Does your organization currently run or plan to run events that need to accept bookings, such as seminars, group classes, non-profit fund-raisers, networking conferences, or even a large-scale event like a dance party, a sporting or religious event, or any kind of event where people need to register to attend or participate?
Managing event sign-ups can be a complicated and time-consuming process. You need to manage scheduling, available dates and spaces, participant numbers, data processing, collecting payments and invoicing, confirmations, reminders, refunds and cancellations … perhaps even accommodating special needs and issuing tickets to event attendees.
There are a number of benefits to setting up a web-based event registration system. It can streamline your business processes, save time and reduce costs, help you easily duplicate previously-run events, give you more control, improve user experience and grow your sales.
The problem is that setting this up can be quite costly.
Fortunately, if you own a WordPress-based website or blog, you can install a very inexpensive and highly professional online event registration solution.
Event Espresso – Event Management & Ticket Registration Plugin For WordPress
The Event Espresso online event registration plugin lets you easily schedule an event and begin accepting bookings literally in minutes.
(Event Espresso lets you set up multiple events and accept online event bookings)
Event Espresso is a feature-packed application that gives you complete control over your event registration management process.
Create custom registration forms
You can use a number of event registration strategies, from simple online bookings and straight up ticket sales, to setting up custom registration forms in order to better understand your event attendees, or integrating your event bookings with social media and autoresponders.
Access detailed information about your event attendees
Please Note: At the time of writing this article, Event Espresso is transitioning between two different versions of their plugin: Event Espresso 3 and Event Espresso 4. The new EE 4 is impressively different than the older Event Espresso 3, as it has been redeveloped using a different structure to enable future expansion. The Event Espresso 4 plugin software has different features, user interface, data structure, coding method and price. The developers aim to eventually move completely to EE 4, so keep this in mind as you learn more about this plugin.
Here are just a few of the benefits of using Event Espresso to manage event registrations on your website or blog:
Automated Event Registration Management And Ticketing System
Event Espresso provides you with everything you need to turn your current web site into a fully-featured and automated event management website … from custom registration forms and automated response emails, to maximum seating limits, multiple price options and discount codes, to printable tickets and even seating charts.
Higher Business Productivity
By using a web-based event registration system like Event Espresso, you save time and improve your business productivity by virtually doing away with the need to process registrations manually.
Basically, you are facilitating event participants to complete the enrolment process on their own.
Allowing your attendees to do the data entry frees you up from doing admin work and lets you direct more of your resources on creating a more enjoyable event.
Full Control Over The User Experience
As you will learn in a moment, Event Espresso gives you complete control over the event management and booking process that you want your users to experience.
Some additional benefits and advantages include:
- Lower Costs: Event Espresso provides you with a very low cost online event registration management solution compared to other options or using a 3rd party service. This is made possible by using a model where Event Espresso users buy the core plugin (which suits the requirements of most users) and buy add ons when you need extra functionality.
- Increased Sales: Event Espresso lets you accept new event signups 24/7. In addition, Event Espresso social sharing features (see below) let people who are interested in registering for your event invite others who may also be interested.
- Green And Paperless Event SignUp Process: With Event Espresso, the event sign-up process remains entirely online, significantly reducing typical paper waste from tasks associated with admin and record-keeping.
- Own Your Data. You own all the information you acquire from your event attendees.
Event Espresso Features
Event Espresso delivers functionality to its users through built-in features (these come with the plugin) and optional features that customers can buy for an added cost, called add-ons.
Event Espresso provides a number of features to WP users. Here are just a few:
- Fast and simple to install and set up. Ready to start using in no time.
- Customized Event Registration Form. Event Espresso lets you gather specific data using custom event registration forms on your web site to plan a unique experience for your event participants.
- Customized Notification Email Message. Easily set up customized automated registration and payment confirmation emails to communicate with your clients.
- Tax Administration. Event Espresso 4 gives you several options to manage taxes for your event and provide reports of tax fee components to customers when purchasing tickets. Event managers can configure taxes globally and on a per-ticket basis.
- Intelligent Single Page Checkout. The Event Espresso 4 checkout process is smart, fast and intuitive. Registrants are given the option to automatically duplicate the primary attendee’s registration information for any additional participants.
- Default Prices. Create events quickly by pre-configuring system-default ticket pricing.
- Discount Codes. Leverage promotional and multiple discount codes to encourage visitors to take action immediately, or make your offerings more affordable for price-sensitive customers. This is also practical for helping to sell out events close to timelines.
- Event Check-In List. Generate a list of attendees and check-in everyone who attends.
