Does your company currently run or plan to run events that need handling bookings, such as seminars, group courses, charity fund raisers, social events, or even a large-scale event like a music show, a sporting or religious event, or any kind of event where people need to register to attend?
Co-ordinating event sign-ups can be a complicated and time-consuming process. You need to co-ordinate event schedules, availability, attendee numbers, data administration, collecting payments and invoicing, confirmations, reminders and notifications, cancellations … perhaps even accommodating special requests and delivering tickets to participants.
There are a number of advantages to setting up a web-based event registration system. It can make your business more efficient, save time and reduce costs, help you easily duplicate previous events, give event managers more control, improve client experience and grow your sales.
The problem is that setting this up can be expensive.
The good news is that if you own a WordPress-powered website, you can easily set up an inexpensive and professional web-based event booking solution.
Event Espresso – WordPress Event Registration And Ticket Management Software
The Event Espresso online event registration software enables you to easily create an event and start receiving bookings in just a few minutes.
(Set up multiple events and accept online event registrations with Event Espresso)
Event Espresso is a flexible and feature-packed application that gives you full control over your event registration management process.
Create custom event registration forms
You can use various event registration strategies, from simple online bookings and straight up ticket-selling, to creating custom registration forms in order to better understand your event participants, or integrating your event registration forms with an autoresponder system for ongoing notifications.
Access detailed information about your event attendees
Note: At the time of writing this article, Event Espresso is transitioning between two different versions of their software: Event Espresso 3 and Event Espresso 4. The new EE 4 is completely different than the older EE 3, as the software has been redeveloped using a different structure to accommodate future growth. The Event Espresso 4 plugin platform has different features, user interface, data structure, coding method and price. The developers aim to eventually phase out Event Espresso 3, so keep this in mind as you read more about this plugin.
Here are just a few of the benefits of using Event Espresso to manage event registrations on your web site:
Hands-Free Event Registration Management
Event Espresso provides you with everything you need to turn your existing website into a fully-featured event management site … from custom registration forms and automated emails, to maximum seating limits, multiple pricing options and discount codes, to printable tickets and even seating charts.
Better Business Productivity
By using an online event registration solution like Event Espresso, you save time and increase your business productivity by virtually doing away with the need to process registrations and signups manually.
Essentially, you are making it easier for event attendees to register on their own.
Allowing your attendees to do the data themselves frees up your time and lets you spend more energy on organizing a memorable event.
Full Control Over The User Experience
As you will soon discover, Event Espresso gives you full control over the event management process that you want your customers to experience.
Additional plugin benefits include the following:
- Reduced Costs: The Event Espresso plugin provides you with a very low cost online event registration management solution compared to developing your own solution or using a 3rd-party provider. This is made possible through a model where Event Espresso users purchase the core plugin (which suits the requirements of most users) and then purchase addons only when you need additional features.
- More Sales: With Event Espresso you can accept new bookings any time of day or night. Not only that, but, Event Espresso social and marketing features (see below) let people who are interested in registering for your event share your information with their friends who may also be interested.
- Paperless Event Registration Process: With Event Espresso, the event sign up process can remain wholly in digital form, eliminating typical paper consumption from tasks associated with administration.
- All Information Belongs To You. You own all the data you acquire from your event attendees.
The Event Espresso plugin delivers functionality to its users through built-in features (these are included with the software) and optional features that users can buy for an additional cost, called add-ons.
Event Espresso offers a number of great built-in to web site owners. Here are just some of these:
- Fast and simple to install and configure. Be up and running in minutes.
- Multiple Dates and Times Per Event. In EE 4, events can have multiple dates and times (called datetimes), that these can be managed from a single event.
- Customized Notification Email Message. Easily set up automated registration and payment notification emails to communicate with your attendees.
- Ticket Selector. Present multiple ticket options to registrants and let them choose the ticket(s) that best suits their needs.
- Custom Post Types. You can Event Espresso into your theme and display registrant details throughout other areas of your site.
- Default Prices. Create events quickly and easily by pre-configuring system-default ticket pricing.
- In-App Documentation. Event Espresso 4 comes with three comprehensive in-app documentation systems: Help Tours, Help Tabs and Tool Tips.
- Manual Registration Option. you have the option of booking event participants when they show up, or send in paper-based registration forms for manual processing later.
- Waiting Lists. Latecomers can subscribe to a waiting list if your event has reached maximum attendance. Additionally, you can specify that waiting list registrants pay for their spots if you plan to add more capacity for your event.
- Public Commenting. Add social a new level of engagement to your event by allowing potential registrants to ask questions about your event and past customers to post comments that can help others consider whether or not to enroll. Moderation settings for commenting are configured via the WordPress default commenting settings.
- Keyword Rich URLs. Keyword rich event page URLs take advantage of your WordPress Permalinks configuration settings. “Pretty” permalinks that have relevant keywords add to the context of your content and improves your search rankings, helping you bring more potential customers to your site.
- Full Control Of Your Event Management. Event Espresso puts you in full control of all aspects of your event’s registration and ticketing, and also allows you to automate this process with event management tools that include staff and venue manager, custom event designs, payment processing, list waiting, limits on attendees, printable tickets and more.
- Default Tickets. If you find yourself creating identical tickets for your events, you can set up as your default ticket for any new events simply by ticking a checkbox.
- WYSIWYG Editor. Event Espresso uses the default WP Visual editor, so you can quickly and easily add photos and create and edit your content without knowing HTML or CSS, just like any standard WP post or page.
- Event Espresso Community. Event Espresso gives you access to a community of experienced event managers, developers, designers, digital marketers and businesses who also use the software. You can network with other members of the Event Espresso community through their community chat room, user support forums, job board, and social media discussions on Twitter, Facebook, Linkedin and Google+.
