10 Best Event Management Software & Planning Tools Compared

Tuesday, October 6, 2020
Michael Zunenshine
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Introduction

Life is a series of events. Not all events must be huge in-person events in crowded exhibition halls. These days more events are going online. Otherwise almost all events are hybrid to a degree. Hybrid events combine live and virtual elements.

Are you a professional event organizer or an entrepreneur looking to create your own successful events? Either way, you need the best event management software and planning tools.

This article compares 10 good event planning software solutions. We look at which software is best for different event sizes, kinds and industries. Some are great for large live events. Others are better for small online events.

The starting prices for these platforms are listed when available. Most event management software has custom prices. Prices are based on the size, scale, and duration of the event. Event organizers can get a quote by contacting the vendors through their websites.

Before we dig into the 10 best event management software, let’s look at some of the event planning tools out there. 

 

 

Event management software comparison chart (top 10)

 

Product

Best for

Pricing (starts at*)

Website

Bizzabo

Best event management software overall

Contact vendor

Visit

Eventbrite

Best free event management software for free events

2% + $0.79 / ticket sold

Visit

Aventri

Best event management platform for virtual events

Contact vendor

Visit

Boomset

Best event management platform for live events

Contact vendor

Visit

Cvent

Top event planning tool for end-to-end event automation

Contact vendor

Visit

Eventmobi

Good event planning software for attendee engagement

Contact vendor

Visit

EventSquid

Good event planning tool if you need to manage speakers

$3,850 / year

Visit

Whova

Top event planning marketing software

Contact vendor

Visit

Regpack

Good event planning software for online registration

$89 / admin/month

Visit

Attendease

Top event planning tool for branded event experience

Contact vendor

Visit

*Prices listed do not include free versions.

 

What is event management software?

Event management software helps you plan future events and run ongoing events. They also gather feedback on past events to help better plan future events.

The typical tools of the best event management software include the following:

Event marketing

Good event planning software lets you build event websites to market your event. It helps you craft advertising campaigns for email marketing and social media marketing. It captures interested leads. It then engages with those leads to convert them into paying event attendees.

Event registration and payment

After marketing, it’s time to sell tickets. The best event management tools include ticketing platforms. These handle everything from payment to registration. Attendees can order tickets online. It processes credit cards or other payment forms. It also lets people reserve spots for specific event activities. Event planners can better organize their events based on ticket sales and RSVPs. 

Event Planning

Event planning is like project management. There are tools for organizing speakers at conventions or musical acts at festivals. They also include floorplans for large exhibitions or smaller seating arrangements for galas. Event planning tools can help with guest lists. They also can do food menus, equipment rentals, staffing, and even health and safety factors.

Check-ins

Good event management solutions have tools for live events. It lets event workers do check-ins for the attendees. There is badge printing and ticket scanning. Tickets can be physical vouchers or digital tickets on mobile apps. Some of the best event management tools offer facial recognition.

Event experience

The best event software solutions improve the attendees’ event experience. One of the best ways is the creation of mobile event apps. Event management tools let you create customizable mobile apps. These help attendees navigate the event and schedule. They also boost engagement between attendees and event planners. Exhibitors and event sponsors can engage with apps too.

Virtual events

These days more events are going online. Virtual events can be webinars, teaching seminars, online conferences, and more. The most all-in-one event management tools include features for virtual events. These include tools for virtual conferencing. They also have tools for digital presentations and interactive online platforms.

After the event

Events create loads of useful feedback. Event organizers use past events to improve the planning of future events. Event planning software gathers data. This can be in the form of stats like ticket sales, registration numbers, attendee lists, and capacities. It also offers survey and feedback tools. This way attendees can comment on their own personal experiences.    

What is the best event management software? Here’s our top 10 list of event planning tools:

Time to check out the best event planning and management platforms out there. We’ve got software for live events and virtual ones. Some tools have niches, and other platforms are all-in-one packages.

 

Bizzabo (best event management software overall)

Bizzabo was first conceived back in 2011. The three cofounders were working at startups and attending many events. They realized there was a need for better event management software. Today they have offices in New York and Tel Aviv.

Bizzabo is useful for event planners working in live events and online events. It’s got good tools to help increase event registration. You can use Bizzabo to create email marketing campaigns and landing pages for your events. There are features to streamline ticketing and to communicate with attendees. Agenda tools help to increase audience engagement. Bizzabo also helps boost the ROI of event sponsors. You get real-time insights and post-event analytics. Finally, Bizzabo lets you create customizable mobile apps for events.

For prices, you have to contact Bizzabo.

