Early this month, almost 20,000 attendees from all over the world descended on New Orleans for Web Summit’s Collision, “America’s fastest growing tech conference.” We were there to hunt down the newest products and tools for event professionals, designers, and attendees—and boy howdy, did we dig up some tantalizing tidbits. Here are six of our favorite tools and products from Collision that event professionals should take note of.

I-Do List: Aisle Planner

This comprehensive online wedding/event planning suite for industry professionals has “all the planning tools you want, plus all the business tools you need.” They’re not just saying that—it’s chock full of checklists, timelines, budgets, collaboration tools, guest managers, seating charts, a design studio with style guides, and wedding websites. The business management tools include lead management, proposals and contracts with e-signatures, invoicing, online payment processing, custom branding, and document/project templates—designed by a team of pros who know how to produce and manage all the moving parts of a seamless event.

As you might guess, Aisle Planner began as a project management suite meant for wedding planners. Since most of those production tools and demands port over to managing corporate and private events, the company has adapted their offering to match that demand. Want proof of the successful transition? The Cream used it to project manage their entire 2017 wedding expo.  

When we asked about special incentives, Aisle Planner Marketing Director Tayler Cusick-Hollman informed us that wedding and event industry pros can get a 30-day free trial, and then use the code weareaisleplanners to get 10% off the first three months of their new subscription. They have some lofty goals coming to life in the next few months, so event professionals, keep an eye on this more-than-bridal suite.

Scouts’ Honor: Fillspaces

A “marketplace to discover unique pop-up retail, event, and art space,” Fillspaces (currently in beta) is an intriguing find because it makes conversations easy between both sides of the event production relationship. Event professionals searching for new and exciting venues can use this tool to scout some very cool and different locations. Venue owners looking to host events can use Fillspaces to list their location, complete with a profile featuring amenities, rules, and rental rates.

As a previous nonprofit president in charge of event production and venue sourcing, this product sounded like a godsend to me, but I was curious to know to know how it answers the need that some clients might have for nonprofit rates or comped spaces. I asked Fillspaces co-founder Dale Inverarity, and was pleased to hear that it had already been considered and written into the system: instead of locked rates and an inflexible interface, booking takes place in a conversational manner, so you get a chance to make your case and negotiate with the venue owner.

Max Boothroom: Easy Virtual Fair

How many soul-crushingly boring webinars or instructional videos have we all sat through? More than we’d like to admit, right? Easy Virtual Fair aims to fix that. This tool can generate leads, revenue and engagement for new virtual events, and inject new life into previously-recorded events—virtual or physical. The lead generation aspect lets you create compelling virtual events for maximum user/viewer registration. The revenue generator helps you attract an audience, sell booth space and do business with the event’s online community. Easy Virtual Fair is accessible for visitors and exhibitor reps alike—it’s 100% mobile friendly and HTML5-compatible with no required downloads, so you can engage anywhere your clients may be. Especially attractive was the possibility of rejuvenating old events; if you’ve documented old events with photography, audio, or video, creating a new virtual event (and attendant lead generation) by re-purposing that old content is an enticing option.

Popup Culture Will Eat Itself: Selffee

Mashing up fun, food, and tech, Selffee trafficks in cookies, coffee, cold drinks, cupcakes and more with a zeitgeist-surfing twist: all of those items are imprinted with images captured in an onsite photobooth! Edible food coloring is the critical ingredient here, fueling enough pop-ups, weddings, birthday parties and special events for Selffee to launch this past January from their New York City premises. Eating one’s own face would certainly make for a memorable event, which is what all event planners are looking for during that particularly critical moment of truth.

Surge Protector: GoCity

How awesome would it be to buoy attendee morale by eliminating the Surge Pricing Bummer Plague? Well, we don’t know how awesome yet, because the GoCity app isn’t yet on the market that we can tell, and there’s very little information on the website… but the premise is so handy that we have to give it a shout-out. It claims to aggregate real-time prices from a huge selection of rideshare apps—more than just Uber and Lyft. Just like summoning an Uber, I guess that this one is a waiting game, and probably more than four minutes. Sign up for their newsletter if you want to be in the know when it goes live.

Rocking and Rolling: Recreation Sound

We asked David Nichols, founder & co-president of experiential marketing firm Inventa, about the most promising exhibitor he saw at Collision. His pick? Recreation Sound. True enough, their booth was a popular favorite: we saw attendees swarming like bees around the gorgeous, ornate wood encased compact speakers, enjoying the crisp, booming audio. David’s idea? Such an easily portable, totally powerful system could be a stellar tool in festival activation.

Hot Pepper on Apple  Spicy Honorable Mention: Veeam Hot Pepper on Apple

I don’t know what Veeam does. I don’t understand. And frankly I don’t care. They could sell catskins and I wouldn’t give a honk, because of the sheer legitness of their swag. Yes, Veeam takes the Tight Ship Award For Coolest Swag At Collision because of their mini jalapeño hot sauce bottles! Perfect for those fried-pickles-and-fish-taco emergencies at any given NOLA conference after-party or celebrity diva video shoot. Thank you, Veeam!

The extensive, potentially event-related products and tools on display at Collision made it difficult to do a truly comprehensive best-of, but these favorites resonated most for Tight Ship based on our own planning backgrounds. When you hire Tight Ship Design for your event design identity, you’re getting a wealth of experience from both of us—not least because we’ve been in your shoes and we know what you’re up against. Get in touch with us today!