Party on, Wayne: 7 startups using tech to help plan your next event

James Risley

People have been planning parties for millennia, but technology is making that process easier. The event tech industry ranges from finding a venue to managing auctions with digital tools. And plenty of companies on the leading edge of that tech are calling Chicago home.

 

Before you can start planning an event, you need a place to host it. And while professional event planners may know all the most interesting places in the city, EVENTup brings that knowledge to everyone. With a database of art galleries, lofts, warehouses, banquet halls, rooftop bars and conference centers, the site probably has a space for you.

 

Planning an event is never a one-person job. But making sure everyone is on the same page can be a hassle, especially around financial and procurement tasks. Eved provides a collaborative procurement platform to take the workload off event planners so they can focus on building experiences.

 

Drawing in clients requires some creative thinking, but dedicating the time to plan fun events can end up costing a company big time. Kapow lets clients book distinct corporate events and has a whole tech stack to make sure they run smoothly, from booking venues to tracking invitations to following up after the event.

 

Your options when planning an event are nearly infinite. Red Frog Events helps customers manage complexity with customizable solutions. The company’s EventSprout platform provides advanced ticketing services along with tracking and targeting. The company also has food and beverage services and can help event organizers with talent buying.

 

Even companies that put on regular events need some extra help every so often. BookedOut connects event planners with on-demand talent, so you can book emcees, guerrilla marketers and other non-standard positions in one spot. By harnessing freelancers, event planners can bring in fresh talent for each event.

 

Charity auctions are a great way to raise money for a good cause, but squeezing in the actual auction among dinners, speeches and socializing can be tough. Gesture modernizes silent auctions with an easy-to-use mobile app so donors can give whenever they feel like it. Not only does that let organizers streamline events, but it also opens up the opportunity for more donations.

 

Not every party can take place in a grand ballroom or feature a caricature artist. But that doesn’t mean only professionals can access the coolest party tricks. PartySlate lets anyone build “slates” of their favorite event options and then connect with pros to bring their visions to life.

Images via featured companies

Are you planning a big tech bash or looking for an event to attend? Check out our events calendar, and don’t forget to follow us on Twitter @BuiltInChicago.

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