Want to promote an event or begin offering regular events on your website? Tried the default WordPress calendar and was left wanting? If so, you may benefit from a WordPress event plugin.
WordPress event plugins are the tool you need if you’re launching an events business, want to increase the exposure of your events or if you use booking as part of your operation.
There are hundreds of WordPress event plugins out there, so how do you sort the good from the bad? How do you weigh up their pros and cons or decide whether they offer good value?
That’s where we come in.
We have scoured the internet looking for the best WordPress event plugins on the market. We have tried them, tested them, weighed them and measured them to come up with the 12 best WordPress event plugins available right now.
We hope it helps.
Summary of WordPress Event Plugins
|WordPress event plugin||Free version?||Cost for premium|
|Events Manager||Yes||$75 – $150 per year|
|WP Event Manager||Yes||$235 or $499|
|Amelia||No||$59 to $249 per year|
|Event Organiser||Yes||£50 – £120 per year|
|All-in-One Event Calendar||Yes||$14.99 – $83.10 per month|
|Event Espresso||Yes||$79.97 – $299.95|
|The Events Calendar||Yes||$89 per year|
|My Calendar||Yes||$49 per year – $199 lifetime|
|Modern Events Calendar||Yes||$75 – $455 per year|
|Stachethemes Event Calendar||No||$49|
|Venture Event Manager||Yes||$149 – $499|
WordPress Event Plugins?
WordPress events plugins can be as straightforward as adding a calendar to your website to alert visitors to upcoming events or something more feature-rich. A fully-functional WordPress events plugin can include ticketing functions, resource and time allocation, attendee management and email follow-up after the event.
For websites that don’t require a full event management platform, plugins like this can offer a wealth of tools to manage events for a much lower cost. All from a WordPress plugin.
How Do Events Help Promote a Website?
Events can be a powerful way to promote an organization. Ads, web content, email outreach and other tools are useful, but nothing beats the personal touch or the interactivity an event can deliver.
Events help showcase your products, services or abilities. They can show off your event venue, demonstrate how popular you are through a full calendar or be used to generate revenue in any number of ways.
Add social media interaction into the mix and you have a heady cocktail of promotional tools. Promote the event online, provide attendees with the opportunity to share it on social and leave reviews. Support the event with content marketing and you have a very effective way to promote an organization!
Twelve of the Best WordPress Events Plugins
Integrating events into your website is easier than you might think if you use one of these WordPress events plugins.
- Events Manager
- WP Event Manager
- Event Organiser
- All-in-One Event Calendar
- Event Espresso
- The Events Calendar
- My Calendar
- Modern Events Calendar
- Stachethemes Event Calendar
- Venture Event Manager
The Events Manager plugin for WordPress is built around a calendar but also allows you to take bookings for each event. The free version of the plugin is genuinely useful and can manage basic events with ease. The premium version adds payment options, event emails, PayPal and Stripe payments, discounts and coupons, customizable booking forms and a whole lot more.
The plugin is simple to use and works like a desktop calendar. Add an event, set the start time and end time, set any recurrence and post it. Once posted, you can enable registration and manage them from within the plugin. You can even accept user submissions for events.
Events Manager is a very capable WordPress events plugin and makes short work of managing a busy calendar with the minimum of administration.
Pros of Events Manager:
- Easy to use and manage
- Free version has most of the tools you’ll need
- Premium version adds genuinely useful features
- Multiple payment gateways supported
- Import from iCal or Google Calendar
Cons of Events Manager:
- Design may take a little tweaking to fit your brand
Events Manager Pricing
Events Manager is free or $75 per year for a single site or $150 per year for up to 5 sites. Premium adds a ton of features that many websites will find useful.
Opinion of Events Manager
Events Manager is a very capable WordPress events plugin. It’s easy to use, very straightforward to manage and makes short work of organizing and showcasing events. The addition of the registration element is a definite strength of the plugin.
Events Manager would work for any organization who showcases or hosts events on a regular basis.
WP Event Manager is another excellent WordPress events plugin. The core plugin is free and open source and concentrates on the calendar view. There are also premium addons to extend the functionality further if you need to.
WP Event Manager is a relatively new plugin and does things slightly differently. It has been designed to fit within your website and into your theme to display events. It also has a powerful Ajax search feature which some other plugins lack.
Other features of WP Event Manager include user submission forms for events, fully customizable design that will fit into any website, multiple view types, simple event dashboard for busier calendars and a whole lot more.
