Manage Your Events Online With Event Espresso WordPress Plugin
by Brett Combs
Does your business currently run or plan to run events that need handling bookings or registrations, such as seminars, group classes, non-profit fundraisers, networking events, or even a large-scale event such as a show, a sporting or religious event, or any kind of event where people need to book to attend or participate?
Managing event registrations can be a complex process. You may need to co-ordinate calendar schedules, event dates, attendee numbers, data collection and admin, payment processing and invoicing, confirmations and reservations, reminders, cancellations … perhaps even accommodating special requests and providing tickets to participants.
There are lots of advantages to setting up a web-based event registration system. It can streamline your business processes, save time and lower expenses, help you easily reproduce previously-run events, give you more control, improve customer experience and increase your sales.
The problem is that this can be expensive.
The good news is that if you run a WordPress-powered site, you can easily set up a very inexpensive and highly professional web-based event booking solution.
Event Espresso – Event Manager & Registration System For WordPress
The Event Espresso online event registration WordPress plugin lets you easily schedule multiple events and start receiving online bookings in a few minutes.
Set up multiple events and receive online registrations with Event Espresso
Event Espresso is a versatile and feature-rich plugin that gives you full control over your event registration management process.
Event Espresso lets you customize event registration forms
You can employ various event registration strategies, from simple online registration and straight up ticket-selling, to creating custom registration forms for collecting detailed information about your event attendees, or integrating your event bookings with social media and autoresponders.
View detailed information about your event attendees
Important: Currently, Event Espresso provides two different versions of their plugin: EE 3 and EE 4. The new Event Espresso 4 is considerably different than the older EE 3, as the platform has been rebuilt using a different structure to allow for future growth. The Event Espresso 4 plugin platform has different features, user interface, data structure, coding method and pricing. The developers aim to eventually retire Event Espresso 3, so keep this in mind as you learn more about this plugin.
More info: Event Espresso
Here are just some of the benefits of using Event Espresso to manage event registrations on your website or blog:
Automated Event Registration Management And Ticketing System
Event Espresso provides you with everything you need to turn your current online presence into an automated and fully featured event management site … from custom registration forms and automated response emails, to maximum seating limits, multiple price options and discount codes, to printable tickets and seating charts.
Higher Business Productivity
By using an online event registration system like Event Espresso, you save time and increase your business productivity by literally doing away with the chore of processing registrations manually.
Essentially, you are facilitating attendees to enrol by themselves.
Allowing your customers to do all of the data themselves frees up your time and lets you spend more resources on creating a more unique event.
More Control Over The User Experience
As you will soon learn, Event Espresso gives you full control over the event management process that you want your users to experience.
Additional benefits of the plugin include:
- Reduced Costs: Event Espresso is a very inexpensive online event registration management solution compared to other options or using a 3rd-party provider. This is made possible by using a model where users buy the core plugin (which suits the requirements of most users) and purchase add-ons when you need added functionality.
- Higher Sales: Event Espresso allows you to accept online registrations outside traditional business hours. In addition, Event Espresso social sharing and marketing features (see below) let people interested in attending your event share your information with others who may be interested.
- Green And Paperless Event Sign-Up Process: With Event Espresso, the event sign up process can remain entirely online, eliminating traditional paper consumption from tasks related to enrollment.
- All Information Belongs To You. You own all the information you obtain from event attendees.
The Event Espresso software provides functionality to its users through built-in features (these come with the software) and additional features that customers can purchase, called add-ons.
Event Espresso provides a number of features to site owners. Here are just some of these:
- Quick and easy to install and implement. Be up and running in no time.
- Multiple Ticket And Pricing Options. Event Espresso allows you to create as many different types of tickets as you need and set prices, limits on ticket quantities, etc.
- WordPress Event Calendar. Registrants can easily find your upcoming events and add these to their schedule with the WordPress calendar.
- Tax Administration. Event Espresso 4 provides a number of ways to manage taxes for an event and provide reports of tax fee components to customers when purchasing tickets. You can administer taxes globally or on a per-ticket basis.
- Google Maps. Google Maps integration allows you to customize the display of Google Maps on the event listing and event details pages.
- Default Prices. Create events quickly and easily by pre-configuring default pricing.
- Mobile Ticketing Apps. The Event Espresso mobile registration system enables you to authenticate tickets, speed up in-venue registrations, set up various check-in “stations” and track attendees.
