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December 2019
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Event Planning Tools

These days, planning an event- whether a wedding, corporate event, club gathering, or birthday party- requires an online presence. At the very minimum, an email with event details carbon-copied to all attendees, or- if everyone is on Facebook (and who isn’t, these days?)- a Facebook Event page that allows guests to “RSVP” with a single tap.

Depending on what your event is, you may be considering having a dedicated website for your event. Here are five services to help you build an effective event website, including tips on figuring out which ones are best for your needs. (Please note that pricing below was current at the time of this post’s publication; you’ll want to check for any price changes).

Facebook Events (Free)

Facebook Events

The aforementioned Event Page offering on Facebook is a good place to start, especially when your target guests or attendees are already on Facebook- for example, members of a Facebook Group. Features are basic, but simple to use: set up details of the event, including date, time, and location, add a few photos, and you’re ready. It’s easy to set privacy on your Event, and for events open to the public such as workshops, publishing on the Facebook Calendar may be a good way to draw people in.

Tip: best for general events, both free and paid. Guests and attendees must be on Facebook. We suggest creating a Facebook Event page in addition to one of the other options on this list, especially if you’re planning a larger event.

Eventbrite (Free or Paid)

Perhaps the largest, most well-known event-planning service online, Eventbrite is feature-rich and well-supported. Like most of the paid options here, the service is free for free events, making it a good choice for both private parties and public festivals. Pricing for paid events currently starts at 2% of the ticket price and $0.79 per paid ticket, plus a 2.5% processing fee per transaction, and they offer different packages according to your needs.

Tip: syncs well with Facebook events, which is wonderful for promotions and sales, especially when you’re planning a large event with many attendees.

Eventzilla (Free or Paid)

Eventzilla

We like how Eventzilla simplifies things with a nifty slider on their Pricing page that shows how much your attendees will pay depending on ticket price (in six currencies!), and whether you pass fees on to them, or absorb fees yourself. Even better, however, are their feature-rich services, which include custom registration pages, emails, badges, reminders, discounts, and a well thought-out user experience for both manager and user. We’re also liking the ability to send personalized and targeted email campaigns to your imported contact lists; a great way to boost your event attendance. Their Basic package is $1.25 ticket, with a popular Pro package with fees of 1.9% plus $0.99 per ticket.

Tip: the simplest solution for busy event managers. Be sure to check out their integrations, which allows you to seamlessly sync with Facebook, Twitter, and more.

Attendify (Custom Event App, Paid)

For larger events such as business conferences, Attendify offers something a little different- and very cool: your own “event app”, using their proprietary drag and drop system, which can then be published on iOS and Android App stores. Customization is powerful, featuring everything from user registration and management, maps, notifications- even analytics to help you measure your event performance and return on investment. Creating your own event app costs from $999 for a regular event, to $1999 for one branded event, or $2999 for multiple branded events. Registration management is 2.5% + $1 per ticket sold.

Tip: your custom app comes with a free event website, which automatically syncs with any changes to your app. It’s easy to set up, and is helpful for your users and visitors who prefer not to download an app.

Zola (Wedding Sites, Free)

Planning a wedding? You’ll need something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue- and a website, too. A great way to manage guests and publish important event information, even the smallest weddings can benefit from having one- and so far, Zola is our favourite. It features nearly 300 wedding website templates to choose from, all of them completely free and easy to set up. Management features allow your guests to RSVP or shop your (Zola) registry, as well as keep your website private to you and your guests.

Tip: you can use your own domain name for an additional $14.95/year, and Zola will help connect it to your wedding website.

Bonus Tip! If you’re looking for wedding website solutions, also check out Joy, another free service we’re quite impressed with.

Do you have a favourite event-planning service we missed?

Author: Lorraine Marie


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