Pros of WP Event Manager:
- Designed to fit within an existing website with the minimum of configuration
- Free plugin has lots of useful features
- Very customizable with lots of options
- Works with most third party page builders
- Search function for ease of use
- Extensive list of addons to take the plugin further
Cons of WP Event Manager:
- The cost of those addons can soon stack up
- Requires slightly more setting up than others in this list
WP Event Manager Pricing
The core WordPress events plugin is free and open source. Addons can be purchased to add new features. You can buy them in bundles at $235 or $499 or individually from $39 each.
Opinion of WP Event Manager
WP Event Manager may not be as established as some of these other plugins but it sure packs in the features. There is a lot to get to grips with here and a lot of features to enjoy. This is one of the most powerful WordPress events plugins here and would be ideal for any organization that hosts events.
Amelia goes in a slightly different direction than WP Event Manager. This is primarily a booking plugin with calendar support. It’s an attractive WordPress events plugin with a lot of features including booking, calendar view for events, different event type views and intelligent management to prevent double booking.
Amelia has a polished feel about it. The design is modern and built to slide seamlessly into any website design with the minimum of fuss. It is very easy to use and once installed on your site, you can place event widgets anywhere and manage them all from a dashboard on the back end.
Amelia is a premium WordPress events plugin that delivers a lot for the money. Key features include custom field support, recurring appointment support, SMS notifications, WooCommerce integration and synchronization with external calendars to name a few!
Pros of Amelia
- Great design and ease of use
- Powerful widgets that can be used anywhere on your website
- Works with WordPress custom fields
- Synchronizes with external calendars
- Huge selection of configuration options
Cons of Amelia
- Initial setup may take time because of the breadth of features
- Premium only, no free option
Pricing of Amelia
Amelia has three pricing options, Basic for $59, Pro at $109 and Developer at $249 per year. The main difference between plans is the number of websites you can use it on. It’s not cheap but considering the quality and the options available, it is an investment well worth considering.
Opinion of Amelia
It’s obvious a lot of thought has gone into the look, feel and user experience of Amelia. That’s to its credit and will benefit you when you use it. The ability to configure the plugin to fit any type of business is also a huge benefit and makes it genuinely useful for organizations of all kinds who take bookings.
Event Organiser is another feature-rich WordPress events plugin well worth exploring. It doesn’t have the slick aesthetics of Amelia but it has a lot of features that have been designed to be as flexible and as user friendly as possible.
Event Organiser is a calendar-based plugin with a simple to use dashboard with month to view. The plugin enables you to showcase events, sell tickets for that event, manage bookings, customize the booking form, send confirmation and follow-up emails and utilize multiple payment gateways.
The plugin has a free version and a premium version. The free option has calendar and event booking but you’ll need the Pro version for payments, ticketing and email follow ups. You can customize the look and feel of your calendar in both versions.
Pros of Event Organiser:
- Designed to be as flexible as possible
- Feature-rich Pro version offers all the features you’ll need
- Free version is perfectly usable.
- WordPress hooks allow a lot of freedom for developers
- Can be extended further with optional extensions
Cons of Event Organiser:
- You will need Pro to sell tickets to your event
- Some extensions only free with certain price plans so be careful what you buy
Event Organiser Pricing
Event Organiser has three price plans, Personal at £50, Business at £90 and Developer at £120 billed annually. Some extensions are only included with Business and/or Developer plans so check carefully before purchase.
Opinion of Event Organiser
Event Organiser is a very capable WordPress events plugin with a lot of features. The core plugin is plenty enough for non-developers but if you can code, you can do pretty much anything with it. That’s a lot of power for not a lot of money.
Event Organiser would work for any type of website that promotes, showcases or holds events.
All-in-One Event Calendar from Time.ly is an attractive WordPress events plugin centered around a calendar. The intent from the outset was to create a plugin that minimized administration and made it simple to upload and manage events. This plugin achieves those goals.
The design is simple and to the point. It makes short work of calendar creation, managing events, setting up recurring events and importing calendars.
All-in-One Event Calendar has a free version that integrates into WordPress and a novel hosted version that uses the cloud to integrate into your website. It’s a unique approach that seems to work well.
