4 Free Tools for More Creative Event Planning

The success of an event turns to a large extent on how innovative it is. Attendees set aside time and money to travel and visit your conference or trade show. They expect to see a creative event. Boredom is the big, fat “no-no.”

Even better, deliver a few moments where your audience goes “wow” and “whoa”. Attendees will repay you with word-of-mouth promotion and loyalty and your sponsors and partners will be all the happier.

Fine, you might say, but I’m so busy planning and organizing everything. How can I ever find the time and peace of mind to come up with fresh ways to engage people and build your event brand?

We couldn’t agree more. Bright ideas don’t appear from thin air and magically turn into polished event concepts.

Here’s the good news: fast and focused research can help. Here’s the even better news: there are simple and beautiful tools available out there. Let’s take a quick look at four of these resources - and get your creative juices going.


1. Evernote: Capture thoughts and share notes

Evernote has always been one of the largest note-taking apps. Maybe you’ve already used it for one project or another. If you haven’t, you should give it a try.

At its most basic level, Evernote organizes notes into notebooks, much like what you would do with paper and pen.

Now, here comes the extra value: it’s added value lies in incorporating new features on a regular basis. Being systematic and comprehensive can make a difference - and it does!

Integrated audio notes, a reliable search tool and the ability to add handwritten notes (which can also be searched as a regular note) make Evernote one of the best tools for cataloging your ideas. Its web clipping tool also makes it easy to keep the exciting ideas you find in one place.


2. Pocket: Collect inspiration, view it when you have time

It is often said that writers should read. Don’t you feel this can be expanded to creative events? After all, many ideas are inspired by real-world examples. As a somewhat successful entrepreneur by the name of Steve Jobs once quipped: “Good artists copy; great artists steal.”

Don’t steal! Don’t copy! Or do but not in an evil or silly way but rather as an inspiration - and do give credit. In any case, you should learn from everything happening around you in the industry.

Alas, it’s often hard to find time to visit events or read as many materials as we’d like. You need a simple solution, so here’s one. Pocket lets you save articles you find online, to read offline later, making it easier to keep on top of your favorite content.

If you commute to work, wifi or even mobile data might be difficult to use, so this app could be perfect for you to manage when and how much you read.


3. Feedly/Inoreader: See and read everything in one place

On a similar note to Pocket, RSS readers are not a new concept. In tech terms they can be almost called ancient. However, these veteran tools are still useful.

By adding an RSS feed of all your favorite blogs and sites to a program like Feedly or Inoreader you view all everything at once in one window.

Feedly could be the right choice if you want to start building a collection as it offers a powerful search by interest. At the same time, it does not allow free sharing of lists like inforeader, which could be relevant if you are part of a team.

Either way, you could save hours of scrolling through individual sources. Missing out on important articles need never be an issue again.


4. Behance

Behance lets you look at the portfolios of undiscovered inventors, designers and creative types around the world. Either as a way to find talented individuals to build your event or as a way to spark your ideas, Behance is a beautifully-designed app worth investigating.

Ilan Goren, Head of Content, Swapcard
Ilan Goren, Head of Content, Swapcard

I help organisations transform their core competencies through strategic storytelling . Background as a published author and journalist.

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