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Catering to ...Online Planning Tools

Clients today work in a very different manner than in the past. In 2019, everything revolves around being online, to the point where clients expect to do much of their event planning virtually. Most clients, millennials in particular, want instant information about services, pricing, packages, menus, and more. And, they expect to have direct access to someone who can answer questions and collaborate on their event.

Additionally, they are likely to be less inclined to work with “old school” vendors once they realize there are alternative companies that are more easily accessible.

As needs change, it’s critical for business owners to stay on-trend and adapt to the digital environment if they want to continue to book clients.

Of course, it’s fine to hold onto certain business practices (like firm office hours), but it remains essential to adapt to technological advancements like social media, FaceTime or Skype meetings, online messaging, and working collaboratively using digital planning tools.

Why digital?

It’s effortless to plan an event online—in fact, it is also the most efficient and organized way to do it! Digital planning tools for managing guest lists, seating charts, floor plans, and timelines are essential today, as most of our clients are on-the-go with 24/7 access to multiple devices.

Virtual collaboration provides clients and event partners with detailed information that is updated in real-time. You can efficiently work with clients from anywhere in the world, saving prospects the time and stress of setting up an in-person walkthrough. Of course, this is especially valuable for tapping into the destination event market as well.

Photo Credit: Unsplash,

Maintaining the personal touch

Just because you are making the shift to virtual planning tools does not mean you have to lose the unique approaches that make your brand unique. With so much done online, you do not want to come across as automated or as if you are not genuinely interested in your client’s event.

Limit your use of form emails and set up regular video chat appointments to bring the value of in-person meetings into a digital capacity. Respond to messages and client requests promptly and always be transparent with pricing and services. Clients expect information to be laid out clearly and as quickly as possible so that they can make the best decision for their needs.

Rest assured that the future of online event planning is only going to continue growing. Digital tools and platforms are taking over, so now is a critical time for all vendors and businesses to get on board rather than shy away from the adjustment.

Start small with an app here and a program there, then grow into new digital tools as you get the hang of it. The key to expanding your virtual capabilities is to remain open-minded and experiment with new technology until you find the solutions that work best for you.

Registration for Catersource 2020 opens this month. Click here for the latest information!

Sandy Hammer

CMO, AllSeated, New York City, NY

With over 20 years of experience in the international events industry, Sandy Hammer is the co-founder and CMO of AllSeated, a collaborative network for planning events that offers tools including floorplans, 3D view, Guest List, RSVP, Seating, Timelines, Mobile Check-In and more.