Software can be a real time-saver and provide a great convenience for event planners. Many free event management software options can transform your workday. From helping you find event spaces to taking event registrations, software simplifies the busy workload event planning requires.
Some software solutions offer all-in-one tools for managing multiple aspects of your event, while others can be paired together to get the functionality you need. Learn about the free tools available to you, their benefits and what to look for in the best systems.
What Are the Benefits of Using a Free Event Management System?
Event management systems offer many great benefits. Your company’s benefits might vary based on how many events you host, the size of those events and your event planning staff size. But here’s a look at a few of the most common benefits event planners experience when using management software.
Event planner software helps automate processes and design workflows that save you time. You can easily check registration numbers and information while communicating with venues and engaging your audience with emails and other communication all in one place.
Adds professionalism to your event
Using software can help make your event look even more professional. It will provide a more organized and enjoyable experience for your participants and help ensure everything runs smoothly. You’re less likely to miss details thanks to alerts and notifications.
Increases audience engagement
Many businesses host events to engage their target audience. But staying in touch with registrants and prospects takes time and effort. Free event planner software makes it much easier to engage your audience before, during and after an event.
What Factors Make a Good Free Event Management System?
To best evaluate event management systems, you’ll need to know what to look for. If you’ve never worked with one of these systems before, you might not be aware of the great depth and options these tools can provide.
Businesses that host many events each year and have multiple event planners need a system that allows for strong team collaboration. The ability to separate events and audiences to allow each event planner to use the system how it works best for them is great. But larger events often have more than one event planner overseeing the operations and need the ability to go from one event to another within the system easily.
Secure Event Ticketing
Handling tickets and registration is one of the most important aspects of event management systems. Systems that allow for custom fields can create the experience you want, and it helps if the system can auto close registration once you sell a certain number of tickets. If you plan to run promotions, also look for a system that allows for promo codes.
Good UI/UX Design
With free software, sometimes the user interface feels clunky and is hard to use. Don’t settle for these systems. There are plenty of great options on the market that operate much like other online apps and software you’re familiar with, like a banking app or social media.
Options of Scalability
When you get started, you might only have your event planner in the system. As you lean more heavily on the software, you might see the benefits of having others on the platform to help manage promotions or handle managing ticketing income. Be sure that the software you choose can scale to meet your needs for users, number of events and audience size.
Event analytics can encompass many things from registration types to customers with outstanding payments. A good system provides analytics for information leading up to your event but also data afterward to help you grow and improve your events. Review the reporting options before choosing an event planner software.
The Best Free Event Management Software
Experience the transformation event management software can provide for your organization by testing out some of these free options. Because it’s free, you have nothing to lose in signing up and seeing what these systems can do.
Odoo Events is open-source software that offers tools for planning and hosting events as well as following up after them. Manage registrations and stay in contact with your audience all in one place. You can integrate the platform with your website, CRM and email marketing providers for a fee.
- Easy-to-use interface
- Highly customizable
- Flexible to meet the needs of different user types
- No customer support included since it’s an open-source software
- Purchasing customer support can get quite expensive
- Integrations cost money in the form of a monthly subscription fee
Best for: Event planners with recurring events with large audiences
Pricing: The software itself is free, but integrating Odoo tools costs $4 per month.
Rating: 4.5 stars
RSVPify offers solutions for both in-person and virtual events. You can embed your registration form on your website to make an easy process and create a seating chart using the simple drag-and-drop interface. Give guests an option on meal choices or the ability to input dietary needs.
- Registration forms are easy to customize based on your needs
- With many templates for event invites, you can achieve the look you want
- Allows for secondary events for segments of your audience
- The user interface is not the easiest to learn to navigate
- You can’t automate event invitation reminders to non-respondents
- The mobile app is only available for iOS devices
- The free version only allows for up to 100 guests
Best for: Smaller events
Pricing: The software is free for hosting small events of 100 guests or less. To expand your guest list, you’ll need a premium subscription, which starts at $39 a month. Selling tickets through the software also costs 1.95% of the transaction plus $.90. This is in addition to credit card fees.
Rating: 4 stars
Open Source Event Manager (OSEM)
Open Source Event Manager offers the ability to accept ticket payments, review event analytics and display an agenda using a splash page. The free open-source software has no limits to the number of guests you can welcome or events you can manage.
- Accept proposals from speakers or workshop hosts
- Register and track participants
- Easy-to-use event management dashboard
- Lacks training and support resources
- Missing some features that other event planning software has
Best for: Basic events of all sizes
Pricing: OSEM is a free open-source event planning software without any paid options.
Rating: 4 stars
Get organized and keep registrants informed of your event details. OpenConferenceWare allows you to organize events by sessions, schedules and tracks. You can also facilitate proposals using the software.
- Easy to customize the tool to meet your needs
- Accept proposals through the software and easily export them to CSV
- Create sessions, schedules and tracks for your event
- No ticketing and registration features
- Lacks customer support options outside of help guides
- Not ideal for large organizations
Best for: Businesses that host mixers or other events that are free for registrants
Pricing: This software is free with no paid options.
Rating: 3 stars
Indico offers many great features and the ability to scale to meet your growing needs. This open-source event management software integrates with many tools to make it more useful. You can build agendas for a variety of event types from seminars to workshops. Upload supporting documents and presentations to add depth and detail to your information.
- Upload supporting documents and presentation materials to share with attendees
- Archive event materials and metadata for future use
- Manage room bookings
- Requires installation and does not have a cloud-based product
- No training videos or webinars to help you get started
Best for: Businesses of all sizes that host recurring events
Pricing: Indico is a completely free event management software.
Rating: 3 stars
Organize your event from start to finish using Attendize. You can accept payment through a variety of gateways and create stunning mobile-friendly event webpages. Market your event with the built-in tools and pull real-time statistics about your event.
- Manage attendee registration, including accepting payments, providing refunds and communicating details
- Real-time event statistics
- Ability to customize tickets with company logos or other details
- Support for various payment gateways
- Not a cloud-based tool, meaning you can’t access it from anywhere
- Lacking in some event management tools, such as surveys and feedback
Best for: Free event management software with ticket selling capabilities and accepting different currency types
Pricing: Attendize is free open-source software with no limits on users or events.
Rating: 4 stars
Simplify Your Event Management
Event management software helps event planners take registrations, set up web pages and sell tickets all in one centralized and convenient location. Free software makes it simple and easy to accomplish your goals without using your event budget toward subscription fees. Test out some of these free options to see which one meets your organization’s needs.