Time-Saving Tools for your Events
As a race director, it's pretty common for your to-do list to be ever-growing and to feel constantly harassed by deadlines. One of the best ways to tackle this is to find ways of doing things smarter, faster, and more efficiently.
Do you feel like there’s just not enough time to do everything that needs doing? As a race director, it's pretty common for your to-do list to be ever-growing and to feel constantly harassed by deadlines. One of the best ways to tackle this is to find ways of doing things smarter, faster, and more efficiently, so you can achieve the same outcomes in less time.
Here is a list of popular productivity tools (most of them free), that can help you reclaim some ‘you time’ from your busy schedule.
This is a project management software. If you’re into the “to-do” “doing” and “done” task management approach, you’ll love Trello. It has a strong visual interface, simple usability, and collaboration features.
While communication within Trello is strong, it’s not very powerful when it comes to allowing users the ability to take a step back and get a big picture of the entire event management process. There is no master calendar view for a bird’s eye picture, only a task-by-task view. In summary, it’s a good tool to track the progress of each task. While it can be used as an event planning software, it’s hard to see the entire project status for event or conference management.
As users of the software ourselves at Eventrac, its very easy to share tasks and keep track of current projects, for all team members. The best part is that it's free, up to a certain amount of users and greatly impacts time saving for quickly understanding where tasks are in the pipeline, and what else may need solving.
We recommend using Trello to keep track of your tasks and give access to all team members who need to be in the loop!
(Paid platform, monthly subscription service)
The best feature on this platform is that it can save you time by scheduling your social posts. This means you can keep your social presence active 24/7 by automatically scheduling heaps of social media posts at once, across your social accounts. If you have a team around you, you can manage your content so that you’re staying on brand with pre-approved content like race pictures, and infographics that your teams can post, stored in your favorite cloud file service. It will also allow find and filter social conversations by keyword, hashtag, and location, to hear what people are saying about your races, other events and the industry in general. The downside here is that HootSuite is a paid platform. There is however a free 1 month trial, to see if it s suitable for your business.
(Mostly free! Apart from a few specialised paid features)
This is a great place to make posters, flyers, social posts and more. It has a great selection of layouts and templates for you to use, ranging from professional to fun that can help you distinguish your brand apart. Perfect for drafting announcement posts that look good such as ‘TICKETS NOW ON SALE’ or ‘Early Bird Closing Soon’. They operate on a freemium model, where the majority of the platforms features are free. You can buy some of their designs to use without the watermarks, and there is a selection of features that you can get on their pay monthly model which includes things like downloading shapes with transparent background for vectors.
If you find that you’re consistently doing the same task over and over again, consider whether ‘If This Then That’ (IFTTT) could help you to automate it. For example are you always tweeting posts out from other social media like facebook manually? You can set up a recipe for that. Creating a spreadsheet of your new followers? You can set them up to do it automatically. Want to add photos of your event to Facebook? IFTTT will let it happen without you having to think about it again. And like most of these apps, it’s free to sign up and use!
(Paid platform, based on usage)
If you’ve ever spent the day adding your race to race listing sites and general event listing sites, then you’ll know how repetitive and time-consuming this task can be. Another UK startup, Evvnt was started to allow organisers to submit their event details to dozens (or even hundreds) of relevant listing sites by submitting their info just once. There’s a free plan, then paid options for those who want to reach even more media, as they offer a more in-depth marketing service too which you can find out about by reaching out to their team.
Finding the right suppliers for your event can be a pretty time-consuming and laborious process. Eventopedia, a UK startup, is working to simplify this process by becoming a ‘Trip advisor’ of sorts for the events industry, by letting organisers rate and review suppliers
7. Google Drive
Ok, this isn’t really a project management system, but then not everyone wants to learn how to use new software of workflows. If you just want a simple place to be able to store your excel sheets, word docs, presentations and photos; and share them with whoever you want without having to email large files, this could be the choice for you.
Ditch those hours scrolling through team emails and try Slack instead. Organise your team conversations in open channels for a project, a topic, a team, or anything—everyone has a transparent view of all that’s going on. Or, you could create private groups or direct message certain team members. Slack isn’t just for messaging; all your files, images, PDFs, documents, and spreadsheets can be dropped right into Slack and shared with anyone you want, centralise all your assets in one place. You can also search through your archive and find items with ease. It’s also completely free!
Work smarter not harder is easier said than done, especially for new race directors if you’re just finding your feet. But some of these tools can really help you improve your productivity in certain areas to streamline your processes, so that if you have the resources to hire someone in the future neither of you are wasting your time doing menial repetitive tasks and you’re not struggling to communicate efficiently if one of you is out of office or on-site prepping for race day.