The general consensus among event company in MALAYSIA indicate that the preferred tool used to manage and plan events would be event planning software; however, coming at a very close second is that of spreadsheets. As a novice event planner I have found spreadsheets to be my saving grace. Same thought after discuss with my mentor from ADEvent.
The reason I enjoy using spreadsheets for event management and planning is not only because I am very comfortable with the format, but also because they are extremely efficient and have several beneficial features. They are able to monitor resources being used, track budgets, create and manage different lists, and are very inexpensive. Finally, the spreadsheet is easily accessible to almost all event managers and presents with a widely acceptable document format.
However, as with all programs, the spreadsheet does have some disadvantages when used as a primary event planning and management tool. Unfortunately, the spreadsheet shows very poor efficiency as the different event managers may be using alternate spreadsheets and management styles. I have noticed that the senior event manager in our company utilizes numerous tabs on his documents, whereas I find these exceptionally confusing and it is very time-consuming deciphering his spreadsheet.
Another disadvantage of using a spreadsheet in comparison to event management software is that it can be difficult to keep data up-to-date on spreadsheets. As many event managers use one spreadsheet at the same time there is the possibility of information being deleted. Furthermore, event managers may update information on a copy of the master without informing others of this, thus leaving the master copy out of date.
A final drawback of working with a spreadsheet is that they are unable to analyze event data effectively. While it is possible to create graphs and charts on a spreadsheet, the amalgamation of this information can be complicated and time-consuming when using a basic spreadsheet.
In conclusion, while spreadsheets can be useful in event management and planning there are various considerations to make before employing them as an event management resource.