Manage Events Like A Pro With WordPress

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If you’ve ever tried working with, coding for or just thinking about anything to do with events, you know they are a total nightmare in every possible way. Repeating events, schedules, multiple days, multiple tracks, multiple prices, multiple speakers, multiple organizations, multiple payment options — the list goes on on for quite some time.

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Today we’ll show you how to make event management an easy — nay, enjoyable — task by making WordPress do the grunt work for you. We’ll be looking at out-of-the-box WordPress features, plugins and themes and a DIY approach to managing events. Please do let us know if you have more or better ideas.

In A Nutshell

I know some people don’t like to read lengthy reviews, so here are my recommendations in the shortest possible form. We’ll look at all of these recommendations in depth, so read on if you want to know more about them.

If money is not an issue or you just want the best possible combination of products, I recommend using Event Espresso1 to manage the events and Eventure2 from ThemeForest to display them. This will set you back at least $125 (more if you need add-ons for Event Espresso), but it will give you one of the most powerful event-management setups you can get without touching any code.

If you don’t need a payment gateway, multiple-day event-specific options or other advanced features or you’re on a budget, you could use Events Manager Free Version443, Event Espresso Lite454 or Events Made Easy46245. These are all free and easy to use, providing roughly the same functionality. You might also want to purchase a theme to display your events nicely, which will set you back at least $35, but this is in no way required.

Event Management Features

Before we get to specific tools, let’s look at some of the features we get from an event-management system. You might not need all of these, but looking at them is useful when planning your system.

Events

Obviously, our event-management plugin should at least support events. The ability to create events that are separate from your regular posts is a powerful feature, allowing you to add events to your website’s existing content.

Event Taxonomies

Regular posts can be ordered into taxonomies — categories and tags. Having separate taxonomies for events (i.e. event categories and event tags) is useful for separating them from your regular content. If you organize Web development conferences, you might want to differentiate between design- and coding-related ones, or you might want to single out JavaScript- and Ruby-related ones. Your regular content might have nothing to do with Web development, so having separate taxonomies would come in handy.

Registrations

Allowing people to register for events right there on your website can greatly boost attendance. The path a user has to take from discovering your event to participating becomes that much shorter, which translates into a better user experience and more registrants.

You will also need to be able to manage registrations through the back end. Registrants should be listed somewhere, with easy access to their details.

Payment Gateways

The ability to accept payments online breaks down another barrier between your events and potential attendees. A feature that allows you to accept the widest variety of payment methods would be ideal.

Speaker Management

As a software programmer, I don’t like when I enter data somewhere and it’s not stored in an easily reusable way. The ability to manage speakers across your events is a big plus because it opens up access to powerful features later on. This feature should include the ability to add biographies and photos of speakers to the website.

Venue Management

As with speaker management, having all your locations stored properly will make them ease to reuse in future. If you need to schedule another event at the same venue, there’s no need to reenter the details; just select it from a menu, and off you go.

Participating Organizations

Another nice feature is being able to attach companies to events. Companies will often host events, and giving them some recognition for it is a nice thing to do in return.

Sponsors

Almost all major events have sponsors that contribute in some way (usually with money). They often require you to add their logo in various places. Being able to add the names, descriptions and logos of sponsors for an event would be handy.

Notification Management

There are two kinds of notifications we might want to control. On-site notifications are shown to users once they perform specific actions. When a user successfully pays for a ticket or encounters an error while registering, an on-site notification should pop up to let them know what’s going on. Being able to tailor the language of these to your style would be a nice feature.

The second type of notification are email messages to participants. Confirmations, reminders and so on would all be customized to your style.

Form Management

Controlling the information to gather from registrants is key to finding sponsors and making the lives of users easier. Being able to control this on an event-by-event basis would be best. Some events require less information from users, others more.

Coupon Management

Many events offer coupons for promotional purposes. If you want to engage users beyond your website, then giving coupons for third parties to distribute is a great tactic. Creating multiple coupons for various events would enable you to manage a full-blown coupon campaign.

Price Management

Another way to persuade visitors to register is to offer different price options, such as early-bird pricing, student discounts, last-minute offers and so on.

