To say technology is a driving force behind events is an understatement. In the current, Silicon Valley-driven environment, the top minds in the world are constantly producing apps and software that not only help with everyday work flow, but also assist at actual events, thereby allowing you to keep up with the wow!

Trello: This is an awesome project management tool, which allows the planner to sync data with clients so that everyone is on the same page. From adding checklists, to assigning tasks, to uploading files, this free app (of course with optional upgrades) is the perfect addition to any office environment. 

Super Event Planner: This very functional app provides a number of tools that make planning your event much easier, including a venue capacity calculator, price converters (helping make sure tax and gratuity are correctly factored in) and a tool to help figure out how many glasses of wine are needed based on the number of people attending. The app is $9.99 through Apple or Android stores.

Virtual Reality: Transporting guests to alternative realities is an exciting application to enhance events. The wave of the future will be the ability to market events, venues and locations via virtual reality, without ever having to leave the office. 

Primera Trio: For the ease of having a somewhat mobile office, this extremely lightweight printer/scanner/copier is an absolute must. It weighs 2.6 pounds and has all the functionality you would expect from a full-size printer. Imagine no longer needing to spend wasted dollars at a business center.

Texture: If you’re a voracious magazine reader, then this is a perfect app. It is one of my absolute favorites because it puts hundreds of magazines at your fingertips. In addition to popular titles like People and Time, there are design and craft magazines that can help render great ideas for event planning.

3-D Printed Food: The Consumer Electronic Show (CES) boasted a number of new products in the realm of 3-D printing, none more exciting to event professionals than the ability to print food. Imagine wowing your guests with the production of a sugar cube or other desserts right before their eyes. 

Drone Photography: Much to the chagrin of the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), drones are here to stay—and I, for one, am excited about this new trend. For outdoor events, drones are a perfect way to capture all aspects. If used correctly and within safety guidelines, drones can even transport items.

Liquid Nitrogen: This chemical is making a huge comeback and the reaction (if you pardon the pun) is spectacular. This product must be handled with great care by a professional, but its ability to take drinks from boring to extraordinary is always a crowd-pleaser.

Event planners often prepare for the worst, but one thing they likely didn’t anticipate was a global pandemic when selecting event cancellation insurance policies for their 2020 gatherings. Panicked planners began contacting Marcia McKinney, owner of Northeast Insurance Advisors, in late February and early March, but as meetings and events ground to a halt, they were already out of luck.

“It’s kind of like trying to buy homeowner’s insurance as your house is starting to catch fire... it’s too late,” says McKinney.

 

Zehnder’s of Frankenmuth is one of six recipients of the James Beard Foundation’s 2020 America’s Classics Award, which is given to locally owned restaurants that have timeless appeal and are beloved regionally for quality food that reflects the character of their community. Per the foundation, “Zehnder’s of Frankenmuth, a chicken dinner behemoth positioned between Detroit and Michigan’s summer lake destination, is decidedly on the beaten path. William Zehnder Sr. and his wife, Emilie, bought a former hotel in 1928.

 

In early April Detroit’s TCF Center became a 1,000-bed alternate care site to help ease the burden on local hospitals during the COVID-19 crisis. The 723,000-square-foot facility became the TCF Regional Care Center. According to Pure Michigan’s Michelle Grinnell, who serves as public information officer for the state’s alternate care sites, 39 patients were treated at TCF, the last of whom was discharged on May 7.