Here's how the folks at Certain Software see thescene: Some planners use comprehensive meeting management software while others cobble together a few software pieces (nametag generators, spreadsheets, and the like) to serve their various meeting planning needs. But most planners would be happier with something in between--software that does a lot without overwhelming them or their budgets.
Enter Certain Software's Event Planner Plus package. "We want to provide greater accessibility to software for this market," says Ted Arbuckle, the company's vice president and chief operating officer. That means even though it manages contacts, sets rooms, creates nametags, and tracks budgets, Event Planner Plus is easy to learn and use and costs $495. (One reason for the low price--it's not a multi-user product.) Coming in future releases of the product are greater customization possibilities and Internet accessibility.
At this point, it's the simple interface that is impressing the package's alpha and beta testers, Arbuckle says. "One of the things we built in is the ability to hide functionality. So if you're not booking travel, you can hide the travel arrangements tab. It makes the interface much less cluttered." Company founder Douglas Goldman, he adds, "developed a good sense of what's easy to use. He spent an awful lot of time on the interface."
Taking the mass-market approach, San Francisco-based Certain Software is selling Event Planner Plus by direct mail only. For information, call (888)-CERTAIN or visit www.certain.com.