Before you dive in, if you are interested in festival sponsorship, check out these titles in our “sponsorship for festivals” series:
- Resource Page for Festival and Event Sponsorship
- Sponsorship for Festivals: What You Need to Know For Your Event to Be a Hit
- How to Plan a Festival: The Complete Guide to Starting Growing and Perfecting Your Festival
- 12 Festival Activations to Make Your Next Event Amazing
- What Activities to Have at Your Festival
- How to Promote a Festival: Event Branding, Marketing, and Social Media
- The Ultimate Festival Sponsorship Proposal
- The Ultimate Festival Planning Checklist And Timeline
- Local Sponsorship: The Benefits of Working with Local Businesses for Your Festival
- Make Your Festival Stand Out to Sponsors: 5 Ways to Become a Sponsorship Magnet
- 7 Proven Ways to Find Festival Sponsors
Let’s be real: planning a festival is tough work! There are only 24 hours in a day, and you often feel pinched for time. You’d love to use an app or several to simplify the festival-planning process. What are the best apps for this?
Here are some of the best apps for planning a festival:
- Planning Pod
- The Weather Channel
- And more
The above apps are just a handful of the ones I’ll introduce to you ahead. By the time you’re finished reading, you’ll have a whole verifiable suite of festival-planning apps at your disposal, some of which are even free!
Let’s get this list started with EventMobi, an event management platform designed for hybrid, virtual, and in-person events.
The range of features that EventMobi offers is sure to make it a convenient addition to your festival-planning app roster.
My favorite feature is the mobile event app creator with customized design features.
You don’t have to know a lick about coding or UX design to create a winning app that your festival attendees will use throughout your event.
EventMobi also features event networking, event sponsorship, and event engagement features. If your festival is completely powered through the app, you can glean some awesome analytics post-fest.
Planning Pod is designed for festival organizers like you who simply don’t have the time to juggle all that your upcoming event requires.
The app showcases all your current contracts, appointments, to-dos, and more, categorizing them by what’s upcoming so you don’t miss a thing.
Here’s another awesome feature of Planning Pod: automation. You can take a more hands-off approach to event planning that will put hours of time back into your calendar.
You’re not putting on this festival by yourself, which is why the collaborative features of Planning Pod come so much in handy. You can collaborate and share ideas, and with more than your event staff too!
You can also use the app to communicate with vendors and contractors. No more managing your overflowing email inbox or text messages when Planning Pod can streamline your communications.
Planning Pod even integrates with other tools you might be using or will use as your festival gets underway such as Eventbrite, Slack, QuickBooks, and Google.
Okay, so technically, Capsule is an app made for weddings, but who says you have to use it for its intended purpose only?
The reason I’m recommending Capsule is because of what it does. You create an album, and then any of your festival attendees and staff can add photos of your event to the album.
Without an app like Capsule, so you can have so many of your event photos slip through the cracks.
Photos are a great way to promote your event this year, maintain the hype after your festival ends, and show everyone what they could be in for if they come next year, so you want as many as you can get your hands on!
Festival attendees buy more than tickets to your event, a whole lot more. They also purchase beverages, snacks, alcohol, and assorted memorabilia.
Square is a point-of-sale app that integrates with the Square register. You can use the app for free to accept customer payments during your festival. You do have to cover the card processing fee, but that’s about it!
Square also has inventory, eCommerce, and analytics built into its handy app, so you’re really getting great value.
The Weather Channel
Most festivals are outdoor affairs. If yours is as well, then you need to track the weather like a hawk to ensure your festival can go on as planned.
The Weather Channel app will help you do just that. This free app lets you look up the weather anywhere, whether it’s in your neck of the woods, elsewhere in your state, or completely out of state.
You can review the weather by the hour, looking up to 24 hours ahead (you can go further out if you pay).
You can also check the weekly forecast and look at the radar to see what kind of inclement weather might be coming your way and how serious it will be.
What is your festival layout going to look like? No longer will you have a hard time answering that question when you can use an app like MagicPlan.
This app can generate estimates, field reports, and floor plans. Although it’s designed for contractors primarily, MagicPlan is usable for festival and event planners, so I suggest downloading it.
The high-tech features of the app let you sketch out what your festival layout will be in both 2D and 3D. You can include markups, custom forms, notes, 360-degree images, and photos when reporting.
Blossom is an excellent festival-planning app for teams on the go.
If you and the rest of your festival staff are scattered throughout the state because one or more of you travels a lot, this app is designed specifically for you.
Even if you’re in different time zones, Blossom can make everyone feel like they’re together so the organization of your festival can go on without a hitch.
Create Project Roadmaps, upload files, create checklists, upload screenshots and images, and receive email notifications when something is happening in Blossom.
