Finding the right solution for your event management needs can help you make the sign up process seamless for attendees while taking most of the heavy lifting off your plate. Fortunately, there are many WordPress event plugins that can help you plan and manage successful events.
In this post, we’ll take a closer look at Event Espresso and Formidable Forms, two popular event management tools, to help you decide which one is right for your event needs.
Event Espresso vs Formidable Forms
As an event organizer it is important that you provide an easy way for your guests to sign up for your events. But it doesn’t stop there, you also need a way to accept payments and manage the data you collect. Here are some of the main features to look for when selecting a good event solution:
- Registration forms. As an event organizer, you need to create registration forms with custom fields that allow event-goers to register for your events online.
- Online ticketing. The plugin should let you sell event tickets online and send registrants printable tickets.
- Payment options. Selling tickets means you need a solution that offers integration with popular payment gateways like Stripe and PayPal.
- Marketing tools. Marketing features are essential for building your email list and promoting events.
- Analytics. Your solution should offer reporting and analytics features to help you gauge the performance of your events. These include tracking the number of registrations, ticket sales, and other key metrics.
- Data ownership. You should receive complete ownership of your data and it should offer GDPR compliance features.
Event Espresso is a WordPress plugin that offers a number of event management features right out of the box. It also comes with tons of useful add-ons that allow you to add advanced features to your event website. This way, you can choose which features to offer instead of worrying about plugin bloat.
Additionally, you can use the Event Espresso plugin to create and sell tickets, collect payments, and track event attendance. It also lets you plan and organize different types of events including art classes, seminars, conferences, festivals, golf tournaments, and charity events.
Formidable Forms is a WordPress form builder that enables you to create complex forms without hiring a developer. Whether you want to build a simple contact form or an advanced multi-page form, Formidable Forms can help you create just about any type of form you can imagine, including online event registration forms and RSVP forms.
In addition to this, you’ll be able to manage forms, create and select multiple styles, add conditions, create multiple layouts within a form, and perform calculations.
Here are some examples of what you can do with Formidable Forms in the context of event management.
Event Espresso vs Formidable Forms: Key Features
Here, we’ll compare two popular event booking solutions – Event Espresso and Formidable Forms – to help you find the right tool for your event.
#1: Event Registration
Event Espresso lets attendees submit their information online by filling out a custom event registration form. Using the plugin, you can set up group registrations and waiting lists for when you sell out an event. This is useful for maximizing attendance in case some attendees cancel their registrations later on.
Using Event Espresso, you can add specific questions to your registration forms to collect important information such as attendee preferences (e.g. special needs, meal preferences, allergens, etc…) and waiver acknowledgment. In addition to this, you can allow one person to register multiple attendees at the same time in one checkout session which simplifies the online registration experience.
Formidable Forms’ drag-and-drop form builder helps you easily build any type of form, including online event registration forms. Its repeater fields feature lets your registrants add new fields while filling out forms which is useful for adding in details (e.g. attendee preferences or requirements).
In addition to this, you can split long forms into multi-page forms with a progress bar which is better for delivering a good user experience. You’ll also be able to use conditional logic to create smart forms that ask conditional questions, branch forms, redirect users, and send notifications.
#2: Event Ticketing
Event Espresso helps you create and sell multiple ticket types and set prices and ticket quantity limits. It also lets you create tickets for multiple dates and tickets for the same event which can be managed from one single event.
Additionally, you can set up default tickets which is especially useful in cases where you need to create similar tickets for many events. Put simply, the default ticket will be created the next time you create an event and all you will have to do is modify its details.
Similarly, you can use its Printable Tickets add-on to automatically send tickets to registrants so they don’t have to collect them in person or wait for them to arrive in the mail. Event attendees can print out scannable tickets that allow you to offer a fast check-in experience on the day of the event.
At the time of this writing, the Formidable Forms plugin doesn’t offer ticketing functionality.
#3: Payment Methods
Event Espresso offers support for multiple payment gateways including check, invoice, PayPal, PayPal Express, PayPal Payments Pro, Authorize.net AIM, and credit cards. You can add up to 17 additional payment gateways to your event website through paid add-ons. In addition to this, you’ll also be able to accept payments on-site from your attendees.
If you want to sell tickets, you can use the Pronamic plugin to add the iDeal payment method to your event registration forms. You can also use the PayPal and Stripe add-ons to accept online payments from your event registrants.
#4: Marketing Tools
Event Espresso gives you access to a variety of marketing tools. Offering discounts and promotional codes (e.g. creating early-bird discounts) and displaying social sharing options is a great way to promote your event and boost ticket sales.
Event Espresso supports integration with Mailchimp, allowing you to easily build your mailing list or group and transfer contact data from your event console to Mailchimp.
Formidable Forms offers integration with a number of tools to help with your event marketing efforts. These tools can help you automate your event tasks and quickly communicate with prospective attendees.
Here are some of the marketing integrations on offer with Formidable Forms; Mailchimp, MailPoet, Campaign Monitor, Constant Contact, ActiveCampaign, GetResponse, and AWeber.
Event Espresso’s built-in analytics and reporting features give you access to the information you need to plan for better events in the future. These include attendee registration reports and event transaction reports.
Moreover, you can also perform analytics for event registrations and ticket sales, and use this information to measure the success of your events. For instance, you can view the total number of registrations and the amount of money you collected for each event.
At the time of this writing, Formidable Forms only works with Google Analytics. You can read more information about how to set up Google Analytics with Formidable Forms here.
#6: Data Ownership
When you set up an online form, you collect personal information from attendees to complete the event sign up process. For this reason, it’s your responsibility to protect the personal data of your registrants. If your attendees are EU residents, you’ll have to make sure that you comply with GDPR guidelines.
With Formidable Forms, you own all of the attendee data you collect. This plugin offers no built-in features for GDPR compliance. However, you can use the GDPR for Formidable Forms plugin to add privacy features to your event website, including the option to track, manage, and withdraw consent.
The Formidable Forms blog has tips for GDPR compliance. Keep in mind that you’re responsible for making your forms GDPR compliant.
Event Espresso vs Formidable Forms: Plans and Pricing
Here’s how Event Espresso and Formidable Forms compare in terms of pricing plans.
Event Espresso Pricing Plans
- Premium support license for $79.95 (One website, unlimited events, and multiple ticket types)
- Developer support license for $299.95 (Five websites, premium license features, 35+ add-ons can be purchased)
- Everything support license for $299.95 (one website, event calendar, create discount codes, promo codes, and waitlist)
Formidable Forms Pricing Plans
- Basic version costs $99.38/year (one website, unlimited forms, unlimited entries, and 1 year of support)
- Business version costs $199.43/year (up to 15 websites, quiz maker, and priority support)
- Elite version costs $399.53/year (unlimited websites, all form templates, and elite support)
Event management solutions like Event Espresso and Formidable Forms can help you easily collect attendee registration information, collect payments, and generate useful reports.
If you need to sell tickets for your events, we recommend going with Event Espresso. However, if you organize ticketless events only, you can also use the Formidable Forms plugin to accept online event registrations.
Between Event Espresso and Formidable Forms, which event registration form plugin are you leaning towards and why? Let us know by commenting below.