Planning an event can be incredibly stressful. You have to make both major and minor decisions at every stage of the process, and it can be overwhelming to address each detail to make sure your event unfolds without a hitch. But you don’t have to go it alone.
Adding online forms to your event planning toolkit can make life so much easier. With a strategic use of online forms, you can easily collect information, create schedules, register sponsors and participants, and much more. Here’s a quick overview of three ways online forms can take the hassle out of event planning:
1. Streamlined data collection and communication: One of the most stressful aspects of event planning is data collection, with never-ending lists of people to chase down for information, preferences and scheduling data. An online form can collect this vital data automatically, and if you use a service like JotForm--which integrates with popular email platforms such as Mailchimp, Vertical Response, and Constant Contact--data collection is a breeze.
Online forms can eliminate the back-and-forth between planners, speakers, guests and sponsors by collecting schedules, signatures, preferences and contact information in a single document and automatically forwarding it to your email address. An online form service with an intuitive interface can also populate the data in a dashboard so you can check statuses at a glance.
2. Easy registration and payments: Event ticket services are expensive, and hiring a coder to create a form is costly too. Online forms are an affordable alternative. If you use a service like JotForm, it’s easy to customize your event registration form--just use the drag-and-drop form builder to create a form that works for you, complete with an RSVP function, a map to help attendees locate your event, an automatic thank-you page, links to social media accounts, and more.
Collecting payments for events is also a snap with a user-friendly online form service. Find one that integrates with payment providers like PayPal, Stripe, Braintree, etc., and you’ll be able to collect proceeds seamlessly while relying on secure payment portals. Online form services like JotForm also make it simple for users to give attendees the option to make recurring donations from the event form--an important feature for nonprofit organizations.
3. Simplified staff and volunteer coordination: In addition to managing sponsors, speakers and attendees, event planners have to effectively coordinate staff and volunteer efforts to make an event successful. Again, online forms can help--JotForm makes it easy to customize online forms for your unique needs. For instance, you can include questions that allow prospective paid and volunteer staff to showcase the expertise they bring to the table, such as links to social media platforms like Pinterest that include images from past events.
Online forms can help you coordinate staff and volunteers from the earliest stages of the planning process all the way to the event itself and then help you continuously improve by providing a platform to collect feedback. An online form service like JotForm can help you create a central repository of information about the event, including activities like dinners, parties, conferences and breakout sessions. It can help you keep tabs on costs, special requirements and other important details, integrating with other systems and tools you already use, such as Excel.
When an event comes together seamlessly, it’s a beautiful thing. Most of the people involved never fully appreciate all the time and effort it took to design and execute the plan. That’s okay. In a sense, that’s the hallmark of a truly well-planned event--you were able to make something that’s incredibly difficult to pull off look easy, and that’s a testament to your event planning skills.
But it’s important to take advantage of stress relief where you can find it. If you’re not using online forms, you’re missing a prime opportunity to streamline data collection and communication, eliminate expensive ticket fees while making registration and payment collection easy, and simplify staff and volunteer coordination. With an online form platform like JotForm, you can take the hassle out of event planning, making your life easier--and your event more successful.
Chad Reid is director of communications for JotForm, a leading online form creation software used by event planners everywhere to collect event registrations and feedback. He holds a master’s degree in communication and lives in the San Francisco Bay Area.