If you were looking to set up an event on your site, for your personal business, this article is not for you. (Well, you can use the plugins we recommend). But, if you were planning to set up a business, to provide Event Management as a Service, you have surely come to the right place.
What is Event Management as a Service?
Websites like Eventbrite or etouches, offer event management as a service. What happens is, businesses or people (looking to organize events), can use these websites, to manage events they plan to host. These sites basically provide tools, to help others manage events, without having to bother with the technicalities of event management. Such websites also allow posting of upcoming or ongoing events, along with options to purchase tickets. If you were considering providing such a service as a business, all you will need to do, is set up your website. Which is great. Because you can start your business quickly, and your investment cost is low.
And to keep the costs lower, a great platform to consider (you guessed it) is WordPress! Considering that you have several plugins available for help, setting up an Event Management Service website is simple.
Note: This article is a two part series on ‘How to Create an Event Management Service Website on WordPress’. This is part one of the article. Part two will be presented in a different post.
Features of an Event Management Service Website
As a website which offers event management as a service, some features will be expected (such as possibility to add an event). But apart from these features, when you look at the big picture, there are many features (such as user role management, transaction management, etc) that you will need to provide.
Generally, there are two kinds of users, you should expect on your site. The ‘Event Organizer’ (business or person interested in organizing or hosting an event) and the ‘Event Attendee’ (a person attending an event). To be able to differentiate between the users, you should create different user roles on your site. This is because an event organizer will have different capabilities as compared to an event attendee.
Another user role you can consider adding, is an ‘Event Sponsor’. We will discuss about the ‘Event Sponsor’ in detail in the next section.
Event Setup and Management
Since you are providing a service for third party organizations (‘Event Organizers’) to manage events on your site, it is understood that you have to provide them with the ability to create and setup events. Apart from adding default event details, such as time and location, event organizers should be able to set up ticket prices, add registration forms, and classify the event being added in a category.
To allow tickets to be purchased from your site, you need to manage transactions. A secure way to provide this, is by using Payment Gateways. Your site must also handle any changes in payment, cancellations or refunds.
Creating Event Management Service Website on WordPress
Before we continue, with how to provide for these features, let’s divide certain features into Must-Have Features and Good-to-Have features. The Must-Have features are the ones which are mandatory, you must have them on your site. The Good-to-Have features on the other hand, are optional. They would be good to have on your site, (mainly) to improve user experience.
“Let’s discuss this over a cup of espresso!”
The great thing about building an Event Management Service Website on WordPress, is that we have a set of plugins to help us. For our solution, we will be using the Event Espresso plugin. The Event Espresso Plugin is a complete event management tool. You can use it to setup events, manage registrations, provide the option to purchase tickets, etc.
To learn how we will be using the Event Espresso Plugin, to set up our site, let’s explore the features in a bit more detail.
Basic Site Settings
As the site admin, you should set up some default features on your site. For example, you need to at the least create registration and login pages, and set the options for Event Espresso Plugin.
Event Espresso – General Settings
You can add details of your website, such as name, address, the logo you have created, etc., in the General Settings, of the Event Espresso Plugin. These details will be used when sending out invoice emails. Under these settings you can also set up location details. This is a Must-Have feature to add a professional look to your site.
Event Espresso – Payment Methods
To set up the payment methods you want to offer, you have to go to Event Espresso > Settings > Payment Methods. Under this section, you can enable several Payment Gateway options. This is a Must-Have feature if you want to offer ticket purchases on your site.
A Good-to-Have feature, is the ability to classify events, into categories. Categories can be used by visitors of your site to filter events, for example, you can set up events as Concert, Exhibition, Play, Art Festival, etc. To create a new category, you have to go to Event Espresso > Events > Categories. Of course, when an event is being created, the event organizer must classify the event in the appropriate category.
Setting Up Venues
You can also set up venue details for popular venues across the area. This can be done from Event Espresso > Management > Venues. Event organizers can then link an event to a venue.
So far, we have only covered basic site set up. Which is good for now, but we have a lot more left. In the next section, we will cover User Registration Management, learn about Setting Up Events, Transaction Management, and Attendee Management. If you have any questions till now, you can surely write them to me, in the comment section below.