In this issue
  1. Compared: 9 Event Ticketing Software Systems for Small Businesses 9 min read
  2. How to Start a Meetup Group in 6 Dead Simple Steps 9 min read
  3. How to Use a Virtual Summit to Grow Your Authority & Email List 13 min read
  4. 4 Tips to Make Workshops Your Business’s Next Secret Weapon 9 min read
  5. From Start to Finish: How to Plan a Retreat People will Love 14 min read
  6. Book Promotion on A Budget: Use a DIY Tour to Promote Your Book 10 min read
  7. Don’t Host Alone: Why You Need a Team for Your Conference Planning 8 min read
  8. Money Making Events: Send This Email to Make Your Event More Profitable 6 min read
  9. These Emails are a MUST for Your Event Marketing Plan 9 min read

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Issue #15 • March 2018

Compared: 9 Event Ticketing Software Systems for Small Businesses

Business Models Content Marketing

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-event-ticketing system

Eventbrite

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.

Pros:

  • 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

Cons:

  • 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

Cost:

Free for free event listing, small fee (1% + $.99 per ticket sold) at their lowest pricing level

bizzabo-event-ticketing-system

Bizzabo

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.

Pros:

  • 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

Cons:

  • 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

Cost:

Not displayed on their website, must reach out for a demo and quote

ticket-tailer-event-ticketing-system

Ticket Tailor

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.

Pros:

  • 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

Cons:

  • 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

Cost:

$25/month for up to 5 active events, also offers custom packages

seat advisor-event-ticketing-system

SeatAdvisor

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.

Pros:

  • 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

Cons:

  • 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

Cost:

Not listed on their website, must contact for pricing

purple pass-event-ticketing-system

Purplepass

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.

Pros:

  • 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

Cons:

  • 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

Cost:

2.5% of ticket price + $.99, one level pricing

ticketspice-event-ticketing-system

TicketSpice

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.

Pros:

  • 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

Cons:

  • 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

Cost:

Flat fee of $.99 per ticket

vendini-event-ticketing-system

Vendini

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.

Pros:

  • 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

Cons:

  • 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

Cost:

Not displayed on their website, must contact for pricing

eventgrid-event-ticketing-system

EventGrid

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.

Pros:

  • 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

Cons:

  • 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

Cost:

Not listed on website, must contact for pricing

thundertix-event-ticketing-system

ThunderTix

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.

Pros:

  • 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

Cons:

  • 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

Cost:

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.

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Kayla Hollatz

Kayla Hollatz is a copywriter and content creator for creative entrepreneurs who want their words to connect and convert. Few things make her happier than ghostwriting for clients in her studio, aka her four-season porch with a lake view. She can frequently be found fighting Minnesota winters with a mug of hot chocolate in hand.

Experience this issue your way

Download this issue of Tradecraft as a PDF to read and reference at your own pace.

  • I run a lot of small workshops (25-50 people) across the country. After trying and reviewing multiple ticket systems I decided to build my own system using WordPress, Leadpages, Google Forms and Convertkit. I wouldn’t recommend this system for large or complex events, but for a simple event it works pretty well.

    Interested participants go to my registration page (geducator.com/events) and select the event that they want to attend. The payment is handled through a Leadbox (processing via Stripe) which funnels attendees into a Convert Kit sequence which automatically sends confirmations, pre-event reminders, and a post-event summary / evaluation.

    I work in education and a lot of participants need to pay with a purchase order. That process is automated using Google Forms and Sheets.

    This system should save me well over $1k annually due to the low CC processing fees. If you are organizing small events, this set up could work for you as well!

  • Hello Kayla, great article! Was hoping you would consider featuring Eventdex the next time you write up a similar post. We’re an all-in-one event management solution that even offers robust online and onsite registration platform, event app, lead retrieval, matchmaking solution and an attendee check-in app apart from the features you have listed here. Moreover, our pricing is extremely competitive – we charge less than half the cost of most other solutions. Do check us out if you have a minute: https://goo.gl/MNF7qL

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