16 Event Management and Planning Software That Will Make You a Rockstar

If you’re an event organizer, perhaps you are good at juggling multiple tasks under time pressure. This is because to create a smooth and successful event, you have to make sure everything is in place, which is not a simple process when doing it manually yourself.

With that in mind, an event management software becomes an event planner’s best friend. There are many tools that can save you time and keep things organized. Just keep in mind that it’s not one size fits all, and each tool has its own purpose. Before truly committing, it is recommended that you explore and compare a variety of popular event management softwares to find the best one that meets your needs.

How to Choose the Best Event Management Software

Before you dive into event organizers’ favorite event management software, check this guide for better comparison:

  1. Be clear about what you need: ticketing system? Web or mobile brochure? Or also for attendee engagement?
  2. Understand different strengths of event management software. Are they more like all-in-one solutions or specialized for a particular task?
  3. Check if they are mobile-friendly
  4. Check reviews in app stores or user communities
  5. Ask for a demo and check how easily you can adopt

Organizers’ Favorite Event Management Software

There are wide variety of different event planning software that help on different aspects. Below we categorize popular event management softwares based on the tool's primary functionality.

1. Online Registration / Event Ticketing

1.1 Eventbrite

It is a popular ticketing solution for all kinds of 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 2.5% of the ticket price plus $0.99 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 events or entertainment events. A bit pricey compared to other registration software.

1.2 Whova Registration

Event organizers like Whova registration for two reasons. First, running on its all-in-one event management platform, the registrant information can directly be used for other tasks without needing to manually move up-to-date registrant lists among other different event planning tools. It streamlines ticketing, name badge printing, attendee check-in, event app setting, email promotion and surveys, saving organizing time.

Second, the registration fee is lower than other stand-alone registration services. It charges 1% of the ticket price plus $0.99 per ticket and it is free for free events.

Summary: A cost-effective solution in the market with the lowest fees and seamless integration with its Whova event app. Plus, many event utility tools are offered for free for customers. Request more information here.

1.3 RegOnline

In addition to those basic features including customization, survey forms, and discount codes, it supports special functionalities related to the back-end processes such as invoicing. It also allows attendees to book hotels during registration. The fee starts at $3.95 per registrant, making it an expensive choice for cost-sensitive events.

Summary: Robust, high-end registration option that includes a hotel reservation service. The fee is higher than others.

2. Mobile Event Apps

2.1 Whova Event App

In addition to easy-to-explore mobile brochure, if you are looking for a better way to engage attendees, exhibitors and sponsors through an event app, it’s worth trying Whova. Organizers’ favorites include personalized agenda, live polling, announcement systems, and the unique feature, called Bulletin Board, which allows attendees to post questions, ridesharing requests, lost&found, and other custom topics.

The Whova app is the first event mobile app pioneering attendee networking functionality. It has the highest ratings in both App Store and Google Play, and won the Best Event Networking Technology Award from Event Technology Awards (ETA). Attendees like the app as they can plan ahead of time whom to meet by browsing through comprehensive attendee profiles, one-on-one chat, group chat, meeting scheduler, business card scanning and exchanging, etc. (Watch the video)

Summary: Popular solution for professional events and community events (the highest rating in app stores among all event apps). Recognized as the best solution to increase event engagement and attendee networking. Best-in-class, affordable, and easy to adopt. Request a demo here.

2.2 DoubleDutch

DoubleDutch is one of the well-known event app providers especially for high-end, large events such as enterprise events and tradeshows. With their development team, you can build your own app with complex custom features as well as back-end integration. Its data analytics and CRM integration especially help expo organizers and exhibitors understand their ROI.

However, if you are under tight budget constraints and don’t have to develop special features only for your events, it might be wise to compare the cost and benefits with other event apps.

Summary: Good for high-end trade-shows that need customized feature development and back-end CRM integration. Attendee engagement and networking features are not their strength. Expensive choice.

2.3 Crowdcompass

Crowdcompass has a few unique features compared to other mobile event apps. You can place beacons in key areas of your event and send out notifications only to attendees who are in range. It can be a great feature for large expos or conferences with multi-sessions. Crowdcompass has a strong set of features yet the high price can be a concern for small/mid-size events, similar to DoubleDutch.

Summary: A branded app for high-end events similar to DoubleDutch. Expensive solution.

3. Event Project Management

3.1 Trello

If you’re into the “to-do” “doing” and “done” task management approach, you’ll love Trello as that’s central to their system. Additionally, Trello 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 look at all the tasks for event management. There is no master calendar view for a bird’s eye picture, only a task-by-task view.

Summary: A good tool to track progress of each task. It is a bit hard to see the entire project status.

