From trade shows, to renting venues, to planning your own functions, every good caterer should know the ins and outs of event management. Fortunately, there are plenty of resources out there to help you stay organised and informed. Whether it’s cutting edge technologies, news and current events or tried and true methods to keep customers engaged and suppliers on schedule, we’ve put together our 15 favourite blogs for event planning and management.

With a focus on trade show planners and executives, TSE brings news, tools and resources about trade shows to the world in a clean, magazine style interface.

Consisting of a magazine, newsletters and digital blog, there's plenty of great content on display, including the Research Roundup that compiles valuable data and industry metrics into compelling online eBooks. Right now we’ve been reading the 2016 Research Roundup that provides some really compelling data. Did you know that 93% of US based convention centres are accessible by public transport, and 85% participate in sustainability programs? Worldwide, 72% of convention centres track their event specific waste, while 33% have green roofing.

We just love stats like that, and you will too. Trade Show Executive is a top resource for catering managers looking to dig deep into facts and figures, or to just stay up to date with news and trends.

Trade Show Executive

Whether you’re meeting clients, interviewing for staff or putting on a promotional event, Successful Meetings is the place for catering managers to find awesome content on the do’s and don’ts of great meetings and special events.

You'll find plenty of relevant articles for events and planning. From the seriously informative tips of How To Re-Prioritize Effectively to the fun and factual 5 Fun Food Break Ideas for Meetings (we love the Food Truck break idea), Successful Meetings is a real clearing house of quality written content.

There's also video content like the ‘30 seconds to smart’ series, a monthly magazine and newsletters, covering everything from meeting success to how-to's and top ten lists.

You should check out Successful Meetings for practical, down to earth advice with a contemporary slant and plenty of good natured humour.

Successful Meetings

Chief Marketer has a broader focus, touching on the strategies, tactics and techniques of marketers in both consumer facing and businesses to business brands.

It's not specifically about catering and event planning, but much of the content draws from relevant industry current events that provide context and insight into the world of experiential marketing (which includes event planning).

For example, a recent article by Alex Saric, 2017: The Year We Get Mobile Advertising Right, looked at improvements in mobile marketing across categories like quality, disruption and relevancy. For any cater or event planner looking to leverage mobile advertising and marketing it provides a solid platform to strategically concieve mobile as a strategy for your next event.

You'll love Chief Marketer for its forward thinking topics and big picture focus, while their branded content and whitepapers are perfect for delving deeper into marketing.strategy and concepts.

Chief Marketer

Packed full of resources, interviews and events, the College of Event Management is especially great if you're new to catering special events or just want to brush up on some of the fundamentals.

The College offers distance education with Diplomas and Certificates in Event Management, and the blog features a number of student and teacher case studies that really give perspective into what's achievable within the industry.

Future Proofing your Career is a good read for anyone concerned about the direction their job is taking them. Boris Kelly sifts through plenty of data to verify core job categories across industries and dissect where we should be focusing our efforts.

We love CoEM’s blog because it brings the stories of real life individuals to the fore, along with some rigorous data analysis and plenty of sound advice.

College of Event Management

Run by a diverse team of industry and digital professionals, Meeting Pool positions itself as a guide to all things event tech. They are early adopters who create 'safe spaces’ where event promoters, caterers and industry heads can engage and experiment with new technology tools.

The Meeting Pool blog follows that theme, with articles about Events, Tech Trends, Business, Apps and Social Media. A recent write up on Web Conferencing Solutions For Hybrid Events reviews some of the best known conferencing tools, giving tips on how to make the most of them. Catering managers who frequently communicate with clients over Skype or other digital channels will definitely find something useful in this long form article, and it’s great for planning technology-forward special events.

We love Meeting Pool because they seem genuinely passionate about what they do. The team is experienced, enthusiastic and offers great programs like the Meeting Pool TECHbar, ideal for live technology adoption, education and gadgets.

Meeting Pool

With the tag line ‘Information for building the events of the future’, it’s pretty clear what you’re in for at Event Tech Brief. A weekly newsletter, it’s run by four industry professionals with three goals:

At Conferences That Work, you'll find practical advice on his blog, which is updated weekly with at least one long form piece about relevant industry trends, tips and insight and a particular focus on technology and brand management.

