8 Best Event Management Software and Planning Tools That Will Make You a Rockstar

Event management software is an event planner's best friend. Like a super hero needs their reliable sidekick, you need event management software that can save you time, keep you organized, and take care of every detail of your event — so you can catch up on your sleep!

Imagine engaging your attendees at your business conferences or corporate events at a whole new level. Leveraging event planning software, you can even attract more attendees to your conferences and trade shows. Think how helpful would it be to increase event ROI?

There is a ton of event planning software on the market. Before committing to a technology, why not compare the most popular event planning tools? With this guide, you can be sure to choose the best tool for your unique event.

How to Choose the Best Event Management Software

Start by prioritizing your needs. Would you like to save time handling tedious event management tasks such as creating and updating conference schedules over and over? Would you like to increase attendee participation and help your exhibitors create more businesses? Or how about saving money with a better event registration / ticketing system?

Then, it's time to see which event management software can meet your needs. While you read through the "Organizers' Favorite Event Management Software" listed below, ask yourself these questions:

  1. What do you need for your event? A ticketing system, a web or mobile brochure, event website, attendee engagement solutions, attendee check-in tool, lead retrieval tools for exhibitors…Write down all you can think of.
  2. What are the different strengths of the event planning software? Can one software cover all of your needs?
  3. Is the event planning software mobile-friendly? Do they offer an app for your attendees too?
  4. What are their reviews like in app stores and user communities?
  5. How easily can you adopt them? Check if you can schedule a live demo or even test it out in advance.

Organizers' Favorite Event Management Software

1. Eventbrite

This is a popular ticketing solution for events ranging from small meetups to large concerts. The system is customizable and allows people to register from their phones. You can use it to send email confirmations and reminders.

They charge an extra 3.5% of the ticket price plus $1.59 per ticket and you can pass this fee onto the ticket buyers. While Eventbrite is well known, some organizers think the fee is a bit high.

Summary: Popular for smaller or entertainment events. A bit pricey compared to other registration tools and all-in-one event planning software. For example, Whova only charges 1% + $0.99 per paid ticket, which can save you several thousands of dollars.

2. Whova (All-in-One Event Management Software)

Whova event management software

There are so many event planning solutions, but most are specialized for one function. It is time-consuming and pricey to juggle multiple pieces of software. Whova all-in-one event management software enables you to seamlessly manage your event from beginning to end within one system. It provides flexibility to opt in/out of certain functionalities according to your needs (e.g. logistic management tools, conference management software, attendee and exhibitor engagement solutions).

Specifically, it can help with event registration, event marketing, attendee engagement through the conference app, event website creation and agenda management, attendee check-in, name badge generation, and more. The Whova event app and Whova registration are popular in the US/Canada, Europe, Australia, Asia, and beyond.

Summary: An affordable, mobile-friendly, all-in-one event management platform. Whova has won multiple awards including the People's Choice Award and the Best Event App Award at the Event Technology Awards ('Oscars' of event technology). The Whova app has the highest ratings in app stores among all event apps. Whova offers customers many time-saving event management tools for free. Request more information here.

The Whova event planning software was a great organizational and communication tool for our meeting participants. The app allowed us to engage each other throughout the event, kept our event paperless and provided us with great memories through the photo sharing. We look forward to using Whova for future conference management.
— Jay Harf, Vice President, L'Oreal

3. Trello

Trello Event Project Management

This is a project management software. If you're into the 'to-do', 'doing' and 'done' task management approach, you'll love Trello. It has a strong visual interface, simple usability, and collaboration features.

While communication within Trello is strong, it's not very powerful when it comes to allowing users the ability to take a step back and get a big picture of the entire event management process. There is no master calendar view for a bird's eye picture, only a task-by-task view.

Summary: A good tool to track the progress of each task. While it can be used as an event planning software, it's hard to see the entire project status for event or conference management.

4. OpenConf

OpenConf is a conference management software used by many academic conferences. It allows organizers to call for paper submissions, build peer-review process, and approve and publish content. Users can search session information with built-in search functionality. OpenConf provides a website builder and online registration as well.

Summary:Specialized for academic conferences. Users can streamline processes such as call for papers, paper reviews, and publishing the results.

5. Boomset

Boomset provides check-in, on-demand badge printing and guest list management system. It allows facial recognition check-in and tracking attendees with RFID-enabled wristbands. Using badges and wristbands, attendees can even purchase merchandise, meals, drinks during events.

If you'd like to add a fast check-in tool to your current event planning solution, it is a good option to consider. If you are hesitating to adopt a special device only for a check-in, first check whether your online registration system or event management tool provides a check-in feature with QR scanning.

Summary: It can be an event planning platform suitable for a big festival or a crowded event that needs a fast check-in. However, if you don't want to adopt a special device, consider mobile app solutions like Whova, which supports day-to-day check-in, session check-in, session capacity and attendance management on smartphones.

6. Everwall

There are many platforms that help you collect and display tweets about your event on a big screen in real time. One of the first social media walls, Everwall (formerly Tweetwall) gets posts on displays quickly and also provides extensive moderation, customization, and advertising options.

If you already use Hootsuite to manage social media, it would make more sense to use HootFeed. If you use the Whova event app, check out Whova's Social Wall. This tool automatically pulls out activities from the event app, tweets, session reminders, and photos taken by attendees to sponsors, live polls, and more. These activities are then displayed on a big screen — and all for free if you use Whova event management software.

Summary: Social media wall that displays live tweets on a big screen. Be sure to check out other advanced tools that can automatically pull a live feed from your event management app.

7. WordPress Theme

Wordpress Event Website

WordPress is a popular content management system used by over 80 million websites and fully customizable thanks to many themes and plugins. You can find WordPress themes for conference and event management and build your own event websites.

You may experience a steep learning curve if you are not familiar with WordPress. What's more, you have to manually update event content such as conference agenda and speaker information over and over again, which is tedious and error-prone.

Summary: A general website builder. It's not an event planning software but there are a few built-in themes for event websites. Its content management is not tailored to conferences, requiring you to manually update event information repeatedly. As an alternative, there is an all-in-one event management system that provides an event website builder with many templates. What's more, you can let your web content (e.g., agenda, speaker lists) auto-update based on the information in the conference management software.

8. Slido

It is well-known for a QA and live polling system. It enables users to crowdsource top questions in order to drive meaningful conversations. A live poll increases attendee engagement and participation, so many event apps and conference management tools also provide live poll features.

If you are hesitating to adopt another app only for QA/live polls, first check whether your event app offers all the aspects that your event requires. For example, you can see how it displays the results on a big screen, whether it provides numerous live poll question templates for easy setup, whether it supports question ranking, auto-reminders, embedding into speakers' slides, etc.

Summary: It is a specialized mobile app and event planning software to collect attendees’ questions or get feedback through live polling. So if you'd like to have one versatile app providing other features as well (personalized agenda, announcement, networking, gamification, document/photo sharing), check out other tools like Whova.

How It Works - Whova Event Planning Software

You may be wondering how event planning software like Whova works. Below is a short video to show you how Whova helps busy event organizers save time and money, as well as enhance the overall attendee experience.


Free Live Demo - Whova Event Management Software

Now that we've given you a comprehensive list of the most popular event management software, you can confidently decide which options to further explore. Keep in mind that it's not about which software we say is best, it's about what works best for your event. The right tool could very well turn you into a rockstar event organizer.

Click here to request a free live demo from Whova.


Popular Articles