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

Event management software is an event planner’s best friend.

Even though you’re skilled at juggling tasks and staying on top of deadlines, there’s not always enough time in the day to take care of every detail of your event. What’s more, if you’re organizing corporate events and business or academic conferences, you need to find ways to ensure attendee satisfaction and event ROI.

There are a ton of conference management tools on the market that can save you time and keep you organized. Before committing to a technology, why not compare the most popular conference management software? 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. This may include saving time handling tedious event management tasks, creating conference schedules and managing speaker information with ease, increasing attendee participation, or finding affordable event registration.

Then, it’s time to see which event management software can be your best sidekick. As you read through the following list of organizer favorites, ask yourself these questions:

  1. What do you need for your event? A ticketing system, a web or mobile brochure, a tool to help with attendee engagement, conference management, or lead retrieval for an expo?
  2. What are the different strengths of the event management software? Are they all-in-one solutions or specialized for a particular task?
  3. Are the event planning software mobile-friendly?
  4. What are their reviews like in the app stores and user communities?
  5. Do they offer a live demo and how easily can you adopt them?

Organizers’ Favorite Event Management Software

1. Eventbrite

This 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 $1.99 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 tools or all-in-one event planning software.

2. Whova All-in-One Event Management Software

Event management software - Whova

There are so many event planning software 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).

It can help with event registration, event promotion, attendee engagement through the conference app, event website creation and agenda management, attendee check-in, name badge generation, and more.

Summary: An affordable, mobile-friendly, all-in-one event management platform. Whova has won multiple awards including the People’s Choice Award at the Event Technology Awards (‘Oscars’ of event technology). The Whova event app and Whova registration are popular in the US/Canada, Europe, Australia, Asia, and beyond. The Whova app is the 1st event app with pioneering attendee networking and engagement functionality. It 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. 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.

4. Trello

Event management software - Trello

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.

5. Social Tables

Event management software - Social Tables

Social Tables simplifies seating chart management, room layout design, guest check-in, and event attendance tracking. 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. If you’re looking for a check-in tool rather than a seating chart management tool for business conferences, first check whether your online registration system or conference management software already includes a check-in feature.

Summary: Event planning software for seating chart creation and guest check-in for social events like weddings.

6. DoubleDutch

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

However, if you are under tight budget constraints and don’t have to develop special features 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 its strength. Expensive choice.

7. 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 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 Whova’s Social Wall. This automatically pulls out activities from the event app, from 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.

8. WordPress Theme

Event management software - Wordpress

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. Check complementary solutions like Whova’s Agenda Center and Speaker Center. With recent event tech, you can create an event website in tens of minutes and let it auto-update.

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, and 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.

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