Eventzilla: The All-in-one Event Management Platform Taking Ticketing by Storm [Review]
Eventzilla: What Is It?
Eventzilla is an all-in-one event registration and management platform that enables event organizers to create event websites, accept registrations, process payments, collect abstracts, manage speakers, and automate attendee communications.
There are no monthly fees, it offers a pay-as-you-go or custom pricing for event planners. Eventzilla offers some normally premium features as standard. It is free for free events to be listed and currently paid events are capped at a $4.99 fee. As a comparison some other providers have a much higher cap, for instance, the Eventbrite cap has recently increased to as much as $24 per ticket. The Eventzilla fees can be absorbed within the ticket price or passed on to the attendee. Fast payments are also standard – you don’t have to wait until after your event or the end of the month to receive your payout, which will have a huge impact on cash flow.
Eventzilla is more than a ticketing platform, it is an all-in-one solution looking to take on the biggest names in the industry and shake up the approach to event management platforms. Eventzilla has positioned itself to offer a product that works well for conferences, workshops and training and also social events and fundraisers. Public and private events and live and virtual events can all be set up via Eventzilla. Adding abstracts and accommodation features signals their focus is on the business market. Even events selling allocated seating can be sold through the system, so it covers many bases.
Some agencies and event planners that run multiple and varied events struggle to find a single registration and ticketing platform that is suitable for the wide variety of events they run and sophisticated enough for their needs. Likewise, many eventprofs don’t want to be tied into contracts and high monthly fees or have to pay registration fees for the free events they run.
Could Eventzilla be an alternative to some of the biggest names in the all-in-one event registration and event management software world? Let’s take a test drive and find out.
The Main Categories of Features Are:
Event Registration and Ticketing. Manage the registrations for your public and private events, including conditional logic fields. Event planners can even create a unique seating plan so that tickets requiring reserved seating can be sold via Eventzilla.
Event Promotion. Create an event website and embed ticket purchase options. Send marketing emails, offer discounts and special promotions on social media.
Event Payments. Free events are free and funds from paid events can be exported daily, with service fees and credit card processing passed on to those registering. Accept offline payments and send automated reminders. Manage cancellations, refunds and transfer of bookings and track sales performance.
Abstract Management. Abstract submissions and reviews can be handled via the Eventzilla platform. This includes a double-blind review option if you want to hide the author details from the reviewer.
Accommodation Options. Enable local hotel recommendations to be shown to the attendee, based on the criteria you specify so that they can book and manage their lodgings directly. Alternatively, through Eventzilla, you can invite bids from hotels to secure a negotiated group rate from a local hotel and secure a discounted rate for your delegates.
Eventzilla was founded in 2009 and is now in use in over 20 countries. Four languages are available and supported (English, French Spanish, German) and over 135 currencies are accepted including USD, GBP, Euro, Canadian Dollar, Australian Dollar.
Eventzilla is a self-service tool. There is a three-step process to set up your event and you can set up your free account and have your first web page published in five minutes (its true – we tested it!). There are no barriers to getting started – you don’t need to have a demo or a sales call first of all. Of course, if you prefer you can have a one-to-one demonstration to walk you through it, but this isn’t a requirement, there is no hard sell.
Support is available between 9 am and 5 pm EST, with a 30 minute response time during these times. Outside these business hours, you should expect a response within one to three hours.
The webpage created for your event can be previewed and then published whenever you are ready. Event organizers can customize the look and feel by uploading a custom background image and logo to match their brand. The content blocks on event pages can be rearranged and content blocks on event pages can be turned off or on, based on your needs and preferences.
The layout has a modern feel to it and is fully mobile optimized. You can scroll down the page or use the tabs at the top to navigate straight to the information you need. The ticketing options are at the top and effective colored ribbons are used to highlight tickets that are not yet on sale or are already sold out. You can choose to show the number of tickets remaining if you wish and you can show a list of those attending (first and last name only or first name, last name, job title, organization and Twitter). If you have other events coming up you can choose to display it or not.
The site allows you to showcase speakers, event sponsors, the event program, event information, the location and ‘about the organizer’ details. The sponsors’ logos display in uniform boxes, with Twitter and Facebook links underneath.
It is possible to use your own domain and if you prefer you can even hide the Eventzilla branding, without paying for a white label software. This will be appealing to many event planners and is available to all PRO events.
Abstract management is often offered as a standalone tool or as an expensive premium add-on but with Eventzilla it is available to all PRO events. Event organizers can easily publish a call for papers page, set deadlines to submit, assign and manage the review process, and set deadlines to submit camera-ready final presentation slides.
Although a dedicated abstract management provider might offer extra bells and whistles, for many event planners this will be more than sufficient for what they need, balanced with keeping it straightforward for everyone to use and easy to set up. For instance, if you want to charge for papers being submitted to reduce time wasters and cover the administration time, this is not currently an option via Eventzilla. If this isn’t important for you, it is likely to be able to do what you need it to.
