Opt for software that is powered by a global 24/7 threat monitoring network. Cyber criminals never, ever seem to stop, so neither should monitoring and protection networks.

Another thing to look for is a program that offers seamless upgrade options. If you’re a regular PC user, you likely won’t need business-level protection. However, the option should still be there for you to purchase additional protection and security tools as your needs grow.

Virus protection software for PC is usually available in various pricing and subscription options. Typically, the most basic version can be purchased for a single computer, whether it’s a PC or Mac. If you also want protection for your smartphone, tablet, laptop, etc. there should be a Premium or Premier Suite available with varying pricing options.

Should You Consider Free Virus Protection Software for PC?

What about free programs? While new versions of Windows do come with built-in security features, including a firewall, they do not offer enough protection for the average user. Free programs usually offer just the bare minimum of protection. This doesn’t mean you have to start spending money on virus protection software for PC, as there are usually free trials available offered by the biggest companies. Read reviews and try one out before deciding whether or not you want to purchase a license for the full version.

If you do a lot of shopping online and pay bills, you’ll definitely need a security suite that offers financial security. There should be a feature that keeps your financial details protected and encrypted.

User-friendliness is another important consideration. If you’re the type who prefers to be hands-on, then the ideal program will offer manual scanning and updating options. If you prefer applications to run quietly in the background, then its processes, including updates, should automate.

Overall, out of all of the cyber protection companies, Norton is perhaps the most popular. It offers virus protection software for PC, Macs, Androids, iOS, etc… Choose Norton Antivirus Basic, Standard, Deluxe, and Premium.

Save money by using Norton coupon codes. Look over all of its different virus and security products to determine which one best meets your needs. Norton definitely offers superior virus protection software for PC.