- Waiting Lists. Prospective attendees can subscribe to a waiting list if your event has reached capacity. Additionally, you can specify that waiting list members pre-pay if you plan to expand numbers for the event.
- Private Contact Comments. Record notes about a contact on their profile. Private commenting allows you to keep a record of when event registrants contacted you, your internal notes, and how you have helped them.
- Draft Events. Draft events enable you to build an event page in your own time-frame without displaying it live on your site. You can keep building your events until you are ready to publish it live on your site, or schedule to publish your event at a future time and date.
- Your Organization Settings. Configure your profile to be used throughout Event Espresso and your WordPress themes. Your organization fields include: organization name, address, city, state, country, zip/postal code, email, phone, VAT/tax number, logo, Facebook profile URL, Twitter profile URL, LinkedIn profile URL, Pinterest URL, Google+ URL, Instagram URL.
- Exportable Information. You can export all the information collected from your event attendees into Excel or CSV format for producing advanced reports, implementing marketing strategies, reviewing attendee statistics, and so on.
- Event Venue Manager. The venue manager in EE 4 allows details about venues to appear throughout the Event Espresso admin and the front end of your website to inform attendees of your event’s location. The venue profile displays many of the standard WP settings such as tags, categories, discussion settings, comments, etc., but also displays venue details like venue capacity, venue website, phone number, venue address, location map, etc. You can also list venues in various parts of your theme and on a venue listing page on your website where you can set up and display venue profiles for multiple events or display all the events for a particular venue.
- Event Espresso Community. Event Espresso provides users with access to an expert community of event managers and other plugin users. You can interact with other members of the Event Espresso community using their community chat room, user support forums, job board, and social media discussions on Twitter, Facebook, Linkedin and Google+.
- Invoice Payment Reminders. Follow-up potential event customers who have not made payment for their registration with a standard but personalized PDF invoice with just one click of a button. Your invoices will address pre-registered attendees who have not paid their registration yet by name, display the balance owing, and include a link to the event information, a payment link and a link to download a PDF invoice.
- Categorize Events. If you have several different event types such as free and paid, workshops and mastermind sessions, different kinds of courses, etc. you can categorize these to help event registrants to locate what they’re looking for. You can list all events in a category on an event category page, make the events searchable by category, and color-code your events on the Event Espresso events calendar to make these easier to find, as well as suggesting other events in the categories that appeal to your visitors.
Extra features include:
- Object-Oriented Programming (OOP). Event Espresso is simple enough for general users, and also extremely robust and customizable for enterprise-level users and web developers. The bottom line is that by using OOP, Event Espresso 4 facilitates more complex developments and customizations to the application.
- Control Box Management & Reorganization. Event Espresso leverages the WordPress user interface, which brings the ability to reorder the user interface to match your workflow process. Each meta box can be collapsed, re-arranged or entirely deleted from your page.
- Autonomy, Flexibility And Value: Event Espresso states on their website that their mission is to “empower business and organization leaders with the event registration, ticketing and management tools that maximize the success of events.” To achieve their goals, the company operates on a modular that provides users with great autonomy and flexibility and delivers value for money as a result.
The premium version of Event Espresso also includes over 40 added features, including:
- Duplicating events – streamlines the work of re-entering event details when creating new events.
- Question groups that simplify the process of reusing commonly asked questions for similar events.
- Category titles and descriptions on event listings.
Event Espresso Add-Ons
In addition to an incredible number of features, Event Espresso provides “add ons”, which allow users to significantly expand the capabilities of managing an event.
Some of these add-ons include:
- EE4 Events Grid Template Addon: Displays events in a pure CSS grid-like structure using the featured image. Hovering over the image will display further information. If an event does not have a featured image, a default image will be used instead.
- Recurring Events Drop-down Custom Template Add-on: The Recurring Events Drop-down custom template organizes the events with multiple datetimes into a dropdown list.
- Events Date Range Template Addon: The Date Range custom event list template allows your users to search for events that occur within a certain date range.
- Social Media Buttons Addon: The social media add-on displays Facebook, Twitter and Google+ buttons in your events. The Social Media add on comes free with any of the Event Espresso support licenses.
- Custom Template Addon: The Custom Template addon can display your event lists in a number of visually exciting ways.
- Seating Chart Add on: The seating chart addon is for venues and events that sell and reserve seats for attendees in advance. This is ideal for venues and events such as theaters, concert halls, play houses, sports arenas and stadiums. The Seating Chart add on allows you to promote reserved or assigned seating to your events and venues from your WordPress site. The Seating Chart add on lets you control the environment for your customers and design assigned seating charts and attach single prices to each seat.