Multiple Day Events

Many events have so much going on that splitting them into multiple days is the only way to go. Being able to control this from the administration section would be a great plus, especially when coupled with price-management options (such as registration for one day only).

Repeating Events

If you are organizing a repeating event, you wouldn’t want to have to create it from scratch a hundred times a year. Scheduling and repeating tools would help minimize your effort.

Powerful Global and Miscellaneous Settings

A great event-management system has to have great global and miscellaneous settings. Settings for creating an events listing page, changing currencies, setting time zones and so on are all part of a complete system.

Complete Solutions

All of the WordPress plugins in this section are paid plugins, but if you’re running a serious operation, then the first two listed here are well worth the money.

The three best plugins around are Events Planner126, Events Manager177 and Event Espresso4398. Event Espresso is by far the best of the lot, but all three are versatile and under constant development.

Event Espresso

Espresso

Event Espresso4398 is the cream of the crop. It has built-in support for almost all of the features mentioned above (except perhaps sponsor management) — and much more! It enables you to set up multiple forms of payment, multiple event dates and times, multiple prices, discounts, promotions (coupons), locations (even virtual ones) and emails. It also creates posts for events automatically and does so much more!

Event Espresso also has a free “Lite” version, which gives you a taste of the solution. The lite version is actually pretty robust and can be used for simple situations. It includes event and attendee management, automated emails, customizable registration and PayPal Standard Payment.

You can easily tailor the design of event listings to your current theme. If you are willing to dish out the money for this plugin, I recommend getting a premium website theme as well and modifying that as needed.

Event Espresso is not cheap, but its feature set is top notch, so the price is justified. The basic version costs $89.95, which contains all of the features that 95% of people will need. From there, you can download free and paid add-ons to the basic system. Some free add-ons are for payment gateways, social media and calendars.

MailChimp integration, recurring events management, developer customization options, WordPress integration, Groupon integration, multiple event registration and shopping cart integration (coming soon) is available at between $25 and $35 a pop. Most of these are well worth their money, although getting the WordPress members integration for free would have been nice, because that’s not a huge programming leap.

Event-Espresso10
Event-Espresso-Admin11

Events Planner

Events Planner

Events Planner126 is another well-rounded system. It doesn’t have all of the features of Event Espresso, but it does give you a lot to work with. Event categories, tags, instructors, locations, companies, notifications, payments, registrations and more can be managed with ease.

The main difference between Events Planner and Event Espresso is that the former’s UI is less polished, and some features found in both are not as well implemented in it. Despite this, Events Planner remains extremely flexible and robust. If you don’t want to part with almost a hundred bucks, you’ll be able to grab Events Planner for $39, plus another $24 if you need plugins that supports advanced date- and time-specific functions.

Events Planner does not have a lite version, but you can create a custom installation yourself and test drive13 the pro version. This is a little unusual for plugins, but it does mean you can fully test it before purchasing.

events-planner-pro-dates14
events-planner-pro-cal-widgets15
events-planner-pro-time16

Events Manager

Events Manager

Events Manager177 is very similar to Events Planner in many ways. Some features have a better UI in Events Planner, while others are better in Events Manager. Were the price not so different, it would be a matter of preference, but because Events Manager costs a lot more than Events Planner, I would not recommend this solution.

Events Manager will set you back $75, and the price buys you only one year’s worth of upgrades. There are no plugins or add-ons here (which could be a good thing), but the higher price and losing access to updates after a year seems a bit cheeky at this price point.

Events Manager has a free version18 that gives you a lot of functionality. It supports event and booking management, recurring events, locations and more.

Events Manager19
Events Manager Admin20
Events Manager List21

Final Verdict

Of the three, Event Espresso is the clear winner. It supports every feature the other two do and a lot more. It also has handy (albeit slightly expensive) plugins, with more to come. Even at $89, if you run a successful business (or plan to), it isn’t a high price to pay for the features you get.

If you can’t spend that much on a plugin, then Events Planner is a very capable alternative that will not leave you wanting. When all is said and done, it does cost less than half of Event Espresso and still has 80% of its features. I would still heartily recommend it.

If you don’t need payment options, however, and you need a free solution, the free version of this plugin might be your best option. Have a look at the partial solutions below.

