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Tools every Professional Conference Organizer (PCO) should use [Updated]

Posted on 05/28/2019

A Professional Conference Organizer, or simply PCO, is a company or agency with an extensive know-how on organizing corporate events. For that, PCO´s need the right event planning tools.

PCO’s will eventually feel drowned among the increasingly number of event planning tools that come out every day. The good news are: you don´t need all of them. Actually, to be a successful partner of interested umbrella companies and provide the core and extended services for their MICE´s – meetings, incentives, conferences and exhibitions – you just need the right ones.

We know a PCO needs to meet and exceed several expectations of clients, attendees, sponsors, brands and a whole network of stakeholders. They differentiate from event managers, public relations or travel agents in basically one aspect: they are specialists on putting it all together, rather than only taking care of single aspects.

Business events add $1 trillion dollars to the global economy every year. Half of it is concentrated in the USA (US$ 381 billion) and Western Europe (US$ 266 billion), according to Oxford Economics. However,the more this already huge industry keeps growing, the more the niche gets demanding and competitive. Building up a strong experience is the golden pot PCO’s need to keep in mind at all, times.



What are the main attributions of a PCO?

The list of roles of a PCO company/professional has to perform in order to achieve a successful event planning and execution is often very broad. We put together some of the core missions and most common challenges faced by a Professional Conference Organizer:

– Event planning;
– Team management;
– Logistics;
– Risk management;
– Strategic marketing;
– Promotional activation;
– Measuring results.

Coordinating all of these efforts to achieve the objectives of an event and controlling resources are inherent to a PCO assignment. Plus, he/she still needs to keep stakeholders updated about the development and performance of the project.



What a PCO needs to take in consideration when choosing the right event planning tools to work with?

When looking for tools to organize events, PCO’s declared to take a few factors into consideration.

Industry research states that 73% of every Professional Conference Organizers make use of two to five tools to manage events. Among these, they state that what they value the most on an event management software is a task organizer.

And 66% of the interviewed PCO’s choose the tool they’re gonna work with according to the level of support they get from the manufacturer.



What are the event planning tools every PCO should use and how they can optimize performance?

Trello

Initiation, planning, execution, controlling and monitoring, enclosure. You can manage every stage of your projects with this agile management software based on visual streamlines of Kanban method. Opting in for a simple platform, your team improves organization and efficiency. Therefore, the project management process focuses on results rather than dozens of documents and emails.

Official website: https://trello.com


Pipefy

Speaking about Trello is more of the same, since it’s been ranked in the 1st place of project management tools for years. So Pipefy shows up as one of the best alternatives to make sure the event strategy is executed by team members and the specific goals are achieved.

Official website: https://pipefy.com


InEvent

A reliable and robust event management platform is essential. InEvent provides consolidated information on the projects you’re in charge. For the very early stage of the event until the management of a fully customized branded experience, it provides PCO´s the right tool to handle the job to be done. Budget sheets, strategic plan, task list, attendees registration, speakers logistics, sponsors expectations, stakeholders communication: it’s all in there for the PCO to improve control of processes and results.

Official website: https://inevent.com


Eventopedia

Have you taken the decision about how your event should look like? No matter what’s in your mind, Eventopedia shows places all over the world from standard conference hall to fancy ballrooms. Filter your search per location, style or number of guests, and Eventopedia will come up with some incredible suggestions.

Official website: https://eventopedia.com


Google Trends

Know what people are talking about and how they do it. Google Trends facilitates recent trends for your event to sound familiar to your audience and create more buzz. Let´s say your event holds activities relate to technology – Business Intelligence, for example, is a term that has been consistently replaced by Data Science, although both speak broadly about the same subject.

Official website: https://trends.google.com


Microsoft Excel  / Google Sheets

Microsoft Excel is a classic. New tools are released and fall into oblivion every now and then. However, Excel and it’s limitless functions to work with spreadsheets are always there. If you’re still not familiar with it, time to begin. If you are a frequent user, sharpen your skills. Pivot tables and chart generations can be a good place to start from.  Some companies are also choosing Google Sheets to work with rather than Excel, due to its outstanding performance in the cloud and capabilities of simultaneously editing.

Official websites: https://products.office.com/en/excel / https://sheets.google.com


SalesHandy

SalesHandy provides real time email tracking with a blue tick within Gmail for free. It’s essentially a Chrome plug-in / Outlook add-in that makes your email marketing tool more productive. Other features include Mail Merge Campaigns and Auto Follow up. It boosts your email productivity and help you get more done with emails. Additionally, they have features like email scheduling, template shortcuts, link tracking, document tracking, and analytics.

Official website: https://saleshandy.com


Facebook Ads

We have recently published an article about how Remarketing can massively increase your event registrations numbers. It’s a comprehensive how to start guide for event planners. And if you wanna dive deeper in the subject, it’s also worth paying attention to Kevin Urrutia’s recommendations at this blog post: Facebook marketing books. He’s the CEO of Voy Media, named among the fastest growing Facebook marketing agencies of New York.

Official website: https://www.facebook.com/business/ads


Paldesk

Effective, quick response is a must in the age of experiences. So Paldesk does a great job on monitoring your customer’s questions in real time, with integrations that allow you to do it straight from your own app. Use ticketing systems to distribute tasks, set business hours and direct the most common doubts to FAQ predefined answers. Chat transcripts, statistics and feedback forms guarantee control over your customer experience when interacting with your brand, no matter if it’s via chatbot or live support.

Official website: https://www.paldesk.com


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