Affiliate Disclosure: By buying the products we recommend, you help keep the lights on at MakeUseOf. Read more.
<firstimage=”//static.makeuseof.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/02/Sched-Social-Networks-300.png”>Do you manage events for your local community clubs? Do you organise fundraising activites? Or are you a professional event manager? Whatever your situation, you’ve probably had to schedule rooms, tents, speakers, forums or other details for your event. You’ve probably also noticed that this can be tedious and prone to errors. This is where Sched comes in to help.
Whether your events are large-scale or small-scale, this web application is a life-saver for all types of event co-ordinators. Any event which needs to co-ordinate a schedule for rooms, equipment or different types of forums within the event will find the Sched event scheduling software invaluable.
Sched is free for events with fewer than 100 sessions and the free account is capable of handling an unlimited number of attendees. With this flexibility, and a reasonable pricing system for more features, most events can easily use the free service to co-ordinate their schedules.
Sign-up requires that you enter the name and dates of your event. They say that it may take 24 hours to create your account and I suspect this is to combat spam events. However, if you need immediate access it’s possible to email them and explain the situation.
Check Out Some Other Events
Before you get stuck into organising your schedule with Sched, it’s a good idea to take a look at other people’s events to get a feel for how people are using Sched to their advantage.
For instance, there’s a session tag called “Event Type“. Some people use this to define whether it’s a workshop, a lecture, music etc. Other people have used it to quickly pinpoint the location-based zone of the session. This works well for events that have several themed zones and many smaller venues within each zone.
Your attendees can create their own personal schedule from your event schedule, making it easy for them to navigate your timetable and co-ordinate their plans.
Users create a login from the event they wish to attend, then link their login with Facebook, LinkedIn or Twitter, making it easy to import photos, identity and friends details. The login is reused for other Sched events to keep things simple for attendees.
Once an attendee has decided which sessions they’ll be attending at your event and others, they can share this information with friends via their favourite social networks, like Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter. They can also combine their schedule with their friends’ schedules in order to co-ordinate where they might see each other at the event.
Users can even co-ordinate one-on-one meetings with each other scheduled around your event sessions. This could be a very powerful networking tool at conferences.
All Sched event calendars can integrate picture, audio and video into the calendar, which is great if you want to give your attendees a preview of the speaker/performer’s work, photos of the venue or other useful background information.
You can make specific sessions easier to spot with different colours, bold text, starring or adding a highlighted border.
As the event manager, you can tag the sessions with multiple tags to make searching for specific sessions easier for your attendees.
Calendar and Maps Integration
Users can automatically export an iCal feed for use in Outlook or Google Calendar. Google maps are automatically generated to create your event map.
Attendees can link their Grooveshark, Last.fm or HypeMachine accounts to generate a music playlist based on their personal schedule within your event.
Mobile Access & Printing
All Sched’s packages include a mobile formatted version of the schedule. This allows your attendees to socially schedule their sessions within your events. All Sched events have an easy-to-print view also, which makes life easy for the participants.
Listen to Your Buzz
Sched also makes it easy for event managers to track conversations on social media about their events, sessions and acts.
Easy Schedule Editing
Even if you make changes to your schedule at the last minute, Sched’s system will allow you to put those changes into effect straight away. Attendees with mobile access will be able to see the changes immediately.
There is plenty of event scheduling software designed to make room and calendar scheduling easier, but this is the only free, online software I have found. It also has some fantastic social features, so it’s bound to generate a lot of buzz and become more popular with time.
If you’re managing events, you might like to also check out these posts:
- Plan Events & Share Them on Plancast
- Live Matrix: A Schedule for Live Events Online
- PurpleTrail: Plan and Organise Events Online
- How To Easily Co-Ordinate Volunteers Using Volunteer Spot
If you’ve just started using Sched as an event manager or as an attendee, let us know what you think of it in the comments.