To set up any meeting you need to get people to agree on four things: who, what, where and when.
Easier said than done! Getting three people, let alone 30, to agree on a date is hard enough, add the time and location and you’re likely to want to forget about the meeting altogether.
PlanSnap, a planning app that gets everyone to agree on the details of a plan in just a few taps, did some research and found that the average plan takes nine apps, 22 app switches, 77 swipes, 13 minutes on the phone and ten texts. And 40 per cent of the time, it still fails completely.
Fortunately, there are some websites and apps that can help you to get your meeting pinned down.
TimeOut and BarChick
These will help you with the what. What will attract the people you want to attend to the meeting? Coffee, dinner, or cocktails, or perhaps golf, or wine tasting. Get ideas from websites like Time Out, which has inspiration for lots of activities in most major cities, or on the go using the BarChick text message service which recommends bars in London (only) based on the vibe you’re going for.
Doodle and x.ai
These can help you pin down the time and date. Doodle asks everyone to fill in when they are available, so you can choose the date everyone can make, and services like x.ai, a robot assistant, claim to organise the meeting for you.
Google Maps or Citymapper
These can help with the where. Hopefully you know the people involved well enough to know where they work or live, and can mentally triangulate where’s a good venue with accessible transport links that will be easy for them to get to.
The fancier the occasion or venue, or the more important the other attendees are, the less you have to make the location work for everyone. Use Google Maps or Citymapper to work out venue locations and travel times.
Eventbrite and WhatsApp
These two will help with the final confirmation. If it’s a big event consider ticketing website Eventbrite. Or, for smaller gatherings start a WhatsApp group.
PlanSnap. This will do it all for you – so it’s a start-up to keep an eye on. It’s currently still in beta but is getting positive feedback from early users and already has over 200 people, and companies including AB InBev, invest in it through Crowdcube.
PlanSnap intelligently suggests plans that work for everyone, and sends that plan to your friends or colleagues even if they’re they haven’t downloaded the app. It currently integrates with text messaging, but email and other integrations are coming soon.
Technology is already assisting us with all aspects of our lives, and with the rise of Artificial Intelligence, that is only set to increase. As the apps get smarter the planning should get easier – which will be a relief for anyone who has been charged with bringing a lot of people together for a big meeting or event.
Louise Doherty is founder of PlanSnap