By Lars Lofgren
Executing a successful event from start to finish doesn’t have to be a distant dream once you discover event management software.
What makes event management software so special? With one, you can successfully market your events, process payments, develop agendas, and create engaging schedules to bring just about any event to life, no matter the size.
If you want to create top-of-the-line events with branded sign-up portals, a ticketing system, email marketing, social media integration, and a slew of additional options that make your event planning life ten times easier, read on. We are reviewing the best event management software on the market and how to choose the best one to execute your next successful gathering.
The Top 6 Best Event Management Software
Read on to find the best features, pricing, and additional details of each EMS and learn which one fits you best for effective event planning and execution.
#1 – Eventbrite — Best for Event Ticketing
- No fees for assigning free tickets
- Great for online & digital events
- Creates easily scannable tickets
- Built-in price calculator
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Eventbrite is an event management system that helps you organize ticketed events successfully right from your phone.
As an EMS with a ticketing system, one of their best perks is that they don’t charge fees for assigning any number of free tickets. If registration is free, you can organize and share your event through Eventbrite for free. Their real-time report capabilities let you keep track of important analytics like ticket sales and signups. Once your attendants show up, they can easily verify their tickets with the mobile ticket scanning option.
If you want to take it a step further, Eventbrite can also assist with equipment rentals, staffing, and logistics. If customization and branding are a cornerstone part of your event, Eventbrite allows you to create landing pages and registration forms with your brand’s personal touch. Embedding registration forms on your own site is easy. Or you can use their out-of-the-box event listing page, so you don’t have to create one from scratch.
Perhaps one of Eventbrite’s most useful features is its price calculator. With it, you can calculate your estimated revenue by entering how much you’d like to charge per ticket and choosing between their essential or professional package options. You can then decide whether to pass ticket fees to attendees or absorb the costs and deduct them from your payout. The app calculates your estimated payout, and you can customize your price from there.
Eventbrite streamlines your onboarding and signup process, so you can go on to use their ticket-oriented system with ease. This makes it a great EMS option for all event planners.
#2 – Splash — Best For Hybrid Events
- Streamline your simulcasting
- Seamless integration with Zoom
- Centralized analytics dashboard
- Comes with a free plan
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If you’re looking to organize a hybrid event– that is, a live event that can be broadcast online to additional attendees, Splash streamlines the process and makes it possible.
With Splash, you get all the standard capabilities of a worthy EMS that includes building and saving your event marketing templates, syncing with the tech you’re already using like Slack and Marketo, mobile check-ins, a centralized dashboard with plenty of analytics, and the ability to send automated emails.
However, the basics aren’t the only things Splash takes care of. To host live events that people can also attend virtually, Splash seamlessly pairs with Zoom so you can create branded hybrid events that increase your brand’s reach. Beyond widening your possible audience pool, Splash also allows you to take your virtual event and repurpose it so you can reuse it whenever you need it. This functions much like a webinar.
The amount of access you get to each tool depends on the yearly plan you decide to go with.
Their pricing breaks down into four categories. The Free plan is for personal use and the occasional small business events. Splash’s Basic plan starts at $9,500 yearly and is best for individual use or small teams. The Pro plan is $19,500 annually and allows more design control.
They also offer an Enterprise option, and you can contact them for solutions and tools at scale and custom pricing.
#3 – Whova — Best For Engagement and Ease of Use
- Award-winning event software
- Fast check-in features
- Real-time event analytics
- Post-event reporting
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As the winner of the Event Technology Award for four consecutive years and trusted by companies like Lego, Ikea, Tedx, and Harvard University, Whova enables you to create illustrious trade shows, virtual conferences, or virtual career fairs.
Whova saves time by streamlining the event planning process and cutting unnecessary parts, essential in an event management system. Whova has a QR code for checking in, making it lightning-fast for attendees, and also incorporates networking and sharing photos right in the app. The app is very intuitive and gives users a custom experience with personal agendas, polls, photos, messages, questions and answers from sessions, and more.
Whova is also easy to use as an organizer. You can generate hundreds if not thousands of name badges in a matter of minutes. Real-time event analytics and post-event reports ensure you’re never left in the dark on your event planning’s ROI and efficiency.
Whova lends itself to enterprise-grade events because of built-in tools like live polling, headcounts, and sharing audience opinions on a big screen through their interactive app. Their scope and versatility are impressive.
Whova does not list its prices publicly. Instead, you can fill out a few questions about your event, and they’ll reach out to you with a personalized quote.
#4 – Odoo Events — Best Open-Source Event Management Software
- Highly customizable
- Gantt charts for event production
- Manage speakers & calendars
- Customized pricing
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Odoo is an open-source EMS that allows you the flexibility to truly customize it to your event. As an open-source management software, it’s able to take care of events of any size once it’s been configured.
Odoo functions as a suite of open-source business applications that can take care of e-commerce, email marketing, project management, and a slew of other business needs. Their Odoo event application seamlessly integrates with the vast array of additional applications they offer for a more customized experience.
Odoo can handle events like webinars, classes, festivals, and conferences with editable calendars and even the ability to sell tickets online. With their Gantt chart interface, they make it easy to look at your event plan timeline from concept to completion.
Do you need to manage event sponsors? Odoo’s open-source EMS can handle that, too, with the ability to showcase each sponsor while allowing you to sell additional sponsorships through their e-commerce add-on.
You can try Odoo completely free to begin and then select a customized monthly plan based on what applications you want to include.
For example, you can choose the events app, but it will also require their website application, which starts at $24 per user a month. If you want to add dedicated maintenance, you can do so for an additional $24 a month.