Partial Solutions

Quite a few solutions do not offer advanced features such as payment gateways and coupon management but do allow some flexibility and customizations for events.

The best options for a simpler approach are All-in-One Event Calendar, Event Organiser and Events Made Easy, as well as the free versions of Event Espresso and Events Manager. In a showdown, it would be a close call between Event Espresso and Events Manager.

All-in-One Event Calendar22 creates a new post type for your events, allowing you to keep blog posts and events side by side. It supports event categories, tags and a few other options. Because it allows you to create a calendar page, it’s a great solution if you need something simple and workable in minutes.

Event Organiser23 has all of the same functions plus a lot more! It has permission settings, permalink settings, importing and exporting options and even venue support. In addition, it has an admin calendar view that gives you a useful overview of your events.

Events Made Easy46245 has all of the features of All-In-One Event Calendar (except event tags), and it supports registrations and locations. If you absolutely need to support on-site registration, this would be the easiest to use. The UI is the least polished, though, so it won’t look as pretty in the administration section, but the features are solid.

Final Verdict

Despite the great features offered by these plugins, I would stick with Event Espresso Lite or the free version of Events Manager. Apart from offering more functionality, they will also ease your transition if you need the full-blown system later on.

Using WordPress Out Of The Box

If you don’t need to manage data for each event, WordPress’s core functionality will do just fine. Here are a few ideas to get you started:

  • Use posts to store events.
  • If you want to be able to have regular posts as well, distinguish them using categories.
  • Create top-level categories for distinguishing organizations, sponsors and venues.
  • Use your website’s registration functionality to manage past attendees, or use it as a master attendee list if separate registration is not required for your events.
  • Create pages for important information such as payment options.
  • Use PayPal buttons in event posts to let people register and pay directly through PayPal.

Many of these features are far from optimal for event-intensive websites, but if you just need something simple that you can set up in 10 minutes, give it a go.

If you do choose this option, pay close attention to consistency. If your goal is expansion, you are guaranteed to want a better system later on, and consistency will ensure that you can make the switch without a hiccup.

Comparing All Of The Options

There is a lot to learn and a lot of options if you want to get started with event management. To make your life easier, here is a table with all of the features discussed, along with the solutions that support them. Click on the image to go to the large version (it’s a bit small to look at here).

Comparison25
Large version26

Event-Friendly Themes

While the plugins do a nice job of helping you manage events, they are not designed to make your website pretty, which is equally important. No matter which route you take, you will need to do some work to make things fit perfectly, but some premium themes out there will shorten this process.

Eventure27
Eventure28
$35 | Large screenshot29 | Live preview30

Diarise31
Diarise32
$70 | Large screenshot33 | Live preview34

Events35 (from Elegant Themes)
Elegant Event36
Large screenshot37 | Live preview38

Eventure39
Events40
Large screenshot41 | Live preview42

Conclusion

Whichever solution you choose, you will have to put in a few hours of work to make your website work well and look good. I usually advise using free software whenever possible, but this happens to be one of those areas where I would go with a complete solution. Getting it right from the get-go will save you a lot of headaches in the long run.

If you can afford to spend over $100 on managing events, go for Event Espresso4398, coupled with one of the premium themes mentioned above.

If you want to spend as little as possible, then try Events Manager Free Version443, Event Espresso Lite454 or Events Made Easy46245. If you don’t plan on expanding a lot or you need multiple price points, go with Events Made Easy because it is completely free, with no paid version, so supporting the developer by using his product would be a nice gesture.

If you do plan on expanding, go with Event Espresso Lite because the pro version will have everything you need when you’re ready to buy it and you won’t have any migration or data problems.