Pros of All-in-One Event Calendar:
- Designed to make it easy to manage events
- Integrates into WordPress via plugin or cloud
- Detailed event management allows unlimited recurrences
- Works with external calendars for ease of use
- Simple dashboard
Cons of All-in-One Event Calendar:
- Pricing is somewhat speculative
- Support has been questionable in the past
All-in-One Event Calendar Pricing
All-in-One Event Calendar has a free option that works as a standard WordPress plugin. The premium plans use their cloud platform to host your events and add extra features. Premium plans start at $14.99 per month up to $83.10 per month billed annually.
Opinion of All-in-One Event Calendar
The core of All-in-One Event Calendar works well. The calendar is easy to use and manage and the ability to customize recurring events is great. The whole cloud app concept won’t sit well for everyone but seems to work well enough if you can get over the pricing.
Event Espresso is one of the most popular WordPress events plugins around and for good reason. It’s a well established plugin with a lot of features in both the free and the premium versions.
The free version is called Event Espresso Decaf and has calendar features, ticketing and event registration and even an event payment gateway option. That last is unusual for a free plugin as payments are usually locked behind premium versions. There are also email follow up and confirmation features which are also usually premium features.
This plugin is more involved than many in this list as it handles more event management functions. It helps manage tickets, event registration, payments, event check-in and a whole lot more. It is a heavy duty events plugin that covers every element of event management and can even integrate with ticket scanning apps!
Pros of Event Espresso:
- Huge range of features covering most elements of event management
- Free version includes payment gateways which is unusual
- Event email options also included in the free version
- Ticket scanning app integration is a neat trick
Cons of Event Espresso:
- Slightly steeper learning curve than other WordPress events plugins due to all the features
- Mainly designed for more established events companies
Event Espresso Pricing
Event Espresso Decaf is free to use and includes many of the tools you’ll need to manage your events. Event Espresso comes in three plans, Personal at $79.95, Developer at $299.95 and Everything at $299.95 billed annually. Extra extensions are also available at a cost or included within the bundles.
Opinion of Event Espresso
Event Espresso earns kudos immediately for including premium features within the free version. Upgrade to the premium and the features list expands significantly. With features come complexity but the documentation is easily enough to help you set it all up.
While smaller businesses could definitely use Event Espresso, it is more suitable for dedicated events companies or larger organizations.
The Events Calendar from Modern Tribe has a free and a premium option and is one of the most popular events plugins for WordPress. It uses a calendar view to showcase events. It defaults to a month view but can be customized to show daily and weekly too.
Customization is a key strength of The Events Calendar. The plugin is fairly plain but provides the foundation from which you can build branded and more detailed event views as long as you know a little code.
Even if you don’t know code, The Events Calendar is still worth using!
Pros of The Events Calendar
- Will work out of the box
- Allows for extensive customization if you know how
- Import events from iCal or Google Calendar
Cons of The Events Calendar
- Barebones design won’t suit everyone
- Based around the calendar view
The Events Calendar pricing
The Events Calendar has a free version that includes the core features and a premium version starting at $89 per year. Premium includes priority support, additional calendar views, recurring events and additional fields and widget options.
Opinion of The Events Calendar
The Events Calendar is a very popular plugin thanks to its ease of use. Features may be a little thin on the ground compared to others but the ability to customize it yourself adds genuine value.
The Events Calendar could be ideal for any size of business but would best benefit those with a developer to hand.
8. My Calendar
My Calendar is a simple calendar plugin that makes short work of showcasing and managing events. This is a free plugin with a premium version that adds functionality. Both are based around the calendar and offer a selection of features depending on what you need.
The free version of My Calendar includes a WordPress dashboard page to manage events and a customer facing calendar to display them. You can sync events across WordPress websites, share them across social media, embed your calendar using a widget and integrate with other plugins to offer more features.
The premium version of My Calendar adds user submissions, sponsored event placement, event import from third party tools and the ability to create events from blog posts.
Pros of My Calendar:
- Concentration on keeping things simple and easy to use
- Lots of option to customize and extend if you’re a developer
- Straightforward event management dashboard
Cons of My Calendar:
- Not as in-depth as some other WordPress events plugins
- Premium version doesn’t actually add much value
My Calendar Pricing
My Calendar has a free and a premium version. The premium version costs $49 per year or $199 for a lifetime licence. It’s a sensible price but doesn’t offer as much value for money as some of the other WordPress events plugins in this list.
Opinion of My Calendar
My Calendar is excellent at what it does. It’s easy to use, stable, and works well. It is limited to mainly calendar functions though. If you want a simple, very customizable calendar, this will work for you. If you want more advanced features, you may want to look elsewhere.