Sessions and Agenda
Event organizers can build a multi-track, multi-session agenda which allows attendees to sign up for individual sessions, and follow updates about speakers and conference rooms easily. There is the option to limit attendance for sessions and charge to register for a session if you wish.
Currently, this information must be available when registrations open if you need sessions to be booked in advance. It is not possible to open registrations and then announce the program and invite attendees back to choose their sessions and update their booking at a later date.
Event Marketing and Promotion
Discount codes can be tracked by the number of redemptions and expiry dates specified for the period discount codes are valid for.
Event organizers can send email invites to their contacts and add custom content to promote their event. There are reporting options to track the open and click rates.
Event planners can also publish their events as a tab on their Facebook page. This makes it easy to promote events to their existing users who are actively engaged in using the Facebook page.
The registration form can be customized as you wish and can include conditional logic fields, file uploads and information specific to different ticket types. Group discount incentives will automatically be calculated and applied, for instance, you might have a deal to book three or more tickets to get a certain amount or 10% off. The organizer specifies whether the information is needed for all attendees or just for the lead buyer only and if individual tickets need to be sent out.
There is a timeout feature counting down so that an attendee must confirm or releases the ticket(s) within a certain time frame. The email address is required first on the registration form and this means that it is possible to follow up if they abandon the booking. A reminder can automatically be issued one hour, 10 hours or 24 hours after they started the registration.
After booking the attendee will see a confirmation screen and can add the event to their calendar. Currently this message is the same for all tickets types, however, in future, this will be able to be customized to the ticket type and adapted accordingly by the organizer.
With the confirmation email, the text can be adapted and it is issued automatically. You can select which of the following ticket options are most relevant to your event:
- Send regular tickets as a PDF attachment.
- Send mobile optimized tickets (attendees can show their tickets using their smartphones at the venue and no printing is required.).
- No tickets are required. Just an email confirming the successful registration is sent.
A reminder email can automatically be issued to all attendees seven days and two days before the event to reduce no-shows.
The event planner can receive an email every time someone registers, a weekly summary of registrations, or switch email notifications off completely if you prefer. Registrations can be exported to CSV and PDF.
Event organizers have the choice to use Eventzilla Payments or connect to their existing payment gateway (PayPal, Stripe, Braintree, Authorize.net). There is no waiting to receive funds till the event date is complete, as with some other providers who like to hang onto your money.
With Eventzilla Payments, the transactions and refunds can be processed seamlessly and event planners can schedule automatic withdrawal of funds to a bank account. This enables you to pass on both the Eventzilla Service fee and Credit Card Processing fee to attendees. If you opt to use another payment gateway you can pass on the service fee but not the credit card processing fee.
An unusual feature that will be of interest to charity and fundraising events is that donations can be added alongside different ticket types. The organizer can specify a minimum donation amount. Merchandise can also be sold alongside the event ticket.
If you choose to enable offline payments you can include instructions for bank transfer, check or payment at the door. Automatic reminders can be set up to issue reminders at regular intervals but these payments must, of course, be logged manually onto the system. If you use Paypal as your payment gateway you can allow partial payments.
The terms and conditions, cancellation fee and policy can all be specified to give transparent information to those interested in attending your event. Event attendees can modify registration information or transfer their booking on to someone else using the “Attendee Self Service” option and free event tickets can be canceled by the user, without requiring input from the event planner.
The planner can specify the tax rate and specify whether prices should be inclusive or exclusive of tax. The tax field can be edited to the relevant wording too (e.g. VAT in the UK).
For onsite ticket sales no card reader is supported, however, ticket sales can still be taken by using a tablet device to the registration page.
Waitlist and Approving Registrations
A waitlist option is available to add interested users to a list and invite them back when a spot opens up for your event. A registration by approval option is available too if you plan on vetting and approving a registration before it is confirmed.
Hotel booking options can be shown on the confirmation page for attendees to choose and book directly, without requiring any input from the event organizer. Alternatively, via Eventzilla, you can specify the number of rooms required (5 minimum), price range, room type and star rating and invite bids from local hotels with availability on that date. You can then choose to accept and publicize one or more of the offers received. This allows you to offer discounted rates to your attendees, although unfortunately, no commission will be payable to you if you choose this option, rather negotiating and managing your own room block independently.
Event Organizer Mobile App
Eventzilla has a mobile app to check-in attendees. This also allows event organizers to track sales and orders, view attendee details anywhere, confirm pending registrations, cancel orders etc.
If you create a free Zapier account it can enable you to automate a ton of things across 1,000+ apps. You add rules, for example, post each new registration to Slack, add their email address to a MailChimp mailing list, save attendee details to a Google Sheet or add registration details to Salesforce.