3.2 Asana

It is not originally designed as an event planning software but it is useful to have a big picture of entire projects and also track detailed event planning tasks. It also has a mobile app. Some users have stated that Asana’s communication tools aren’t as strong as other project management tools. However, after using Asana, we’ve found Asana’s communication tools to be on par with other applications as there is an overarching communication board as well as communication board within each task.

Summary: Easy to track the progress of each task as well as the entire project. The communication board is useful for collaboration.

3.3 ProjectManager.com

ProjectManager.com offers tools including budgeting, time tracking, task management, document management, and reporting. It seems many users like their Gantt chart functionality, which updates automatically. Do you closely work with contractors and your clients? Take a look at its collaboration features such as mobile app task updates, automatic email alerts, and security settings. It can be a good tool for corporate event planning.

Summary: Useful for resource and task management with visual timeline. It provides strong collaboration features.

4. Event Logistics and Content Management

4.1 WordPress Theme

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.

However, you may experience a steep learning curve if you are not familiar with WordPress. Most of all, you have to manually update event contents such as event agenda and speaker information over and over throughout the event planning process.

Summary: A general website builder. There are a few built-in themes for event websites. Content management part is not specifically tailored for events, requiring you to manually update event information repeatedly.

4.2 Whova

Are you considering Whova for an event app (with/without registration)? Then you can use lots of event logistics management software with no extra fee. The self-serve name badge generator enables you to easily customize and print professional-looking badges with a few clicks. You can check in attendees with either its built-in badge scanning feature on the Whova app or a partial name search. Whova announcement system, live polling and mobile survey are useful to engage attendees.

Whova's Agenda Center and Speaker Center automate the time-consuming content management tasks. It automatically creates a sleek event websites based on information uploaded on the Whova dashboard and sync with the event app with any updates. With Speaker Center, you don't need to collect speaker information (bios, headshot, session information, etc) through back-and-forth emailing. Your speakers can upload and update their information to Whova's speaker portal, which will sync with your event websites and the app.

Summary: Many easy-to-use, time-saving utility tools are offered for free for Whova customers. Seamlessly integrated with Whova registration and Whova event app. Watch a video here, or request more information.

4.3 Social Tables

Social Tables simplifies seating charts management, room layout design, and guest check-in. It’s near perfect for the detailed-oriented event planners especially for small/mid-size social events like weddings. You can also collaborate with caterers, venue providers, and fellow organizers through the system. It allows you to search venues as well. It is used in many industries including food and entertainment.

One downside for events like business conferences is that it doesn’t support online registration. If you look for a check-in tool rather than a seating charts management tool, you may first check whether your online registration system has a check-in feature in it.

Summary: Good tool for seating chart creation and guest check-in for social events.

4.4 SurveyMonkey

Probably the most well known name in the realm of survey tools. It provides templates and pre-written questions that would help you get unbiased results. If you are using an event app, check if it offers a survey feature or at least integrates a popular survey tool like SurveyMonkey in it.

Summary: Popular software for online surveys. Check if your event app integrates with it or offers its own survey features to allow your attendees to answer surveys through their mobile phones.

5. Event Promotion

5.1 10Times

10 Times is an event listing website including trade shows and conferences. You can get your event discovered based on the industry and location. It also provides an app so that people can conveniently find popular events, see who are attending, and share events with business associates or clients. If you are organizing professional events, it’s worth adding yours in 10 Times.

Summary: Event listing website where people can search professional events. There are other similar websites: EventEgg for business and academic events, and Eventful for music, education, and community events.

If you are busy, check out Whova. Its complementary feature automatically posts your event in multiple websites on behalf of you. Also, millions of Whova users can search your event on the Whova event app.

5.2 Hootsuite

Hootsuite is one of the most well known content publishing tools for social media. You can promote your event to Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and more from one dashboard. In addition to its bulk post scheduling feature, Hootsuite allows you to reply to tweets directly from the dashboard. It is more robust than other publishing tools including Buffer.

Summary: Popular platform for social media posting and management. Provides a rich set of features.

5.3 Everwall

There are many platforms that help you collect and display tweets about your event in real time. One of the first social media walls, Everwall (formerly Tweetwall) gets posts on displays quickly and also provide 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 the Live Slideshow, which automatically pulls out activities from the event app and displays them on a big screen, including not only Tweets but session reminders, photos taken by attendees, sponsors, live polls, and more. It's free if you use Whova.

Summary: Social media wall that displays live tweets on a big screen. Also check out advanced ones like Live Slideshow.

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. After all, the right tool could very well turn you into a rockstar event organizer.

What’s your favorite event planning software?

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