How to Setup Event Espresso and Publish Your First Event

In this guide, we will learn how to setup Event Espresso and publish your very first event. It is recommended that you work through the guide completely but if you have already completed certain steps, then feel free to skip ahead as needed.

Install and Activate Event Espresso

Let’s get started by installing and activating Event Espresso. The latest version of Event Espresso can be downloaded from your Event Espresso account. Open a new tab in your web browser and go to Then click on the Account link and login to your account. You will now be viewing your account page. Locate Event Espresso in your My Plugins list and click on it. This will download the current version of Event Espresso to your computer.

Now open another tab in your web browser and login to the WordPress admin for your site. Here is an example of what the URL for the WordPress admin looks like (replace with your actual site URL):

After logging in you’ll be viewing the dashboard for your WordPress admin. Locate Plugins in the WordPress admin menus and then click on Add New. From the Install Plugins page, click on Upload. Then click on Choose File and locate the Event Espresso plugin on your computer (it is a .zip file). Finally click on Install Now. Your WordPress site will begin uploading the file and will automatically install Event Espresso. After it is done, it will prompt you to Activate the plugin or return to the WordPress Plugins page. Click on Activate. In the next section, we’ll cover how to add information about our organization to Event Espresso.

Update the Your Organization Page

The Your Organization page allows you to customize information for Event Espresso. This page can be found by locating Event Espresso in the WordPress admin menus and then locating Settings and clicking on General Settings. This page has the following areas: Your Event Espresso License Key, Contact Information, Company Logo, Social Links, and User eXperience Improvement Program (UXIP).

Your Event Espresso license key can be found on your Account page for Event Espresso. In your web browser switch to the original browser tab for your Account page. Then locate the Account Settings widget and copy your site license key. Next, switch to the browser tab for your WordPress admin. Then paste your license key in the field for Support License Key. This will enable one-click updates for your Event Espresso plugin and its add-ons.

Now we need to update the information about our business / organization. This can be done in the next section of the page for Contact Information. Go ahead and update all fields and remove any information that is not needed. Note: the country that is selected will affect the currency options that are used through out Event Espresso.

Next you can upload a logo for your organization (if available) using the option in the Company Logo area. A size of 400 pixels wide or smaller is recommended. Additionally, you can add links to your social networks using the fields in the Social Links area. The last area is for the User eXperience Improvement Program (UXIP). It is a way for you to contribute to Event Espresso. You can turn this option off or leave it on (recommended). Now you are done updating the Your Organization page and you can click on the blue Save button to save your changes. We are now ready to setup a payment method so that we can accept payments for our event registrations.

Setup a Payment Method

The Payment Methods page can be found by locating Event Espresso in the WordPress admin menus and then locating Settings and clicking on Payment Methods. For this guide, we’ll setup PayPal Standard which is a popular payment gateway that is used with Event Espresso. More information about payments for Event Espresso can be found in the article for: How to Accept Payments with Event Espresso.

Locate PayPal Standard in the list of payment methods and click on it. Then click on the Activate PayPal Standard Payments button. This will activate PayPal Standard payments on your site and you’ll be shown the following options:

  • PayPal Email
  • Country Currency
  • Image URL
  • Use the Debugging Feature and the PayPal Sandbox
  • Shipping Address Options
  • Button Image URL

Enter your Email for your PayPal account. It is recommended that you use a PayPal Premier or Business account (preferred). Next, select your Country Currency. This is the currency that you want to accept payments in. The Image URL option allows you to add a logo for your organization / business to the PayPal payment page. Next, you can enable the Debugging Feature (keep disabled when not needed). The Shipping Address Options setting allows you to specify if you would like a shipping address to be collected during registration checkout. The Button Image URL shows the current image that will be shown for PayPal Standard during registration. You can upload and select a new image or leave it as is. Now double-check that you have updated all fields as needed and then click on the Update PayPal Standard Settings button. We are now ready to create our first event with Event Espresso.

Create Your First Event Using the Event Editor

The Event Editor can be found by locating Event Espresso in the WordPress admin menus and then clicking on Events. Once on the Events Overview page, click on Add New Event button which appears at the top of the screen. In the example event that we’ll be using, we’ll focus on these areas of the Event Editor: Event Title, Event Description, Event Tickets & Datetimes, Event Registration Options, and Save New Event. Information about these options and others in the Event Editor can be found in the Help tab which appears in the top right corner of the screen.

Information for our example event:

  • Title: Spring Concert Celebration
  • Description: Come kickoff spring with a fun evening of music and food.
  • Event Start: March 22nd, 2014 at 7pm
  • Event End: March 22nd, 2014 at 10pm
  • Event Limit: 500
  • Free Ticket: no charge
  • Premium Ticket: $20, allows early admission at 6pm

Begin by entering a title or name for your event. This should be descriptive as it will be shown in various areas of Event Espresso including the WordPress admin and on the front end. Next, enter a description for your event. Event Espresso supports the rich text editor in WordPress so you can format your description using the toolbar that appears above the description area. Now scroll down to the option for Event Tickets & Datetimes. In this section we’ll setup a datetime and tickets for our events. Click on the Event Start field and change it to the date and time that your event begins. Next, click on the Event End field and change it to the date and time that your event ends. You can optionally set a limit on the number of tickets that you want to be available for this event.

We are now ready to setup tickets for our event. By default a Free Ticket will be created for our event. If you will be offering free tickets for your event, then you can begin editing the options for this ticket. Update the Ticket Name, Goes On Sale, Sell Until, and adjust the quantity. If you will not be offering free tickets, you can update the existing options for this ticket to convert it to a paid ticket.

Next, locate the Event Registration Options widget. The active status will show unknown since we are currently creating a new event. The next option allows you to specify the maximum number of tickets that can be bought per order. For example, if you wanted to limit a registrant (attendee) to buying 5 tickets at one time, then you would enter a 5 in the field. The field for Alternate Registration Page is useful if you want attendees to register through a separate URL. If you are new to Event Espresso, then leave this field blank. Next, you can enter a phone number (optional) for your event. Then you’ll want to select the Default Registration Status. A status of Pending Payment is recommended since it will allow your registrants (attendees) to make payments (if necessary). You can learn about the other options by viewing the help tab for the Registration Form Settings page.

Now double-check that your event information is correct: Title, Description, Event Tickets & Datetimes. Then locate the Save New Event widget and click on the Save Draft button to review your event later or click on the Publish button to make your event live.

Congratulations on publishing your first event with Event Espresso! Now browse to your event on your website to see how it will appear to your registrants.


Be sure to toggle full screen in the bottom corner of the video and switch the quality to HD.


Notes: in the video above we create a sample event for a cooking workshop.


Need more help?

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  • Go back to documentation for Event Espresso
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