Have a friend who is organizing a rather large not-for-profit conference (~1000 people). The big hiccup I am seeing in their process is the speaker intake, and how it relates to promotional material and scheduling generally.
There will be over a hundred speakers, with various length timeslots and themes. In years past, they've had applicants fill in their info (name, topic, summary, etc.) through a web form, printed it off (X5, for each reviewer), then scored on paper. They then take the scores, calibrate them, then take the summaries that accepted applicants submitted, and file them. Then comes a whack of excel entries (mostly copy/paste, but it requires reconciling against the paper) and this becomes, eventually, the schedule (after a graphic designer, and some sweat and tears).
I don't know if what I'm looking for is some (open source? low cost?) event management software, or a superior process to the one described above, or something else entirely. I could go into greater detail as to the process, but the question(s) is/are basically:
Do you know of a good resource/template for managing this sort of process?
Do you know of any software that might assist?
Are there any other shortcuts or improvements you can see here?
My only req here is that it be suitable for several people who are 60+yrs old, not particularly technically savvy, and that there be support or training available (even at a cost). It could come in the form of a team-management angle, a process angle, or a software angle. Looking for as many options as possible at the moment.
Thank you Stack Exchange, for your thoughts!
P.S. Video conferencing would be helpful...perhaps, but it's the only "conference" tag available. Please feel free to add a superior tag if you can think of one.