The Basics of Online Event Planning
Holding a holiday concert? Planning a New Year’s bash? Squeezing in a last-minute, year-end house party as a fundraiser for your favorite cause? Online event planning might save you some of the hassle that normally comes with putting together an event for your organization or cause. Whether you’re in the planning, preparation, implementation or post-event stage of the game, there is no getting away from the necessity of using e-tools for your event.
You can’t do it all ... at least not alone. Use e-mail and online meeting spaces to put the plans for your event together. Sites such as http://www.topica.com, http://www.egroups.com and http://www.yahoo.com all allow you to set up a mailing list for FREE. It takes only a few minutes: All the members of your event committee can register to receive and send e-mails via one central address. Members also have the choice of receiving e-mails one by one or as a “digest” at the end of the day. This can allow busy committee members to help out with planning from wherever they choose.
Online meeting spaces such as http://www.webex.com and http://www.ccimeet.com allow users to pay for a “conference” space online. These can be regular subscriptions that offer unlimited services or can be on a pay-per-use basis. Of course, if you don’t mind the possibility of other observers, you can start an interest group with one of the free services such as http://www.msn.com or http://www.yahoo.com.
Make sure your meeting has a schedule, agenda and moderator to keep people on track. Instructions regarding how to access the meeting and the agenda should be sent out a day in advance. Notes from the meeting can be posted online after the fact so people can follow up with action items. It may take a few tries to get online meetings going smoothly, so I would suggest this only for people who have a geographically diverse committee or a lot of preparation time.