For example, in a recent article, Adrian addresses Medium’s recent move to lay off 50 employees by warning event promoters and caterers against publishing all their content on a someone else's property. We think Adrian’s on the money when he says.

“Posting your original content exclusively on someone else’s platform puts you at their mercy. Don’t do it!”

Follow Adrian’s blog if you want strong opinions from an industry veteran. We also recommend checking out some of his books. You can read some free chapters here.

Conferences that Work

With the tag line ‘Information for building the events of the future’, it’s pretty clear what you’re in for at Event Tech Brief. A weekly newsletter, it’s run by four industry professionals with three goals:

  • To assist event producers with purchasing and sourcing technology
  • Create a neutral, no spin zone where technology can be reviewed
  • Deliver content that is relevant to the event community.

You’ll find a plethora of relevant and interesting content every week at ETB, and without the industry hype that comes with a lot of event management blogs. Recent top stories include Why You Want a Mobile LED Screen At Your Next Outdoor Event, in which Michelle Bruno gives some pretty captivating reasons for using Mobile LEDs at special events. It’s a must read if you’re planning an outdoor catering event over the summer.

There’s also more circumspect content, like The Rise of The Social Machines, which looks at the ways machines can be made to react to digital social behaviour like hashtags.

We love Event Tech Brief for it’s focus, community mindedness and commitment to honesty and integrity when reviewing and recommending products. With technology rapidly evolving and playing an ever more critical role in events, it’s definitely worth your time.

Event Tech Brief

This UK based online magazine focuses on brand experiences and ‘the channel of the experiential.’ You’ll find news and updates covering the latest from agencies and brand campaigns, and Event also has it’s own live events, drawing together leading professionals in the industry.

The website features a number of sections. BrandWatch is a weekly update on events, while Event Inspiration, unsurprisingly, features the latest inspiration for caterers, suppliers and event managers.

Recent coverage includes Cadbury’s foray into the London Eye to open its Creme Egg Hunter’s Lodge. The pop-up lodge is set to move throughout the UK, and the video coverage of brand manager Aislinn Campbell looks at how this activation learned, and differs from, last year’s Creme Egg Cafe.

Event Magazine provides plenty of multimedia content. Every month there’s a regular update with video updates, infographics and thought leadership essays called TrendWatch.

If you’re based in the UK (or travel there frequently), you might want to check out The Event Awards, which bring together creative, experiential and supplier sectors to award the best and brightest with an expert panel of judges.

Event Magazine

With a focus on trade show and corporate event marketing and education, Exhibitor Online boasts over 1000 informative articles across a range of categories including:

  • Planning and education
  • Marketing and promotion
  • Career focus
  • Exhibitions (domestic and international)
  • Research
  • Beginner resources

Exhibitor Online is packed with useful tips for marketers and event planners. A recent article about in-booth graphics entitled Sign Language focuses the reader on the power of concise messaging, visibility optimisation, impactful colours and eye catching movement as some of the touch points for effective booth signage.

There's also a jobs board on the front page (though it's mainly focused on North American opportunities), a comparative marketplace called 'Find It’ and the Exhibitor Magazine which boasts 70,000 active readers and aims to provide 'best practice’ information for trade show and event marketing. You can subscribe here with special deals for 24 month subscriptions.

Exhibitor

The Event Marketer blog is a central location for all things on the brand side of event marketing. From mobile to the mall, trade shows, street events, corporate, campaign, B2B and virtual the Event Marketer blog is in touch and on the pulse.

We love their article on building brand awareness and generating leads (5 Reasons Why You Need to Demo) and their investigation into the power of experiential marketing in making meaningful connections with members of the LGBTQ community. The article found that long time supporters of LGBTQ movements, such as American Express, were able to leverage activations like pride parades as influencer events for greater product usage.

Dive a little deeper with the Event Marketer white papers, many of which focus on the potential for technology to disrupt and reinvent the industry. There's also a selection of webinars and some pretty interesting research on Event Technology in the form of a benchmarking study.

Event Marketer

We've been following Smart Meetings for a while now. The blog focuses on meetings, travel and hospitality, bringing a well rounded buffet of content to the hungry reader. They also boast a mobile app, regular e-newsletter, monthly print magazine and educational webinars.

