Top 9 Free and Open Source Event Management Software
Managing an event is a massive task which is immensely challenging involving difficult situations, and demanding audience. Whether it is about organizing a seminar, conference, or any other event, providing an excellent experience to the attendees is highly significant for the success of the event. An intricately prepared plan, and use of the right kind of tools can definitely help event professionals to overcome all the challenges relating to event management.
But, before we dive into the aspects that make an event successful, let's have a look at why organizing events are important for businesses today.
31% of event marketers believe events to be the most effective marketing channel followed by content marketing, email marketing, and other modes of online promotion.
The reason behind that is - events drive brand awareness, customer engagement, demand generation, and eventually accelerates leads and revenue. Marketing events like seminars, conferences, trade shows, incentive programs, product launches, retreats, team building events, annual meetings, corporate shows, customer interaction events, etc., help the sales and marketing teams to interact with the customers in an effective manner and close leads successfully. Thus, investing in events and ensuring their success has become mandatory for organizations wanting to escalate their sales and meet determined targets.
What Makes an Event Successful?
By leveraging the best event management software, one can accomplish these tasks effortlessly. As per a recent report, 86% of event marketers believe that technology can have a significant positive impact on the success of their events.
Multi-tasking skills are required to handle event management effortlessly. Without event management software, it becomes difficult for planners to automate their repetitive tasks and plan the entire event flawlessly.
Key Event Management Challenges
Different events come with different challenges in a package. Still, we have listed out some key challenges which we usually face in most of the events -
- Picking the right venue
- Constrained budget with rising costs
- Managing time and completing the tasks within deadline
- Managing multiple events at the same time
- Access to the information about vendors & suppliers
- Keeping track of the entire event management process
- Managing human resources
How Event Management Software Can Help In Overcoming these Challenges?
Venue & Caterers
Event management software helps in streamlining the proposals sent be the venue owners and caterers and deciding the best, which can make your event successful.
Maximum attendance in an event is the basic requirement of any event to be successful. The event management software helps in marketing the event in the right manner and selling the tickets/passes.
Rising Costs & Budget Planning
While planning an event, anything can go wrong suddenly. Possibly the cost of any commodity rises at any time and planning the budget at that time becomes difficult. The event management software helps in shortlisting the vendors providing the lowest cost of that commodity and planning the budget of an event wisely.
Allocating the right people for the right job is very important to make an event successful. By using event management software, you can hire the right people for the job, and assign the tasks suitable to their qualifications and caliber.
Last Minute Changes
While planning an event, there are surprisingly last minute changes which have the capacity of failing an event. An event management software helps in taking decisions quickly based on accurate data and saves the event from the sudden crisis.
Besides, helping to overcome these challenges, the event management software can automate, streamline, and simplify all the tasks important to make the event a successful one.
Significance of Organizing a Successful Event for a Business
In a B2B or a B2C event, there is a huge amount invested in organizing the event. If the event fails, it is a major monetary & reputation loss to the organizers. Starting from planning an event to analyzing its success; event management solution is used at each and every step to achieve the ultimate goal of the event.
Let’s have a look at these case studies which showcase the consequences of a failed event, and the benefits of a successful event.
Case Study 1: The Peace & Love Music Festival (Swedish Music Festival)
As per a recent case study report, one of the most well-known examples of the failure of an event was The Peace & Love Music Festival - hallmark event of the Swedish city Borlänge held in 2013. There were 3 major reasons found which led to the failure of this event - vulnerable position of the organization, the entry of a strong and new competitor, and some visitors looking for a new place to be. Due to the failure of this event, the organizers declared bankruptcy and canceled the forthcoming events even.
Now, this was an event which failed miserably. What can make an event successful?
Case Study 2: Colorado Court Employees Conference -
As per a case study referring to an employee education training conference held by the Colorado Judicial Branch (COJB), the attendance was increased by over 100% and at the same time it was experienced that well-organized operations during the event saved several hours of administration time. The reason behind this success was the use of the right kind of tools and technology which streamlined the registration process, communication, and collaboration between attendees and organizers.
This conference is currently in its eighteenth year and is growing consistently every year. It currently hosts over 800 court employees for similar educational events.
Growth of Event Management Software Market
The below report by Statista displays that the global event management software market in 2017 was 6.38 billion US dollars, which is predicted to rise up to 11.06 US dollars in 2022.
The reason behind this predicted substantial growth is the automation, streamlined process, accuracy, and practicality leveraged by the event management software. The event planners and organizers prefer using event management software so that they can plan, source, coordinate, budget, and market their event successfully.
Types of Events for Which Event Management Software is Used
Usually, event management software is used for events on a larger scale requiring rigorous planning relating to networking and engaging the attendees. Here, we have shortlisted some types of events organized by B2B and B2C companies which require profitable event outcome, and thus using event management tools for these events becomes highly significant.