- Manual Registration. you have the option of registering event attendees at the door, or send in paper-based registration forms for manual registration later.
- Waiting Lists. Latecomers can subscribe to a waiting list if your event has reached capacity. You can also specify that waiting list registrants pre-pay if you plan to expand capacity for your event.
- Public Commenting. Add social engagement to your events pages by allowing potential registrants to ask questions about your event and past customers to post feedback that can help others choose whether or not to register. Moderation settings for public commenting are specified in the WP commenting system.
- Draft Events. Draft events let you build an event page over time without publishing it to your site. You can work on your events until you are ready to publish it live to your website, or schedule your event pages to publish at a future date and time.
- Your Organization Settings. Configure your organization’s profile to display throughout Event Espresso and your WP themes. Your organization fields include: business name, address, city, state, country, zip code, email, telephone number, VAT/tax number, logo, Facebook URL, Twitter profile URL, LinkedIn URL, Pinterest profile URL, Google profile URL, Instagram URL.
- Upload Event Information. Event Espresso 4 provides an advanced importing feature that allows you to import a lot of event data at once. You can export, edit and upload data for events, datetimes, tickets, pricing, custom registration questions, venue info, terminology, taxonomies, term relationships and more.
- WordPress WYSIWYG Editor. Event Espresso uses the default WP WYSIWYG editor, so you can quickly and easily insert graphic images and write your event descriptions without knowing HTML or CSS, just like any WordPress post.
- Attendee Records. Manage each registrant’s profiles and payment history and keep all of their data organized.
- Social Sharing. Event participants and site visitors can tell others about your events using social media sharing buttons.
- Event Reports. Quick-view event reports gives you information of all registrations and transactions, allowing you to track the performance of your events with the aggregate number of people who have registered and how much money you’ve collected.
Extra features include:
- Object-Oriented Programming (OOP). Event Espresso is simple enough for non-technical WP users, and also robust and customizable for enterprise-level users and web-based software developers. The bottom line is that by using Object-oriented programming (OOP), Event Espresso 4 makes possible more complex extensions and customizations to the software.
- Maintenance Mode. You can pause registration capabilities for regular site visitors when you need to make updates on your site. You can continue to work on the back-end of your site during maintenance mode.
- Autonomy, Flexibility And Value For Money: According to the philosophy stated on their web site, Event Espresso’s goal 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 software has been built using a modular that provides users with great autonomy and flexibility and delivers value for money in the process.
The premium version of Event Espresso also provides you with 40 added features, including:
- Email shortcodes that includes participant data in emails and email updates.
- Question groups that make it easy to reuse commonly asked questions for similar events.
- Default payment status.
As mentioned earlier, Event Espresso provides “addons”, which allow customers to significantly expand the functionality of managing your event.
Some of these addons include:
- Events Vector Maps Template Add on: The Vector Maps custom events list template lets you display scheduled events by location. There are four maps available: USA, UK, Canada and Australia.
- Recurring Events Management Addon: The Recurring Events manager addon lets you put your events on autopilot by scheduling repeated events weeks or months ahead. You can create as many classes, meetings, courses and conferences in the future as you want. Event Espresso will automatically open and close registrations for all recurring events.
- Events Calendar Table Template Add on: The Calendar Table template is a list template with a bold date and customizable “register now” button. The template can be customized to display the event thumbnail instead of the date.
- Social Coupons Integration Add-on: If your site is featured on Groupon.com you can easily accept Groupon codes to your events. You can even specify whether events accept the social coupons or not.
- WP User Integration: The WP User Integration addon lets you take advantage of the WP user system. With the WP User Integration add-on you can give users a special incentive by offering member pricing and overriding event prices when members are logged in. You can even set up member-only events where only registered site users will have access to these special events. Members can also enter personal information into their profile page allowing them fast registration for events by auto-filling in the personal information on the event registration form. Users can also look up previous events and pay for events.
- Roles And Permissions Basic And Pro Addon Versions: This add on lets you include your staff in the event management process and give new users the capacity to create events or regional managers the ability to manage events. The Roles and Permissions Basic add-on allows you to manage & customize the WordPress users roles and give them different permissions with different capabilities, so others can help you manage your events or the events that others create. You can customize roles so that users do not have access to certain sections of your WordPress dashboard and/or certain parts of your Event Espresso settings. If you’d like to create geographic regions for other people to manage events, use the Roles and Permissions Pro add-on.
