2021 One Year In Event Software And What's Next

2021: One Year In Event Software And What’s Next

As January 2021 starts with a bang, I thought it might be fun to look back at what we created in 2020 and look forward to what we’re building in the year ahead. 

At ThymeBase, we build event planning software. We’re not entirely like others out there; we have a vision that we believe is entirely unique. Since launching a year ago, we’re chiseled away at that vision piece by piece. But a year is a long time in software development, especially in the event space where innovations occur with consistency. A year is even longer still when events get curtailed due to lockdowns, social distancing restrictions, and curfews.

How Our Event Software Vision Evolved

We launched ThymeBase’s MVP about two weeks before the first COVID regulations. We spoke to event professionals every day and watched the uncertainty turn to horror and then to resignation. Everyone wondered whether restrictions would last days or maybe even weeks. 

Then, as the months rolled by, resignation and despair took hold of the industry. We were faced with a question: Do we pivot away from events? 

No.

We decided to double down on events, work even closer with planners at every level of our design, and be ready for when events came roaring back. Instead of pivoting, we expanded our roadmap’s vision. And in the end, we committed to becoming the platform where all event professionals can work together on events. 

That’s not a simple undertaking, and we’re nowhere close. But we’re moving ahead steadily. 

Here’s what we built in 2020.

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The First Features Built in 2020

In the first quarter of 2020, ThymeBase went live with some fundamental features. This included our event dashboard, event task list, and a day-of timeline maker.

Seems simple, right? But there’s quite a lot behind it. We added rich descriptions for both task list and timeline items and made sure ThymeBase remembered any locations or categories. We added some pretty nifty filtering options for the to-do lists, allowing sorting and filtering across multiple factors simultaneously. Then a planner asked for PDF downloads, so we built that too.

Then we added dedicated spaces for managing contacts, categories, files, locations, and links. And, of course, we had to then build a robust search functionality.

Then we built one of the coolest event timeline features. A shareable URL that event planners could send to their clients and vendors. Any changes to the timeline are instantly updated for everyone.  

Adding Template Options

One of the smallest but coolest features we built in the last year was Duplicate. With a click of a button, you can clone any past event’s to-do list, timeline, contacts, and locations. This opened up a world of possibilities. 

We were able to build templates for people, customize them, and turn those into templates themselves. And, of course, planners could create their own templates too. 

Creating Pro Features In 2020

With the basics done, which, believe me, wasn’t particularly simple, we had to move ahead. We’d been getting in-depth feedback from event pros and committed to building out more advanced tools. 

We set a goal of making it super easy to create teams, assign tasks, and collaborate on events with others inside and outside your company. Around this time, we decided to make it totally free to plan unlimited events in ThymeBase. 

Building Teams

Many event businesses are solopreneurs. But many others work in small teams. And some event pros frequently collaborate as freelancers and contractors. So that’s where we went. We built out some team functionality. 

The thinking behind it was that you shouldn’t have to sign in to different accounts whether you’re working on your own events or with other event pros. Instead, you keep your account and own all your personal contacts and files, while at the same time, you can share events with others. 

You can create a team, invite others by email, and select which events of yours they can see. When the event is done, or someone leaves the group, just un-assign the event, and that’s it.  

Creating Client Portals

When it comes to weddings, event planners need to keep their clients in the loop. Wedding planners specifically asked us to create a portal to share updates with their clients, assign tasks, and download and view the day-of schedule. 

So we created the client portal. It’s a space where planners and clients can collaborate. Pretty neat. 

But would you want ThymeBase’s branding on a client portal? Well, that leads me to the next feature we built.

Branding Your Event Planning Software

Then we added branding as a “pro” feature, requiring a $10 per month upgrade along with client portals. The branding “add-on” was fun to build, and it’s been really fun to see in action too. 

We created a super simple tool to add your company’s logo, business details and adjust the color palette to match your brand.

And this brings us to 2021…

Our Event Planning Software In 2021

Well, we’re not entirely sure what we’ll be working on in the last months of 2021, but we know where we’re starting. Here’s what’s coming up in the next few months. 

You can view our latest roadmap here.

Activity Tracking

Now that you can assign tasks to your teammates in ThymeBase, the obvious need is to monitor what was done, what changed, and who did what. Enter activity tracking, coming, well… this week. It’s a good start to 2021.

Commenting At The Task Level

It’s important to keep discussions contextual. So instead of sending emails (or receiving them), you and your team can add comments under tasks and timeline items. Best of all, you don’t need to sift through your inbox and insane email threads. Just pop over to the task or timeline item and read the discussion about that specific subject. Oh, and the ability to search comments within an event is coming this year too.

Event Contact List

Now, we sort of missed this one early on. It was so simple that it slipped under our radar, but it’s coming really, really, really soon. We’ll be adding a list of all the people involved in the event as a shareable and downloadable tab.

Overall Enhancements

Once these above features are done, we’ll be taking a little time to make small tweaks and improvements. As every event pro knows, it’s the little things that make for a truly fantastic experience.

Calendar Syncing

The last project I’ll share today is calendar syncing. In the next few months, we’ll sync ThymeBase with your calendar so you can track due dates and events visually. 

And That’s Not Even Close To What We Have Planned

We’re also working on some much more extensive projects, but if we learned anything in 2020, it’s that it’s folly to over-plan more than a few months ahead. I’ll keep you in the loop as we get closer to the time. 

Cheers!

Dean