(al)

Footnotes

  1. 1 http://eventespresso.com/
  2. 2 http://themeforest.net/item/eventure-responsive-events-wp-theme/1529155
  3. 3 http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/events-manager/
  4. 4 http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/event-espresso-free/
  5. 5 http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/events-made-easy/
  6. 6 http://www.wpeventsplanner.com/
  7. 7 http://wp-events-plugin.com/
  8. 8 http://eventespresso.com/
  9. 9 http://eventespresso.com/
  10. 10 http://www.smashingmagazine.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/04/Event-Espresso.png
  11. 11 http://www.smashingmagazine.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/04/Event-Espresso-Admin.png
  12. 12 http://www.wpeventsplanner.com/
  13. 13 http://www.wpeventsplanner.com/test-drive-events-planner-pro/
  14. 14 http://www.smashingmagazine.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/04/events-planner-pro-dates.jpg
  15. 15 http://www.smashingmagazine.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/04/events-planner-pro-cal-widgets.jpg
  16. 16 http://www.smashingmagazine.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/04/events-planner-pro-time.jpg
  17. 17 http://wp-events-plugin.com/
  18. 18 http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/events-manager/
  19. 19 http://www.smashingmagazine.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/04/Events-Manager.png
  20. 20 http://www.smashingmagazine.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/04/Events-Manager-admin.png
  21. 21 http://www.smashingmagazine.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/04/Events-manager-list.png
  22. 22 http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/all-in-one-event-calendar/
  23. 23 http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/event-organiser/
  24. 24 http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/events-made-easy/
  25. 25 http://www.smashingmagazine.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/04/comparison-full.jpg
  26. 26 http://www.smashingmagazine.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/04/comparison-full.jpg
  27. 27 http://themeforest.net/item/eventure-responsive-events-wp-theme/1529155?WT
  28. 28 http://www.smashingmagazine.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/04/eventure-full.png
  29. 29 http://www.smashingmagazine.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/04/eventure-full.png
  30. 30 http://themeforest.net/item/eventure-responsive-events-wp-theme/full_screen_preview/1529155
  31. 31 http://www.woothemes.com/2010/04/diarise/
  32. 32 http://www.smashingmagazine.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/04/diarise-full.png
  33. 33 http://www.smashingmagazine.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/04/diarise-full.png
  34. 34 http://demo.woothemes.com/?name=diarise
  35. 35 http://www.elegantthemes.com/gallery/event/
  36. 36 http://www.smashingmagazine.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/04/elegantevent-full.png
  37. 37 http://www.smashingmagazine.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/04/elegantevent-full.png
  38. 38 http://www.elegantthemes.com/demo/?theme=Event
  39. 39 http://templatic.com/cms-themes/events/
  40. 40 http://www.smashingmagazine.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/04/events-full.png
  41. 41 http://www.smashingmagazine.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/04/events-full.png
  42. 42 http://templatic.com/demos/?theme=events
  43. 43 http://eventespresso.com/
  44. 44 http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/events-manager/
  45. 45 http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/event-espresso-free/
  46. 46 http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/events-made-easy/

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Daniel is not only a web developer who is in love with WordPress, but also the Editor of the Smashing WordPress section. He owns a company called Bonsai Shed where they make web apps and premium themes like Musico and Estatement.

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  1. 1

    What about this one
    The Events Calendar –

    They have a free version and a pro.
    You can dive into the code a bunch with the free version.

    15
    • 2

      The Events Calendar is awesome. Even the free version is packed with features.

      2
    • 3

      The Events Calendar is the BEST!!!

      1
    • 4

      The Events Calendar is pretty good. I have used it on a few projects and it worked out pretty well.

      I used the free version so I ended up having to jump into their code to change how some things displayed, but it ended up working pretty nicely.

      0
  2. 5

    Good run down of a lot of the options. I regularly build event based sites with WordPress and find each project is different but I invariably end up with Events Manager

    I’m presuming this article is slightly unfinished as a couple of the links at the top are coded slightly wrong and your ‘A gallery will be added here …’ insert is showing!

    Most helpful part of the article is the options grid.

    4
  3. 6

    I had a nightmare trying to use WordPress’s core functionality for an events site.

    If you used the ‘published date’ field in combination with ‘view future posts’ then I found a ton of problems. Creating custom fields for dates didn’t really help too much either.

    So I gave up and customised ‘The Events Calendar’ mentioned above. It was tough to customise as it’s written in object orientated code, rather than the usual php procedural I’m used to, but I managed to get it working ok.

    Tough job though. I thought it would be a 3 day job to do the whole thing, custom front and back end, but it took double that.

    -2
    • 7

      Hey John, I had much the same issue , but using the more fields plugin to create custom fields for dates and price was a quick and painless fix for me.

