Is event hosting in your future?
I had a few ideas for retreats and workshops in the early stages of my business, but I never dreamed I’d host a small business conference in my second year. As an event planning newbie, I was looking for any technology that could make the process go smoothly.
Choosing table linens and setting up your audio technology becomes a lot easier once you have peace of mind that attendees are actually coming to your event.
Selling tickets is one of the most crucial steps in the event planning process, yet we can often overlook the tools that are needed to make it happen. Luckily, there are many options for event ticketing software that can help.
Mailing printed event invitations and creating handwritten attendee lists are a thing of the past. With online event ticketing systems, you’re able to organize all of your event data and reports. You can also collect event ticket payments fast with easy depositing to help manage cash flow.
To save yourself from running back and forth during your event trying to organize all of your attendee information, you’ll have it all in one place with your ticketing platform.
9 event ticketing software options for small businesses
With so many ticketing systems to choose from, how do you decide which platform is your best fit? You probably don’t have enough time to test all the software as your event approaches, so we’ve done some of the heavy lifting for you.
As you read through some of the benefits and pitfalls of each event ticketing system, remember to keep your specific needs in mind. We’re confident you’ll be able to find a natural fit so gathering information and selling tickets becomes one of the easiest tasks on your event to-do list.
Eventbrite is one of the most popular online ticketing systems used by entrepreneurs. It helps you reach new audiences searching for events in their area while organizing the back-end information of your event.
Eventbrite is known for its easy-to-use platform which helps users set up their events in minutes. Simply add a description, title, cover photo, and set your price before hitting publish. Eventbrite takes care of the rest.
- User-friendly interface with little to no learning curve
- Boasts that it helps event organizers host 3 million live experiences every year
- Event tracking on-the-go from any device
- Integrates well with Facebook events so people browsing through Facebook can buy directly from the app without having to go to Eventbrite
- You have the option to avoid ticket fees by passing them on to attendees
- Many complaints about their live event customer support options
- Quadruple check your attendance lists in case some of the ticket information gets lost when it automatically generates the spreadsheet, which happened at my conference
- Not as many customizable options for the appearance of event page
Free for free event listing, small fee (1% + $.99 per ticket sold) at their lowest pricing level
Unlike Eventbrite, Bizzabo is solely built for medium to large professional organizations that plan multiple events a year. Because of this, it can focus on providing great customer service, but it comes at a price.
- Multiple awards for their high quality of customer service
- You’ll be assigned a specific customer service representative
- Integrates with over 750 platforms like Mailchimp, Slack, Zapier, and more
- Advanced statistics and analytics as compared to Eventbrite
- Next level real-time event data gathering and tracking
- You can embed your event registry form inside your website
- Some customer complaints about it being difficult to customize the look of event pages
- Takes more time to set up your registry page than other event ticketing platforms
- More of an investment since it’s built for bigger corporate events and conferences
Not displayed on their website, must reach out for a demo and quote
The unique benefit of using an event ticketing system like Ticket Tailor is that it has no ticketing fees. Instead, its pricing structure is based on monthly recurring fees, which makes it a great fit for event planners and smaller events.
- Includes a savings calculator on their site so you can see how the monthly fees stack up against competitors that take a cut of each ticket
- No ticket fees attached to ticket purchases for attendee or event organizer
- Easy event registry page customization
- Customer service can only be done over email instead of over the phone
- Less day-of event support than other event ticketing platforms
- Includes Ticket Tailor branding for the lowest pricing tier
Some pricing tiers limit the number of tickets that can be sold
$25/month for up to 5 active events, also offers custom packages
SeatAdvisor has a specific niche and sticks to it. As an integrated email ticketing and patron management system, it helps fine art and theater organizations with selling their event tickets.
- Customers frequently remark on the high level of customer service
- Also includes features for patron management which makes it unique
- Attendees can choose their seating within the platform
- Includes fundraising capabilities and accepts donations for the event
- SeatAdvisor is only available on desktop (no mobile device integrations)
- Some complaints about the platform not being easy to use for the ticket purchasers
- There’s no way to archive a past event so it shows up in the active events list
Not listed on their website, must contact for pricing
Purplepass is commonly praised for its high-quality customer service and ease of getting started with online ticketing with its mobile apps. Servicing businesses of all sizes, it might be a great fit since it offers unlimited events.
- Has an Android and iOS app for easy ticketing on the go
- Advanced reporting options for after the event
- 24/7 customer service is available by phone
- One tier of pricing so you always know what to expect
- Fairly outdated website and look to their ticketing system
- Website isn’t as user-friendly as some of its competitors
- Higher per ticket fee than we’ve seen from other competitors
2.5% of ticket price + $.99, one level pricing
TicketSpice has made a name for itself in the world of mobile ticketing. It calls itself the “Most Customizable Ticketing Software Ever”, and many of their customers think it lives up to the name.
- Simple drag and drop interface for easy event setup
- No contracts, set up fees, or cancellation fees
- Helps you raise money, get donations, and sell tickets fast
- Gives you analytics to help you track your conversion rates
- Ability to auto-deposit your ticket earnings
- Some customers have reported small glitches in the system (like adding the wrong food option to a ticket)
- The platform isn’t as recognized as other competitors like Eventbrite
Flat fee of $.99 per ticket
Vendini prides itself on supporting any kind of live event. You name it, they’ve got it covered. They also offer donation management and professional memberships with advanced options.
- You can streamline and automate your day-to-day operations with the platform
- Easy to navigate front-end for customers looking to purchase tickets
- Customer service is reviewed to be state-of-the-art
- Advanced marketing solutions for its customers including a website ticket manager
- No event type or business type specialization, so it won’t be tailored to your business
- Not available on Android
- Some features are only available with new versions of the Flash player but gives none of their customers warning about this
- Not as user-friendly back-end as other event ticketing systems
Not displayed on their website, must contact for pricing
As an all-in-one event ticketing system, EventGrid offers custom, advanced options to help you sell more tickets to your next big event. Is it right for you? Check out the pros and cons below.
- You can customize your event landing page with its event builder
- Available on desktop and mobile for great user experiences
- Manage all of your online ticketing and attendee information all in one place
- You can add three types of tickets: free, paid, and donations
- Great customer service
- Some ticket refunds are difficult
- Event reporting is an area that needs improvement
- Customers have commented on it not being a fit for these event types: weddings, in-person meetings, catering management
Not listed on website, must contact for pricing
Not only is ThunderTix known among businesses and organizations as accessible and easy-to-use, but it’s also praised for its award winning customer service. With many customization options, it may be a great fit for your next event.
- Ability to sell tickets both online and at the box office in the same central place
- Archive of video tutorials to help you get set up with their event ticketing system
- No contracts or per ticket fees
- Gives you a free 10-day trial so you can try the platform
- Higher starting price than many of the other competitors we’ve reviewed
- You can’t manage concessions, kiosk ticketing, or ticket brokering within ThunderTix
- One customer said they wish ThunderTix had a separate POS system
- Having more than one event venue makes some features less user-friendly
Plans start at $39/month
Which ticketing system will you use for your next event?
Now that you have the low-down on some of the more popular platforms, which one do you think you’ll use?
Here’s a couple things to think about before you decide:
- What is the size of your business?
- What type of event are you running?
- How important is day-of customer service for you?
- Is mobile access important to you?
- Does price matter?
The answer to these quick questions should help narrow down your decision even more.
Let us know in the comments which event ticketing software you’ve used in the passed and what you thought of them.