As an event planner, you may have noticed the steadily increasing online event registration fees. Moreover, many people are anticipating the next economic crisis is coming soon. It may trigger you to think about looking for a new registration system that’s affordable yet still flexible and easy to use.

So we are here to help you search for the best option for your event registration. Start by going through our checklist so you can understand what to look for. Then, check out the pricing comparisons of the top seven online event registration software options out there, so you can browse them side by side to find the best one for you. Save time (and money!) and find the perfect new event registration choice for your next event.

How to Choose Event Registration Software

  • Key Features  –  Make sure it supports custom tickets, registrants management, ticketing web page, analysis, etc.
  • Reputation  –  It’s important to find software that’s trustworthy and reliable. Look for one with lots of good reviews (and make sure they’re real!).
  • Attendee Engagement  –  You should be able to easily communicate with attendees and keep them engaged from the moment they buy their ticket to the end of the event.
  • Extra tools  –  Some systems are all-in-one event management software and offer many other event planning tools you may need for a better price. Check if you can have the ability to create an event app, name badges, easy attendee check-in and more.
  • Pricing  –  Find an event registration tool that fits your budget. But always do your research to figure out what features you’re getting for each price point.

Event Registration Software Pricing Comparison

Here’s a look at the top 7 event registration tools out there. We’ve broken down their registration fee per ticket, and what that amounts to on a $500 ticket. Plus, we’ve noted any additional features, and the main use for each software. After the in-depth look at each software option, check out the table summarizing the pricing comparison, which event types work best, and their additional offers. There, you can estimate your event’s registration cost.

1. Eventbrite

A registration fee for $500 ticket: $19.09

Eventbrite is an event registration system that’s used by a variety of industries, including entertainment, social events, classes, charity, and business. It’s very simple and easy to use. While Eventbrite is well known, some organizers think the fee is a bit high.

Pros: Eventbrite is a software that is commonly-used across industries. It’s a good choice for a small social event or party as well.

Cons: This software may be good for registration but lacks attendee engagement functionalities. The fee has also been steadily increasing.

2. Whova

Whova for event registration and attendee engagement

A registration fee for $500 ticket: $5

Whova event registration software has almost the lowest price in the market but this doesn’t mean it has drawbacks in terms of quality. In 2018, Whova received the People’s Choice Awards from the ‘Oscars’ of the event industry (i.e., Event Technology Awards).

Whova conference registration software is so cost-effective because it is bundled with the Whova event app. The app won prizes for the Best Technology for Audience Participation and the Best Event Networking Technology. Whova also offers customers many time-saving event management tools for free, including name badges, event check-in app, a website builder, and more.

Pros: Whova has the lowest per-ticket price in the industry, capped at $5, so it is a great option if your ticket price is high. It also offers a suite of features that significantly boost attendee participation and interactions through the event app. Two birds, one stone (read more: save money on event registration tool & double audience participation).
ConsYou may opt out other event management tools but not the event app. If you expect fewer than 50 attendees, or if it is a wedding or party, Whova may not be a good fit.

Loved using Whova as an organizer! The registration module was incredibly easy to use and had every feature that I wanted. The name badge generator was really helpful, too. I loved that the program could be integrated/exported, for display on our website as well as in the app.

— Jamie Payton, Associate Professor, Temple University

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3. Cvent

A registration fee for $500 ticket: $27.95

Cvent is a cloud-based event registration solution that helps large-sized organizations and enterprises with venue sourcing, online event registration, and budget management. It’s a good option for high-end events where the cost is less of a concern. Users typically like Cvent’s comprehensive functionality, but the complexity is a common complaint.

Pros: Cvent offers custom reporting to analyze your registrations. It’s also easy to integrate with your CRM and other event calendars.

Cons: This option is pricey, as Cvent charges a high set-up fee and annual fee required pre-paid. It can be overly-complicated for some events.

