Does your organization currently run or plan to run events that require registrations, such as workshops, training classes, non-profit fundraisers, networking conferences, or even a large-scale event like a regional festival, a sporting or religious event, or any kind of event where people need to book to attend or participate?
Co-ordinating event sign-ups is a complex process. You will probably need to manage scheduling, available dates and spaces, participant numbers, data processing, collecting payments and sending invoices, confirmations and reservations, reminders, cancellations … perhaps even accommodating special needs and providing tickets to event participants.
There are lots of benefits to setting up an automated web-based event registration system. It can make your business more efficient, save time and lower costs, help you easily copy settings for repeat events, give you more control, create a better user experience and increase your sales.
The problem is that setting this up can be very costly.
The good news is that if you run a WordPress-powered web site, you can easily set up an inexpensive and professional online event registration system.
Event Espresso – WordPress Event Manager And Ticket Registration Software
The Event Espresso online event registration software enables you to easily set up an event and start accepting online bookings in just a few minutes.
(Event Espresso lets you set up multiple events and process online event bookings)
Event Espresso is a flexible and feature-packed plugin that gives you full control of your event registration management process.
Create custom event registration forms
You can use a range of event registration strategies, from simple online sign-ups and straight up ticket-selling, to setting up custom registration forms in order to better understand your event attendees, or integrating your event bookings with social media and email marketing tools.
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 Event Espresso 4. The new EE 4 is significantly different than the older Event Espresso 3, as the plugin has been revamped using a different structure to allow for future growth and expansion. The Event Espresso 4 plugin platform has different features, user interface, data structure, coding method and price. The company plans to eventually migrate completely to Event Espresso 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 web site:
Hands-Free Event Registration Management And Ticketing System
Event Espresso provides you with everything you need to turn your current digital presence into an automated and feature-rich event management site … from custom registration forms and automated emails, to 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 increase your business productivity by literally eliminating the need to process registrations and signups manually.
Essentially, you are making it easier for participants to register on their own.
Letting your enrollees to do the data themselves frees you up from doing administration and lets you invest more of your resources on planning a memorable event.
Full Control Over The User Experience
As you will soon see, Event Espresso gives you complete control over the event management process that you want your users to experience.
Some additional benefits of the plugin include the following:
- Less Costs: Event Espresso provides you with a very low cost online event registration management solution compared to developing your own software 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 only when you need additional features.
- Increased Sales: Event Espresso allows you to accept online signups any time of day or night. Not only that, but, Event Espresso social and marketing features (see below) let people interested in attending your event invite others who may also be interested.
- Green Event Sign-Up Process: With Event Espresso, the event booking process can be completed wholly online, eliminating traditional paper waste from tasks related to enrollment.
- Own Your Data. You control all the data you collect from event participants.
The Event Espresso software delivers functionality to its users via standard features (these come with the software) and optional features that you can buy for an extra cost, called add-ons.
Event Espresso provides many unique features to site owners. Here are just some:
- Quick and simple to install and use. Be up and running in very little time.
- Customized Event Registration Form. With Event Espresso you can gather unique data using custom event registration forms on your website to prepare a customized experience for your event participants.
- Customizable Event Page Designs. Customize your events and signup page using Event Espresso’s template options and elements, plus HTML and CSS.
- Ticket Selector. Present multiple ticket options to registrants and let them purchase the ticket(s) that best fits their needs.
- Google Maps. Google Maps integration enables you to configure the display settings of Google Maps on your event listing and event details pages.
- Default Price Types. Price types let event managers create new prices that adjust the default ticket price for your system-default ticket.
- In-App Documentation. Event Espresso 4 includes three useful in-app documentation systems: Help Tours, Help Tabs and Tool Tips.
- Event Check-In List. Generate an exportable list of event registrants and check-in everyone who has attended.
- Waiting Lists. Prospective attendees can subscribe to a waiting list if your event has become completely sold out. Additionally, you can specify that waiting list registrants pre-pay if you plan to expand capacity for your event.
