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Sunday, February 28, 2010

Planning an Event? There’s an App for That!

It's been a busy month here at C. Brower & Co Creative Events but we had to take a moment to share with you some very valuable information from one of our favorite Brower Power Production & Design Team Members! Welcome guest blogger Altair Rasco! Altair is one of my favorite people in the event industry to work with -- not only is she amazingly talented in production and logistics, but she is a genius when it comes to Apple Computers and the thousands of Applications that are out there. In her life outside the Brower Power Production & Design Team, Altair is an Expert at the Apple Store, Short Hills—literally! Altair was promoted to the brand new store position, Expert, at the beginning of the month. As an Expert she is one of the top performers in her market and one of the most knowledgeable members of her sales team. Combining her two passions, Altair has brought Business Networking events and workshops to the Apple Store at Short Hills. Just last week she hosted iPhone for Business: Moving your company forward with your fingertips, where she and other business owners discussed using iPhone for business, and looked at the iPad's potential for business needs. Most recently, Altair has stepped in to the store's Business Team, working directly with local companies to create a complete solution for their needs through Apple's innovative and award winning technology.

Here's what Altair has to say:

Event professionals need to be creative, organized, quick-thinking, and up on the latest trends. Many of us bring an event tool kit on the day of the event. We organize our clients into file folders, our events into binders, and our lives into planners. Regardless of our budgets, we are expected to be innovative, precise, and frankly, all-knowing.

The iPhone sparked a revolution in its technology, its simplicity, and it’s functionality. It has become the right hand of professionals in a vast array of industries from technology-based companies to law firms, retailers and clinicians. Let’s face it, many of us spend more time running between locations and client meetings than in our own office. We need our office and computers to move with us. At 4.8 ounces, this little device has become the ultimate tool kit—especially for us event peeps!

Don’t be fooled—There are a lot of Apps out there for the do-it-yourself bride and at-home-hostess to play with. With thousands of Apps to choose from and many just for fun, it does take a little reading to find the ones for the true professional.

Some interesting productivity Apps include PlanMyEvent and OmniFocus. PlanMyEvent assists with managing the planning of birthday parties, weddings, conferences, charity events, and social gatherings. Within this single application you can manage a budget of each events’ expenses, manage the guests’ transportation, and even keep a list of sponsors and funds collected where applicable. Even better, PlanMyEvent allows you to export the event schedule or a schedule of activities to your iCal or Outlook calendar and even export the complete event plan to an Excel file.

OmniFocus is a great App for your personal and business productivity. Effectively it takes your immediate thoughts, to-dos, wishes, need and wants and allows you to turn them into actionable items. Create personal and business Projects, subcategorize by Client, Event, Title—you choose! This is a very functional, flexible App that I’ve personally become attached to. You can even contextualize your actions, so when you have a moment to make some phone calls, you can look at all the calls you have scheduled to make in prioritized form and call directly from the App. You can even add addresses and businesses, so when you’re in a particular neighborhood, you can actually focus in on the tasks you need to complete in that area.

Need to track your FedEx, UPS, or USPS shipments? Put in a request for pick up on the immediately? Find the nearest location? There are Apps for that! FedEx’s App even allows you to personalize your view by nicknaming shipments, add notes, and create a watch list for monitoring important shipments.

It will be interesting to see what new business potential the iPad will bring in the coming months. This laptop-iPod Touch-iPhone hybrid will provide a stylish, functional, and impressive way to give presentations, showcase portfolios, and work on live documents on the go.

If there is one thing you can expect to see in 2010 it’s new and innovative ways to impress your clients, vendors and partners and increase your efficiency while decreasing your stress levels. With every solution and tool at your fingertips, there is no reason why you can’t master your industry and move your business forward this year.

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