      0
    • 8

      Event functionality always seems so much easier in your head compared to when you try and implement it. I have done this also for a really basic bare bones events system and it was a little bit frustrating.

      The plugins really are the way to go as clients usually end up wanting more features down the line.

      0
  4. 9

    EventEspresso is a real management tool for events. The other two is just some kind of light register. Perhaps ok in smaller solutions.

    1
  5. 10

    Nice stuff.Really brilliant work.Thank you for sharing.

    1
  6. 11

    Events Calendar Pro is great. Also, very helpful support

    The free version can sometimes be all you need.

    Don’t forgot, if its events for music…
    The free option, GigPress

    2
  7. 12

    Events Manager is getting a majjor update in the near future and will kick some butt…

    2
  8. 13

    Thanks for this round-up, whenever I see a SM review of WP plugins I know I’m going to be disappointed about something I’ve used in a past project and this one was no exception. I recently completed a job that involved event management and as I find is often the case with WP addons, despite spending a few hours combing the plugin repository, I never saw half of the options you have presented here.
    I went with with Events Manager, and once I was committed ended up needing the purchased support to resolve an issue in a timely manner. Is there any better place to go looking for plugins then the WP directory? Maybe somewhere with decent searching and filtering?

    1
  9. 14

    Hi

    Great article. I’ve used and experimented with many of the free versions of the plugins mentioned above.

    However after a lot of searching, I found The Events Calander (Free and Pro) was the best for what I was looking for. It should be noted that I wasn’t looking for event registration or booking (I was using a third party for ticketing). Perhaps I would have choosen Espresso of I needed that functionality.

    Is there a reason why The Events Calander wasn’t mentioned?

    Thanks and good article.

    2
  10. 15

    Hey peeps, thanks for all the call outs to The Events Calendar / Events Calendar Pro. Indeed I am sad to not see it included in the article. Of the features listed it also addresses the following:

    * Events (as a custom post type)
    * Events taxonomy
    * Venues (a custom post type with mapping)
    * Organizers (a custom post type with contact info)
    * Multiple day events
    * Form management – including custom fields
    * Repeating events (in the pro version)
    * “Powerful global and miscellaneous settings” – that’s a great heading!
    * Payment gateways (we’re almost ready to launch our Eventbrite integration 2.0 and will soon be adding other gateways.)
    * Price management

    Beyond that:

    * Automatic template integration – you can turn it on and things look great OR you can override the templates in your theme to do something custom
    * Mobile support – things look good on mobile screens out of the box – we’re working on making things even more responsive now as well.
    * Calendar grid and list views and widgets

    There’s also a ton more about to come out of the hopper including community events where people can submit their own events, conference manager and additional gateways and partnerships with other popular WordPress projects.

    Cheers!

    -p

    1
  11. 16

    I was quite surprised not to see The Events Calendar mentioned in this write-up. I just built a website for a company and employed the free version of their plugin to manage their corporate calendar. It looks great, is well coded, has lots of hooks and filters and is well thought out. You get a lot of good stuff in the free version and the Pro version has a whole bunch of powerful features and widgets with it. I would highly recommend that.

    0
  12. 17

    Hi all.

    Abel here from Events Planner.

    First, Daniel Pataki and Smashing Magazine, thanks very much for including Events Planner in your roundup. I am flattered :-)

    I wanted to add a few more things to complement Daniel’s article. Quite a few new things have been added to Events Planner as of late.

    1) Events Planner does have a lite version in the plugin repository (Events Planner Lite) that has been out for over 6 months.

    2) Since it is completely custom post type driven, it is multisite compatible out of the box, very well meshed with wordpress, and very flexible. I will have developer tutorials soon on how to extend Events Planner.

    3) Version 1.2 is coming within a week or so that has:
    - Discount Manager (Automatic and Code Based, pretty powerful)
    - Attendee lists
    - Expanded Calendar and Widget functionality
    - a lot more

    I would also like to mention that I have very high satisfaction rate with the plugin (features, stability, support…), and will have some pretty neat things coming in the next month or so.

    Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions/comments via help [{a@t]} wpeventsplanner.com

    Thanks, Abel

    3
  13. 18

    I recently did a project that required events management. After much research, we went with Event Espresso. It turned out to not be not such a great choice. It was very difficult to customize templates. The documentation was not very clear for many things, and it took quite some time to make it all work. I found a major bug in one of the supplied templates, and was told they would look into it, and in the meantime, I should continue to use a workaround, one that required me to manually code in some content rather than allowing the client to use the WordPress backend… never heard back. Then in actual use, there was another strange bug that would occur when creating events that would screw everything up. Not to mention that the interface for events was so complicated that the client never could wrap her head around it. In the end, we had to go with other solutions, and the experiment turned out to be very costly. It has potential, but until they get all the bugs worked out, I would look at the other available plugins.

    4
    • 19

      Hi, Cielo:

      Thanks for your feedback. We’re in the middle of development for a major update and hope to begin making strides on usability. I’m also sorry for any support issues you had an a lack of response. I will talk to our team, investigate it, and create a work-plan on how we can improve. We really want to provide the best service to any customers in the WordPress industry, so your experience is deeply disappointing to us. I’d love to get more of your feedback. We are also in the middle of a new website design that will improve support. Please email me at MyFirstName @ eventespresso.com.

      -2
      • 20

        Event Espresso does not work as advertised. I could not get one ounce of help from their development team. The site does a great sales pitch, I bought it hook line and sinker, but it cost me $175. They cut my support when I started questioning about their documentation and why I need to buy the support tokens in order to get the thing working. Now I have the purchased software and no acccess to their support website.

        Spend your money somewhere else.

        0
    • 21

      Did you find a good solution? I’m going through the same thing. Event espresso did not work well with my theme. I am a beginning wordpress user, and would really like a simple solution to schedule craft classes with paid rsvp on my site.

      0
  14. 22

    Hi.

    I’ve been looking around the net for WP plugins and articles that focuses on Events Management since I plan to build one in the future and great thing that I stumbled on this great article.

    -1
  15. 23

    Thank you, Daniel.

    We’re humbled and honored to be recognized for our years of effort, but we fully recognize we can still improve. Our goal is to offer the best support available in the WordPress industry so if you ever have a bad experience please let Seth or me know. We have more than 7 full-time staff dedicated to this effort and are serious about helping our customers be successful. Our mission is to empower all our users and we certainly don’t want to get in the way.

    As far as an update –

    We’re in the middle of a new version (version 3.2) that will offer one-click upgrades, an improved UI, a better shopping cart add-on, improved event calendar and much more.

    We’re also very close to launching our new website that will better explain our benefits and features, and greatly add the tools we need to provide world-class support.

    Look forward to great things to come from Event Espresso, with features that have never been offered by a WordPress plugin (and most ticketing companies).

    -4
  16. 27

    Would love to try it out. Are you accepting beta testers still?

    0
    • 28

      @Shawn are you talking about Event Espresso? If so, yes are still accepting beta testers.

      0
      • 29

        Hi Seth im one of your clients, and i want to test the beta version of event espresso 3.2!

        0
      • 30

        Hi, this looks so great!!Unfortunately, I cant make it to the event but I want to know how can I see the video of this interesting event.Thanks a lotMelany TovarMarketing ExecutiveTDC Events Int

        0
  17. 31

    Events Calendar for the win.

    0
  18. 32

    Great guide to handle the event with wordpress.

    But templatic theme is very bugful and not even compatible to wp 3.0.

    Their support is even horrifying and sometime they gets abusive.

    Overall pay for the buggy themes, get abused and to top it all loose your online credit.

    0
    • 33

      First off, awesome article! Love how you provided several different solutions for tacking events in WP.

      I’m a little late to the party but just wanted to say that Darren here isn’t the biggest Templatic fan so before you decide anything be sure to test out the theme and see for yourself. Our test site is available at http://test.templatic.com.

      If you have any second thoughts I’m available on this email
      http://templatic.com/vedran_email.png

      Cheers
      Vedran from Templatic

      0
  19. 34

    HI,

    since i’m living in germany it would be nice to see if any of these solutions can be used in other languages than english.
    It would be nice if smashing magazine could offer this information with all mentioned plug ins and themes in every article.

