Several weeks ago, we featured Perfect Table Plan as one of the products in our Event Technology Resources list. And, like all good startups, they have continued to innovate. This week, we sat down with them to learn about some of the recent upgrades they have made to their software and the feedback they are receiving about the product from event planners.
Andy, can you tell us a little bit about PTP – a brief intro to those who haven’t heard of it before.
PerfectTablePlan helps you plan seated events, such as gala dinners, fundraisers, award ceremonies and wedding receptions. Anyone who has tried to do this using post-it notes or a spreadsheet knows what a nightmare this can be. But seat assignments are really important – if you get that wrong then people aren’t going to have a great time, no matter how good the food or the decor. And I probably don’t need to tell you how embarrassing it is if you make a mistake, e.g. forget to assign someone a seat. PerfectTablePlan helps you get the seating right and can save hours per event. It handles: managing your guest list, creating a floor plan, assigning guest to seats, printing charts and place cards, creating reports, checking your guests in and much more. Some customers have even told us it makes the seating planning fun!
We know that you have recently made some upgrades to the system. What feedback were you hearing from planners that inspired the changes?
We get lots of feedback from customers. Sometimes they are suggestions for minor tweaks that could improve the usability. Other times they are suggestions for major new features. Currently we have over 400 ideas for improvements in our ‘todo’ list. Most of the improvements in version 5 were suggested by customers.
What is the most exciting changes that you have made to the platform?
There are lots of new features and different customers get excited about different features. For me the most exciting changes are:
- An electronic seat chart. Seat assignments can be displayed as scrolling text on a plasma screen (like film titles).
- Barcode reader integration. This allows you to check-in guests quickly and see which seats are still empty.
- Export to web-enabled devices, such as iPads.
These 3 improvements together make it practical to assign (or reassign) seats in ‘real-time’ at the venue, for example to handle last minute cancellations. This is something that is very difficult to do with traditional paper seating charts. Our electronic seating chart was used an official government event for the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee in London. This was very exciting for us, but a little nerve wracking as it was still in beta testing at the time! We are told it “Worked a treat”.
What other changes have you made?
There are over 40 new features and improvements. They are listed at http://www.perfecttableplan.co
How can people learn more about using the software?
Take a look at http://www.perfecttableplan.co