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Best Event Management Software

Published 2018-10-04, updated 2023-07-25

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Summary - Looking for a low-cost or free Event Management software program? Check out our handy guide to find one that works best for you plus bonus material.


What is Event Management Software?

Event management software is a tool designed to help manage and organize world-class events that offer a great experience for attendees and create a smoother and simpler job for organizers.

How do Event Management Tools help?

Event Management Tools help in a variety of different ways:

  • They combine several different tools into one: Once upon a time, event organizers used to rely on a variety of different tools to successfully organize events. Email send-outs would be done through one tool, and registrations through another. Event Management Tools eliminate the need to be so dispersed. Instead, you can combine these into one, allowing you to streamline and economize your efforts.
  • They save time: Event organization used to involve a lot of tedious steps like creating attendee lists and printing out name tags. Now, thanks to Event Management Tools, those jobs can be automated. That helps to save you time and effort that can otherwise be spent on turning out more attendees.
  • Make gathering data on your attendees easy: How much do you know about who is attending your events? Event Management Tools can help to gather data on your attendees for everything from their demographic data to which marketing tactics are most likely to entice them to register.

What does Event Management Software do?

Event Management Software is designed to help you out in every phase of organizing an event, from selling tickets to following up once the event is over.

Tools vary from software that can help with one element of the event organization process – such as ticket-selling – to other programs that can help with every stage of event organization.

Here are the areas where Event Management Software can make a difference:

  • Ticket selling: Event Management software can make selling tickets for your event easy. Many tools provide the ability to set up a site to collect attendees’ information and payment.
  • Marketing: An event that people don’t know about isn’t going to be very successful. Event Management Software makes marketing easy by helping to coordinate efforts on everything from social media posting to setting up automated marketing emails.
  • Event organization: Tired of calling around getting quotes for everything you need for an event? Event Management software can help with that. Some tools can help you source quotes and complete other basic event organization tasks, helping you to save time and money.
  • On-site organization: Some Event Management Software tools simplify the on-site experience by making it easy to check people in. Others allow you to automatically complete other tasks that are a must-do prior to an event, such as printing out name tags.
  • Analytics: Event Management Software can be a rich source of data you can mine for insights on who is attending your events.
  • Finances: Many Event Management Software tools provide what you need to manage finances, set budgets, and collect revenue.
  • Post-event wrap-up: Events aren’t over when the last attendee leaves the building. Many organizers like to gather feedback from attendees through initiatives like post-event surveys. Some tools will also allow you to automatically add attendees to your customer relationship management tool so you can stay in touch with them for future marketing efforts.

Best low-cost and free event management software

  1. Bizzabo
  2. Eventmobi
  3. Eventbrite
  4. Social Tables
  5. Universe
  6. Gather
  7. Aventri

Bizzabo

Bizzabo is the world's first event success platform. It helps organizers create successful events by empowering them to build amazing websites, sell tickets, grow communities, go mobile and maximize event experiences - using a beautiful, user friendly platform.

Pros:

  • Offers various features, including event registration, ticketing, and email marketing.
  • Includes networking tools to help attendees connect at the event.
  • Provides event analytics and insights to understand attendee behavior and preferences.

Cons:

  • Doesn't offer a free plan.
  • Can be more expensive compared to other event management platforms.
  • Some users find the interface not as intuitive as some competitors.

Plans: Planner: Up to 1,500 registrations, Pro: Up to 3,000 registrations, Premium: Up to 6,000 registrations, Elite: Up to 20,000 registrations.

Eventmobi

Eventmobi provides technology that empowers event marketers and planners to create incredible event experiences. Founded in 2010, EventMobi has been the trusted event technology platform of over 10,000 clients in 72 countries. From planning to marketing, management to measurement — at every stage of the event life cycle — Eventmobi is there.

Pros:

  • Provides a comprehensive suite of event management features.
  • Offers a mobile app for event attendees, which includes interactive features like live polling.
  • Customizable event website and app design.

Cons:

  • Doesn't offer a free plan.
  • While it offers many features, it may lack depth in some specific areas, like ticketing.
  • Some users report occasional issues with the app functionality.

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Eventbrite

Eventbrite is the world’s largest ticketing and event technology platform. The Eventbrite platform enabled hundreds of thousands of event creators to bring various live experiences to life for hundreds of million fans – with cost-effective, impactful tools, technology, and services.

Pros:

  • User-friendly interface makes it easy to set up events and sell tickets.
  • Allows for a wide range of event types, from small gatherings to large professional events.
  • Offers a mobile app for event check-ins, which can also scan tickets.
  • Provides tools for promotional activities, including integration with social media platforms.
  • Offers a "Pay only for what you sell" pricing model, making it very accessible for small or free events.

Cons:

  • Service fees can be high, especially for larger, paid events.
  • The customization options for event pages may not be extensive enough for some users.
  • While it has many features, it might lack depth in certain areas like detailed analytics or seating arrangements.
  • Some users report customer service to be less responsive than they'd prefer.
  • The discovery feature may sometimes list competing events, which could potentially draw attendees away from your event.