EventOn is probably the most visually striking WordPress events plugin around. It’s very attractive and uses colour and flat design to great effect. It is also feature rich and makes short work of managing events, displaying them and even hosting them.
The calendar feature of EventOn is strong. It is easy to add events, manage them, update or set recurring events and display them on a page or using a widget. Listings can be created with images and even feature a join option for Zoom or other virtual events.
If the core EventOn plugin isn’t enough, the developer also offers addons including subscriptions, email reminders, event monetization tools, booking management tools, a speaker and session scheduler and more. Each costs a little extra but offers a lot.
Pros of EventOn:
- The best design of any WordPress events plugin bar none
- Great UI that makes short work of managing events
- Interactive calendar with imagery and extra content
- Option to join virtual events from within the calendar
- Core plugin is great value
Cons of EventOn:
- There are a lot of features to get to grips with
- Pricing isn’t the clearest to understand
EventOn is currently $25 at CodeCanyon, which is a great price. Extensions are extra and can cost from $15 per year to $310 per year. Bundles are available too. The pricing is a little confusing as many of the features offered by the extension are included within the description of the core product. Other than that, pricing is sensible.
Opinion of EventOn
EventOn looks good, feels good and works very well indeed. It has a lot of features, including some back-end event management features. Plus, $25 for the core plugin is great value.
EventOn would work well for many types of businesses that take appointments or offer live or virtual events.
Modern Events Calendar does exactly what it says on the tin. It’s a WordPress events plugin designed around the calendar that can be used on any website to showcase events. It’s a very polished product with both a free and a premium version.
The free version is called Modern Events Calendar Lite. It is very slick to use and can be integrated into your website with the minimum of effort. Features include user-submitted events, flexible event scheduling, event recurrence, multiple layout options, support for WordPress shortcodes and the ability to share events with external calendars.
The premium version adds location maps, extended shortcode options, custom booking forms for events, Google Maps directions, multiple calendar and event views, agenda planning tool, advanced booking options, payment gateways and a whole lot more.
Pros of Modern Events Calendar:
- Feature-rich free version
- Extensive feature set for the premium version
- Includes some advanced event management tools
- Lots of booking and ticketing features
- Can be extended further with optional addons
Cons of Modern Events Calendar:
- Not the cheapest WordPress events plugin
- Some stability issues noted in the free version
Modern Events Calendar Pricing
Modern Events Calendar has a free version and three premium plans. The premium version costs from $75 up to $455 for between 1 and 10 licences. Extensions can cost from $35 up to $124 per year.
Opinion of Modern Events Calendar
Modern Events Calendar is another excellent entry into our list of top WordPress events plugins. It looks great, is easy to manage, can be effectively used with the default settings or heavily customized if you can code. It is pretty good value for money too.
This plugin could be useful for any organization who features or hosts events of any kind.
Stachethemes Event Calendar is a newcomer to the WordPress events plugin scene but seems determined to make an impact. It’s a feature-rich plugin with great design, a long list of features and its own drag and drop builder.
This is a very well-designed plugin that uses colour, imagery and flat design to great effect. It also has a ton of features including support for multiple payment gateways, social sharing options, that drag and drop event builder, a selection of calendar and event view options, coming soon pages for future events, filters and search, booking tools, WooCommerce integration and a host of others.
Stachethemes Event Calendar can work with most WordPress themes and is designed to be responsive too.
Pros of Stachethemes Event Calendar:
- Great design with striking visuals
- Easy to use dashboard and event builder
- Wide selection of calendar and event views
- Coming soon page is a great addition
- Booking and ticket sales tools
Cons of Stachethemes Event Calendar:
- Some negative comments around plugin support
Stachethemes Event Calendar Pricing
Stachethemes Event Calendar costs $49 from CodeCanyon and is exceptional value given the features and quality on offer.
Opinion of Stachethemes Event Calendar
It’s hard to criticize Stachethemes Event Calendar. It’s a great WordPress events plugin that delivers the quality and the features you need. We actually had to look to find a negative to say about it.
This plugin could work for any business who hosts or showcases events. It’s cheap enough to be accessible to any business.
Venture Event Manager is our final offering in our list of the best WordPress events plugins in 2020 but is by no means the least. It’s another polished offering with a range of event planning and scheduling tools.
The free version of Venture Event Manager is very user friendly and has an accessible drag and drop event builder. The default features should be plenty enough for non-developers but the extra coding options offer almost unlimited scope for customization.
