Five Gifts for Every Event Planner’s Wish List
With Christmas coming up, it’s time for all you event planners out there to review the year and tally up whether you’ve been naughty or nice. Did you organize your time well? Go eco-friendly with your event venues? Take care of your contracts ahead of time? Use local vendors? Refrain from having a meltdown in front of your staff? Avoid having leftover cake for dinner?
Then you, my friend, deserve to reward yourself with a few gifts that will make your life a heck of a lot easier in 2016. Sure, “event planner fun” might not be the same as “normal people fun,” but if you – like us – are familiar with long days spent keying in logistics on your phones, and long nights losing sleep over stage girders, then these doo-dads are just for you.
Let’s start out with something that’s actually fun – drones. There’s been a lot of buzz over the past year or two about the potential uses of drones in large-scale events, from deliveries and advertising to dramatic unveils. Their biggest use, however, seems to be capturing videos and photography. Just strap a camera to those babies, achieve lift-off, and soon you’ll have birds-eye shots of your event beyond what you ever imagined. (Don’t forget, of course, you need qualified operators able to comply with FAA standards.) Personally, we think it’s all just an excuse to play with remote-controlled top helicopters, but so what? We need to get our jollies when we can.
Now for something a bit more practical: an app. Generally speaking, it isn’t wise to try and impose your (however well-intended) ideas for organization on type A personalities, but believe us when we say any event organizer would happy to receive a subscription to Zapier. A favorite among organizers, this webapp-automation service helps integrate all the different sites and apps that you and your staff may be using (Mailchimp, Twitter, Dropbox, Facebook, Instagram, Todoist, etc.). For example, need the info from your web forms transferred to a Google docs spreadsheet? Zap it. Need your Evernote notes turned into a Trello card? Zap it. Need web-based schedules to appear in your calendar? You get the idea. While the basic version of Zapier is free, the subscription plans, which range from $20-125 per month, can handle a greater number of zaps, more tasks for month, connection to premium apps, task logs and more.
Getting Things Done
This one’s an oldie (relatively speaking) but a goodie. Released in 2002, this self-help book aims to up your productivity while easing your panic attacks through a system based on prioritization and delegation. Written by David Allen, a management consultant and executive coach, Getting Things Done helps you focus your energy strategically and – most importantly for people whose work contains a creative element – helps you achieve a Zen state that ultimately frees your mind up to work on more important matters.
iPad Keyboard Case
If there’s one thing that defines event planners, it’s that they’re always on the go, whether that means meeting with clients, liaising with event partners, or inspecting the venue. With all that travel, it just doesn’t make sense to lug around a laptop, which is why a lot of planners now rely on iPads. One of the best ways to get the most bang for your buck out of your tablet is by buying a good keyboard case, which functionally transforms it into a lean, mean working machine. Our recommendation is the Belkin QODE Ultimate Pro Keyboard Case for iPad Air 2, which boasts perks like backlit keys, magnets that hold the tablet at two viewing angles, and a detachable keyboard. Whether you’re using your tablet to send emails or make a presentation, this case (or one like it) well help multiply its functionality.
Mindfulness Meditation Course
Over the past few years, scores of studies have been released revealing the benefits of mindfulness meditation, a practice that has the potential not only to reduce your stress levels, but to improve your focus, clarity and creative thinking. For those of us who don’t have the time to sit down with a book or take a class, a good option is to take an online course like this one, offered by UCLA, which combines lectures, discussion and practice in a six-week-long session.