Here’s a story I recently did for The Next Web, on the 10 best online spaces to put together an event! My time doing digital marketing/community event planning at Yelp has caused a good number of these apps to be near and dear to my heart — I hope they prove useful for you, too!
Last week, online events giant Eventbrite acquired Lanyrd and Eventioz, two smaller events-focused startups based in London and Argentina respectively. Eventbrite clearly has its sights set on global expansion, having amassed immense amounts of data through its recent purchases. A startup no longer, Eventbrite has made more than $1.5 billion in sales just seven years out of the gate, with no indication of slowing down.
While Eventbrite is well on its way to replacing behemoths like Ticketmaster, we took a look at ten up-and-coming startups in the events space. Whether you’d like to organize your own event, discover nearby events, or purchase tickets to sporting events and concerts of all sorts – here are 10 great choices to help you make the most out of life as a social human being.
Pick a date:
Are you organizing a small event and need input from your guests to choose a time and date? Doodle makes scheduling simpler by allowing groups of people to have their say in a poll. Users are able vote on multiple dates and times that best suit their availability and majority wins.
What’s more, Doodle connects with your virtual address book and calendar on Outlook or iCal, seamlessly syncing your meeting polls with the rest of your schedule.
Choose a platform:
The NYC-based Splash lets you customize your online event experience from start to finish, and then some. This tool gives you everything you need to create and manage your own web and mobile-optimized event page, send out email invitations to your guests, and sell tickets efficiently.
With Splash, you can build budgets, task lists, and share files on your dashboard. Splash provides analytics and tracking functions to make certain your page is headed in the right direction. The resource is free for individuals to use, and comes at a small price for corporate clients, who can create an unlimited number of event pages using the site. Splash has made such a…well…splash, that it was the event platform of choice at the 2013 South by Southwest conference in Austin.
Dublin-based Tito.io is a sleek and user-friendly event ticketing software that has a lot going on behind the scenes. On Tito, you can design and manage webpages to sell tickets to your events, customize the page with your own logo, text, banner, and links, and add discount codes and secret tickets for your purchasers.
Tito’s integration with Lanyrd lets you store schedule and speaker information to your event page, from the former site’s database. Lastly, when monitoring the success of your events, Tito lets you download the full details of your analytics and customer purchase data, as well as responses from attendee questionnaires that may have been included on the ticketing page.
Attending is a simple, social event platform, allowing guests to effortlessly confirm attendance with a single click. As this site is small and uncomplicated, and has a clean and organized aesthetic, ease is the name of the game. Additionally, because Attending integrates with Twitter, users are not required to go through an extensive sign-up process when they need to create and manage their events.
The Twitter integration also allows invitees on an event guestlist to see each others’ social profiles, opening up conversation and opportunities for a bit of social media stalking before and after the function takes place.
5. Brown Paper Tickets
Calling itself the “fair trade” ticketing company, Brown Paper Tickets is the place “for event-goers, by event-goers”. For vendors and event producers looking to sell their tickets online, the website is 100% free to use. For consumers, the quality of events listed on the platform is high and the booking fees are low, making Brown Paper Tickets a great choice for acquiring admission into exciting events all over the world.
KweekWeek is a London-based event hosting and discovery platform. As a host you can create a public or private event with images, videos and color schemes. Then you can track your sales, visits and export attendee lists from your dedicated dashboard.
KweekWeek has a couple unique social features that make it more of a community than many aforementioned tools. For example, attendees can follow event planners, which is a great for when you’re ready to launch your next event. KweekWeek is free to use, only if your event is free. If you’re making money, they’re going to want a slice of the pie.
Cocktails and Canapés:
Pigs in a blanket and mystery punch are party fodder of the past with resources like Gojee to give your events a creative culinary boost. Founders Mike LaValle and Tian He created the platform in 2011, on both web and mobile apps, to give users visual recipe inspiration based on ingredients located in their pantry.
Just type in what ingredients you have or would like to work with, and you’re presented with a multitude of visually stunning, mouth-watering photos of food and drink items. The photos on Gojee link to recipes from external food blogs, as well as to suggested dishes using similar ingredients listed on the site itself.
Aside from the usual marketing tools like MailChimp, Benchmark, andEvent.ly, Evvnt is a new way to give your event the exposure it needs to succeed. It’s like the Hootsuite of online event listing spaces: post your event to the site and it will be broadcast to a network of 50+ participating web platforms.
Not only does Evvnt cast its net wide, it works with you to customize where your event is seen, striking an essential balance between targeted sites, location-based sites, and social networking sites. Evvnt operates in five different cities, on both an international and hyper-local scale. Unfortunately the site is not free and requires a paid subscription to use, but a little under $30 a month is a small price to pay for an online network that can reach over 40 million visitors a month.
Mention is an extremely useful tool to track “mentions” of any keyword or URL on twitter and the wider web. This allows you to easily jump in and answer any questions your potential guests have, or just track where and when your event is being talked about online.
The “alert” feature clues you in every time there is some sort of interaction with your event page, so you’re always fully in the loop and can manage your community on-the-go. Mention also lets you add on any co-planners to the activity alert settings for your page, so that your whole team can stay on the pulse of how your event is being received online.
Now that the party is over, you might need someone to clean up! Get help with catering, cleaning and any other bits and bobs that you might need help with before, during and after your events.
Tools like TaskRabbit and UK-based TaskHub and Teddle (cleaners only) can help you find the right man (or woman) for the job. Simply post the tasks that you need done, along with the amount you are willing to pay, review bids from local people who sign up to do those tasks, and confirm payment when you’re satisfied with the job that has been done.
TaskRabbit goes one step further, also operating as a staffing company for businesses, and providing vetted candidates who can fulfil short and long-term project needs. Rabbits are active in 9 metropolitan areas in the U.S., ensuring the successful completion of to-do lists everywhere. London is next on TaskRabbit’s launch list.
What are your favorite event planning tools? Let me know if I missed any great ones in the comments below!