Bizzabi is best for:

  • Event planning

  • Corporate events

  • Registration process

  • Event marketing

  • Overall event experience

bizzabo.com

 

Eventbrite (best free event management software for free events)

Eventbrite is a US company and a very early name in online ticketing. The founders had roots in Paypal. So the transition to online ticketing was a natural step.

This is great for event planners working in events of all sizes. It’s useful for large professional events like conventions. It’s also good for small intimate ones like private seminars. Eventbrite lets you create customizable websites for your events. These sites can have tools for registration, payment, analytics and support. Event planners can manage their events through Eventbrite’s mobile apps. You can track sales in real time. For live events, there is a mobile ticket scanner. It also helps with equipment rentals and staffing.

Eventbrite is free for free events. Otherwise Eventbrite’s fees are based on ticket sales. These start at 2% + $0.79. Eventbrite makes it so that you can pass on the fees to the attendees.

Eventbrite is best for:

  • Online event ticketing

  • Online registration

  • Event websites

  • Event mobile apps

  • End to end event management

eventbrite.com

 

Aventri (best event management tool for virtual events)

Aventri has gone by many other names. It started as Global Executive Business Service in 1998, then became etouches in 2008. In 2018 it got the name Aventri and has been a top event planning platform ever since.

Aventri is a total package to help you with the whole event planning process. From before events, during events and after, Aventri has many features. To plan events it gives you a database of venues and venue prices. You get a lot of tools for event registration. For physical events there are floor plan design tools and attendee seating tools. Aventri helps you with attendee engagement at every step of the way. When it comes to boosting ticket sales, Aventri has many ROI features. It also includes advertising and sponsorship tools. You can create a mobile event app that pushes sponsored content to attendees. It can also do live polling and Q&As.

For prices, get in touch with Aventri’s sales team. 

Aventri is best for:

  • Virtual events

  • Virtual conferences

  • Event data

  • Online event pages

  • Corporate events

aventri.com

 

Boomset (best event management tool for live events)

Boomset was founded in 2011. The idea came from two friends fed up waiting in lines to get into events. Today it’s an award-winning event management tool. It’s an all-in-one platform for virtual and live event planning.

This is a great tool for large exhibitions and conventions. There are loads of tools in Boomset. It’s got everything from online registration to check-in to badge printing. You can do great event registration pages, manage ticket sales, and do event marketing. There is a suite of tools for kiosk check-ins at live events. Boomset also has lead retrieval. This helps exhibitors connect with attendees using mobile devices. Session management lets you track data on which event activities are most popular. It also helps plan schedules. Boomset even has facial recognition software for check-ins. Finally, Boomset has well-known great customer support for its users.

Boomset has 3 plans and you can get premium add-ons. For prices contact their sales team.  

Boomset is best for:

  • Live events

  • Conventions

  • Corporate events

  • Event data

  • Customer support

  • Check-ins

  • Lead retrieval

boomset.com

 

Cvent (top event planning tool for end-to-end event automation)

Cvent goes back to 1999, in the days of the heady dot com boom. This event technology was strong enough to survive the bust. Since then, Cvent has been acquiring loads of other event management platform SaaS. Today it’s become a favorite among event organizers.

Cvent event management works alongside other Cvent products like meeting and conference management. It can handle virtual events as well as live ones. This event management software uses a lot of automation. This takes over repetitive tasks and saves you time. Cvent does the whole event lifecycle. From budgeting to marketing to insights. For live events it helps you find venues, plan floor diagrams and seating, and does onside check-in. You get branded event websites too. For virtual events, attendees can use native mobile apps. The video is high quality and allows up to 500 participants.

For the cost, Cvent takes into account many factors. For prices you can request a quote on their site. 

Cvent is best for:

  • End-to-end event management

  • Automation

  • Event marketing

  • Venue sourcing

  • Event budgets

  • Mobile apps

  • Virtual conferences

cvent.com

 

EventMobi (good event planning software for attendee engagement)

EventMobi is a Candian company out of Toronto. It’s been in the event management solution game since 2009. Today it’s an international platform. EventMobi helps event planners in over 70 countries plan events in 27 languages.

This is an all-in-one event management system. EventMobi does live events, virtual events and hybrid events. When it comes to event marketing, you get many tools. Included are customizable event websites, email marketing, registration forms, and payment platforms. EventMobi also offers social media dashboards to monitor engagement. With EventMobi making a branded event mobile app is easy. You can also use mobile apps for gamification. This lets you reward attendees who engage with the app and with other attendees. EventMobi does live check-ins and badge printing. Finally you get polling and survey tools as well as analytics.