#5 – EventMobi — Best For Personalization
- Custom branding
- Easy integration with Stripe
- Mobile-friendly dashboard
- Personalized itineraries
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EventMobi is an all-in-one event management software equipped to manage any type of event you can dream up. Companies like Facebook. Delta, Visa, and Cisco trust and use them to bring thousands of people together and organize events worldwide.
Online conferences and training sessions, on-demand webinars, virtual or hybrid events, and more are all possible through their all-in-one dashboard where you can manage appointment booking, attendee analytics, event networking, and customized event invites and registration pages. EventMobi was designed to make each part of your event timeline as easy and as streamlined as possible so you can spend time connecting with your audience with a quality branded event experience every time.
EventMobi allows you to easily set up events with custom branding and send people individual personalized itineraries and alerts. You can also send email blasts, programs, attendee information, and more directly through the app, allowing one person to manage an entire event. EventMobi also integrates with Stripe for payments.
One downside to mobile-driven products like EventMobi (and others on this list) is that it relies on connectivity, and sometimes conference centers and other event locations have poor wifi or bad reception.
Once you start configuring EventMobi, they offer plenty of support with their ever-present chat box feature where you can ask questions on anything you’re unsure about.
EventMobi’s all-in-one flexibility goes as far as their pricing. They aim to personalize a price based on your budget and event planning needs. You can request pricing details on their site once you answer and submit a few questions.
#6 – Evite — Best For Simple Event Management
- Simple, intuitive event management
- RSVP tracking
- Real-time polls
- Up to 2,500 guests per event
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For a sturdy event manager that doesn’t run you over budget, which helps you host simple live or in-person events, Evite is your go-to event software.
Sometimes you don’t need all the functions an EMS built for a global enterprise offers. However, you still need RSVP tracking, performance analytics, real-time messaging and polls, event reminders, and an attendance tracker. Evite delivers on this by being a cost-effective platform that allows you to manage everything on their easily accessible dashboard accessible from any device.
Evite allows up to 2,500 guests per event, and you can send post-event thank you notes to all attendees. Evite doesn’t cap the number of virtual events you can host, which is optimal if you host multiple professional events on a budget that still needs stress-free organization.
A high point of Evite is a ton of invitation options and templates, plus you can design your own from scratch. It’s great to be able to create simple but professional invitations quickly.
You can start a free trial for 14 days. Afterward, their software runs at $249.99 yearly.
How to Find The Best Event Management Software For You
Finding the best event management software for you depends on what your event needs to come to life. Most EMS tools have things like ticketing capabilities, event marketing, email automation, event analytics, conferencing tools, agendas, task assignments, automated reminders, and social media integrations. And frankly, that list could be much longer. There is a myriad of tools you may need to use to plan and execute an event successfully.
One of the first things to consider is your budget. Thinking about features you’ll use versus cost keeps you from overspending on software that offers too much for what you need. Once you have a budget in mind, think about what the end goal of your event is. Consider the industry you’re operating in and if your event is designed to be lucrative or if it will come at a cost that your business will absorb.
With the budget and end goal in mind, think about the top non-negotiable event planning tools necessary to carry out your event. For instance, if your event is public and the ROI highly depends on ticket sales and attendance analytics, you’ll want to go with a more robust event management software like Eventbrite.
But if you’re planning a company-oriented event that’ll need conferencing tools, check-in requirements, and appointment setting, software like Whova is better equipped to do the job effectively. You don’t need the bells and whistles of a more comprehensive tool.
Here are a few additional factors to consider when choosing the right EMS.
The last thing you want is for your event platform to leave you hanging when you need them the most. Before committing to any event software, you must check for support features.
Do they offer live phone support if you need it last minute? Is live chat an option if making a phone call in the middle of an event isn’t optimal? Do they answer customer support emails promptly?
Just as with any other technology, sometimes it fails. Being able to contact support and get speedy help is essential, so make sure to check if they have live support options in the evenings and over weekends, too.
Marketing Tools and Integrations
Some event management tools have more integrations than others. While most will be able to send email blasts and reminder alerts and have some social media integrations, some tools make it easier than others. EventMobi, for instance, integrates with Google to access your contacts. Splash integrates with your Google calendar. Eventbrite integrates with Facebook so you can easily share your event and interact with people. Whova integrates with other registration platforms like RegFox and also with Zoom.
When comparing event management options, make sure that the tool you are considering easily integrates with the tools and software you already pay for and use.
Event and Business Size
It’s a waste of time and resources to employ an EMS overqualified to take care of your event needs. Even if something is very highly rated, that does not mean it will be the best fit for your needs.
If you’re a small business, you hold infrequent events, or simply need event software for insider conference meetings, then you won’t need EMS that also comes with a hefty price tag unless you’re planning to scale soon and planning ahead.
However, if you’re planning massive conferences and events, some tools also offer vendor and exhibitor management tools, venue sourcing abilities, and more to handle large-scale events.
Event Management Software Makes Planning Easy
Gone are the days when you need to juggle a million calendars, sell paper tickets, and print name tags to ensure an organized event in any niche. Though event management software can be niche specific, generally reliable EMS is customizable and adaptable to your planning needs.
Event management software makes it easy to brainstorm, plan, and execute one-time or recurring events without the time-consuming hurdles you once had to jump over. As a quick recap, Eventbrite stands as the best EMS for ticket-oriented events, Splash is the perfect EMS for hybrid events, you’ll want to use Whova for enterprise-level event planning, Odoo for developer-level customization, EventMobi for an all-in-one platform with lots of customization, and Evite for simple professional events.