10 Must-Have Tech Tools for Producing Better Live Events
By Jonathan Blum and Alex Dalenberg
Social media, mobile devices and video-conferencing technologies are making it easier to attend important industry events virtually — or skip them altogether. But for some industries, nothing beats a hands-on experience at a trade show or the sales opportunities created by face-to-face interactions.
Live-event promoters and tech innovators have responded with a wave of new tools aimed at giving live events a fresh pop. From major confabs such as Austin, Texas-based South by Southwest to others put on by small-business owners, these tools can help simplify the process of producing events, and might even entice more companies and individuals to attend and sponsor them.
There’s no event too small for a custom, app-driven experience. Eventbase, by Vancouver, Canada-based Xomo Digital, can be used to offer free mobile event schedules and maps for conferences, trade shows and festivals.
Setup is painless — simply a matter of filling out online forms with your event information. Users can then access your event via the Eventbase app available on iOS, Android, Windows Phone and BlackBerry. Basic event sites are free to build and distribute.
A premium version, including your event’s own native app, social features like photo sharing, branding and interactive maps, is available starting at $750 per month.
If you’re selling or giving away tickets to your event — whether to make money or to know how many people are coming — Los Angeles-based Flavorus is the ticket.
Flavorus can help manage RSVPs and offers a brand-specific ticket and payment processing options, with tools for incorporating your company’s logo and messaging. Users can purchase tickets online or via mobile devices. Advanced features include the ability to set up a will-call option, offer custom discounts or establish payment plans for pricey tickets.
The service starts at 2.5 percent of the ticket price, plus $1 per ticket. Big plus: It’s free for free events, which is the smart bet to test drive the service.
Keep in mind that live events do happen in-person, so it is worth investing in well-designed, low-tech items such as credentials, name badges and lanyards.
There are a number of affordable options for creating slick-looking event materials, but Evanston, Ill.-based Bags Tags Inc. stands out, with attractive around-the-neck event credentials for as low as $2 per badge. Custom lanyards start at about $3.60 each for 500 or less. Another plus: The company can handle last-minute orders.