- Private Contact Comments. Record notes about contacts on their profile. Private notes allows you to keep records of when users contacted you, your internal notes, and how you have helped them.
- Draft Events. Draft events let you build an event at your own pace without publishing it to your website. You can work on your events until you are ready to publish it on your site, or schedule your event pages to publish at a future date and time.
- 15+ Languages. Event Espresso is is available in over 15 languages, and more are being added all the time.
- Bulk Upload Events. Event Espresso 4 provides a CSV-based importing feature that enables you to import a lot of event data all at one time. You can export, edit and upload data for events, datetimes, ticketing details, prices, registration questions, venues, terms, taxonomies, term relationships and more.
- Event Venue Management. The venue management feature in EE 4 allows information about a venue to be made available throughout the Event Espresso admin and the front-end of your website to inform site visitors of your event’s location. The venue record displays many of the standard WP settings such as tags, categories, discussion settings, comments, etc., but also displays venue details like venue seating capacity, venue web address, telephone number, physical and virtual location, Google map, etc. You can also display venues throughout specific sections in your WordPress theme and 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 listed for a given venue.
- Event Espresso Community. Event Espresso provides users with access to an expert community of experienced event managers and other plugin users. You can engage with other Event Espresso users via their community chat room, support forums, job board, and social media pages on Twitter, Facebook, Linkedin and Google+.
- Social Sharing. Event registrants and site visitors can help increase exposure for your event using social sharing buttons.
- Accurate Event Participant Management. You control your customers’ details; who has enrolled, for what event and how much they have paid. With the attendee manager, you can get an overview of registered attendees and their payment status, easily add/edit attendee records and payments, export a list of attendees to Excel for additional uses, send custom payment reminders and receipts and communicate with your attendees individually or all at once.
Additional features include:
- Define Extra Meta Information. This feature allows developers to have more control and options over your content and how your information displays to prospects.
- Control Box Management And Organization. Event Espresso leverages the WordPress user interface, which gives you the ability to reorder the user interface to suit your workflow process. Each meta box can be collapsed, re-arranged or completely deleted from your workflow configuration.
- Flexibility, Autonomy & Value: According to the philosophy stated on their site, Event Espresso’s aim is to “empower business and organization leaders with the event registration, ticketing and management tools that maximize the success of events.” To achieve their objectives, the company operates on a modular that provides users with great autonomy and flexibility and delivers value for money in the process.
The premium edition of Event Espresso also includes 40+ additional features, including:
- Live-filtering when searching for events within the Event Espresso admin.
- Question groups that make it easy to reuse the same group of questions for similar events.
- Default payment status.
As mentioned earlier, Event Espresso provides “add-ons”, which allow end-users to significantly expand the capabilities of your event management process.
Some of these addons include:
- Events Grid Template Add on: Displays events in a pure CSS grid-like structure using the featured image. Hovering over the image will display further information. If the event does not have a featured image available, it will use a default image.
- Recurring Events Management Addon: The Recurring Events management addon allows you to put your events on autopilot by scheduling repeated events weeks or months … even years in advance. You can schedule as many classes, meetings, courses and conferences in advance as you want. Event Espresso will then automatically open and close bookings for all of these recurring events.
- Events Date Range Template Addon: The Date Range custom event list template enables your users to search for events that take place within a certain date range.
- Social Media Buttons Addon: The social media addon 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 Add on: The Custom Template add-on lets you display your events in a range of visually exciting ways.
- Seating Chart Add on: The seating chart add on is great for venues and events that sell and reserve seats for attendees in advance. This is for venues and events such as theaters, concert halls, play houses, sports arenas and stadiums. The Seating Chart addon lets you offer reserved or assigned seating to your events and venues directly from your WordPress website. The Seating Chart add on lets you manage the experience for your attendees and design assigned seating charts and attach a single price to every seat.
- Multi-Event Registration Add on: The Multiple Event registration addon gives your potential attendees 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 Multiple Event Registration addon, attendees can register for several events at once and even add additional attendees to any of the same events in the same checkout process.
