People like to gather around at a specific place and time to achieve a common purpose. It is a character deeply imbued in human nature. As the COVID-19 pandemic (2019) had shown; that even with a seemingly worldwide catastrophe preventing people from gathering, it will never stop their innate desire to. People took to digital platforms, otherwise known as video conferencing. For the event organisers, they had transformed these events into virtual events.
Regardless, the well management of events is a complicated and tedious one. It requires a lot of vigilance, immaculate planning, and even better execution. We are lucky that in this digital age, there are some amazing software for exactly this reason. That said, we are going to have a deep look at some of these top event management software to understand what they do. The software in our focus is Eventzilla, Pxier, Splashthat, Swapcard and HeySummit. If you are an Event Management specialist, or a Marketing Professional that organizes events, or if you are even a Venue/Destination Manager, you got to read this article. In no order of merit, here we go!
As the name sound, Eventzilla is a monster of a software because it is prominent having built a nice reputation with its comprehensive features. It supports virtual event hosting. Unlike the others in the list, Eventzilla approaches event management from the event’s life cycle angle; i.e. Before, During and After. Most unique of all, it prices its platform base on per ticket sold. Nonetheless, the question ask is; Is this software suitable for me and my event use? Read on.
- Full-Suite Event Management Features including Event Marketing
- Attendee Self-Service
- Tons of Third-Party Integrations
- Separate Mobile Apps (Apple and Android Supported) for Event Attendees and Organisers
- All-in-One – Create registration pages with drag-and-drop. Set registration package. Pay across a range of methods. Build and send marketing emails. Capture analytics. Agenda builder. On-site check-in. Virtual event hosting. The list of features from Eventzilla goes on except no venue management.
- Greater Attendee Awareness and Involvement – From online registration to update notification, to event day check-in with a mobile app and using it to check event details. The self-service possibilities in Eventzilla gave attendees a heightened awareness, and attracts them to be more involved throughout the event, resulting in an enhanced event experience. A double-edged sword, event organisers could spare more time and effort into other areas required.
- Features Packed for any Situation – With integrations of 1000+ apps using Zapier, Eventzilla is well placed for any event-related challenges. Using Salesforce? No problem. Just integrate with Eventzilla. Advertising on Facebook or Twitter? Sure! Integrate them to ensure an all-round smooth proceeding and have all the data insights captured. Need better communication tools? Why not integrate with Slack? Whatever else you you need to boost your productivity with Eventzilla, hit their integrations library!
- Event On-The-Go – For the event organisers, we know how superb it is to be able to work OTG especially on event day. Monitor ticket sales, attendee check-ins, real-time attendance, and a lot more with the Mobile App for event organisers. For the attendees, get to experience the event OTG with the specialized Mobile App for Event Attendees. Check any information ranging from location map, event programme, speakers, sponsors and even other on-site ancillary events all at your fingertips!
- Free-To-Use for Free-of-Charge Events – Suitable for small-size events such as meetings or courses. The features for free use are limited but is upgradable with add-ons at a separate charge. To use for free, just create an account and list your event!
Things to Note:
- Pricing is Based on Per Event – At first glance, Eventzilla might look cheap. However, the price stacks up for really big sized events. Check the pricing page for their link which has a built-in calculator. Use the estimated revenue (after Eventzilla fees) shown and deduct off from total revenue you could make to understand how much you spent on Eventzilla. Again, it is based on one-time event based. Although users could pass on the costs to the attendees, let’s understand more in the next point in order to assess.
- Separate Payment Processing Fees – Attendee fees may stack up if Eventzilla fees are passed to them in addition to payment processing fees. Will it then deter signups? Hard to tell as it depends largely on the perception of what the attendee in turn gets to receive from the event. Tread carefully.
- Not Suitable for Venues – Like Splash, Eventzilla does not have venue management features.
- Basic (US$1.50/registration) – Unlimited Events, 1 Paid Ticket per Registration Type, and 100 Email Sends.
- Pro (1.9% + US$1.50/registration) – All Basic Features + Unlimited Paid Ticket per Registration Type, 500 Email Sends, Agenda builder, Website Builder, and Third-Party Integrations.