- Multiple Event Registration Add on: The Multi-Event registration addon gives potential customers the ability to book multiple events at once. In each event listing attendees will be given the option to either register for a single event or add multiple events to their shopping cart. With the Multi-Event Registration add-on, attendees can register for several events at once and even add additional attendees to any of the same events in the same checkout process.
- Events Calendar Add-on: This WordPress events calendar displays events and categories of events in an attractive graphical calendar.
- JSON API Add on: The Event Espresso JSON API addon allows other applications, web tools, mobile apps, etc… to access your Event Espresso content through an API (Application Programming Interface).
Note: Event Espresso regularly adds new features and improvements to the plugin, including new add ons.
For more details about the latest Event Espreso features and add ons, check out the plugin here:
Here are some of the many great testimonials that users have written about Event Espresso:
”My clients have used Event Espresso for Transportation (Cadet Bus for leave), Parties (tailgates and brewery tours), and Horse-back riding lessons and camps. What a terrific plug-in and fantastic support from Seth!” Nina, Blue Iris Web Design
”I recently downloaded it to add to a nonprofit site for a Boy Scout troop and the features work wonderfully with what we wanted to accomplish for the site. It allows us to set up calendar, events, and even take payments for trips. At first, I thought that it would be overkill for such a small site, but now I see the possibilities and will definitely be offering Event Espresso to my clients that need an event organization system for their web sites.” Lucy Conn, Troop 462
”I’m so excited to fire Eventbrite! Event Espresso has an amazing WP plugin for event management. We’re testing it now & are very impressed! In a nutshell Event Espresso saves us money & does everything Eventbrite did before. :)” Dustin Nay
Event Espresso Tips
Whether you are a motivational speaker, presenter, conference promoter, or event management professional, there are simply countless possibilities of what you can achieve with the Event Espresso plugin.
After downloading your copy of the plugin and becoming a registered user, go through the support forum for new ideas and practical ways to improve your event management process and improve the experience of your event participants.
Event Espresso works with with all WordPress plugins and themes that follow WP coding standards. If you do need help with the plugin, however, you will find that Event Espresso provides highly responsive user support, as many of its plugin clients attest:
”No complaints here. Satisfied customer. You can teach us all few things about customer service. Thanks!” Charles
Event Espresso provides comprehensive support with access to a support forum, comprehensive online documentation with faqs, knowledgebase and how tos, priority support and even a monthly VIP member pass that gives you access to community of developers, designers, event managers, publishers and webmasters that use Event Espresso tools, plus faster support response times.
Additionally, Event Espresso boasts an established team of experienced WordPress developers with a proven track record of support, so this is definitely software you can rely on to run and manage your events.
Event Espresso is available in a number of editions, including a FREE basic edition (referred to as Event Espresso Decaf). For personal support and advanced plugin functionality, however, you should consider downloading one of the paid plugin versions below:
- Personal License – This license lets you run Event Espresso on 1 site only. It includes 51+ Premium features, (add-ons sold separately) and one year of upgrades and support. Cost = $69.95.
- Everything Licensing – This edition enables you to set up Event Espresso on one domain only. Includes 51+ Premium features, 29 Premium add-ons and one year of upgrades and support. Price = $279.95.
- Developer Licensing – This enables you to run Event Espresso on five sites. Includes 51+ Premium features, (addons sold separately) and one year of upgrades and support. Price = $249.95.
Price details for the Event Espresso plugin can vary, depending on whether there are any promotions or limited-time specials being offered. When we last checked, the software is being retailed for the prices shown above. Check the plugin’s website for current pricing details: Event Espresso – Event Espresso
Note: The pricing above was current when this review was written. This may not be the actual price charged by the plugin author when you visit the site.
Additional Plugin Info
Event Espresso regularly adds new features and improvements to its plugin. Make sure to register for their newsletter when you visit their site to receive the latest information and updates.
Look up the plugin’s documentation pages for answers to common questions about setup and how to use Event Espresso, and the support forums if you have questions related to your specific use-case, or to report errors and give feedback.
For all documentation, demos, downloads, videos, tutorials, FAQ and more, visit the Event Espresso product website.
Event Espresso is the preferred WP event registration and ticketing management software, used by thousands of event managers.
If you own a WordPress website and you plan to run events that involve managing dates and venues, registering attendees, and/or selling seating, then you will probably not find a better solution for your needs than Event Espresso.
For more details, check out the plugin here: Event Espresso – Event Manager And Registration Plugin For WordPress