Most organizations run a series of events every year – from business-to-business conferences, webinars, and professional meet-ups to fundraising events, local community gatherings and employee clubs. With so many events taking place around the world and very little time to organize them, event managers need the best tools to stay ahead.
Thankfully, WordPress provides nifty built-in features that can be leveraged using custom-built plugins to make event management a breeze.
In this post, we’ll look at the top five plugins for events management on WordPress. Each plugin has its strengths, but on the whole, they are all solid and it really boils down to the type of events you run and what your clients want.
Note: Event Espresso is my personal favorite, but this list is in no particular order. You should take the time to consider the relative features of each and make your own decision!
Events Manager provides features for publishing events, calendars and event locations with ease. It also provides booking features for the events you set up. Events Manager doesn’t come with all the bells and whistles that you’ll find on other top plugins on the list, but it does offer a decent set of useful options for creating flexible event pages.
What’s more, Events Manager is Multisite-enabled out of the box and also supports BuddyPress, unlike many of its competitors.
There’s a free version of the plugin that offers a basic set of features, but the Pro version is what you should consider as it comes with built-in spam protection, customizable booking forms, PayPal and Authorize.net payment integration, automated email reminders, a coupon and discounts manager, and premium support – all on top of the basic features.
The Pro version comes in two flavors: one priced at $75 for a single site license and another one priced at $150 for 5 sites.
Event Espresso is arguably the most complete WordPress events plugin currently available.
The main features include an events calendar, customized registration, ticketing and pricing options, multiple payment gateways for payment collection, tax administration features and more. What sets this plugin apart is its impressive set of powerful add-ons that offer some pretty handy extras including MailChimp integration, advanced ticketing and social integration (among others).
Events are setup as posts and are nicely formatted to provide a professional look. Moreover, you can tweak the layout to match your theme.
There are 3 pricing plans for Event Espresso: Personal License, Business License, and a Developer License at $99.95, $199.95 and $549.95 respectively. The main difference with the three plans is the number of premium add-ons you get.
Overall, Event Espresso is a solid events management plugin, and although the initial setup requires a bit of technological acumen, the detailed documentation makes it easy to follow the steps.
Events Calendar comprises a series of events management plugins that enable you to run and manage multiple events from your website with increased efficiency.
The basic version is completely free and offers a ton of powerful features you can use to setup your events calendar in no time. It is ideal for one-off events. But if you run an events management business and organize recurring events, the Pro version is what gives you the real power to manage recurring events.
Prices start at $65 for the personal license.
Events Planner provides a plethora of features to help you quickly setup an events page on WordPress.
The main features include a form manager, registration manager, payment profile manager, notification manager, discount manager, event lists and templates.
Events Planner is available in three plans: Personal, Advanced, and Developer at $59, $99 and $299 respectively. A notable downside is that there’s no social integration feature, which is quite a letdown since events being social is pretty crucial.
5. Core Calendar
A free and handy calendar plugin for WordPress, Core Calendar from Timely – also makers of Events Calendar – offers an easy way to list events on your website from your dashboard.
It is totally free to use, with no upgrade or pro option. It’s definitely one of the best free events plugins available.
Core Calendar supports multiple recurring events, location and map integration, multiple display views, among other features. It is great for announcing small events on your personal website, for instance.
Timely also offers other premium event plugins if you need more robust features.
The above list comprises some of the best event management plugins for WordPress, but obviously it is not an exhaustive list. There are more plugins worth looking at, so do feel free to explore if you feel that one of the above doesn’t suit your needs.
However, my personal pick from the above would be Event Espresso. It isn’t the cheapest offering, but its price matches its functionality and ease of use.
What’s your favorite? Let us know in the comments section below!