During research, we realized that most ‘party’ management software was designed as ‘event’ management software and a lot of it aimed at party professionals and venue operators.
There were three main flavours of software, desktop, online and apps.
Of the ‘free’ online software, they have access to your private and personal information, in particular email addresses of your friends and family.
I honestly expected to find software dedicated to party management and planning. My logic tells me that parties and weddings costing anywhere upwards of $500 needs to be properly managed and planned and software would be the ideal way of achieving this.
But alas, while I could find plenty of apps and ‘event’ planning software, I’m yet to find dedicated desktop software which comes as a surprise.
Is it me, but if you can create software for a wedding, why not a party? Yes I did find wedding planning software although it too was app based.
Here are my thoughts
- Learning curve is often too steep for a one-off party.
- Software too big and cumbersome for a basic party.
- Some software was designed for use by a professional party planning company not a private user.
- Apps sold at very low prices has seen a big increase in the number available
In the end, I decided to narrow my horizons. On the surface there are hundreds (if not thousands) of programs that manage events/parties. As I do not intend buying every version and reviewing each one, I decided to target software that clearly was designed and aimed at ‘event’ management, and then narrow down the list to software that can be used by a home user.
There had to be a criteria that the software would meet so I could arrive at a rating and viability.
This type of software isn’t simple and should not be easily dismissed. Consideration has to given to each of the variations and addressed accordingly.
- Dates – party date and countdown
- Guest List – email, guests without email, social media,
- Invitations – RSVP monitor
- Venue – booking, pricing
I started buying the software one at a time and testing. I was surprised to find a number left you at the front door (start) literally guessing what you were supposed to do next.
One app had a marvellous tutorial that preceded the start, and I noticed I could return and watch it again.
I’ll hark on about this but the software must be capable of managing a party, its guests and the incidentals of a party. If it doesn’t, then its useless.
After installing one program I was faced with a spreadsheet looking interface with lots of columns and tasks but what next?. While my programming knowledge tells me what the list is for, the vast majority of users would not have a clue making the software useless.
Date: Date selectors are one thing that all the software had but good software provided a calendar pop-up telling me the DAY of the date I had selected. It’s a small point and yes I know I can open a calendar but software should provide the basics. On dates, we suggest to readers when planning a party to consider the date carefully and that it doesn’t conflict with other events like other parties, holidays or occassions. None of the software provided suggestions/advice regarding dates.
Guest: Contact Information: Consider this, almost every software offered a choice of add one contact, adding a group of contacts or selecting contacts from my device (iPad). All well and good, but, the party I am creating is for my son, and none of his friends/parents are in my contacts. Software must be capable of importing contacts from another source. Imagine you are creating a guest list for a wedding: as a parent you would rarely have the contact information for your childs friends, their partners family or their friends. There are many instances where you will need to not only import contacts but also associate the contact by remark.. sister of the groom’s best man.
Data Management: With bigger parties like weddings, the software needs to manage things other than people. This can include finances, photographers, flowers, transport, honeymoon, accommodation, flights, the list is endless.
It reminded me of the people at I Do, an Australian web site on everything “wedding”. Updated daily with quality information, photographs, video content, news and trends, i-do.com.au is every bride-to-be’s best friend and personal wedding planner.
I Do really understand the wedding industry. Every couple MUST visit Take Checklists & Schedules covering the A-Z of planning and organizing a wedding. It made me ask, does the software you are considering take into account things like:
- A To-Do-List For The Best Man
- Bridal Emergency Kit Checklist
- Reception Flowers Checklist
- Bridal Registry Checklist
- Wedding Guest List Planner
- Wedding Cars Sample Schedule
- Pre-Wedding Schedule
- 4 Ways To Schedule Your Cake Cutting
- Table Seating Plans
- A To-Do-List for the Ushers
- A To-Do List For The Groom
- Wedding Ceremony Schedule
- Ceremony Flowers Checklist
- Floral Arrangements Checklist
- Personal Flowers Checklist
- A To-Do-List For The Groomsmen
- Wedding Planning To Do List
- Wedding Reception Schedule
- Scheduling The Bridal Waltz
- Wedding Schedules
I almost guarantee the software does not provide suggestions at all other than providing a blank canvas for you to create a new list. A final say on I Do. Their web site has a wealth of information, guides and ideas for the big day but what it does not have (or I couldn’t find it) was a one-page guide from Proposal (Will you marry me) to Honeymoon. A page for the people organising the wedding to use as a guide to everything that has to be considered.
This is where software comes in.