4. Brown Paper Tickets

A registration fee for $500 ticket: $18.49

brown paper ticket for charity, concert, festival, etcBrown Paper Tickets is a good choice for charity and fundraising events as it helps you collect donations with no service fee; if you need an online fundraising tool including an event ticketing feature, you can check Classy too. Brown Paper Tickets offers free ticket shipping, should your event require that service. You can list your concert, classes, festival, parties, etc, in their event directory.

Pros: They work well with charity events, performances, and various non-profit / school events.

Cons: This software may not be a great choice for mid- or large-scale conferences, and some customers have complained that the reporting is not very robust.

5. Wild Apricot

A registration fee: It depends on the number of members and subscription types

This online event registration software is geared toward clubs, associations, and nonprofits, as it’s primarily a membership management tool. It includes easily customizable web templates and the ability to promote events to members. Because it is built for longer-term usage in managing a club’s members year round, it operates on a different pricing scale of $290/month for 5,000 contacts.

Pros:  It may be affordable for a small community’s regular gatherings. It has various pricing options for different types and sizes of organizations.

Cons: If you only have an annual event and do not need to manage membership, it may not be a good fit for you.

6. Ticketleap

A registration fee for $500 ticket: $10

Ticketleap for classes, performances, city tours, etcThis ticketing and online event registration system is used for community events and classes, such as yoga, tours, food festivals, and concerts. It’s a streamlined registration offering that provides day-of assistance, as well as marketing your event. 

Pros: This event registration software is simple to use and works well with relatively small events and performances.

Cons: It doesn’t offer the complex organizational tools of conference registration software, so it might not be a good fit for large, multi-day multi-track conferences.

7. Xing Events

A registration fee for $500 ticket: EUR 20.49

This conference registration software is based in Munich and is more focused on German-speaking territories. For those areas, it also provides access to their network of business professionals for event promotion.

Pros: This event registration tool may be a good option especially for European events. It is a robust software for large enterprise-level conferences and trade fairs.

Cons: It offers an app for event check-in but similar to other traditional brands, its strength may not be in offering modern mobile technology for audience engagement and attendee networking.


Registration Cost and Benefits At a Glance:

Usually, a registration fee depends on the ticket price. For example, Whova charges 1% of a ticket price plus $0.99. However, the maximum fee is $5 no matter how expensive your ticket is (many vendors don’t offer a price-cap benefit). And, if your ticket is $0, there will be no registration fee.

Event Registration Software Best Fit for Event Type Registration Fee per Ticket Example with $500 ticket Additional Offers
Eventbrite From small social events to large festivals 3.5% + $1.59 $19.09/ticket Event listing
Whova Business & academic conferences, expos, associations & community events 1% + $0.99, capped at $5 $5/ticket
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Award-winning Whova app, check-in, name badge, website builder, etc
Cvent Enterprise events 3.99% + $8 (2-5 year contracts required, annual fee up-front) $27.95/ticket + around $1,500 set up fee & $1,500 annual fee (*) Venue sourcing
Brown Paper Tickets Live performance with assigned seats 3.5% + $0.99 $18.49/ticket Option to collect donations
Wild Apricot Nonprofits & community gatherings $290 monthly subscription for 5,000 members Depending on the number of members and subscription type(*) Membership management software
Ticketleap Performance, city tours, and festivals 2% + $1, capped at $10 $10/ticket “Selfie Ticket” feature
Xing Events Trade fairs, conventions, and seminars in German-speaking areas 3.9% + EUR 0.99 EUR 20.49 Access to prospective attendees in German-speaking areas
  • (*): For most accurate pricing, please contact the vendors.  
  • Here we did not include a credit card processing fee, which may be charged by a 3rd-party credit card processor (e.g., Stripe) or a registration software company itself.

Free Live Demo of Event Registration Software

We hope our comparison helped you narrow down your choices and find the right fit for your event. First, prioritize your needs, which may include cost, specific features you need, and extra tools that can save you time in managing event management tasks such as attendee check-in, name badge generation, and boosting attendees’ participation.

If you are organizing conferences, expos or community/networking events, and looking for an affordable yet trustful online event registration software, click here to see Whova’ free live demo and see why so many distinguished events and conferences such as the FCRC 2019 have loved Whova.


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