Pricing: Free for Free Tickets, Essentials: 2% + CA$0.59/ paid ticket*, Professional: 4.5% + CA$0.59/ paid ticket*, Premium: Custom Pricing * Payment processing and taxes will apply to all packages

Social Tables

Social Tables connects the hospitality industry through effortless event planning that creates successful face-to-face events. Our innovative sales, services, and distribution platforms have helped planners and property professionals hold over three million unique events.

Pros:

  • Excellent for planning event layouts and seating arrangements.
  • Offers a 3D walkthrough feature to visualize the event space.
  • Supports collaboration between different stakeholders.

Cons:

  • Doesn't offer a free plan.
  • Mainly focuses on event layout and design, less comprehensive in other event management areas.
  • Has a learning curve for new users, particularly with the 3D design features.

Pricing: Essential: Free for 1 user till 5 active events, Professional: $99/month for 2 users, Advanced: $399/month for 3 users

Universe

Universe is a robust, on-demand social ticketing platform allowing event organizers to promote brands, sell tickets online, and manage all events. The software allows organizers to connect and interact with the fans via helpful online tools and easy event creation functionalities.

Pros:

  • Offers a wide range of features, including ticketing, marketing, and analytics.
  • Provides built-in social media promotion tools.
  • User-friendly interface, easy for beginners to start with.

Cons:

  • Some users report issues with customer service responsiveness.
  • Fees for ticket sales may be higher than some competitors.
  • Less customization is available compared to some other tools.

Pricing: Free for Free Events, Paid Events: 2% + $0.99 per ticket (Standard Universe Fee), Enterprise Events: No Details

Gather

Gather is re-imagining the way events are planned, managed, and executed, empowering thousands of restaurants and venues across the U.S. to grow their events business successfully. Gather’s cloud-based platform helps teams streamline their event sales and management workflow, from initial inquiry through day-of execution, simplifying event planning for venues and their customers.

Pros:

  • The comprehensive tool is particularly useful for restaurant and venue management.
  • Easy to manage multiple events and venues.
  • Users reported good customer support.

Cons:

  • Doesn't offer a free plan.
  • More focused on venue management, might lack some features for large-scale event planning.
  • The interface may seem outdated compared to some competitors.
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Aventri

Aventri is the global leader in cloud-based analytics and data-driven end-to-end event management and venue sourcing solutions. The award-winning, open-source Aventri platform delivers innovative technology solutions to streamline the event process, providing real-time data and analytics on event performance, customer engagement, and increasing measurable event ROI.

Pros:

  • Offers a wide range of features like registration, email marketing, survey tools, etc.
  • Provides networking tools and a mobile app for attendees.
  • Good for managing large-scale, professional events.

Cons:

  • Doesn't offer a free plan.
  • Some users report the software can be slow at times.
  • Has a learning curve for new users due to the extensive range of features.

Key questions to ask when evaluating event management software features

Purchasing an event management solution can be a daunting task due to all the different choices out there.

You’ll want to customize your questions depending on your needs.

But, in the interim, here are a few questions to get you going.

Does it have good reviews?

Event Management Tools are in wide use these days.

That means there are a ton of reviews online for you to read up on.

Be sure to take advantage when you’re considering which Event Management Software to buy.

Will I need to scale the program?

Some Event Management Software tools offer more flexibility in how many attendees you can register.

If you’re planning to grow your event attendance – or offer different-sized events – it makes sense to use an Event Management tool that’s scalable.

You’ll want to be sure you have a tool that can grow as you do.

How do we pay for the solution?

Different Event Management Tools offer different methods for paying for the service.

Some are offered on a subscription basis. Others take a portion of ticket sales.

Still others are free to use for events with no cover charge.

You’ll want to decide on the payment model that works best for your organization.

Does the program offer an event app?

One of the big advantages of Event Management Software is in how it streamlines the on-site event experience.

Having access to a mobile app makes this process easier.

Many tools allow you to check in attendees, assign tasks within your team, or even by turning your phone into a walkie-talkie for quick communication.

Check to see if the Event Management Software you’re considering offers an app.

How comprehensive of a data analytics solution do I need?

For many, the need for Event Management Software is pretty straightforward: Help to register attendees and collect payment.

But bigger organizations frequently need a more comprehensive solution.

They don’t just want to run events but learn from them to ensure they’re offering the best experience possible.

If you fit this category, you’ll want to consider a solution that offers data and analytics for you to analyze and learn from.

What integrations does the program offer?

Many Event Management Software tools integrate with other software you use, seamlessly connecting to other parts of your organization.

For example, your event software may connect to your customer relationship tool. This allows you to automatically feed event attendees into the rest of your marketing funnel to publicize other events or sell products.

The more your Event Management Software can integrate with your other software tools, the simpler your life will be.

How to build world-class Event Management reports and dashboards

Let's use Eventbrite as an example.

Use pre-built Eventbrite data requests to create dashboards

Within the Connector Gallery, you can select the pre-built data requests we’ve created for Eventbrite to pull in data like:

  • Attendees Report
  • Event Lists
  • Traffic Report
  • Categories
  • Sales Report
  • User Details

Read more from our Best Software Reviews series:

Topics:Tools

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