- Plus (2.9% + US$1.50/registration) – All Pro Features + 1000 email Sends, Advanced Speaker Management, Connect Own Domain, and Custom Roles and Permission.
25% Discount on platform fees for NGOs and Non-profits. Email Eventzilla to receive.
Pxier is more than the ordinary event management software. It is a cloud-based management platform that also caters to restaurants and caterers in addition to client-side event organisers. It adopts a digital approach with its well-integrated full-suite features that comprises as well email marketing, analytics, online registration, invoicing etc. which is operable on any devices as long as there is internet access. That’s right! It has an App version to support your last-minute change/client request, and helps with management of the event on-the-go.
- Full-Suite Event Management Features that also Support Venue Management
- Lead Management
- Specialised features for Restaurant Management and Catering Management
- Payment integration
- Continual Developments – Pxier is already full-suite, but it never stops. Users will benefit greatly from using as it continually seeks development to become an even better product. Some of its extended features include an Audit Trail to track changes on records, lead management to support greater lead conversion, e-signature for ease of work approvals, and a single sign-on (SSO) for quick and secure online login. It also has an App version supporting both Apple and Android users.
- Lead Insights – May lead to higher lead conversions. Pxier has an excellent lead capturing system where you can save all the essential information of your clients, and other relevant contacts so that you keep them firmly in your sight during any stage of their buyer journey.
- Specialised Features – Pxier’s catering and restaurant POS features are just specialized at what it is built to do. Their features are comprehensive. Don’t believe? Check out yourself by clicking their link. Caterers and restaurants will benefit greatly because these specialized software work!
- Ease of Payment – Setup your event. Market it using Pxier. Participants register online and make payment straight-away. Its easy and prevent defaults. On top of, Pxier users will be able to view outstanding invoices, real-time transaction details, and even be set to be notified of certain signups (e.g. sponsors)!
Things to Note:
- No Free Version – Unlike other competitors in this list, Pxier is not freemium but users can still try out with a 30-day free trial.
- Can Get Expensive – The catering and restaurant POS systems are add-ons and can add up to the monthly expenses. Although users can choose to buy each of these separately.
- Not Much Third-Party Integrations – While Pxier continues to improve its features, it is still lacking on this. Third-party integrations can extend a software’s features much more quickly compared to developing on their own. As the saying goes, ‘If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together’. Currently Pxier only integrate with QuickBooks.
Pricing (Event Booking Software)
- Basic (US$45/mth) –1 hall, 2 users, all basic features
- Standard (US $65/mth) – 2 to 4 halls, 4 users, all basic features
- Deluxe (US $89/mth) – 5 to 10 halls, 6 users, all basic features
- Premium (US $124/mth) – 11 to 15 halls, 9 users, all basic features + caterers portal and appointment scheduler
- Ultimate (US $174/mth) – 16 to 25 halls, 12 users, all basic features + caterers portal and appointment scheduler
Many other features can be added on at additional cost such as QuickBooks integration, e-signature, room layout design etc.
Splashthat, or otherwise known as Splash, is a unique brand of event management suite, or should we say ‘Event Marketing’? Splash establishes its features to be top-notch easy and efficient for selling events, whether virtual, in-person or hybrid. It uses the capability of automations to streamline procedures including the creation of event registration pages, email invite, attendee and team notifications, real-time sync of event data etc. If you think event management could be made this easy, this tool is right for you.
- Virtual Event Management Possible
- Built-in Content Management System (CMS) supports landing pages creation, email marketing, CRM, payment etc.
- Event Data Analytics
- Third-Party Integrations and an On-site ‘Check-in’ App
- Impactful Virtual Events – This is the status quo feature that is likely to stay popular. If you are organising virtual events, you got to try Splash because its features not only act as a platform. With powerful integrations with third-party engagement tools such as Slido and Pigeonhole, you bring attendee engagement even virtually to the next level. Thus, potentially generating word-of-mouth!
- Clean and Lean – No clutter! Your team knows exactly what they should do and how to do it with the built-in content management system. Got your event conceptualized and ready to sell? Build a landing page supported with online registration and payment gateway to receive registrations and payment. Build your marketing emails easily, then send them to your database. As your database view, click or convert, get all these insights captured in the CRM system. Where you wish to follow up, you know you can in this CMS.