- Multi-Event Registration Addon: The Multi-Event registration addon gives your potential attendees the ability to book multiple events at once. In each event listing registrants 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 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.
- EE4 Events Calendar Add on: This add-on uses the WordPress calendar to display events and categories of events in a nice graphical calendar.
- MailChimp Integration Add-on: The MailChimp add on allows you to automatically register participants to a particular autoresponder list or group within MailChimp.
Note: The Event Espresso development team is continually adding new features and improvements to its software, including new add ons.
For full details about the newest Event Espreso features and addons, visit the plugin website: Event Espresso – Event Management & Registration Software For WordPress
Here are just some of the testimonials that users have written about Event Espresso:
“Event Espresso rocks! I use it for my dance class registrations. Unlike most dance studios where people have to call or send an email in advance, Event Espresso puts a registration form right there in front of the user and allows me to collect valuable information from the user during the registration process with custom questions such as “Do you have previous dance experience?” or “How did you hear about us?”. It also gives my site a professional look and feel.” Ral, Ral’eau Salsa Dance Company
“Your plugin rocks! Seriously, saved me hours on the phone setting up attendance manually. Kudos. :)” William, Petruzzo Photography
“Event Espresso is very nice and functional plugin. Set it up is not very easy for a beginner like me, but you have one of the best support team in your side. They answer all questions in a timely manor. I didn’t know anything about setting up the plugins, Thanks to Event Espresso Support team that now I can find my way around this plugin. Event Espresso helps our company to manage the workshops, keep track of our students, manage the emails, and much more. We upgrade from personal License to Business license in just two weeks of using Personal license. I strongly recommend the Business license.” Ted Karlsalr, Omnilargess
Whether you are a gym owner, trainer, conference planner, or event management professional, there are simply countless possibilities of what you can do with the Event Espresso software.
After downloading your copy of the plugin and becoming a registered user, spend a little time visiting the support forum for useful ideas and practical ways to streamline your event management workflow or enhance the experience of your participants.
Event Espresso works with with most WordPress plugins and WP themes that follow WP coding standards. If you experience issues with the plugin, however, you will find that Event Espresso provides highly responsive end-user support, as so many of its 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 including access to support forums, comprehensive online documentation with faqs, knowledgebase and how tos, custom development 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.
In addition, Event Espresso boasts an established team of experienced WordPress developers with a proven track record of support, so this is definitely a plugin you can depend on to organize and manage your events.
Event Espresso is available in a number of editions, including a FREE basic edition (referred to as Event Espresso Decaf). For support and advanced software functionality, however, you should consider using one of the premium plugin editions below:
- Personal Edition – This license allows you to configure Event Espresso on one domain only. Includes 32 Premium features, 5 Premium add ons and 1 year of upgrades and support. Cost = $99.95.
- Business Licensing – This allows you to run Event Espresso on 1 domain only. Includes 32 Premium features, 14 Premium add ons and 1 year of upgrades and support. Cost = $199.95.
- Developer Edition – This lets you configure Event Espresso on one domain only. It includes 32 Premium features, 18 Premium addons and one year of upgrades and support. Cost = $549.95.
Current pricing for the Event Espresso plugin depends on whether there are any promotions or limited-time specials being offered. When we last checked, the software retails for the prices shown above. Check the plugin’s website for the latest pricing details: Event Espresso – Event Espresso
Please Note: The above reflects the pricing when this review was written. This may or may not be the actual pricing charged by the plugin seller when you visit the website.
Event Espresso – Additional Plugin Info
Event Espresso regularly adds new features and improvements to its 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 setup and how to use Event Espresso, and visit the support forums for questions related to your specific situation, or to notify developers about problems and leave feedback.
For all documentation, demos, downloads, videos, tutorials, FAQ and more, visit the Event Espresso web site.
Event Espresso is the preferred WordPress event registration and ticketing management plugin, used by thousands of event managers.
If you own a WordPress website and you plan to run an event that involves scheduling dates, times and venues (offline and online), enrolling participants, and booking seating, then you will probably not find a more suitable WP plugin for your needs than Event Espresso.
For more information, visit the plugin website here: Event Espresso – WordPress Event Registration & Ticket Management Plugin
June 13, 2016
June 13, 2016