Hosting and running events has gotten easier due to the advent of event management software. If you haven't looked into this yet, then you know running events is possibly one of the biggest headaches for any business today. Want to run an event on your own? You'll need to drum up some marketing materials both physically and digitally. You'll need infrastructure to ticket and sign in attendees. You'll probably want to use an email campaign to promote and remind guests. And you'll need a link to send them to with all the things they need to sign up online.
Not any more. A range of tools has been released in due course to the headaches experienced by those who are fed up with the pain of running an event without proper tools in place. Whether it be hosting one-off events or multiple events, you'll now be able to shop to your heart's content for a provider that works for your event needs.
We've got a list of the 8 best event management software tools out there (in no particular order) to make your shopping just a little bit easier.
Sure you could use pre-existing tools to do such a thing, like leveraging Mailchimp or making your own landing pages, but with most SaaS models these days, it's just going to add more load to your package, and you'll be up a certain kind of creek without a paddle should you hit your package limits for even just one of your tools. You'll still need a ticketing partner nonetheless.
Event Management software specialize in that they create tools that are specifically designed to work together synchronously. With some tools even giving you a domain to call home for your event so you don't have to go out and buy your own or carve out real-estate on your website for the event.
Of course, we'd put Glue Up in this list, we've striven to take our headaches in event management and transformed it into the fuel that motivates us to create one of the only full-stack event management software suites out there. That means top-to-bottom event management for your business that takes all the guesswork out of the equation because we've been there.
Enjoy a full CRM that captures everyone who connects with you and signs up to attend, or even upload lists of people you'd like to invite. Event Bank also sports a full email creation tool that allows you to design and send email campaigns with a wide range of options. And like any good event organizer, you probably want the event to have its own webpage or even website.
Instead of going to set it up yourself, Glue Up's Event Management Software will allow you to generate a professional event page for your event using your content with minimal effort for a sleek appearance, all piggybacking on our network so you get the best domain authority on Google search results from the get-go. You will also be able to manage your finances and ticketing of the event from the platform as well, using a multitude of payment and pricing options that are completely up to you.
Pros: Completely integrated tools built to work together in a secure platform that handles the whole event life cycle. Actionable membership insights.
Cons: Not exactly plug-and-play. The platform's value comes from its integration into an organization, so there's a fair bit of on-boarding process involved.
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Eventbrite is the most well-known event-management tool on the market. A fast and simplified event hosting platform, it allows events of any size host itself there, and ticket through its own ticketing partners. Eventbrite is incredibly versatile in that there are virtually no barriers to making your own event and publishing it on their platform. If brand visibility isn't a problem for you, then you can easily set up your own events page with a straightforward ticketing function with ease, albeit with their logo stuck all over.
The entire platform is not meant to be a stable place to call home. While your EventBrite account saves relevant data from past events, it's not like you can just create event-after-event. You have little options when it comes to sequential event set up so EventBrite is best for one-off events that need to get in front of eyes quickly. EventBrite heavily lacks in promotional features at the free level, so it's kind of like a directory with the option to ticket through it.
Pros: Free to use, easy to set up.
Cons: Not much customization or branding options. Not the best for on-going and sequential events long term.
Bizzabo is another tool that combines the tools required for a full-stack event management suite that allows users to build websites, manage contacts, promote the event, and more. The entire platform additionally supports attendee networking by providing a separate app that's meant to help attendees at events exchange contact information and register their ticket at the door. Bizzabo also has a strong line up of early integrations to the platform but sadly lock some of the more prevalent integrations behind it's most expensive package.
Pros: Bizzabo utilizes networking to boost analytics at the platform level.
Cons: Some important integrations are locked behind package pricing at the highest level.
Much like Glue Up and Bizzabo, Aventri is following the recent trend of providing event management software in an all-in-one package. This time with Aventri focusing more on the event-floor value aspect of the event management equation. While it includes all the necessary items to be considered an event management software like CRM, Website building, and more, Aventri includes easy offline-to-online translation of business card. That means no more manually adding business cards to the platform post-event. Just take a photo and you're good to go. A godsend for your event frontline people.