In my search for software I went looking at party related web sites. I wasn’t expecting to find any on party planners web sites and I didn’t. Same happened on party supply web sites. Interesting eh?
As with any review, there is bound to be something we’ve missed. If you know of software we have not reviewed that would interest our readers, then please let us know.
A lot of software is aimed at the professional. The software below is aimed squarely at event organizers.
- Planning Pod is worth mentioning first since it was created specifically for planning an event. Users have the ability to manage multiple events within the application, including keeping track of contracts, proposals, finances and invoices, which none of the other software reviewed in here does.
- Asana is quickly gaining traction as a strong project management tool. According to users, Asana seamlessly integrates project management and task management, among any sized team. In addition to a powerful web application, it also has a useful smartphone app. Best of all, it even has a free version. Also, Asana is very helpful for both the big picture task management view, as well as narrowing in on the details.
- If you’re really into the “to-do” “doing” and “done” task and project management approach, you’ll love Trello as that’s central to their system. This is a great way for your team to be able to see where each task is at. Additionally, Trello has a strong visual interface, simple usability, and collaboration features.
- If you love Excel but would like something with a bit more power, Smartsheet is for you. Smartsheet has been called, “Spreadsheets on steroids.” And rightly so. There is so much more to Smartsheet than the powerful spreadsheets such as live collaboration abilities and communication tools.
- On the complete opposite end of the spectrum from Smartsheet, is Slack. If you find that you need less project management, and more communication, Slack would be the tool for you to explore. Slack is less project management, more team communication. A lot of team communication, actually. If you’ve got a core team of several organizers, Slack’s a great way to share and discuss ideas. The mobile app is especially handy for busy and on-the-go event organizers and teams. Best of all, Slack’s basic level is free, indefinitely.
- Basecamp is the grandfather of the modern project management software. Developed in 2004, it’s been going strong ever since. While it’s not as glamorous and agile as newer software, it’s still a great way to manage projects and tasks as well as share files. While the communication and collaboration tools aren’t quite as extensive as other software on the system, it’s very still useful for tracking task progress.
- Ah, Google Drive: no event planning and project management conversation would be complete without this. You can easily use Google Drive’s documents, folders, and spreadsheets to manage and collaborate on content and ideas. However, unless you have mad spreadsheet skills, Google Drive might not be the best choice for task and project management.
Source: 8 Free Event Planning Software That Will Make You a Rockstar
by whova | Apr 21, 2015 | Blog, Event Planning, Event Tech
This one at first gave us a giggle. In most parts of the world, a house party is how swinging couples describe their parties. I’ll be honest and say I found the web site confusing. I’m not entirely sure what they are offering/selling. The following description is taken from their about page.
House Party makes it easy to have a party in your own home and get exclusive access to awesome products for you and your friends. We provide the fun, you provide food, your friends and feedback and promise to have an amazing time. Our parties are sponsored by the brands you love. By hosting, you and your guests get to try their products and receive an incredible Party Pack chock full of goodies! You don’t pay anything or sell anything. It’s a no-pressure party. Just tell us what you and your guests think.
Splash Party Planning Software
This free party planning software offers email marketing, which involves an integrated custom designed communicational manager to help you through every step in the process. It also offers help to sell tickets at an additional fee or 2% of the ticket price as well as $1 along with any extra credit card fees that occur. Lastly, it helps you stay organised and keep track of all the RSVPs and Collects all the info you need with 100% customizable RSVP forms making it the best party planning software and also the most strategic planning software available in town.
Not only is Splash a free event registration software it also offers a beautiful party design software. But there’s also the premium versions available for you to purchase which is available in three different options – Planner- which costs $499 per event and this makes sense if you’re only looking to use Splash for one specific event like your wedding or any other event. The Producer- which is best for event managers that carry out a several events annually and costs about $249 per month. While the Enterprise costs $999 per month and used for organizations that plan and organize events on monthly basis.
Ticket Selling Software
Our event management software combines powerful tools with intuitive design to make selling tickets for your party, social event, or other gathering easier than ever.
In most cases, the software is for a party but the party is usually a commercial venture not a party celebrating an event.
Which one are you?
- I am planning my own wedding / event
Whether you are planning your wedding or event with or without the help of a professional planner, Seating Arrangement can save you hours of planning and days of frustration.
- I am a wedding / event professional
If you are a wedding (or event) vendor, you can manage your projects online, collaborate with clients and colleagues, and attract new clients.
- I manage a venue for special events
Create templates of your floor plans which will save a lot of time for you and your clients. Also, add your location to our directory and attract new clients.