Do you currently run or plan to run events that require managing bookings or registrations, such as workshops, community courses, not-for-profit fund raisers, social functions, or even a big event such as a school concert, a sporting or religious event, or any kind of event where people need to register to attend?
Co-ordinating event registrations can be a complex process. You will most likely be required to manage scheduling, date availability, attendee numbers, data processing and storage, payment processing and invoicing, confirmations and reservations, reminders and notifications, refunds and cancellations … perhaps even accommodating special requests and providing tickets to participants.
There are a number of advantages to setting up an automated online event registration system. It can streamline your business processes, save time and lower costs, help you easily replicate recurring events, give event managers more control, improve customer experience and grow your sales.
The problem is that this can be expensive.
The good news is that if you own a WordPress-based website, you can set up a very inexpensive and professional web-based event booking solution.
Event Espresso – Event Registration And Ticket Manager
The Event Espresso online event registration WP plugin enables you to easily set up an event and start receiving registrations in minutes.
(Event Espresso lets you set up multiple events and process online registrations)
Event Espresso is a flexible and feature-rich plugin that gives you full control of the event registration management process.
Create custom event registration forms
You can employ a range of event registration strategies, from simple online sign-ups and straight up selling tickets, to setting up custom registration forms for collecting detailed information about your attendees, or integrating your event registration forms with social media sites like Facebook.
Access detailed information about event attendees
Important: At the time of writing this article, Event Espresso provides two different versions of their software: Event Espresso 3 and EE 4. The new EE 4 is fundamentally different than the older EE 3, as the platform is being revamped using a different structure to allow for future growth. The Event Espresso 4 plugin platform has different features, user interface, data structure, coding method and price. The company plans to eventually retire Event Espresso 3, so keep this in mind as you read more about this plugin.
For more details go here:
Here are just some of the many benefits of using Event Espresso to manage event registrations on your website or blog:
Hands-Free Event Registration Management And Ticketing System
Event Espresso provides you with everything you need to turn your current website or blog into a fully-featured and automated event management website … from custom registration forms and automated emails, to maximum seating limits, multiple pricing options and discount codes, to printable tickets and seating charts.
Increased Business Productivity
By using a web-based event registration solution like Event Espresso, you save time and increase your business productivity by literally doing away with the chore of processing registrations manually.
Basically, you are making it easier for event participants to enroll by themselves.
Letting your participants to do all of the data themselves frees you up from doing admin work and lets you concentrate more resources on creating a memorable event.
Complete Control Over The User Experience
As you will learn in a moment, Event Espresso gives you more control over the event management process that you want your clients to experience.
Additional plugin benefits include:
- Significantly Lower Costs: The Event Espresso plugin provides you with a very low cost online event registration management solution compared to other options or using a 3rd party provider. The cost is kept to a minimum by using a model where you start with the core plugin (which suits the needs of most users) and purchase add ons when you need added functionality.
- Increased Sales: With Event Espresso you can accept new event registrations outside normal business hours. Not only that, but, Event Espresso social features (see below) let people interested in attending your event invite their friends who may be interested in attending.
- Green Event Sign Up Process: With Event Espresso, your event sign-up process is completed entirely online, significantly reducing typical paper waste from tasks related to enrollment.
- Own Your Data. You own all the data collected from event participants.
The Event Espresso software provides functionality to its customers via built-in features (these are included with the plugin) and additional features that users can buy for an extra cost, called add-ons.
Event Espresso provides many features to WordPress users. Here are just some:
- Fast and simple to install and set up. Be up and running in very little time.
- Multiple Times and Dates Per Event. In Event Espresso 4, events can have many dates and times (datetimes), that these can be managed from one single event.
- Customized Confirmation Email Message. Easily set up customized automated booking and payment notification emails to communicate with event registrants.
- Tax Admin And Reporting. Event Espresso 4 provides a number of options to handle taxes for your event and provide reports of tax fees to registrants who purchase tickets. Event managers can configure taxes globally or on a per-ticket basis.
- Smart Single Page Checkout. The Event Espresso 4 checkout process is fast and intuitive. Registrants are given the option to automatically copy the primary registrant’s information for any added attendees.
- Default Price Types. Price types allow event managers to create new prices that adjust the default ticket pricing of the default ticket.