- Staff Management. Save time and stay organized by reusing staff profiles for multiple events or displaying their profile using a shortcode in any event description.
- Transaction Reports. Quick-view event reporting provides you with data of all the registrations and transactions, allowing you to track the performance of your events with the aggregate number of registrations and how much money has been collected.
Extra features include:
- Hooks, Actions And Filters. These features allow developers to implement safer and more reliable customizations and extensions to the Event Espresso plugin that are completely compatible with WordPress.
- Metabox Management And Reorganization. Event Espresso leverages the WP user interface, which gives you the ability to reorganize the user interface to match your workflow. Each meta box can be collapsed, re-arranged or removed from your page.
- 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 software has been built using a modular and effective model that provides users with great autonomy and flexibility and delivers value for money in the process.
The premium version of Event Espresso also includes over 40 additional features, including:
- Live-filtering when searching for events in the Event Espresso admin.
- Question groups that make it easy to reuse a series of questions for similar events.
- Option to skip the confirmation page during registration.
As well as a comprehensive number of features, Event Espresso provides “add ons”, which allow you to further expand the capabilities of the event management process.
Some of these add-ons include:
- Events Vector Maps Template Add-on: The Vector Maps custom events list template allows you to display all scheduled events by location. There are 4 maps available: USA, UK, Canada and Australia.
- Recurring Events Drop-down Template Addon: The Recurring Events Drop-down custom template organizes multiple datetime events into a dropdown list.
- Events Date Range Template Add-on: The Date Range custom event list template enables your users to search for events that take place within a certain date range.
- EE4 Events Social Sharing Add on: This addon adds social sharing features to the end of your Event Espresso “thank you” page that allows your attendees to share a message about their event registration on Twitter and Facebook after booking.
- Custom Template Add on: The Custom Template add-on is capable of displaying your event lists in a variety of exciting and interesting ways.
- Seating Chart Addon: 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 addon lets you control the environment for your customers and design assigned seating charts and attach single pricing to each seat.
- Multi-Event Registration Add on: The Multi-Event registration addon gives potential customers the ability to register for 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 cart. With the Multiple 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 Table Template Add on: The Events Table Template addon gives you a simple and easy-to-use system that allows you to change the look and feel of your event lists. It comes with a simple table template with category filters, table search, table paging and more. It also allows developers to build custom templates using one of the templates provided as a source template.
- MailChimp Integration Add on: The MailChimp add on lets you automatically register attendees to a specific mailing list or group within your MailChimp account.
Note: The Event Espresso development team is continually adding new features and improvements to its plugin, including new add ons.
To learn more about the latest Event Espreso features and addons, visit the plugin website here:
Here are a few of the testimonials that satisfied customers have posted 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
”…it really does blow everything else that’s out there out of the water.” Chris Reynolds, Arcane Palette Creative Design
”Loving the functions and support from Event Espresso. One of the best plugins I’ve ever bought!” Nathan
Whether you are an education services provider, trainer, seminar planner, or event professional, there are simply endless possibilities of what you can achieve with the Event Espresso plugin.
After purchasing your copy of the plugin and becoming a licensed owner, spend a little time visiting the user forum for inspiration and practical suggestions to streamline your event management process or enhance the experience of your customers.
Event Espresso is compatible with all WordPress plugins and themes that follow standard WP development rules. If you do need help with the plugin, however, you will find that Event Espresso provides great support, as so many of its clients attest:
”These guys are right on any problem or issue or even general questions. You can’t really put a value high enough on the kind of support these guys offer.” Mark Wigston, Muskoka Graphics
The Event Espresso software provides robust support with access to support forums, in-depth online documentation with faqs, knowledge base and how tos, premium support and even a monthly VIP member pass giving 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 WordPress developers with a proven track record of support, so this is definitely a plugin you can depend on to run your events.
Event Espresso is available in a number of editions, including a FREE basic edition (named Event Espresso Decaf). For personal support and advanced plugin options, however, you will want to consider using one of the paid plugin versions below:
- Personal License Edition – This enables you to run Event Espresso on one site only. Includes 51+ Premium features, (add-ons sold separately) and one year of upgrades and support. Price = $69.95.
- Everything Licensing – This edition enables you to configure Event Espresso on 1 site only. Includes 51+ Premium features, 29 Premium addons and one year of upgrades and support. Cost = $279.95.
- Developer Licensing – This license lets you install Event Espresso on five sites. Cost includes 51+ Premium features, (addons sold separately) and one year of upgrades and support. Cost = $249.95.
Pricing details of the Event Espresso plugin depends on whether there are any promotions or limited-time specials being offered. Presently, the software retails for the prices shown above. Check the plugin’s website for the current price: Event Espresso – Event Registration And Ticket Manager
Note: The above reflects the pricing at the time this review was written. This may or may not be the actual pricing charged by the plugin seller when you visit the site.
Event Espresso – Additional Info
Event Espresso regularly adds new features and improvements to the software. Make sure to register for their newsletter when you visit their site to receive the latest information and updates.
Search the software’s documentation pages for answers to common questions about setup and using Event Espresso, and the support forums if you have questions related to your specific use-case, or to notify developers about errors and share feedback.
For all installation and support documentation, demos, downloads, videos, tutorials, FAQ and more, visit the Event Espresso website.
The Bottom Line
Event Espresso is the leading WP event booking and ticketing manager plugin, used by thousands of WordPress users.
If you own a WordPress-powered web site and you currently run any event that requires scheduling dates, times and venues, registering attendees, and/or selling tickets, then you will probably not find a better plugin for your needs than Event Espresso.
For more information, visit the plugin website here: Event Espresso – WordPress Event Manager & Registration Software