Their content remains our favourite though. A recent article on the Australian Government's plan to completely replace passport checks with facial, iris and fingerprint recognition highlighted how technology can help verify large groups of people, while another recent tidbit by Cynthia Fortis offered up some handy tips for anyone planning an international meeting, including:

“Differing customs such as the standard workweek and standard work hours can impact your meeting. For example, while the typical U.S. workweek is Monday through Friday, Middle Eastern countries often work Sunday through Thursday. ’

Follow Smart Meetings for expert advice on meeting and event planning with a focus on international travel and lifestyle. And don't forget to check out their range of Event Planning Webinars for some quick learning and education.

Smart Meetings

Published by Primedia Business Magazines and Media, MeetingsNet is an industry portal for all things meetings and events. The blog itself focuses on practical information, tips and think pieces on planning meetings and conferences. Some of our recent favourites include:

Do You Need to Reformat Your Conference? - Author Hannah Kinnersely delves into some of the emerging and nontraditional formats of conference speaking, noticing a shift towards limited speaking time. Kinnersely says: “These days speaking at a conference can seem like a cross between speed dating and performing at a poetry slam.”

4 Ways to Move Meetings Forward Now - Niki McKay looks at some of the best ways to keep up the pace and keep it fresh when it comes to planning meetings and events. They include investing in integrated technologies, collaborating with stakeholders and tapping into emerging industries.

How Meetings Should Be More Like a Pirate “Happy Arr” - Sue Pelletier's wit and charm are on full display in this funny and informative article about the mindset of event planning.

We love MeetingsNet because it's practical but whimsical, full of interesting content, funny and always with something new. While more often than not the content is focused on meetings, we still think much of the tips and tricks are applicable to special events and catering.

MeetingsNet

Powered by Penton, an ‘information, business tools and marketing company’, Special Events is a blog and newsletter that covers everything from the perfect place settings to inspired event themes, decor, catering, technology and leadership in the event planning and catering industry.

You can subscribe to their bi-weekly newsletter, Eventline, and receive updates direct to your inbox (which we strongly recommend). If you want an idea of the kind of quality Special Events brings to the table, you need look no further than Six Stunning Vignettes at The Special Event 2017 Design Gallery. This photo gallery showcases some of the best setting ideas from their own event, and comes with plenty of handy tips like 'floral arrangements can bring charm to wooden table settings’ and ‘Metal chairs provide an industrial look when set against white-draped tables.’

We love Special Events because it delivers a regular mix of original content, news and lots of photos. If you're looking at keeping up with the latest trends, or unearthing something new, then Special Events has you covered.

Special Events

Aptly titled, Event Manager Blog draws a broad net around events and catering management while delivering regular content focused on practical skills, tips and information. Started by Julius Solaris, the blog self describes as a “resource for Trends, Technology, Innovation and Education for the event industry.”

You only need a minute to peruse the site and find great tidbits of advice like How to construct an effective debrief template, in which the EventsMB takes you through everything from organising the template areas to stating objectives, listing tactics and reviewing findings.

Events Management Blog also have a number of eBooks focused around providing in-depth and contemporary information to events management professionals. In particular we like The Event App Bible and The Venue of the Future. Both titles and many more are available at the EventMB resources archive.

Follow Events Manager Blog for easy to read, practical tips, a clean interface and regular content.

Event Manager Blog

Boasting a monthly readership of almost a quarter of a million unique readers, BizBash is a resource for events and conference professionals looking to discover the latest styles, technologies and tools for their next event.

While it’s focused predominately in North America and major cities across the continent, many of the articles stretch across geographical boundaries. A recent write up on the Tech-Focused Sundance Program Highlight’s Festival’s VR Evolution showcases both the urgent position VR finds itself in as the preeminent evolution of entertainment, and the exhaustion many feel with its failure to deliver on high expectations.

We like BizBash because it's on the pulse, delivering quality content about timely events and current affairs, but always bringing it back to a core audience of events management.

BizBash

Event management blogs for endless industry knowledge

We’ve put together a fantastic selection of the best catering management blogs currently on the internet. They provide the aspiring or already establishe catering manager with a unique insight into the events industry, providing an endless source of industry-specific knowledge, tips and information. An invaluable resourcefor planning your next foodie event!