The Best WordPress Event Plugins for Online Event Management

The Best WordPress Event Plugins for Online Event Management

Holding an event anytime soon? If so WordPress and one of the especially built event plugins can make organising and managing the occasion a much simpler prospect.

While you could in theory use the WordPress core functionality to manage an event, registering guests as users and using standard posts for the event details, it would soon leave you frustrated. With a good selection of purpose built events plugin for WordPress already out there, most with free versions, there seems little point in going it alone.

If you’ve been tasked with managing an event online then these plugins will make your task a whole lot easier.

The Best WordPress Event Plugins

As with most plugins these days, there are free and premium options available as well as an increasing number of freemium plugins. These options include the basic feature set, which can then be expanded by upgrading to the pro version.

When selecting a free plugin, especially for a potentially complex task such as managing an event, it’s a good idea to select one that offers an upgrade for those occasions when you find you need more power and functionality from your online solution.

Event Espresso

This is by no means the least expensive event plugin for WordPress but it might just be one of the best. Events Espresso describes itself as an ‘Event Registration & Ticketing Management Plugin for WordPress’ which gives you some idea of the scope of this product.

However, for those that don’t need access to the full set of features, or would just like to road test this plugin before handing over any money, there is a lite version of Event Espresso available.

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The pricing plans all come with one year of support and upgrades making it ideal to those new to WordPress and who want a reliable solution for managing events online and require the support to back up their choice.

Standard features of this plugin include:

  • Event registration via your WordPress site
  • Process payments with PayPal
  • Create custom event registration questions
  • Automated confirmation and reminder emails
  • Manage attendee lists and export attendee data

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Advanced features of Event Espresso include:

  • Event Calendar
  • Additional payment gateways
  • Promotional discount codes
  • Multiple pricing options
  • Manual registration
  • MailChimp integration
  • Waiting lists for sold out events

View the full list of features on this page

As you can see this is a fully featured events management plugin for WordPress. It covers everything you might need when it comes to managing an event online, saving you countless admin hours and organisational headaches. Even if you don’t use WordPress, its worth installing it just for this plugin if you are looking for an easy to setup and administer events system.

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Modern Tribe Events Calendar

This is another events plugin that comes in free and pro versions. The plugin had been developed by Modern Tribe who has a range of plugins related to events.

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Standard features of the Events Calendar plugin include:

  • Create multiple events
  • Work with saved venues and organisers
  • Multiple views for listing events
  • Google maps integration
  • Upcoming events widget
  • Custom taxonomies for events
  • Built with Ajax for super smooth browsing

Advanced features of Events Calendar include:

  • Recurring events
  • Even more views including map, photo, venue & organiser
  • More widgets for your sidebars including calendar, venue & event countdown
  • Sell tickets via WooCommerce or Eventbrite
  • Import events from Facebook

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This plugin has a great range of features that make it ideal for running multiple events. The plugin works right out of the box but is also highly customisable should you want to modify it to fit in with your events and site design. If you build websites and want event functionality incorporated into those sites, without looking like an obvious addon, this this offering from Modern Tribe will be of interest to you.

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Events Manager

Another set of free and premium plugins to help you manage events from your WordPress site. The free version is very popular with over 700,000 download and a user rating of 4.2 out 5, making it a safe bet.

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With this plugin you can allow your guests to register online and confirm their attendance. Multiple events can be created and managed and each one can be inserted into posts and pages using WordPress shortcodes.

The free version does have a lot of features, which should be enough to help you get started and make the transition to online events management. The pro version comes with payment processing using PayPal and Authorize.net as well as a $75 price tag for use on one site or $150 for use on five sites.

Standard features of Events Manager include:

  • Custom post types
  • Recurring events
  • Custom taxonomies for events
  • MultiSite support
  • Google Maps support
  • Custom locations
  • Added tax for tickets
  • Multiple tickets and pricing
  • Maintenance and support

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Advanced features of this plugin include:

  • Coupons and discount manager
  • Customisable email reminders
  • Transaction history
  • Customisable booking forms
  • Premium support

View the full comparison of features for the Events Manager plugin

While the pro version this plugin isn’t an inexpensive option compared to some of the other choices out there, it lacks the features and usability of Event Espresso while commanding a similar price tag. However, the free version is packed with features and is a good place to start for any event manager looking to bring their admin tasks online with WordPress.

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Event Organiser

This is a free events plugin for WordPress, although there is a premium upgrade available which allows you to sell tickets for your event online.

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The plugin uses custom post types in WordPress. This means your event pages will have all the functionality of a regular WordPress post, ensuring they look as professional and well-designed as possible, along with the extra tools this plugin provides.

Events can be viewed in list mode or by using a calendar in the admin area of your WordPress site. Multiple events can be created including one-off and recurring events. When it comes to creating complex recurring schedules, this plugin has got it covered.

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The Event Organiser plugin is also integrated with Google Maps for useful venue management, helping to ensure your participants get to the right location on time.

Standard features of this plugin include:

  • Widgets: calendar widget, events list widget & events agenda widget
  • Event archive pages
  • Shortcodes: insert venue maps, full event details, agendas, event lists & calendars
  • Queries: find upcoming events by date
  • Import/export  events to iCal

Advanced features of the Event Organiser Upgrade include:

  • Send emails to bookees from the WordPress admin
  • Customisable emails sent
  • Flexible ticket options including booking a series & limit number of tickets

The free plugin here has lots of great features required to manage a booking service for an event online. The pro version brings some extra functionality to the table and at £40 / $62 for a single site license, it’s one of the more inexpensive options so far.

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Conclusion

When it comes to making a final choice, if you are managing a professional event, then you are probably better off investing in a premium WordPress plugin. From the list of available options, he pro version of Event Espresso would be my recommendation. The amount of time it can save you will soon ensure you recoup any outlay spent on purchasing the plugin.  Event Espresso has a great feature set and ease of use that makes managing bookings online something that can become possible for almost all levels of users.

If your events are less formal and more for pleasure, rather than profit, going with one of the freemium choices is a good idea. The lite versions available here provide good levels of functionality and the ability to upgrade to the pro features at a later date, should the need arise, will prevent you from having to start with a new system once you’ve outgrown the free plugin.