Event management software is an event planner's best friend. Like a super hero needs their reliable sidekick, you need event management tools 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. By leveraging the right event planning software, you can even attract more attendees to your conferences and trade shows. How helpful would that be in increasing 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? At this point you may still be unsure whether your next event will be virtual or in-person, so we've found tools that can help with all options. With this guide, you can be sure to choose the best tool for your unique event.
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 tools can meet your needs. While you read through the "Organizers' Favorite Event Management Software" listed below, ask yourself these questions:
This is a popular ticketing solution for events ranging from small meetups to large concerts. The system is customizable and can also be used to send email confirmations and reminders. It also allows people to register from both their phones and computers.
They charge an extra 3.5% of the ticket price plus $1.59 per ticket. While Eventbrite is a well-known event management software, some organizers think the fee is a bit high.
Summary: Popular for smaller or entertainment events, however 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.
While there are so many event planning solutions, most are specialized for one function, makeing it time-consuming and pricey to juggle multiple pieces of software. Whova all-in-one event management software enables you to seamlessly manage your virtual, in-person or hybrid event from beginning to end within one system. It provides flexibility to opt in or out of certain functionalities according to your needs such as logistic management tools, conference management software, attendee and exhibitor engagement solutions.
Specifically, you can use Whova's event planning software for event registration, event marketing, event website creation and agenda management, attendee check-in, name badge generation, attendee engagement, networking, and more. The platform also functions as both a virtual event platform and a conference app, depending on what you need it for. The Whova event app, Whova virtual conference platform 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 (the 'Oscars' of event technology). The Whova app has the highest ratings in app stores among all event apps, and offers customers many time-saving event management tools for free. Request more information or get a breakdown of which features work best for in-person, virtual, and hybrid events here.
If you're into the 'to-do', 'doing' and 'done' task management approach, you'll love Trello a project management software with a strong visual interface, simple usability, and easy-to-use 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. It's not specifically designed as event management software, and 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.
ConfTool focuses specifically on academic conferences, and is most useful for managing the submission and review process of academic abstracts and papers. It features advanced import and export options, facilitates communication between authors and participants, and uses customizable submission and review forms for contributions.
Organizers can choose between two different plans depending on their requirements: one for smaller events of up to 150 participants with basic features, and one for larger events with a wider range of features. In addition to managing abstracts, organizers also use the Pro package's conference management software for scheduling, registration, administration, and invoicing, among other features.
Summary:If you're holding a research heavy academic conference and want a reliable tool for abstract management, ConfTool is worth looking into. However, it isn't currently accessible on mobile, and is designed to support only limited aspects of the event, rather than function as a comprehensive event management software.
Boomset is an event management tool that 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 software, Boomset is a good option to consider. If you are hesitating to adopt a special device only for a check-in, first check whether your event management app provides a check-in feature with QR scanning.
Summary: While suitable for a big festival or a crowded event that needs a fast check-in, you might not want to adopt a special device just for check-in. If so, consider event management apps like Whova, which supports day-to-day check-in, session check-in, session capacity, and attendance management on smartphones.
This popular resource for team communication has also been used for session interaction within events. Slack allows you to create different channels for various topics within one workspace; so you can have private channels for your team to communicate while managing the event, or public ones for attendees to use as discussion topics throughout the event.
In addition to group conversation, users can also message each other one-on-one, make video and voice calls, and share files through the app.
Summary: A great way to get in touch in the moment, though any back-end planning will be hard to stay organized. While the easy communication is a great benefit, it can be annoying for attendees to switch between platforms. You may want to consider a platform like Whova that can integrate communication features with the rest of the event.
WordPress is a popular content management system used by over 80 million websites. Thanks to many themes and plugins, it is fully customizable. 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. 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: Wordpress is a general website builder, 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.
This platform is well-known for its Q&A 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 hesitant 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, some event management platforms will display results on a big screen, provide numerous live poll question templates for easy setup, or supports question ranking, auto-reminders, embedding into speakers' slides, etc.
Summary: Slido 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.
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.
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; as events move into virtual and hybrid spaces and back to in-person, no two events necessarily look the same. It's about finding the solutions that work best for your event, and can help turn you into a rockstar event organizer.