- EE4 Events Calendar Add-on: This addon uses the WP calendar to display events and categories of events using an attractive graphical calendar.
- EE4 Infusionsoft Integration Add on: With the Event Espresso 4 Infusionsoft integration all-in-one sales and business marketing plugin add-on, you can easily automate your customer relations and email marketing campaigns to seamlessly capture event attendee data, track registrations, and accept payments from your website.
Note: The Event Espresso development team is continually adding new features and improvements to its software, including new addons.
For complete details about the newest Event Espreso features and add ons, visit the plugin website here:
Here are just some of the many testimonials that users have posted about Event Espresso:
”Congratulations on an absolutely fantastic plugin. I’m really impressed with its functionality and add on features and will definitely upgrade my client’s production site to the premium version (when ready for launch) to incorporate all the features. As I have told another client “this plugin is the cat’s meow”.” Pete Mansel
”I have been using Event Espresso to run my festival and have been very happy with how it has worked out. They have provided tremendous support and their iPhone app is amazing and easy to use. I suggest using it for your event.” Alex Grant, Byron Spirit Festival
”I am in love with your product, I work with many educational institutions that hold classes/events and I will definitely recommend this to all of them, the only time I have seen a system this comprehensive and sophisticated is when an organization I worked with paid a programmer nearly $8,000 for a custom solution, and yet still there are features in your registration system that his didn’t have. Thank you so much for your help and patience.” Abdullah J.
Whether you are an education services provider, teacher, conference promoter, or event management professional, there are simply countless possibilities of what you can do with the Event Espresso plugin.
After downloading your copy of the plugin and becoming a registered user, go through the forums for tips and practical suggestions to streamline your event management process or enhance the experience of your registrants.
Event Espresso works with with most WP plugins and WordPress themes that follow standard WP development guidelines. If you have problems with the plugin, however, you will find that Event Espresso provides excellent technical support, as so many of its satisfied clients confirm:
”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
Event Espresso provides exceptional support with access to support forums, in-depth online documentation with faqs, knowledge base and how tos, email 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.
In addition, Event Espresso boasts an established team of experienced web developers with a solid track record of support, so this is definitely a solution you can rely on to run and manage your events.
Event Espresso is available in different editions, including a FREE basic edition (called Event Espresso Decaf). For personal support and advanced plugin features, however, you need to consider using one of the ”Pro” plugin editions below:
- Personal Licensing – This option enables you to run Event Espresso on one domain only. Includes 51+ Premium features, (add-ons sold separately) and one year of upgrades and support. Price = $69.95.
- Everything Licensing – This allows you to set up Event Espresso on one site only. It includes 51+ Premium features, 29 Premium add-ons and one year of upgrades and support. Cost = $279.95.
- Developer License Edition – This enables you to install Event Espresso on five domains. Includes 51+ Premium features, (add-ons sold separately) and 1 year of upgrades and support. Cost = $249.95.
The cost to purchase the Event Espresso plugin depends on whether there are any promotions or limited-time special offers. Currently, the plugin retails for the amounts shown above. Check the plugin’s website for current pricing details: Event Espresso – Event Espresso
Note: The above reflects the pricing at the time this review was written. This may or may not be the actual price charged by the plugin seller when you visit the website.
Event Espresso regularly adds new features and improvements to the software. Make sure to remain subscribed to their customer update list to receive the latest information and updates.
Use the plugin’s online documentation tools to find answers to common questions about setting up and how to use Event Espresso, and the support forums if you have questions related to your specific situation, or to report problems and give feedback.
For detailed documentation, demos, downloads, videos, tutorials, FAQ and more, visit the Event Espresso website.
The Bottom Line
Event Espresso is the preferred WordPress event registration and ticketing manager plugin, used by thousands of event managers.
If you own a WordPress website and you plan to run any event that requires scheduling dates and venues (offline and online), booking participants, or selling tickets or seating, then you will probably not find a better software for your needs than Event Espresso.
For more information, check out the plugin here: Event Espresso