- Discount Codes. You can leverage promotional and multiple discount codes to incentivize prospects to make a purchasing decision now, or make your offerings more appealing for price-sensitive prospects. Also useful if you want to sell out events close to timelines.
- Manual Registration. you have the option of booking event attendees when they show up, or send in paper-based forms for manual processing later.
- Ticketless Events. List events without requiring participants to select tickets. Event Espresso can be used for all types of events, not only those that need tickets.
- Private Comments On Contacts. Keep notes about users on their profile. Private commenting enables you to keep records of when event registrants contacted you, your internal observations, and how you’ve interacted with them.
- Draft (status) Events. Draft events allow you to develop your event page over time without publishing it to your site. You can keep working on your event pages until you are ready to publish it to your site, or schedule to publish your event pages at a future date and time.
- Country Settings. You can configure the country and currency settings to be used to promote your events, including currency, currency signs, decimal signs, characters and places, country codes, regions, etc.
- Exportable Data. You can output all the data collected from event attendees into Excel or CSV format for creating advanced reports, implementing new marketing strategies, analyzing attendee statistics, etc..
- Venue Profiles. The venue manager in Event Espresso 4 allows details about a venue to appear throughout the Event Espresso admin and the front end of your website to inform potential registrants of the location of your event. The venue profile displays many of the standard WordPress settings such as tags, categories, discussion settings, comments, etc., but also displays venue information such as venue capacity, venue web address, phone number, physical, map, etc. You can also list venue profiles throughout specific parts in your WordPress theme as well as on a venue listing page on your site where you can set up and reuse venue profiles for multiple events or display every event you have booked for a specific venue.
- Attendee Profiles. Manage your attendee’s profile information and payment history and keep all of their information organized.
- Staff Member Management. Save time and stay organized by reusing staff profiles for multiple events or displaying their profile using a shortcode in your event description.
- Categorize Events. If you have several different types of events such as free and paid, conference speakers and mastermind sessions, different types of programs and program modules, etc. you can categorize them to help your attendees to find what they’re searching for. You can list all the events in a category on an event category page, make the events searchable by category, and colour-code your events on the Event Espresso events calendar to make them easier to find, as well as suggesting new events in the categories that interest your visitors.
Additional features include:
- Define Extra Meta Information. This allows developers to have more control and options over your events and how the information displays to your visitors.
- Maintenance Mode. You can pause registrations for normal site visitors whenever website maintenance is required. You can still work on your event pages during maintenance mode.
- Autonomy, Flexibility & 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:
- Email shortcodes that includes registrant data in emails and newsletters.
- Question groups that make it easy to reuse a common set of questions for similar events.
- Category titles and descriptions on event listings.
As well as an incredible range of features, Event Espresso provides “addons”, which allow plugin users to significantly enhance the capabilities of managing an event.
Some of these add-ons include:
- Events Vector Maps Template Add on: The Vector Maps custom events list template allows you to display scheduled events by location. There are 4 maps available: USA, UK, Canada and Australia.
- Recurring Events Manager Addon: The Recurring Events manager add-on allows you to put events on autopilot by scheduling repeated events weeks or months … even years ahead. You can add as many events in advance as you want. Event Espresso will automatically open and close registrations for all of these recurring events.
- Events Calendar Table Template Add on: The Calendar Table template is a list template with a bold date and customizable “register now” button. The template can be customized to show the event thumbnail image instead of a date.
- Social Coupons Integration Add-on: If your web site is featured on Groupon.com you can easily accept Groupon codes to your events. You can also specify whether events accept the social coupons or not.
- Custom Template Addon: The Custom Template add on is capable of displaying your events in a number of visually exciting ways.
- Roles And Permissions Basic & Pro Add-on Editions: This add-on lets you involve others in your organization to help manage your events and give new users permission to create events or regional managers the capacity to manage events. The Roles and Permissions Basic add-on allows you to manage & customize the WP users roles and allow them different permissions with different capabilities, so others can help you manage your events or events that other people create. You can customize roles so that users do not have access to certain parts of your WP dashboard and/or certain parts of your Event Espresso settings. If you’d like to create geographic regions for other people to manage events, use the Roles and Permissions Pro addon.