Event Registration and Ticketing
- Event registration form, including conditional logic fields
- Multiple registration types with different start and end dates
- Attendees can sign up for individual sessions, and follow updates about speakers and conference rooms easily
- Registration by approval option if you need to verify attendees
- Limit attendance for sessions
- Charge to register for a session
- Create a unique seating plan and sell allocated seating tickets
Sessions and Tracks
- Build a dynamic, multi-track, multi-session online booking process
- Speaker listings and details, linked to the program
- Recurring events
- Clone events
- Display attendees list
- Automate event reminders
- Create name badges
- Mobile app to check in attendees. Track sales and view attendee and order details anywhere, confirm pending orders, cancel orders, etc.
- Multi-user access and controls – check-in only, all/selected events
- Integration with 1000+ apps like Salesforce, MailChimp or Slack using Zapier
- API for custom integrations
- Post-event surveys
- Export order details, attendee details, and survey responses
- Reports and analytics
- Event website
- Use your own domain
- Hide Eventzilla branding
- Upload a custom background image and logo
- Embed ticket purchase options into other websites, social media, etc
- Group discounts automatically applied (fixed amount or percentage)
- Social discounts for Twitter/Facebook
- Track the registrations using discount codes, number of redemptions
- Set expiry dates on discount codes.
- Attendee communications
- Social Buzz – create a social community within your event page
- Twitter Buzz – live feed embedded within the event website
- Sponsor listings
- Schedule emails with custom content
- Reporting options to track the open and click rates.
- Publish events as a tab on your Facebook page to make it easy to promote events to current fans.
- Free for free events
- Capped at $4.99 for paid events
- Use Eventzilla Payments or connect to your existing payment gateway (PayPal, Stripe, Braintree, Authorize.net)
- Pass on Service fee and Credit Card Processing fee to attendees.
- Fast payouts
- Free events can be canceled online by the attendee, reducing admin
- Transfer tickets to someone else – self-service option by the attendee to reduce admin
- Transfer bookings
- Accept bank transfers, check and on the door payments if you wish
- Automate reminders for payments if not paid by card
- Track sales – views, registered, gross and net sales
- Publish call for papers
- Collect abstracts and papers from authors online using a submission form
- Set guidelines
- Specify deadlines to submit the paper and for review, feedback to authors, final presentation deadlines, etc
- Display or hide call for abstracts on the webpage
- Waiver text and statement
- Add Reviewers
- Assign submission to the appropriate reviewers based on the topic
- Double-blind review option if you want to hide the author details from the reviewers
- Review scores and comments
- Approve or reject submissions
- Acceptance and rejection email wording
- Send automated emails when decision is made
- Enable local hotel recommendations to be shown to the attendee, based on the criteria you specify so that they can book and manage their lodgings directly
- Invite bids from hotels to secure a negotiated group rate from local hotels and secure a discounted rate
Who Is It For?
Eventzilla is perfect for event organizers, agencies (promoting events on behalf of their clients) and corporations
It works particularly well for conferences, classes, training, workshops and fundraisers when features like sessions, abstract management, lodging options or reserved seating are required. Live and virtual events and public and private events (tickets and registration/RSVP only) are supported.
Eventzilla supports events of all sizes. It could be a simple training event with 25 people or an annual conference with 2,500 attendees.
Pros and Cons
- Free for free events and a reasonable price cap for paid events.
- Daily payouts (no waiting until the event is complete).
- Abstract management and accommodation options are useful premium features included as standard for all PRO events.
- The do-it-yourself approach may not work for all users.
- You need to have a Zapier account to export the data to other applications.
- You can’t negotiate hotel deals and add room block details outside of the platform options so you take the commission.
Pricing and Plans
There are no contracts, no downloads and no setup fees on the Basic and PRO (pay-per-use) plans.
Free events are free. Premium add-ons are available for free events.
For paid events, there are two pricing plans:
1. Basic at $1.25 flat fee per ticket
2. PRO, which costs 1.5%+ 99 cents per ticket (capped at $4.99)
PRO includes everything. Some features are limited on the Basic plan.
There is a handy calculator on the Eventzilla website which calculates how much you will receive and how much will be paid in total by your attendees based on the currency you select.
There is also a new custom plan which offers annual pricing for event organizers who host multiple events per year and prefer to prepay the event registration cost and not pay for individual registrations. Between these pricing options, there is something to appeal to all event planners, whatever is the most cost-effective approach for them (and highly competitive pricing options compared to event management platforms such as Cvent).
Eventzilla offers a suite of features and an appealing design and user interface. For agencies and event planners that run multiple and varied events, the features and pricing models offered by Eventzilla will be very appealing. Eventzilla offers so much more than just an event registration site but without the requirement of being tied into contracts and high monthly fees, as with other event management platforms. We anticipate that the all-in-one approach could compare favorably to many of the big players in the registration and event management software market and should definitely be explored as a viable alternative. What are you waiting for? Set up a free account and give it a test drive.
Disclaimer: Reviews are paid for placements. While Event Manager Blog receives a fee to extensively look at the tool and review it in detail, the content of the review is independent and by no means influenced by the company. If you have any questions please use the contact us section.