Features include a selection of calendar views, event listings, support for iCal and Gcal, widgets, a search function, recurring events and the ability to use Google Maps for directions. The premium version adds upcoming event listings, expanded filtering options, custom layouts, grid layouts and access to addons.
- Easy to use using default options
- Expansive option to customize if you’re a developer
- Lots of features included in the free version
- Drag and drop event builder is welcome
Cons of Venture Event Manager:
- Limiting user features such as filtering behind paywall isn’t the best
- Relatively high cost
Venture Event Manager Pricing
There is a free version and two premium versions of Venture Event Manager. Premium costs $149 for a single licence and $499 for 25 licences. Some addons cost extra, from $49 up to $199 each.
Opinion of Venture Event Manager
The Venture Event Manager plugin is actually very good at what it does. It works well, is straightforward to set up and can be implemented in minutes. There are also great options for developers to take it much further. We do have issues with locking user features behind a paywall though.
Venture Event Manager would be ideal for most businesses who work with events and want a simple to use plugin to manage them.
What To Look for in a WordPress Event Plugin?
As you can see from our list, WordPress event plugins come in all shapes and sizes with a huge variation in design, price and features.
That’s why lists such as these are so useful. They give you an idea of the strengths and weaknesses as well as feature highlights of the available options.
If you’re in the market for a WordPress event plugin, what should you be looking for?
- Ease of use – Time is a precious commodity and we want to spend as little time as possible on managing calendars. Any plugin that minimizes the administration side of events is definitely one to consider.
- Drag and drop event builder – We all use drag and drop page builders as they make web design simple. Any WordPress event plugin that utilizes a version of that for events has to be worth checking out.
- User submissions for events – For suitable websites, the ability to allow users to submit events for listing is both an opportunity for engagement and monetization.
- Location maps and directions – Interaction is everything and if a WordPress event plugin can include a map feature with directions, it makes it much easier for users to find where they are going.
- Third-party integration – Whether it’s WooCommerce, Google Calendar, iCalc or something else, the ability for a WordPress event plugin to play nicely with other website functions is valuable.
- Responsive design – If a plugin or WordPress theme is not responsive, it is not going to succeed. This is now a minimum criteria for any web application and the same is true here.
- Cost effectiveness – We expect to pay for quality but we expect to pay fairly. Being charged for a plugin and then charged extra for essential features is not something we recommend.
Is It Worth Paying for a WordPress Event Plugin?
It is hard to argue with the cost of free but there are compelling reasons why you may want to pay for a premium WordPress events plugin.
Some of the WordPress event plugins in this list have excellent free options. A couple include payment gateways and other useful features within the free version.
That said, quality is worth paying for. So are many of the optional premium features.
One often forgotten element of premium WordPress plugins is support. Most developers offer limited support for the free version but paying customers will always get priority.
The best case scenario is that you would never need support but customer service is one of those features you only really appreciate when you need it most!
5 Creative Event Ideas To Help Promote Your Business
Now you know what WordPress events plugins to consider and what to look for, how can you use them to promote your business or organization?
Here are five actionable ideas you can use:
- List events on discovery websites – Websites such as Bandsintown, Facebook Events, Goldstar, Eventful, Songkick and others can all list your event for extra outreach.
- Create an event hashtag and use it everywhere – Social is an incredibly powerful tool for promotion that can be leveraged in so many ways. Creating a hashtag and using it liberally is just one of them.
- Use third-party ticketing platforms – Using third-party platforms as well as your own provides more opportunities to sell and avoids any trust issues with unknown websites. Billetto is one of many such platforms.
- Use giveaways and competitions – Everyone loves a freebie and a good competition. Offer VIP access, free tickets, discounts or other offer to increase engagement and then share it across the web and social media.
- Partner with a brand or influencer – Using someone else’s popularity to promote yourself isn’t anything new but it is very powerful. Partnering with a brand or influencer with links to the event or industry can work wonders!
WordPress plugins are one of the best parts of the content management system. They provide almost limitless opportunities to expand your reach and add new features. WordPress event plugins offer both those things.
There is no easier way to integrate events into your life. No easier way to promote them, share them and allow others to share them.
If you want to include events into your organization, one of these WordPress event plugins will deliver. The list includes some of the most popular plugins around with the features, pricing and support you need to succeed.
Which is your favourite? Do you use a different WordPress event plugin? Tell us about it below!