What Does an Event Management Software Do?
Basically, an event management software works as an end-to-end solution to make an event successful and thus should include below-mentioned features -
An event management software allows organizers to register attendees and issue them the tickets for the event. It also helps organizers to send automated emails to the people who have registered for the event.
The event management software that includes social media integration facility can spread the word about the event and thus invite registrations. It helps in effortless event marketing through automated emails and social media posts.
The event attendees already registered for the event should feel like they are part of the event, and thus, their enthusiasm needs to be spruced up. Event management software can help you in engaging the attendees in the activities before the event, help them in networking and communicating with each other to make the event successful.
Enabling Easier Check-In
The experience of the attendees while checking-in to an event matters a lot. The event management software can help the organizers to check-in the attendees easily without any queue, chaos, or hassle. It enables digital check-in using mobile, tablet, or device and syncs the list of attendees with the contact list easily.
Providing Specialized Treatment to VIPs
There are chances that some VIPs are going to attend the event, and they require separate information and treatment than other attendees do. Through event management software organizers can create login details with special permissions for the VIPs so that they get exclusive benefits and information.
Analyzing Event Success
The most important aspect of an event is analyzing its success. The event outcome details showcase the right and wrong decisions we had taken throughout the event and plan the forthcoming events with confidence. Through event management software, we can send surveys and questionnaires post-event, which simplifies the job of ascertaining the result of the event.
The use of event management software makes a lot of difference to the overall event process including budget planning, registration, venue, caterer, etc. which positively affects the attendees experience highly significant for generating business leads and closing sales.
There are many event management software available in the market which can help you in organizing the event seamlessly. But, to select the right event management software suiting to your business and events, is highly significant.
After in-depth research and analysis, we have shortlisted these 9 free and open source event management software which you can consider while selecting one for your business. Before you go through the details of each software, you can have a look at the features of these event management software solutions at a glance in the below comparison chart.
Top 9 Free and Open Source Event Management Software Features Comparison Chart
Top 9 Free and Open Source Event Management Software
OSEM specializes in creating a splash page displaying the main agenda of the event. Further, it allows visitors to register and pay for the tickets for the event. It gives you access to the analytics displaying information about the evolution of the event and its attendees. You can also receive proposals for talks & workshops for your event, helping you to provide the best event day experience to your attendees.
- Creates a marketing website exclusively for your event
- Displays schedule of the event presenting an overview of the sessions to the visitors
- Provides a detailed presentation of the sessions
- Allows you to receive proposals for talks & workshops for your event
- Registers the visitors and allows you to track them
- Has easy to use dashboard for analyzing and administrating the event
If you have already used OSEM, please feel free to share your reviews here.
#2 Odoo Events
Odoo is an open source and simplified event management solution specializing in creating onsite & online events. It is a comprehensive event management platform that can help you in hosting events of any type or scale. It helps in automating event management tasks starting from planning & promotion, to ticket sales.
- Allows to create presenter proposal form inviting people to submit their participation as a speaker in a talk-show or a conference
- Displays the agenda of the event including schedule which can be filtered by date, speakers, locations, and tags
- Automates the registration and payment process
- Helps in selling event sponsorship and promote the existing partners
- Enables social media and email marketing for effective promotion of the event
- Can integrate with Google Analytics and SEO tools
If you have already used Odoo Events, please feel free to share your reviews here.
OpenConferenceWare is an open source and customizable event management software just perfect for managing conference like events. It is a general purpose platform which facilitates to submit proposals, sessions, schedules, tracks, and more. It is easy to install and use OpenConferenceWare as step by step guide is available on its site. It is a highly customizable event management software just perfect for the events being organized on any scale.
- Create, list, track an event
- Show sessions of an event
- List and show proposals for an event
- Allows to leave private comments for organizers
- Subscribe to a feed of the proposals
- Create a profile including professional biography, picture, and URLs
- Users can login via OpenID or password
- Administrators can set deadlines for accepting proposals for an event
If you have already used OpenConferenceWare, please feel free to share your reviews here.
The standard version of VSIS ConfTool was developed for events on a small scale, including up to 150 participants. It is a web-based event management software, just perfect for non-commercial events, not requiring a huge investment. More than 1000 organizers have used it in managing academic conferences, seminars, workshops, and congresses. Available in 10 languages, VSIS ConfTool features only basic functions and is offered for local installation only.
- Allows online registration
- Supports forming different participant groups
- Registration codes available for discounts
- Can create a customized registration form
- Automated tax invoice creation
- Provides multiple payment options with over 25 credit card payment gateways available
- PayPal integration included
- Helps in inviting participants through bulk emails
If you have already used VSIS ConfTool, please feel free to share your reviews here.