- Event Ticketing Addon: The Ticketing addon gives you the capacity to generate tickets with bar codes. The Bar Scanning add on gives you the capacity to scan ticket barcodes. The ticketing addon includes the ability to customize event tickets. Multiple bar code types are included for handling check-in scans at the venue door. Registrants can either print out their tickets or display them on their mobile devices. The barcode scanner can be used for checking in or checking out attendees and to validate tickets.
- Events Calendar Add-on: This WordPress events calendar displays events and categories of events using a nice graphical calendar.
- JSON API Addon: The new Event Espresso JSON API addon permits other applications, online tools, mobile applications, etc… to access your Event Espresso details through an API (Application Programming Interface).
Note: Event Espresso regularly adds new features and improvements to its software, including new addons.
To learn more about the latest Event Espreso features and add ons, visit the plugin website here:
Here are some of the many testimonials that plugin users have posted about Event Espresso:
”Tri-South, Inc is using Event Espresso to manage the course catalog, event ticketing, and class registration. [As their developer] I have customized a few items to make the site and plugin a seamless integration. The client is very pleased!” Jenifer Design
“I just completed my first event using Event Espresso. I really believe without Event Espresso my event would not have been the success it was.” Cathy Earle, Women Only Weekend
”Event Espresso plugin still rocks. Saw you guys were up for the WP Honors too. Glad I paid for it! If you need event management on your WordPress site I recommend Event Espresso.” Patrick Allmond, Focus Consulting
Whether you are a gym owner, presenter, event promoter, or event professional, there are simply countless possibilities of what you can do with the Event Espresso plugin.
After downloading the plugin and becoming a licensed user, search the support forum for tips and practical suggestions to improve your event management and registration process and enhance the experience of your attendees.
Event Espresso is fully compatible with other WP plugins and WordPress themes that follow WordPress coding standards. If you have problems with the plugin, however, you will find that Event Espresso provides excellent end-user support, as so many of its satisfied plugin end-users confirm:
”Your plugin saved our client nearly $9000 in development costs because it handled the majority of the functionality we were looking for at a much lower cost. EventEspresso’s staff have been very responsive to our needs when we have them (which has been rare, because the plugin is so well coded). Great job on a great plugin!” Brandon P., Experience Farm
Event Espresso provides great support including access to support forums, comprehensive online documentation with faqs, knowledge base and how tos, custom development 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 a well-staffed team of experienced web developers with a solid track record of support, so this is definitely a plugin you can depend on to run your events.
Event Espresso is available in different editions, including a FREE basic edition (named Event Espresso Decaf). For support and advanced plugin features, however, you will want to consider purchasing one of the ”Pro” plugin versions below:
- Personal Edition – This license lets you set up Event Espresso on 1 domain only. Price includes 51+ Premium features, (add-ons sold separately) and 1 year of upgrades and support. Cost = $69.95.
- Everything Licensing – This enables you to install Event Espresso on 1 site only. Includes 51+ Premium features, 29 Premium add-ons and 1 year of upgrades and support. Price = $279.95.
- Developer Edition – This edition lets you configure Event Espresso on 5 sites. Includes 51+ Premium features, (add-ons sold separately) and one year of upgrades and support. Price = $249.95.
Pricing for the Event Espresso plugin depends on whether there are any promotions or limited-time special offers. Currently, the software is selling for the amounts shown above. Check the plugin’s website for the latest pricing details: Event Espresso – Event Registration & Ticket Management
Note: The pricing above was current when this article was written. This may or may not be the actual pricing charged by the plugin developer when you visit the site.
Event Espresso – Additional Info
The Event Espresso development team is continually adding new features and improvements to its plugin. Make sure to remain subscribed to their customer update list to receive the latest information and updates.
Use 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 particular situation, or to report issues and share feedback.
For all installation and support documentation, demos, downloads, videos, tutorials, FAQ and more, visit the Event Espresso web site.
The Bottom Line
Event Espresso is the preferred WP event booking and ticketing manager plugin, used by thousands of people.
If you are a WordPress site owner and you plan to run events that involve scheduling dates, times and venues (offline and online), registering attendees, or booking tickets or seating, then you will probably not find a better software for your needs than Event Espresso.
To learn more, check out the plugin here: Event Espresso