Planning and hosting exciting events has never been more challenging, but bringing things back to basics can help. If you’re looking to uplevel your event business, it’s critical to make sure that you’re performing as best as you possibly can every step of the way. From drafting a production schedule to designing invitations, promoting ticket sales, and selling merch, these free tools can help event creators outperform the competition. 

Brainstorming with Pinterest

Deciding how you want your event to look is just as important as deciding what it’s about. Using Pinterest, the social networking site and visual discovery engine, you can easily brainstorm the look and feel of your event and draft visual representations to help your team move forward. Establishing a lookbook for your event can streamline planning and provide an important visual reference point. It will also help align all members of your team to one visual aesthetic.

Bringing your team together with Doodle

Once you know what you want your event to look like, it’s time to start planning things out. Doodle, the free online meeting scheduling tool, can help you pin down your calendar and get things running smoothly from the start. Bringing your whole team together initially is a great way of making sure your event is successful. From there, scheduling regular production meetings with a team can be difficult, but Doodle makes it easy — and did we mention it’s free?

Keeping track with Google Sheets

Planning an event means keeping track of your numbers, whether that’s your event budget, dates and times, or your production schedule and deliverables. Google Sheets, Google’s free spreadsheet tool, offers a centralized way for your team to plan budgeting and scheduling. With plenty of complex functionalities available, Google Sheets make organizing and planning your event a breeze. 

Making your vision a reality with Canva

Taking your idea and giving it shape is one of the most critical aspects of event planning. Canva, an easy and free graphic design platform, requires little to no graphic design experience to master. The service can help you design graphics, posters, and other visuals for things like your event listing, day-of collateral, and social media. Canva boasts plenty of ready-made templates to use, as well as an intuitive drag-and-drop feature that will make sharing your vision with the world easier than ever. You can also check out Photopea, a similar platform, for another free way to meet your design needs. 

Promoting and ticketing with Eventbrite

With all the work that goes into planning an event, it’s important not to forget your real goal is getting people to attend it. Eventbrite can help with promoting and ticketing your event, whether it’s online or in-person. The platform simplifies and centralizes the sometimes complex ticketing process, making it easier for both you and your attendees. Plus, once your event’s over, Eventbrite can even help you with analytics. Crunching the numbers on what made your last event a success — or the opposite — can give you a head start on making your next event perfect. 

Sending merch with PirateShip

Whether you’re hosting an in-person event or keeping things online, selling merchandise is one of the best ways to capitalize on your careful event planning. If you’re looking to ship merchandise or products associated with your events to customers, you’ll want to know about PirateShip, free shipping software that can help you find the cheapest possible USPS shipping rates. PirateShip will help you find steep discounts, leaving more profit in your pocket. 

Anything else?

Planning an event is more than just coming up with an idea and making it happen — it’s a process. Following the lifecycle of event planning, from visualization to designing, ticketing, and beyond, can help creators produce exciting events that keep attendees coming back. And of course, finding the right tools always helps. Put these tools into practice by hosting an event today. Know some other event-planning tools that have helped you up your game? Let us know on Twitter!

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