Some online review sites say EventMobi is a one-time fee of $999.00. But for current prices you’ll have to contact EventMobi for a quote.

EventMobi is best for:

  • Attendee engagement

  • Event marketing

  • Event website building

  • Event mobile apps

  • Gamification

eventmobi.com

 

EventSquid (good event planning tool if you need to manage speakers)

EventSquid traces its roots back to the mid-90s. The first foray into event planning came in 2012 for the sports and hobby industries. By 2015 the platform matured into the EventSquid software used today.

EventSquid offers its users a variety of automation features. These will save time for event planners. These include event registration, websites & mobile apps. There are also features for exhibitor sales, attendee engagement, speaker management, reporting and more. All websites and apps can be white label solutions. There are lots of controls for handling 3rd-party registration. Check-in tools let you scan badges, mobile devices and even vouchers. A daily dashboard gives you real-time updates into registration and other details. There is a feature to space out floor plans. EventSquid can save exhibitors and speakers' profiles in a library for future use.

EventSquid has customizable prices depending on your event. Costs are always a flat annual fee. The lowest price begins at $3,850.

EventSquid is best for:

  • Speaker management

  • Event registration

  • Online ticketing

  • Floor plan design

  • Check-in tools

  • Corporate events

  • Virtual events

eventsquid.com

 

Whova (top event marketing software)

Whova is an event management solution that’s been out since about 2013. It’s a real award-winning tool for event professionals. Whova has won the best event app at the ETA (Event Technology Awards) for 4 years in a row.

Whova is great for event marketing. You get a customizable event website builder with lots of templates to choose from. A real-time dashboard shows your website’s engagement data. Whova helps you create ads and posts for social media too. There are good tools for lead retrieval. Exhibitors can capture leads with smartphones and send them to CRMs. It offers Smart Profiles to help identify leads and schedule meetings. You can also do business card scanning. There is session attendance management to see how many RSVPs you get. 

Once again, you can contact Whova to get a bespoke quote depending on the size and duration of your event.

Whova is best for:

  • Event marketing

  • Event data

  • Analytics and reporting

  • Lead retrieval

  • Social media management

  • Event attendee management

whova.com

 

Regpack (good event planning software for online registration)

Regpack is an American company based in San Diego. The Regpack technology is based on the founder’s PhD work in conditional logic. This is to make sure everyone engaging with Regpack gets a customizable experience.

Regpack is a bit more niche than end-to-end event planning. It does not include tools for managing an entire event. Regpack is a specific online event registration platform. It can handle a wide range of events and other things that use online registrations. These include conferences, workshops and retreats. It also handles school events, summer camps and group trips. It all begins with an online registration form builder. The conditional logic ensures a customizable registration flow process. Regpack does online payment processing. You also get analytics and reporting.

Regpack has several pricing options depending on the number of applicants. Yearly plans begin at $89 per admin per month billed annually, and it’s good for up to 2,000 applicants.  

Regpack is best for:

  • Online registration

  • Educational events

  • Summer camps events

  • Group trip events

  • Sports events

  • Payment processing

regpacks.com

 

Attendease (top event planning tool for branded event experience)

Attendease was founded by three buddies in Vancouver, Canada in 2001. It was originally called Coverall Crew. It originally focused on online event registration and event website building. Today Attendease is a complete automated event management solution.

Attendease is a great event management and planning tool for events of all sizes. It’s useful for private events, public ones and free ones. It also lets event managers plan and manage many events at the same time. The automation lets you create repeatable and scalable event planning processes. Event attendees get a fully branded event experience from website to online registration to email marketing and surveys. It lets you build a mobile app for social sharing and other attendee engagement.

Attendease has several pricing options. To get a quote contact their sales teams. 

Attendease is best for:

  • Branded event experience

  • Free events

  • Multiple event management

  • Event website building

  • Email marketing

  • Surveys

attendease.com

 

Conclusion

From massive trade shows, to online webinars: Events are great for professional and social networking. 

Not everyone thinks they need event management software. Sure, you can plan an event with typical project management tools like Trello. Trello even has event planning as one of their templates. Even Salesforce has event management solutions. 

But the best events need the best event planning solutions. Bizzabo and Eventbrite top the list for best event management tools overall. Boomset is a good event planning tool for live events. Aventri is a good event management software for virtual events.

The other event management tools discussed here all have their merits. Before you pick the tool right for you, remember to consider your needs. Live or virtual? Large or small? One time event or recurring? Pure business or a mix of work and play?

When you figure this out and select your tools, you’ll streamline event planning to the next level. Your staff will enjoy more free time from routine tasks. And your guest list will all feel like VIPs.

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