- Supports Data-Driven Decision-Making – Splash’s Experiential CRM captures intelligence about the attendees and their engagement to provide visualization in a dashboard. The next step is turning the insights into actionable KPIs that drives ROIs from your events.
- Long-Term Use Feasible – A single platform that integrates neatly with a host of external suites ranging from Zoom, Hubspot, Salesforce, Google Analytics, and Slack among others. Users will be pleased to know that their software do not stand alone. With continuing upgrades from each of them, the potential for Splash to go even further is tremendous and exciting to be part of! Yes, it also has its own App version that provides quick and effortless one-swipe on-site ‘check-in’!
Things to Note:
- Does Not Support Event Management for Venues – Splash lacks features for venue management although it is a comprehensive event marketing tool.
- Email Support Only for Free Plan – While we understand, we find it hard to accept because free plan users may eventually turn to become loyal customers. The steps in nurturing is tedious but does it perhaps justify once they take up a paid plan? With no direct contact support especially on event day, potential Event Manager nightmare!
- Uncompetitive Pricing – Big No-No! Although there is a free version, the starting price is quite uncompetitive with a paid plan starting at US$9500 a year!
- Free – Basic Registration Features, Standard templates, 50 Email Sends, and Email Support Only.
- Basic (US$9500/year) – Full Registration Features, Premium templates, Unlimited Emails, Analytics, Standard Roles, Integrations Access, and Phone Support.
- Pro (US$19500/year) – Everything in Basic plus Advanced Design Tools, Permission Setting in Custom Roles, Use Custom CSS, and Access to API.
- Enterprise – Pricing and Features customized accordingly to user specific requirements.
Here we have another software with a different approach. HeySummit tailor its features around virtual event management and empowers with its ‘selling’ features. It does not see virtual events as one-off but a series where users can tap on the resources from each past series to sell their next event. Interesting strategy? Read on for more.
- Advanced Virtual Event Management Tools
- Organise Evergreen Summits
- No-Code Website Builder
- Speaker Onboarding and Management
- Built for Virtual Events – HeySummit is truly built for virtual events although users could still use it to sell and manage offline events to a smaller extent. On-site event management features are not available though. With HeySummit, virtual events can take the format of live, pre-recorded (i.e. video), or even a hybrid of these two.
- Content Marketing Possible – HeySummit defines Evergreen Summits as summit with ‘no-end date’. The idea is to periodically upload content (i.e. blog, videos, infographics etc.) to the event pages so that these content becomes marketing materials themselves. With targeted marketing or advertising, the event pages could be accessed by the relevant audience for consumption of these content. Even if the audiences do not end up purchasing the next summit series ticket, they may follow and become part of this niche community. Content marketing will contribute to overall SEO efforts. So, if this is well executed, with regular well-received content posted, the summit pages will start being found by a larger audience via search engines!
- Easily Built Event Pages – HeySummit’s ‘website builder’ is technically not a website builder. It is a template where you key in the information, the software generates the pages automatically. By adding content, the event pages get even more defined and unique. It is not just no-code, but no need to be concern about aesthetics because the already-fixed template is built with UX/UI considerations.
- Speaker Self-Service – A really useful and thoughtful feature. Send invite with login details to your speakers and let them add in their stuffs themselves; i.e. Bio, profile photo, social links etc. If required, then contact them for whatever else is required. How many speakers do you usually have for a 3-hour virtual summit? 1 speaker every 30 minutes? You will save on a lot of time and energy!
Things to Note:
- No Mobile App – In this contemporary age, event organisers work on-the-go. It would be really handy to have an App version to at least be able to check on the analytics. For HeySummit’s usage, then analytics of ticket sales, revenues, and speaker management would fit in well.
- Few Customisation Possible – The event page builder is more ‘plug and play’. You can add in some components according to your preference. However, some are just fixed and cannot be removed. The inconveniences might be minor but if not well managed, could end but causing confusion and escalating into bigger issues. This is a big no-no especially if the intention is for users to keep the pages and build on them with content.
- Other Additional Costs – This is a huge factor as well as HeySummit users need a separate third-party video-conferencing software such as Zoom, or BigMarker. More often than not, a paid plan is more sufficient for business usage. On top of, HeySummit charges a transaction fee based on the ticket price. So, remember to factor in these costs before buying!
