We love providing great, useful content for event professionals here at the Convene @ Planning Pod (as well as creating useful event management applications and tools), but we also love reading what other insightful industry gurus have to say. A great thing about our industry is how open people are and how willing they are to share, and it shows in the quality of the event management blogs and resources that are freely provided.
With that said, we wanted to take a moment to share with you 17 of our favorite event management sites and event planning blogs that we consult (okay, more like devour) every week.
One caveat … our passion here at Planning Pod is helping event professionals – from event planners and designers to event venues and caterers to non-profits and organizations – be more productive and efficient in how they manage their events. So most of the event blogs and websites we follow have to do with the business end of the events industry (think sales, marketing, PR, HR, productivity hacks, legal, event management strategy, psychology of event management, etc.). There are thousands of wonderful event and wedding design blogs out there like Style Me Pretty (and sites that list the best event design and wedding planning blogs ), but we will focus here on event management blogs and sites.
Week in and week out, Julius Solaris and his team are possibly the best in the industry at creating truly useful content for event pros. There is really no fluff on this site … just down-to-earth, useful tips and tactics from seasoned event planners, managers and pros. Plus they frequently offer special e-books and guides like their recent Event App Bible, their Good Event Registration Software guide and the Social Media for Events e-book . Must-read stuff … nuff said.
If I want to hear a seasoned veteran share his insights about what it takes to create a successful conference … if I want a thinking person’s take on great ideas, tactics and strategies for meetings … I go straight to Jeff Hurt’s Midcourse Corrections Blog. Here you aren’t getting pretty pictures of the latest floral designs or great wedding gown ideas. Instead, Jeff shares thoughtful, strategic advice on the nuts-and-bolts of planning and managing meetings and conferences, and any event planner would benefit from his sometimes unconventional insights (take a recent post on using triple-loop thinking to improve your events) .
If you run an event planning business, Melanie Woodward has got some great ideas for you. Melanie was once a stellar event planner but now uses her powers to help other event planners build their businesses. And the great thing about her Event Planning Blueprint blog is that she offers proven business strategies and tips based on real-world experiences and applications. And, if you want a great example of how to use video in your own blogs and social media, take a cue from Melanie, who is a video guru.
Mike McAllen has been blogging since 2003, and just browsing through his blog’s archives is a treasure trove of tips and ideas from a truly innovative thinker when it comes to planning events and meetings. And as great as his posts are, his podcasts are even more interesting and full of ideas. The personal voice he lends to his posts as well as his vast experience planning and producing events makes his blog a must-read.
If any event planner, event venue or professional wants a blueprint on how to successfully use content marketing, look at the team from Endless Entertainment. They do an amazing job of sharing content that event planners, event marketers and even event clients would find useful, and they also do an awesome job of keeping their finger on the pulse of the Web and sharing useful sources and ideas that they find tucked away in the corners of the Interwebs.
If you don’t know the name Adrian Segar, now is the time to get familiar with it, because he may be one of the most inspirational writers in the events industry. Many of his posts may not be long, but they often contain unique ideas from other industries and academia that shed light on challenges we all face in the events industry. A great example is this post comparing event evaluations to how Chinese censors absorb feedback from citizens … a very worthy read, as are all of his personal and illuminating posts.
Need a better set of event management tools to make you more efficient and productive?
Planning Pod has more than 2 dozen easy-to-use tools in one online application for managing budgets, itineraries/schedules, tasks/to-do’s, calendars/bookings, proposals, invoices, payments, contracts and much more.
An all-around great news and resources site for the meetings and conventions industry. Smart Meetings offers lots of great news and updates on venues, hospitality, travel, cuisine, event technology and event industry data and statistics, plus they also offer resources for connecting event professionals with venues. And they feature lots of contributions from industry notables with interesting perspectives.
Want to know the latest on event tech? Liz King and her crew have you covered. Not only is Liz a kick-ass event planner and the force behind lots of informative event technology forums, but her TechsyTalk Web site has loads of great insights and tips on what is happening in event technology and how the latest innovations can help you work and live better.
Preston Bailey has the perfect sensibility and perspective as a blogger and is the consummate event professional. Many of his posts cover all sorts of tips and advice specific to weddings (and any wedding planner would be remiss not to absorb each and every one of them), but he also has many posts that expand on how to excel in business and in life. I find his posts a breath of fresh air.
From decor ideas to venue updates/reviews to food trends to event planning tips, BizBash covers it all, vibrantly and in full color. I enjoy their site for a couple of reasons. First, they always have a fresh take on all kinds of topics. Second, they are as timely as any event-related site around. Third, I love their sincerity and desire to inform. Worth keeping on your weekly reading list.
From one of the premier professional associations in our industry comes a blog that always inspires every month. The cornerstone of this blog is great convention industry coverage, giving readers an insider’s look at industry trends and developments and insights into what they mean. A great place to see what other convention mangers are doing and what’s working (and what isn’t).
The folks at EventBrite do an amazing job of generating lots of great posts every week on a wide variety of event management and planning topics (in fact, I am jealous of how much great material they crank out, as I know personally how much effort it takes to come up with even one worthwhile, informative post every week). They serve a variety of event professionals and their posts reflect that diversity.
Like I said before, I’m not the type of event professional who spends much time browsing event and wedding style blogs (my passion is on the business and management side of events). Setting that aside for a moment, though, I am simply amazed at Mindy’s sense of style and her passion for design (especially event design). Many event/wedding blogs simply overwhelm with galleries and galleries of stylish wedding shots, but Mindy is one of the industry influencers who sets the trends you see in all those other blogs. For great design ideas, visit her site first.
Another great blog about the business side of the events industry. What I love about the BusyEvent blog is both the perspective they have as event technology providers. They know what challenges event professionals are facing and focus their posts on addressing these challenges and issues. However, I also really like their regular roundups of recent event-related articles that caught their eye.
eTouches has been serving event planners and professionals for over a decade and it shows in their blog posts. Their posts very detailed, providing those special insights and “little things” that make a big difference when it comes to successful events. Even better, many of their articles cover the business and management side of events and provide a perspective you won’t find in many other event blogs.
Here’s another event management and planning company that gets it totally right when it comes to blogging and useful content. The team at Kapow Events provides frequent posts on a variety of topics, from sales and marketing tips for event professionals to the latest (and coolest) venues around the country. Their advice is always very hands-on and easy-to-implement, and since they are actively planning events in 11 cities in the U.S., they have a great sense of the zeitgeist in the events industry.
If you want to know what’s happening in events on the other side of the pond, Event Industry News is the place to start. Besides having comprehensive news on the European events industry, they also have interesting coverage on event branding, event tech, venues and more.
So what are your favorite event management blogs and event planning websites? Share them in the comments below.