Event Management Software is one of those things, however, that requires a bit of set-up and customer support. Especially the all-in-one model. Aventi elects to push integration and most importantly, customer support, to higher pricing levels. Effectively leaving out the smaller scale businesses who likely need the on-boarding help.
Pros: Frontline business card reading makes life easier for post-event contact capture.
Cons: While scalable, the features that give the most valuable benefit enterprise customers the most, while smaller scale cannot really access great features like customer success or integrations.
EventDex is an interesting choice on this list as it seems to take a mobile-only approach to event management software solutions. EventDex can best be described as 4 separate products that are entirely focused on the mobile aspect of event management software and registration/ticketing interface. The products are split into different feature-sets: Onsite Management, Event Registration, Business Matchmaking, and Lead Retrieval.
Onsite Management facilitates all on-site needs, meaning registration at the door, event seating, maps, and analytics. While business Matchmaking entices all registrants to submit their information in hopes they will download the EventDex app and scan each other's information and start networking. Event Registration takes registration and ticketing to mobile, and Lead Retrieval facilitates on-site post-event business card scanning to bring offline contact info the contact management database that all of EventDex's products share.
All packages have their own app, so the entire SaaS model is not all-in-one. A great way to fill in a gap if you're missing something, but not the best choice for a full-stack event management software solution.
Pros: Mobile only feature sets that can enhance on-site event management and networking.
Cons: Lacks a cohesive platform that allows for one app to run all features.
Idloom, or also called Idloom-Events, is an all-in-one event management software suite that lacks a certain amount of customization, but makes up for it with scalability. It's got it all there, CRM, event website builder, and more, but lacks any sort of event promotion feature-set like email campaigns.
While it's got the moves, it what it does with them that makes it stand out. It's gone freemium at it's most basic package, keeping the essentials for you to run free events. The travesty of this package, however, is one important but unassuming feature that is surprisingly unavailable for free users: contact list uploading.
Contact list uploading is a must-have for any event management software (or any CRM for that matter), and why it's not available for even free users is something that bothers any reasonable event manager. It costs very little to enhance an important part of the user experience. I dare say that a good contact uploading experience for me is a major selling point for me when it comes to evaluating new products.
Pros: Freemium to start
Cons: Freemium lacks any real applicability and basic functions you would expect like in EventBrite.
Ivvy is an event-management and booking suite that has its current roots in AU, NZ, UK, and US. While it is indeed another all-in-one packaged event management software tool, it focuses on supporting local events rather than targeting the global market. To do this, it's created local networks of venues with preferred pricing and offers them up in a slick marketplace-like get up. There's not much to say here other than there's a lot of local support provided from the beginning. So if you're looking to start an event in these areas, early-on setup should be a breeze even before the event starts selling tickets.
Pros: local venue marketplace
Cons: No Email marketing, analytics or ticketing features until you pay their 3rd highest package or above.
EventsFrame is a neat event hosting platform for budget events. At low-low prices, you can host an event on a webpage, ticket, and manage contacts. No email marketing to mention, but it makes up for it with a very, very detailed focus on analytics and SEO. The main value here is to help you drive traffic to your event page. So if you don't have a list to start off with, this is probably a good go-to place to convert organic traffic. The lack of any email promotion tool likely emphasizes this tool's focus on search-driven organic traffic.
Pros: Cheap event page hosting. Free 30-day trial.
Cons: Lacks any sort of promotion tools.
There's a bunch more tools out there of course, but with a majority of them focusing on core features rather than “event management” as a whole, it's not very helpful to hold them up to a candle like EventBrite, Glue Up, Aventri and all the other top dogs in the industry.
There's pros and cons pockmarked across any app out there, but we hope for event management needs, we've drilled down exactly what you might be looking for. We'll do our best to keep this list up-to-date and ready for your window-shopping eyes.
If you would like to learn more about all-in-one event management solutions, book a demo and we'll show you what it's all about.