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5 Online Events Registration Platforms Worth Considering

October 27, 2010   |   AUTHOR: Julius Solaris   |   POSTED IN: event technology

I know this post is going to cause a stir. It is long-overdue. Having worked with a vendor in this space, I got to know the way event ticketing works and I feel like sharing it with you aficionados. Moreover, I get the “What’s the best event registration software?” question a lot, therefore it is right about time to answer.

Let’s have a look:

Eventbrite

Eventbrite is the most popular event ticketing platform (Quantcast and Compete data). Although not the only indicator, popularity means something. They recently raised $20M and are currently selling tickets for $200M. Their social discovery features, specially on Facebook are quite remarkable. The recent deal with Yelp and rumoured deal with Plancast make it incredibly appealing.

PR aside looking at the service, setting up a page is damn easy. Simplicity seems to be one of the reasons why they devoured the long tail. My perception is that whenever an event is created and shared on Twitter or Facebook by DIY planners, Eventbrite is the preferred service.

Price:
- Eventbrite capitalized on giving away the service for free to free events. Sounds like a no-brainer to me.
- Paid events are charged at 2.5% of ticket value + $0.99 per ticket (Maximum fee of $9.95)

and if credit card is used:

-Credit Card Processing is at 3% per transaction.

I know you are running to your abacus to work out the impact on your event. Not much I’d say.

Cool Features:
- Log in with Facebook to discover events your friends are attending
- Strong Focus on SEO. All the events I’ve published with Eventbrite are indexed extremely well.
- Integration with MailChimp or alternatively a great attendee email tool.
- They just released an update to their iPhone App for attendees with QR code ticketing

amiando

I am emotionally bound to amiando. I have consulted on them a couple of years ago and enjoyed their company. Felix is doing very well and they stand strong in Europe, where they partner with great events such as LeWeb. They came back to my attention recently for a good Twitter for Events Whitepaper
They have always had a solid relationship with Facebook (I still remember when Mark Zuckerberg visited their Munch office and I wasn’t invited :-)), which means great integration at present and for the future to come.

Price:
- amiando is also free for free events. Which is great as they used to charge a 1$ fee per ticket.
Paid events are charged as follows:
- $0.99 per attendee fee + 5.9% of the attendance fee
Have a look at their complete pricing

Cool Features:
- Cleaner Sign Up page
- Eventsense (Adsense style partner promotion)
- Great support. They are damn responsive.

Event Elephant

EventElephant is a newcomer and it is UK based. I’ve seen it popping up now and then. Integration with Facebook or Twitter is not there, nonetheless I was quite pleased with the fact you can add sections such as a speakers page, accommodation info. That makes the registration website more comprehensive. For medium sized events, it looks like a good deal. Let’s have a look the pricing.

Price:
- Free for free personal events (free business events are charged)
Paid events are charged as follows:
- 4.75% of the ticket price (no flat fee)

Cool Features:
- Charities get 20% of the total attendee management fee collected
- Heavy focus on reports
- They commit to release updates on a monthly basis. Let’s see if they can deliver.

Eventbee

For some reason this blog never talked properly about the Eventbee team. They’ve been playing against the big guys and defended themselves with a clear price structure in mind: $1 flat fee. That is I guess also the reason why they made it to my list, they always believed in a different approach.

The platform is very basic and lacks the fancy integration of their competitors but they provide a solid service which makes economic sense. Let’s face it, sometimes nobody knows what the purpose of iPhone app is, so there you have it, nude and crude.

Price:
- $1 flat fee, regardless of the price of the ticket

Cool Features:
- Solid pricing structure
- Cost effective
- Great savings on credit card handling

Event Registration, a WordPress Plugin

Taling about WordPress as a complete event registration and ticketing solution is like talking about your own kid at his/her first day at university.

Now stick this clear into your mind, if you are going to build a website for your event there is no better solution than WordPress. No matter what your web design guy tells you (he or she obviously has an interest in charging you big money for readily available solutions), WordPress is the best. Full stop.

If you want a website + a blog + a community + integration with Faecbook and Twitter, WordPress has it all. I have developed websites with WordPress since 2004. This website is on WordPress, all my websites are. Please feel free to challenge my statements, I can’t wait to discuss that with you.

Going back to the plugin, it does all of the above. Registration, ticket and email.
You can add extra plugins to achieve additional functionalities, such as WP-Touch to make your site iPhone and smartphone compliant.

Price:
For free, amigo!

Cool Features:
- Flexible
- Open Source
- You own the data
- Real social media integration, no marketing gibberish.

In Conclusion

This post needs lots of comments. It needs comments of pissed event registration software managers linking to their own. It needs people saying: Thank you Julius you made my life easier! It needs disagreement and clarifications.

So bring it on and comment now as it commenting closes in 90 days from the date of the post.

Photo by Michael Karsish

  • Lauren

    Great article Julius, wanted to make sure you knew about TicketLeap as well. It’s deeply integrated with social media and free for smaller events selling less than 100 tickets a month. Check us out at http://www.ticketleap.com

  • http://www.meetjulius.com Julius Solaris

    Thanks Lauren, quite liked it

  • Jeroen

    Nice article, and clear overview!
    I’d like to introduce you to Fikket as well ;). We provide an easy to use registration tool for business events. Fikket charges 2% of ticket value and is free for free events. Feel free to try it out at http://www.fikket.com and don’t hesitate to share your feedback!

  • http://www.meetjulius.com Julius Solaris

    Thanks Jeroen, will surely have a look

  • http://twitter.com/stacybchapman Stacy Chapman

    Julius, solid information about the 5 solutions researched. Interestingly, when attempting to learn more about the WordPress plugin, Event Registration, their website returned the following message:

    Bandwidth Limit Exceeded — The server is temporarily unable to service your request due to the site owner reaching his/her bandwidth limit. Please try again later.

    Does that mean that WordPress sites using this plugin would also have their event sales go offline? In any event, I thought you might be interested in learning about http://www.ThunderTix.com which has a unique pricing model with a flat monthly fee, regardless of tickets sold. ThunderTix allows smaller venues to add their own per ticket fee, ultimately, gaining them a new revenue stream that normally goes to the ticket software.

  • http://www.meetjulius.com Julius Solaris

    Thanks for your kind words Stacey.

    Of course not. That depends entirely on the hosting provider.

    Reliability of hosting is a big issue indeed and I have seen all of the services mentioned in the article going down. Or temporarily down for ‘Scheduled Maintenance’.

    I am sure the service you link to, encounters the same issues. Everybody does online. 100% uptime does not exist.

    Nonetheless the plugin page on WordPress works fantastically well for me and for all the major blogs such as Techcrunch who decide to host with them :-)

  • Pradeep Aradhya

    Hey Julius. Nice article. Any thoughts on use of Mobile for events?

  • http://www.meetjulius.com Julius Solaris

    hmhm you got me thinking. I’ll definitely post about it soon. I think apps and mobile solutions should be developed by planners instead of wasting money on useless promotion. Check back in an hour or so for a post about it.

  • Pam

    You should look into EventInterface.com.

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