Blossom even sends the whole team digests of what they might have missed.
If you use Flowdock, HipChat, Slack, or GitHub, Blossom seamlessly integrates with them all.
Once your festival gets underway, keeping in touch with your entire festival staff can be practically impossible. This is where HeyTell comes in.
HeyTell is a free app that makes your phone into a walkie-talkie. Whether your staff uses iPhones, Windows phones, or Android phones, you can communicate with them text-free. How helpful!
Another handy app for unifying your team when planning a festival is Slack.
The free version allows you to review a message history for 90 days, do one-on-one huddles with your team, record video clips, and message others on the team one-on-one.
If you have room in your budget for Slack Pro, which is the paid version of Slack, you’ll enjoy even more benefits still.
You can send an unlimited number of messages and create group huddles with screensharing and video/audio conversations.
You can integrate Slack with an unlimited number of other apps and services as well so it suits your workflow even better.
You know what you can use? A personal assistant!
No, not a real personal assistant (unless you can afford one, but that’s not really the crux of this article), but a virtual personal assistant like 24me.
The app features a built-in calendar, to-dos, notes, smart alerts, and conference calls.
You can sync 24me to Microsoft Outlook, send micro-gifts, and even use the navigation feature called Be There on Time so you’re not late for any future appointments.
24me is compatible with Siri, Alexa, and other voice assistants and works with an Apple Watch so you don’t even need to open the app to use 24me.
A can’t-miss app for music festival planners especially is AudioTools.
Created by Studio Six Digital, AudioTools offers acoustic analyses to gauge the frequency and microphone level of audio at your festival.
The pro-level tools included with the app are the Recorder, CLF Viewer, Audio Scope, Generator, and Speaker Polarity Test.
AudioTools might be able to measure audio levels up to 120 decibels, and all that for $20!
In the same vein as Slack is Asana, a project management tool for small and large teams alike.
Once you set up and invite your team members, you can create tasks and assign responsibilities to various members of the team.
You can also attach deadlines to tasks, with reminders from Asana when the deadline is approaching.
Each Asana user has their own personal inbox for one-on-one communications.
Asana is designed to improve productivity, which is a feature you will certainly appreciate as your festival planning gets underway.
If your festival expands to include entire departments, you can still use Asana to keep everyone and their tasks managed so everything gets completed on time.
Don’t you hate when you have a really good idea, and then whoosh, it’s gone for good? Evernote can help you leave those forgetful moments in the past.
Evernote at the very least is for jotting down those ideas as they come to you, but it has so much more to offer than that.
For instance, you can create a to-do list within Evernote, check off tasks as you complete them, and track events on your calendar by syncing Evernote with Google Calendar.
When you find something cool or handy on the Internet, you can clip PDFs, articles, webpages, and more and store them in Evernote.
Later, you can go back and search for those clips and pull them up without any pesky ads.
It’s always good to have a second opinion, and with Decibel Ultra, that’s exactly what you’ve got.
Much like AudioTools, Decibel Ultra is designed for tracking the level of volume in decibels so you can ensure your festival stays within the parameters set by the city or town hosting the event.
The app tracks sound pressure levels and produces decibel measurements in a variety of frequencies and time weightings.
Once you’ve got your reading, you can email the results to yourself or to another member of your team.
The event management app Bizzabo has everything you need for hosting hybrid, virtual, and in-person events.
You can build workflows as simplified or advanced as you’d like ‘em, then share those workflows and other ongoing ideas with individuals or even whole groups like your festival staff.
You have the right to add or revoke permissions to individuals or groups to keep proprietary data secure. You can also use contact segmentation to organize who’s who on your festival team.
The central command center within Bizzabo hosts all your event data, including payment processing, integrations, insights, and more.
The coolest part about Bizzabo is that it scales. Even if you’re starting with small-time events now, by the time you’re hosting festivals where thousands and thousands of people attend, you can continue to use Bizzabo.
No list on event planning would be complete without mentioning Eventbrite. After all, how else are you supposed to sell tickets to your festival?
You can post your festival to Eventbrite and then use the app’s tools for creating an online ticketing system expediently.
Both your ticketing system and your event page can be customized so that it has the flavor and flair of your festival. Your event page will be incredibly engaging to attract more viewers who will hopefully buy tickets!
The flexible payouts make getting paid for your ticket transactions painless and easy as well.
The Eventbrite Boost feature is handy if you have a little extra cash in your budget, as you can use Eventbrite to promote and market your event.
The app even uses smart audience targeting to reach those users who would be the most interested in attending.
Alright, so Boomset is mostly made for hybrid events, but it has a slew of features that will come in handy for in-person festivals, so I had to recommend the app here.