    Benedikt

    1
    • 35

      Event Espresso has several translations available and we offer discounts or even free stuff to our translators.

      0
    • 36

      @Benedikt I am pretty sure most of the plugins listed here, have been translated or can be translated into other languages.

      0
  20. 37

    WordPress for events. Seriously?
    Why don’t you use a full CMS like Drupal? Heck, even Joomla could do a better job.

    -30
  21. 38

    Nuno Morgadinho

    April 13, 2012 3:54 am

    We recently launched WP Conference Theme (www.wpconferencetheme.com) with the goal of being a solution for conference websites based on WordPress. It features speakers, program, sponsors, Eventbrite integration, etc. If any of you are willing to try it out we’re looking for feedback from early adopters :-)

    19
  22. 39

    Not sure why, but it felt like this article was a bit anti Event Manager?!

    The UI is very easy to understand, there’s lots of solid features already established. The plugin seems stable and easy to customise. They’ve got some great new features in the pipeline and the supports been excellent so far!

    1
  23. 40

    Thank you for this post. The comparison table is really useful!
    Event Calendar / Scheduler is also a neat free plugin if one just needs to display events in a scheduling calendar (supports map view, multiday and repeating events).

    0
  24. 41

    Konstantin Kovshenin

    May 4, 2012 5:05 am

    Ha! “A gallery will be added here with 3-4 images of how an event is displayed by default, a screenshot from the admin, etc. The images can be found in the images/gallery/ folder of this draft.”

    2
    • 42

      I admit! I’m not perfect :) But I do strive for accuracy. Article updated with the missing images — Thanks again for your help, Konstantin — much appreciated!

      0
      • 43

        Why does the “Smashing Events” image say “Buy Two Tickets, get the third at 4x the price!” … hehe…

        Easter Egg, or mistake (should be 1/4 the price)??

        0
  25. 44

    Bjørn Johansen

    June 20, 2012 1:13 am

    I have not yet tried it, but if it deliveres as promised, this statement is false:
    ’Event Espresso is not cheap’

    If you are serious about your events and have a need for the functionality in Event Espresso, $89.95 is really dirt cheap.

    I don’t know how much you charge per hour, but if you can make anything like Event Espresso cheaper than $89.95, I want to hire you to replace me at work. Your clients who need this functionality will value it tenfold or more.

    2
  26. 47

    Has anyone found one of these addons exceptionally good at handling multiple tracks, speakers and sponsors?
    Actually do any of them handle multiple tracks or rooms out of the box?

    0
  27. 48

    We are going to create a theme for the multiply events and will use information from this article and all comments. If you would like, check our single event-managing WP theme (template) based on popular Themeforest’s Event/Conference landing page: http://themeforest.net/item/expo18-responsive-event-conference-wordpress-theme/2680170

    0
  28. 49

    REALLY wish someone had one of the features you mentioned:

    Sponsors
    Almost all major events have sponsors that contribute in some way (usually with money). They often require you to add their logo in various places. Being able to add the names, descriptions and logos of sponsors for an event would be handy.

    Some do have an “organizer” but usually there are multiple sponsors for an event :(

    0
  29. 50

    For anyone looking for an online registration management solution, take note: the three event managers featured above require you to buy their pro version before you can manually enter in registrations. This will cause some trouble for organizations who use multiple registration methods, and then want to consolidate their registrations in wordpress.

    0
  30. 51

    If you not happy with listed solutions. You can try this tickettool.net.
    They have wp plugin http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/tickettool/
    Also FB app, mailchimp intergation and so on.

    0
  31. 52

    Great article. It was a fantastic start to my search for a solution to managing a scientific conference. Unfortunately none of these plugins support attendee-submitted abstracts, so I had to put together a system that was a mash up of plugins. I ended up using the CampTix plugin http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/camptix/ for ticketing and WP User Frontend for abstract submission. I did a full write up here http://whatsamknows.tumblr.com/post/40304065562/hosting-a-scientific-conference-with-wordpress though I think most of the plugins you’ve mentioned could work well with my set up.

