Industry Websites


Tips, trends, and best practices for catering and event professionals.

Event Leadership Institute

Progressive education, training & insights by and for event professionals.

Online resource of training videos for software including Microsoft Office Suite and Adobe Creative Suite. For free access, navigate to the site through Georgia Tech.

Meeting Planners International

MPI is the corporate side to Special Events and focuses on the “business of meetings”.  You do not need to be a member to take advantage of some great articles and the occasional webinar to stay informed on the events industry with trends, tips, and inspiration.

Meetings Today

Online version of Meetings Today magazine, including meeting news, checklists, and webinar information.

Plan Your Meetings

From a higher education point of view, I find this to be a “hit or miss” websource. However, with the sheer number of articles available one cannot leave PYM out of this list.  Be sure to check out their Knowledge Series and Planning 101 pages for tips of the trade.

Small Market Meetings

Online version of Small Market Meetings magazine, dedicated to smaller meeting destinations and sites.

Special Events Magazine

This magazine is an industry standard and cover everything from décor trends to the latest industry news. They have a wonderful newsletter that I suggest everyone sign up for, even if you follow it only for the pretty pictures.

Backup Software and Websites

Most people today have access to the Internet during their event either through their phone, a tablet, or a laptop. Keep print copies of all your documents and important phone numbers with you, but do not neglect to load them on your devices.

Popular software applications and websites for this include:

Microsoft Outlook 365 allows users to create sites where you can upload, share, and edit documents. To learn more about how to use OneDrive to setup a site for your team, review the tutorials offered through Lynda.

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Tech Trends

Images and videos will dominate social media channels at events.

According to Twitter’s engagement blog, a tweet with an image or video is 25 – 35% more likely to be retweeted. Also, Instagram and Snapchat have doubled and tripled users in the past two years. Streaming video apps like Periscope or Meerkat allow real-time video postings. Event planners should prepare for greater wi-fi and cell phone bandwidth usage, as well as copyright challenges. Opportunities include encouraging remote engagement and participation and video streaming also gives a sneak peek of the event to those who could not attend.

Venue Hunting

Think Airbnb or Uber for event venues. Companies like Headbox and VenueVortex are new platforms for venue hunting.
While they haven’t made their way to Atlanta, we might see new platforms pop up within the next year to search the southeast.

Safety and Emergency Preparedness

Any event professional should be ready for any situation, especially an emergency. Some technologies offer solutions to event professionals by improving communication, making it more accessible, sharable and effective, like InitLive or Triber App.

Digital Swag Bags

Goody bags, swag, gifts – sometimes the toughest decision to make during the planning process. How do you surprise your guests and give them something relevant without creating unnecessary waste? Companies are offering digital goody bag solutions like Virtual Event Bags, Event Baxx, and Zoliro. These days, consumers are embracing online gifts, virtual coupons, etc. so why not utilize them at evens? Also, you can track your analytic opportunities throughout the event and use the data for potential sponsors for the next event.