One of those features is RFID management. If your festival wholly embraces wearable tech, you can harness the power of RFID using Boomset.
Boomset is also handy for self-service check-ins such as at your onsite biergarten or VIP area.
If you need to collect photos and signatures for check-in, Boomset is capable of doing both. This tool can even take photos in real-time.
Social walls always get people talking. If you want a social wall at your upcoming festival, then use Everwall.
This app helps you curate your own social media hub. You can display social media posts according to specific users, phrases, keywords, hashtags, or social media platform.
The currently supported platforms are LinkedIn, Instagram, and Twitter. You can also showcase content from email, RSS, or text messages.
Attendify is another app that should on your radar when planning a festival.
The cloud-based event management service works for in-person, digital, and hybrid events. You can use only a mobile app, the mobile app and website, or just the event website.
So what’s the crux of Attendify, you ask? The app allows you to develop your own private network for a festival or another event.
You can also use Attendify to share photos, find event sponsors, and keep in touch with your team.
How about a free event-planning app? I quite like Odoo Events and think you will as well.
You can create top-notch event pages through Odoo, selecting from an expansive variety of themes and then using an easy drag-and-drop editor to make your pages shine.
As your festival draws nearer, you can create an event calendar with several organizers and even multiple locations.
The app also comes in handy for reviewing your event budget, managing form submissions, overseeing incoming proposals, scanning badges, registering users on mobile, and managing your attendees.
If you haven’t yet found a service for selling your tickets, Odoo Events allows you to do that as well!
How many hundreds of documents do you and your team create when dreaming, planning, and executing a festival? What is the fate of those documents?
Are they on random computers or stuffed inside a staff member’s inbox? It’s time to unite all your relevant event files with Dropbox.
You can quickly upload and share photos, videos, or files of nearly any kind. Your limit per file is two terabytes, which is quite generous.
You can also set up permissions so that only approved users can see files.
If your festival is going to require any type of waiver, I would suggest the app Smartwaiver.
You can use the app to create a waiver or rely on Smartwaiver to make a waiver for you. The app can also store the signatures of your participants or attendees either ahead of or during the festival.
All data is then securely stored within Smartwaiver’s servers.
If yours is going to be a music festival, Setster is a can’t-miss app.
You can create a full roster of musical performances so your festival stays organized.
From there, share your set with your team using tools like Outlook, Office 365, Google Calendar, or an assortment of other calendar tools or apps.
Here’s a nice bonus: Setster even takes payments via FreshBooks, Stripe, and PayPal if you by chance haven’t found an app for festival transactions yet.
During your festival, you can bet that your attendees are going to be happily tweeting away. If so, then it would be a wasted opportunity to host an event without LiveTweetApp.
This app creates a social wall on either Instagram or Twitter so you have the freedom to display the most pertinent and hyped tweets about your festival.
Once others see tweets on the social wall, they too will want to get their own social media posts featured, so they’ll be inspired to post throughout your event.
Brown Paper Tickets
A ticketing app (as you probably would have guessed by the name), Brown Paper Tickets allows you to scan tickets from a smartphone or mobile device.
There’s no need for your staff to invest in proper ticket scanners, at least not this year. You’ve got this app.
Before you can use the Brown Paper Ticket apps for ticket scanning, you need to register an account and activate the barcodes for your event dates. Then, when tickets come through, you can scan them easily and quickly.
I’ve got one more ticketing app for you, and that’s Yapsody.
You can split tickets into groups like general admission or VIP, send invite-only codes to special groups of attendees, and offer early-bird pricing discounts.
Yapsody gives you the option to use online payment gateways like Braintree, Stripe, or PayPal as well as offline payment options such as debit card, credit card, and cash.
Last but certainly not least is Eventzilla, an awesome event management app and software.
Eventzilla enables automated queues for ticketing management, contactless check-in on the day of your festival, and timed ticket entry so you don’t have a crowd crush risk at your festival.
You can also count on Eventzilla for event marketing tools, a real-time dashboard that delves deep into the heart of your festival, and secure payments for tickets and registrations.
And there you have it, 27 of the most exemplary apps for festival planners to have on standby.
Using a festival-planning app saves you time that you don’t really have to begin with. You can also save money, streamline operations, deepen team communications, and move forward with your event planning more seamlessly. Good luck!
- About the Author
- Latest Posts
Chris Baylis is the Founder and Editor-in-Chief of The Sponsorship Collective.
After spending several years in the field as a sponsorship professional and consultant, Chris now spends his time working with clients to help them understand their audiences, build activations that sponsors want, apply market values to their assets and build strategies that drive sales.
Read More about Chris Baylis