    0
  32. 53

    I’m planning on using this to build a site for a customer. So far, the one thing that stands out about Events Manager Pro is that it says that each event can also post back to the calendar on the main site. So, if I understand correctly, each person signing up to the multi-site network can have their unique listing of events at studio1.example.com and the events could also post back to an aggregated list on www.example.com

    That’s pretty powerful, and it fills my need!

    0
  33. 55

    The Events Calendar with Woo ticketing seems like a pretty good option. I have been using Espresso and I am getting some issues with broken links images that are part of the plugin in webkit browsers on Mac.

    This seems like it might be a better option: http://tri.be/shop/wordpress-wootickets/

    Combined with: http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/the-events-calendar/

    I have had good experiences with Woo-Commerce and it is relatively easy to customize with all the available hooks.

    1
  34. 56

    well, most of these initial comments are over a year old.

    I think we are due for an update! So, I’m asking…

    What is the best solution for creating:
    A membership-based website…
    where Instructors (with member profile) can schedule a class/event…
    and Consumers (with member profiles) can RSVP to attend them…
    Purchase a monthly membership or pay-per-event/class
    Class/Events can be recurring (weekly, monthly, occasionally, and custom)…
    Color coded Calendar
    Class/Event filters to find “Monday” “Big Group” “North” classes/events, or “Friday” “Small Group” “South” classes/events for example
    With Venue management
    With Google Maps that can shortcode to show different maps such as “This week” or “Mondays this month, big group” or simply “All Events” overlayed onto one map

    Does this exist? The only/best example I can mention is the meetup website, however they don’t offer a white label solution.

    0
    • 57

      Hi,

      You really want a Learning Management System solution which I have quite a bit of experience with. WordPress is coming of age with LMS plugins. The best I have seen so far is LearnDash but it was released recently and I am waiting to see it mature a bit.

      In the interim, my solution for one done with WordPress was a combination of All-in-One Event Calendar by Timely since it does an excellent job of calendar management, also Fast Secure Contact Form for the admission form, and since it interfaces with Contact Form DB, it is being used to store the admission submits from the Fast Secure Contact Form. I also display the All-in-One Event Calendar below it for the specific class, and also allow browsing through the others. I also use Cool fade popup to announce one time per user session, the most recent classes available with their links to the admission form for each.

      That handles admissions, venues, etc. very nicely. Since payments are not being done online, this was not a requirement. Easy to solve using payment processor plugins.

      This works great for admissions but not for class management. For that I decided to use Instructure Canvas which is an LMS you can use freely if you are an instructor or give a reason why you are using it such as online learning research, or tech classes, whatever. Canvas also has dozens and dozens of LTI (Learning Tool Integration) such as a gateway to your WordPress site for student blogs or other uses of your site from within Canvas. Combined with the Respondus electronic quiz manager that publishes directly to Canvas online quizzes, it just cannot be beat for a home grown solution.

      Ultimately I will be also implementing LearnDash since it is SCORM compliant and also leverages the newest version of it which is referred to as Tin Can API.

      Hope this helps! The bottom line is choosing the right plugins etc. to do the job and event management is great but often not well suited for emulating a learning management system.

      Regards,

      Joe

      0
    • 58

      Hey Shawn,

      please share what did you find as solution for your needs?
      i am looking for something similar!

      0
  35. 59

    Hi,

    Just wanted to say this was great for the R&D I had to do today for an estimate just sent out. I have been doing event-centric web sites on and off for both Joomla and WordPress. The hardest thing I have found about any event management application is the complexity to set up the events. Most users I have encountered over that last several users cannot handle it, wind up asking me to do the setup and don’t want to pay for it. Most wind up going back to their online service they used before they asked for an onsite solution since they can’t handle or won’t pay me to maintain their events. It usually is the registration form setup that blows them away.

    I also had to get up to date and after spending most of the day demoing these and experience with all the others listed chose Event Management Pro. I thought Espresso was complex (and I have been an IT professional for 35 years) and I did not like the styling at all.

    Event Management Pro was easy to set up and also is very stylish. The proof will be if my user can actually do it themselves.

    Regards,

    Joseph J. Geller
    Stony Creek Consulting, LLC

    0
  36. 60

    I’m using Eventorganizer which is a great choice and has tons of features:

    wp-event-organiser.com/

    0

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