Pricing (based on annual payment)
- 14-Day Free Trial Available
- Basic (US$29/mth) – Max. 2K attendees, 1 Active Summit, and 5% Transaction Fees
- Professional (US$99/mth) – Max 7.5K attendees, 3 Active Summits, and 1.5 % Transaction Fees
- Business (US$299/mth) – Max. 20K attendees, 10 Active Summits, and 0% Transaction Fees
3 Months Free for Events that Advocates for Social causes.
Non-profit organization receive a 50% discount off annual plans.
Last but not the least in our list is another top software with a feature not previously mentioned. That is Exhibition Management. By this, we mean the offline exhibition, not virtual exhibition. Swapcard is also capable to run virtual events, hybrid and of course, meetings. By using Artificial Intelligence (AI) for effective business matching that aims to deliver even higher ROI for all relevant parties, Swapcard is arguably unrivalled. Or is it? Learn more below.
- Full-Suite Event Management Features Catered for Conferences and Exhibitions
- Networking Platform Powered by AI
- Exhibitor Lead System
- Mobile App with lots of Engagement Features
- Made for Business Events – Useful features for networking, program management, participant engagement, public communication, sponsorship branding and event statistics etc. Swapcard knows exactly what the business event requires. With several third-party integrations, it is also possible to sell tickets and accept payment directly with Swapcard which is otherwise a missing feature.
- Effective Networking – Not only is Swapcard able to match relevant meetings between two parties, but its system also allows them to setup meetings with each other. Got a match? Start a chat. Whenever you have a meeting, you can manage it accordingly with meeting slots and statuses which are all trackable via a dashboard. You also receive reminders to attend via App notifications so you won’t miss it.
- Exhibitor Enablement – Besides providing exhibitors with a platform for their showcase, Swapcard goes beyond the extra mile by having a leg in their exhibitor success. I mean how great is this? Basically, this feature allows exhibitors to collect attendee details easily via QR code scan. Then, exhibitors could add in whatever notes they wish for this prospect’s record. They can easily share it with other colleagues or sync them with the CRM (supported by Swapcard) they use. The rest is up for their follow through.
- Experience Event On-The-Go – Swapcard once again comes out top with their Mobile App because it can do a lot! We already discussed about its use in networking, meeting matching, notifications and chat, and information collection for exhibitor. The mobile app could also provide a virtual map, and have sponsor’s branding placement. On top of, attendees can also use the app for engagement with ancillary activities, do polls, and complete surveys etc. Its features could be customized according to preference. Swapcard sure knows not every event likes their attendees glued to their phone!
Things to Note:
- No Built-In Ticketing – As we mentioned, Swapcard does not have ticketing features and require an external integration. Additional costs will be involved. Factor it in.
- Pricing Based on Per Attendee – Due to this, there need to be careful budget management. Consider how flexible is Swapcard when required to upgrade or downgrade a paid plan without causing distress to the event in any manner.
- Separate Charges for Exhibitor Services – Again, this requires very good budget management or business acumen. Also, Swapcard incur a charge per lead capture services required for the exhibitor. Who shall be accrual to the costs then? Proceed with caution on this.
- Free – 3 exhibitors, 50 attendees, and add-ons not possible
- Premium (US$7 or less/attendee) – 3 exhibitors, Above 50 attendees, and add-ons possible
- Exhibitor Services – Optional for add-on. 1) Exhibitor Center and Meeting (US$120/exhibitor). 2) Lead Capture (US$110/exhibitor).
As you might noticed, all five event management platforms in our list are quite different from each other with different features and pricing. Most importantly when choosing one for your usage, ensure their features meet your requirements. Then, register a free plan or take a free trial. If the software is useful, spending one for a major event that costs somewhere around the costs for one manpower is worth it, we say go for it! Because often than not, these software not only provide you the ‘manpower’, but they add to the whole event experiences as well, both in organizing and attending.
We are pleased to review and present some of these top event management platforms from Eventzilla and others. We’d love to hear what you have to say about them. Till then.
Have you attended any event where the use of technology is extensive? Share the platform if you could recall and your experiences with a COMMENT below.
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