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with Mary Lou McNatt

Learn tips and hints to use a variety of electronic and technical equipment to enhance work with volunteers.

~ June 2005 ~ Topics


Surfing to Create a Great Event

I am always amazed at the new tools that the Internet provides. We'll be taking a little side trip this month and do a little surfing to find out what is available on the Internet to help you create a great event.

Many volunteer managers do much more in their job descriptions than just manager volunteers. Along with a list of other various duties to help their organizations achieve their missions, planning meetings and events are also included.

If you are a long-time planner of events, or just a novice who may be planning their first event you may be surprised at what is available on the Internet to help you create that great event. We have found a host of sites that we want to share with you.

Some of these tools you'll be able to use on-line and some will require that you download them to your computer. Don't forget the tips we shared for downing loading files from the April 2005 Tech Tips.

Of course it would be great if we could just hire an event planner and let them do all the tracking and researching for us. But for those of us who work in small organizations with limited budgets....much of that work is done by ourselves.

Well take you through some important pieces of the event planning process so sit back and enjoy the surf…..

Planning the event

Worksheets for event planning. You'll have to browse around because there are a host of resources to choose from.

Speakers Bureau

Date calendar - to help you plan around holiday dates.

Promoting Your Speaker - tips to help promote your event speaker.

Meeting Promotion and Publicity Checklist

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Creating a budget for your event is key.

Communications ~ Collaboration ~ Conflict
  • Yahoo ~ http://groups.yahoo.com
    Free, easy email group. Emails can be received either by e-mail or read on the web viewable message archives. Also access to activity logs, chat rooms, shared calendar, polls, and 20 MB of Web space for sharing photos, MP3 and other files. The service is used by clubs, small businesses, school classes - any group with a common interest.
  • Topica ~ http:// lists.topica.com/
    Topica is a free Internet service that allows you to easily find, manage and participate in email lists. Topica makes email lists accessible and easy to use for anyone, from the most expert list owner to the newest list subscriber.
  • Bravelo Community Network ~ http://www.bravelo.com/teamworks-features.asp
    Bravelo® TeamWorks, an online collaboration product, team members can post their brainstorms online. For purchase.
  • Intranets.com's collaboration suite ~ http://www.intranets.com/Home.asp?hp=nn
    Keep track of appointments, events with an online calendar. Free 30 day trial.
  • Smartsettle ~ http://www.smartsettle.com
    Yes...there is even software you can download to resolve conflict. A multi-party, multi-issue conflict negotiation software package. It can be used with large or small groups, and can facilitate anything from collective bargaining to strategic planning. The software is for purchase, but you can take a free tour.


  • Evite ~ http://www.evite.com
    Evite is a free online invitation service with hundreds of designs for almost any event. RSVP management, customization tools, dynamic maps, event reminders and more.

For a Fee

  • rsvpBook ~ http://www.rsvpbook.com/
    Online event registration web site. Just $9.95 to create your event registration online. Other add on features are available for a fee.
  • Online Event Registration Software
    Member Clicks ~ http://www.memberclicks.com
    Try it for free. Online event management software. Collect online event registrations and payment. Communicate with attendees.
  • The Nonprofit Matrix has a list of vendors at http://tinyurl.com/4qhnf
    The listings are supplied by the vendors and many of the systems listed are not event systems. The services listed in this category provide web-based tools that can cover a wide range of events management tasks , such as shared to-do lists and scheduling, online registration and payment, tracking memberships and even printing name tags.

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Certificates - Thank You's

To make event planning decisions and post event evaluations.

Goodies - Events Merchandise

This list could go on and on so I will just share a few of my favorites.

We've only touched on a small portion of everything that is available so don't forget to do your own surfing to find aids to help make your event planning successful.

Mary Lou McNatt has many years of experience working with volunteer programs, advancing our profession and has a passion for introducing the advantages of technology to volunteer programs. She was instrumental in obtaining Ivan Scheier’s body of work on volunteerism and putting it online. She can be reached at mlmcnatt@indra.com.

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