Bitrix24 is a free event management software which is available as open source and cloud-based both. With the help of its client management module and CRM, it allows you to create quotes and invoices, manage vendors, and send emails. You can even schedule and book venues using this software. It facilitates project management for managing the staff and their tasks. It also facilitates messaging and group chats for real-time communications during events.
- Allows an unlimited number of users
- Includes CRM for client management
- Has multiple shared calendars and different planning tools
- Allows to assign tasks to the staff and maintain a checklist of those tasks
- Can be accessible through iPhone and Android devices
- Provides document management for maintaining records
- Allows file sharing to speed up the jobs
- Easily customizable as it comes with open source code
If you have already used Bitrix24 ConfTool, please feel free to share your reviews here.
Indico is a robust and scalable event management software, a perfect solution for event organization, collaboration, and archival. It is free to use, and highly customizable open source event management software which includes high-end features and thus is preferred by many event organizers, managers, and businesses.
- Includes event organization workflow which suits to lectures, seminars, workshops, and conferences
- Allows uploading presentations, and other documents easily
- Helps in booking rooms and accommodating attendees
- Can integrate with various collaborative tools
- Has the facility of archiving the event material and retrieving when required
- Includes multi-granular tree-based protection scheme
If you have already used Indico ConfTool, please feel free to share your reviews here.
#7 OpenConf (Community Edition)
OpenConf is a free and open source event management software which is easy to use and has a clean interface powering several events and journals held in more than 100 countries. It is developed using PHP and MySQL database backend, and its downloaded version can be run in various platforms like Mac, OS X, Windows, and Linux. The community edition of OpenConf is freely available for users and thus can be used for non-commercial events too.
- Allows online registration and payment collection
- Can schedule conferences
- Collects presentations
- Enables communication and collaborating with attendees
If you have already used OpenConf, please feel free to share your reviews here.
COD is a free and open source event management software developed using Drupal 7. You can create customized landing pages for your event displaying the entire information about your event and at the same time facilitating visitors to register for the event.
- Allows creating and managing event tickets for attendees to register for the event
- Helps people to submit their proposals for the event
- Enables attendees to vote for session proposals
- Can create a schedule based on different days and rooms
- Manages attendees registration and ticket booking
- Allows attendees to create their own schedule
- Access to the overview of event sponsors
- Has easy to use dashboard which allows you to view the real-time status of the event at a glance
- Helps in managing multiple events lined up at the same time
- Enables selling tickets online
If you have already used COD, please feel free to share your reviews here.
Attendize is an open source ticket selling and event management platform having a wide range of features making event management as seamless as possible. Using this software; attractive mobile-friendly pages can be created for providing the information and marketing the events. Being a free event management software, it can manage multiple events and multiple organizers on a large scale without investing anything.
- Ability to manage attendees seamlessly; including their messages, refunds, etc
- Can export data to XLS, CSV, etc. formats
- Allows you to generate and print list of attendees
- Provides real-time event statistics
- Helps in creating customizable event pages
- Supports multiple currencies
- Enables quick and easy checkout process
- Can create customizable tickets incorporating QR codes, organizers’ logos, etc.
- Allows social sharing and event marketing
- Facilitates tracking number of attendees, and sales volume
- Embeds event selling widget into existing websites and WordPress Blogs
- Allows partial and full refunds
- Can post surveys after the completion of the event
If you have already used Attendize, please feel free to share your reviews here.
These were the top 9 free and open source event management software. But, if you are looking for software having high-end features not provided by these free ones, you can go through the details of one of the most popular event management software - Cvent, as given below -
Cvent is a powerful event management software which is easy to use. It can help in navigating every aspect of the event process and encourage attendance and engagement of the invitees. With powerful reporting, strategic integrations, it has helped in conducting all the events systematically whether its one-to-one meetings or conferences with a huge number of participants. Below are its key features -
- Helps in multi-channel marketing of the events
- Streamlines the entire process of event management to increase the attendees
- Collaborates with venues to create wonderful event experiences for the attendees and hosts both
- Provides powerful reporting enabling you to take smart business decisions for the future
- Allows strategic integrations with other tools to enhance functionality
- Provides 24/7 customer service
If you have already used Cvent, please feel free to share your reviews here.
Now, when you have the details about these free and open source event management software, it becomes easier to adopt one which suits your requirements. But, if you require highly advanced features which are not provided by these free event management software, you can check freemium or paid event management software like -
- Planning Pod
- Social Tables
- Event Guru
- Function Tracker
Simultaneously, you can even check out our well-researched list of event management software here.
And, if you are looking for only event registration instead of complete event management, you can check out our list of event registration software here.
Used any of these event management software? Just leave your valuable review here.