Event Managers Turn to “The Cloud” and Smartsheet’s Online Project Management Tool

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Leading event planners from PR Chicago and Twin Cities Habitat for Humanity rely on the online spreadsheet-like app to successfully manage events

Smartsheet's online event management tool makes it easy to collaborate and manage event details.

With Smartsheet, I send individual rows to vendors for them to update certain aspects of events. They input data, attach files, or make notes and it’s automatically fed back into Smartsheet.

Coordinating a million small details can make or break an event: from managing the invitation process to hiring and paying on site staff, coordinating vendor contracts and handling logistics at the venue. It all has to be planned, coordinated, shared and completed. Spreadsheets are a common tool for organizing and tracking progress. But spreadsheets fail when multiple people are updating or sharing files or a client wants real-time visibility into project status.

A growing number of event managers, including teams at PR Chicago and Twin Cities Habitat for Humanity, depend on Smartsheet’s cloud-based online project management tool to keep their event details organized and collaborate with clients, vendors and team members.

“Managing events is project management at its finest,” said Mark Mader, CEO of Smartsheet. “From day one we’ve been focused on delivering flexible, easy-to-adopt tools that help people manage work and keep teams and clients up to date. Knowing detail-oriented, hyper-results-focused event managers are turning to Smartsheet and making it their ‘tool of choice’ is an endorsement of the value it provides.”

As an example, PR Chicago recently orchestrated grand openings for 140 different 7-Eleven convenience stores in the Chicago area. The company had to hire and train teams to work the events and coordinate all the various tasks for each location. Being able to have immediate access to the various team and store information, calendars, media outreach and giveaways was critical.

“Moving to a cloud-based SaaS app made accessing the info and collaborating with others outside the core team easy,” said Toni Antonetti, President of PR Chicago. “With Smartsheet, I send individual rows to vendors for them to update certain aspects of events. They input data, attach files, or make notes and it’s automatically fed back into Smartsheet. We also share critical rows with our clients, which gives them the visibility into the aspects they care most about and confidence that everything is on track. Plus having Smartsheet accessible from my iPad is a big convenience.”

Brian Juntti, Director of Marketing and Communications at Twin Cities Habitat for Humanity, uses Smartsheet to manage a variety of marketing communications programs, from website updates to marketing campaigns. He recently expanded usage to include event management because Smartsheet automated key parts of the workflow. Juntti leveraged Smartsheet’s Smartforms to collect RSVPs from hundreds of VIPs (board, major donors, sponsors, and public officials) for a week of events as part of the 27th Annual Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter Work Project in the Minneapolis-St. Paul metro in October 2010. The forms automatically populate the data in a Smartsheet where it then can be used at check-in and for follow-up donor cultivation.

“We have a very small team juggling hundreds of tasks,” said Juntti “The beauty of using Smartforms to collect all the RSVP info is that the attendees and the Smartsheet do the work for you.”

Event managers also use Smartsheet to:

  •      Collect onsite workers’ hours or gather attendee feedback
  •      Share graphics, booth specs, comps and review feedback
  •      Set alerts and notifications so as information is changed, team members are notified
  •      Create PR and media lists, outreach schedules and coverage
  •      Manage event schedules and team calendars
  •      Attach quotes, contracts and other docs
  •      Share rows with vendors for easy updating
  •      Run summary reports across multiple events

About Smartsheet
Smartsheet.com, a leading Software as a Service (SaaS) company, offers businesses an intuitive online project management and collaboration tool. The ease of use of the familiar spreadsheet-like interface, coupled with file sharing and work automation features have made it a popular and highly functional business productivity app for teams. Smartsheet is used by more than 7,000 organizations worldwide for managing all types of work including projects and tasks, operations, sales pipelines, events, marketing campaigns, crowdsourcing and more. Today, Smartsheet is a top-ranked app in the Google Application Marketplace and is integrated with leading web services such as Google Apps and VMWare’s Zimbra email. Located in Bellevue WA, the privately held company is backed by Madrona Venture Group, a leading venture capital firm. Visit http://www.smartsheet.com for more details.


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Jodi Sorensen
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