In October this year we attended and exhibited at the world’s biggest Java conference (JavaOne) which is based in San Francisco. When exhibiting at a conference like JavaOne there are things which need to be organized months in advance, it is really important that you also want to cover all bases so you don’t forget anything. We found that Trello was the perfect tool to help us plan this event.
What is Trello?
Trello is a free application which allows you to visually plan and organize anything you wish to organize. I also really like that Trello is also able to easily integrate with all of your favorite tools such as Google Calander, Slack, Fogbugz so on and so forth.
How does it work?
When you visit Trello’s website you are able to create an free online account. Once you have done that and logged in there is no messing about you are able to jump straight into what you need to organize. You are able to create individual boards (if you have multiple things you wish to organize).
Once the board has been created you are able to add people who you wish to share the board with, for example when we was planning JavaOne we didn’t need all of the development team involved. I added all of the team who needed to be involved in the planning of JavaOne.
Now that you have created your board and added members to the board, the next step is to create different lists for the board. Once the lists have been created you need to fill them with all of the things that you need to remember to organize. You do this by adding different cards. A trello card is a item which you want to remember to discuss and organize. On each card you are able to do things such as add images, documents and labels. Trello also allows you to assign a card to a specific member of the team so they have specific tasks to do. When you are assigning cards to specific team members Trello allows you to subscribe to specific cards so you know when something has been amended or updated.
We chose to have the following lists:
Complete: Because Trello allows you to add items to each card, when things had been completed we would add the invioces, flight details etc to the card and instead of removing the card it would stay on the board with all of its information so that we could refer back to it if need be.
To Discuss: Each week we would add things to the board which we would need to discuss. These could have been tasks which had been completed from the following week or new ideas that we would think of.
Actions :During the weekly discussions we would move things into the Actions list so that we would know what would be completed for the following week.
To Do: Each week we would take things off of the to do list and put them into the actions queue. This would mean that these were the things which would need to be completed for the following week.
Onsite: This was a list of things that we would need to make sure were done while we was on site. For example while we java one there were some parties which were attending so the information of where the party was and invites were kept on the card.
Blog posts: While we was at Java one we wanted to have some ideas of the type of things which we could blog about. It was good to have this list put on the board as we could put it up for discussion we had a clear understanding of the blogs that were to be written.
Visits: Visits were another key list on the trello board. This was because we were able to write down who we were going to be visiting on our trip. We was able to put specific information such as the location and time of the visit. Because Trello is available on our mobile devices it meant that we could also check that and keep on track of where we were supposed to be. After the meetings we also added the notes to a document and and attached the document to each of the cards so that we could review all of the information after the conference had finished.
Deadlines: When planning to exhibit at any even there are deadlines which you need to meet, this was things like making sure that the electric and the stand were ordered on time.
Marketing: This was a list of things which we needed to discuss such as letting people know who attended the stand in the previous year that we was returning.
This was my first time planning to attend an event like this, so at first it seemed a little bit daunting because there was so much to remember and organize. Trello really helped the process of making sure things were done properly and efficiently. Because of all of the awesome features and functionality Trello has it made planning an event like this seamless and simple. Everything was kept on top of and nothing slipped through our fingers (we had a awesome time!)
It seems that Trello is the new and modern filofax apart from not loosing pages and having to scribble things out plus you don’t have to worry about forgetting it and leaving it at home because you can just log on online and all of your content is there. I use Trello on a daily basis while i’m at work and in my personal time. Its brilliant for having a small lists like shopping lists and birthdays to really important things like bills and things i have to remember on a daily basis. It makes my life so much more simpler and I would defiantly recommend trying it out.
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