WP Event Manager Review: Powerful Event Management for WordPress

Events are an effective way for businesses to connect with customers, educate attendees, and generate leads and revenue. According to Bizzabo, 95% of marketers believe in-person events have a major impact on achieving business goals. But whether you‘re organizing a conference, workshop, fundraiser, or concert, managing event details and logistics can be complex.
Luckily, if your business website runs on WordPress, you can easily add event management functionality with the help of a plugin. WP Event Manager is a popular free option that provides a robust set of features for listing events, accepting registrations, and even selling tickets.
In this post, we‘ll take a closer at WP Event Manager and how it can power events on your WordPress site. We‘ll review the key features, discuss the pros and cons, and help you decide if it‘s the right choice for your needs.

What Is WP Event Manager?

WP Event Manager is a free, open-source plugin that adds event management features to a WordPress website. With this plugin, you can:
– List upcoming events on your site
– Allow visitors to submit events through a front-end form
– Display event listings and filter them by date, location, category, etc.
– Integrate with Google Maps to show event locations
– Add widgets to feature upcoming and featured events
While the core plugin is free, WP Event Manager also offers premium add-ons that extend its capabilities, including:
– Sell tickets and collect payments
– Enable user registration and management
– Sync events to a calendar view
So whether you simply want to list your company‘s upcoming events or build a portal for visitors to register and buy tickets, WP Event Manager can support your needs. And with over 100,000 active installations, it‘s a tried-and-true solution.

Key Features of WP Event Manager

For a free plugin, WP Event Manager comes packed with useful features for event organizers and attendees alike. Some of the key capabilities include:

Front-End Forms for Submitting Events

With WP Event Manager, you can allow trusted organizers to submit their own events to be listed on your site. The front-end event submission form collects key details like:
– Event name, description, and featured image
– Date and time
– Venue name and address
– Organizer name and contact info
– Event website, social profiles, video, and more
You can also set events to be reviewed and approved before they go live. Or enable paid listings and charge a fee to post an event.

Customizable Event Listings

The plugin automatically creates an event post type and listings page. You can display events in a standard list or box format, and customize what information is included. Visitors can filter events by date, location, type, category, and more to find the most relevant ones.
Each event gets its own page with full details plus an integrated Google Map of the venue location. You can enhance event pages with custom banners, colors, organizer info, ticketing widgets, and related events.

Widgets for Featured and Upcoming Events

Use the featured events widget to highlight important events in the sidebar or other widget areas. The upcoming events widget shows a list of the next events on the calendar. This keeps your best events front-and-center and sends more traffic to event pages.

Google Maps Integration

WP Event Manager works with Google Maps to automatically display an interactive map of the event‘s location on the event details page. It can even suggest venue addresses as visitors type so they choose a valid location.

Calendar View of Events

The Calendar add-on makes it easy for visitors to see all your upcoming events at a glance. Events are automatically synced from your listings into a big-picture calendar view. People can quickly find events by month or year, or click an event on the calendar for full details.

Event Ticketing and Registration

Turn your event listings into a revenue generator with the ticketing and registration add-ons. Sell tickets to your events and collect secure payments via PayPal or Stripe. You can create multiple ticket types and pricing levels, set limits on quantities, and offer coupons or early-bird discounts.
Customize your registration form to gather attendee info, menu choices, survey questions, and more. You can require sign-in, automatically register purchasers, and send branded confirmation emails. It‘s a flexible system to fit a variety of event models.

Is WP Event Manager Right for You?

Now that we‘ve covered the key features of WP Event Manager, let‘s examine some of the pros and cons to help you decide if it‘s the optimal solution for your needs.

Advantages of WP Event Manager

– It‘s free to get started with the core plugin, making it cost-effective for basic event listing
– Provides an easy way to accept and manage event submissions from visitors
– Offers good built-in features like Google Maps integration, event filters, and listing widgets
– Modular architecture with optional paid add-ons, so you only pay for the features you need
– Integrates with WooCommerce and other plugins for flexible event registration and ticketing
– Comes with detailed documentation and has a helpful support team

Drawbacks of WP Event Manager

– Many advanced features like ticketing, registration, and calendars require extra paid add-ons, which can add up
– Not as fully-featured out-of-the-box as some premium event plugins that include everything in one package
– Lacks some capabilities of dedicated event platforms like seating charts, multi-session events, or detailed attendee management
– User interface is somewhat basic compared to slicker premium plugins

Who Should Use WP Event Manager?

WP Event Manager is ideal for WordPress sites that want to list and optionally sell tickets to their own events. It‘s a good fit for:
– Businesses that host workshops, trainings, or networking events
– Organizations running fundraisers, galas, or benefit events
– Venues or promoters who want to list upcoming shows and performances
– Marketplaces that let visitors submit their own events
– Blogs or resources that curate events in their niche or industry
If you simply need a way to showcase your events and allow registration and ticketing, WP Event Manager provides a cost-effective way to add those features to WordPress. With the free core plugin and modular add-ons, you can pay only for the capabilities you really need.
However, if you manage a high volume of complex events and need advanced features like custom floor plans, badge printing, or detailed analytics, you may find WP Event Manager too limited. In that case, a premium all-in-one event plugin like Events Calendar Pro or Event Espresso might be worth the investment.

Tips for Making the Most of WP Event Manager

If WP Event Manager seems like a good solution for your WordPress event management needs, here are some tips for maximizing its impact:
1. Promote your events throughout your site, not just on the main events page. Use the upcoming and featured event widgets in your sidebar, banner area, and other prominent spots to drive more traffic and registrations.
2. Optimize your individual event pages to rank well in Google search. Include relevant keywords in the event title, description, categories, and tags. Set a compelling featured image and link to the event page from related blog posts and pages.
3. Integrate your event listings with your email marketing. Automatically add registered attendees to your mailing list. Send automated confirmation and reminder emails leading up to the event. Build custom landing pages for events and link to them in promotional emails.
4. Consider offering multiple ticket types to boost sales. For example, you might have early-bird, standard, and last-minute pricing tiers. Or offer VIP packages that bundle the event with special bonuses like a workshop, exclusive seating, or backstage passes.
5. Use WP Event Manager in conjunction with other plugins for a more robust event toolkit. For instance, create a members-only event category and use a membership plugin to restrict access. Sell event recordings with an online course plugin. Build a private social network around your events with a community plugin.
6. Measure, iterate, and improve your events over time. Install an analytics plugin to track traffic and conversions on your event pages. Survey attendees after each event to gather feedback. Continuously refine your listings, promotion, pricing, and follow-up to make your events more successful.
From simple event listings to an integrated registration and ticketing system, WP Event Manager provides a user-friendly way to enhance your WordPress site with event management features. By leveraging the plugin‘s capabilities and following event best practices, you can attract a wider audience, deliver more value to attendees, and grow your event revenue.