Organising and planning events can be a daunting task, with numerous plates to keep spinning it’s essential that you have the best event planning tools in your stack to make your life as easy as possible. Here we cover 6 of the best tools currently on the market. Whether you need to keep your events staff organised, make sure your socials are ticking along in an organised manner or make sure all the legals are sound, we have you covered.
But this doesn't mean we don't want to recommend some other products and services we've encountered during our years working within events organisation, not to mention our own use of planning software in the Eventcube office.
Choosing an online event management system is never easy. From platforms that let you supervise and analyse social media communities, to productivity programmes, and organisers, here are Eventcube's 8 best virtual event planning tools that will enhance your events by making preparation, communication and inspiration a far easier, more innovative and user-friendly experience.
Our 8 best virtual event planning tools for event managers & planners are:
We aren't the only amazing business that absolutely loves Monday, which might as well be shorthand for Best Project and Team Management System Out There. Across the world brands like BBC Studios, Universal, Adobe and L'Oreal Paris have jumped on this one and for very good reasons.
Fully manage remote workers, roll out marketing campaigns, centralise IT systems and transform sales. You can also choose to integrate countless other tools to create an incredibly versatile system tailored to your specific organisational needs. Meanwhile, a powerful app marketplace ensures you'll never miss another great piece of management software again.
Monday.com is almost a mandatory online event planning tool for many organisations.
Pros of Monday.com
Monday is one of the most potent event planning tools out there. You can plan your event from start to finish, from handling budgets to event registration and time-consuming tasks like coordinating with vendors.
Being form-powered means that you can automatically update important information by simply filling out a form. You can even send out forms to your guests in real-time. Just add a Monday form to your website and watch it fill up with data from stakeholders!
It's unbelievably effortless to keep track of everything that needs doing and has already been done. Powerful automation workflows can help you send multiple updates to your entire team in a single click. You can use Monday.com as a virtual event planning software to organise all the moving parts imaginably.
When it comes to networking, Monday.com is one of the best event planning software tools available. The ability to instantly sync and update all messaging is powerful.
It is an excellent tool for solo event planners or small teams. You have an array of templates and boards to handle complex projects. Once everything is set up, it's pretty seamless to send updates and notify users—emails are simply no match.
Cons of Monday.com
Certain core features require refinement. There should be an option to include subtasks in reporting, and dashboards could be faster with fewer bugs.
Monday.com is a resourceful virtual event management system that supports all the latest technologies to execute a virtual event. But the subscription options could be still more flexible, especially for smaller teams with minimal needs.
Compared to other event planning tools, some users might find Monday.com boards moderately cumbersome when renaming columns or adding multiple dates for an event (i.e., offering the same event more than once).
You get constant email notifications unless you disable them manually. It can feel overwhelming.
Doesn't have built in quotation software capabilities, so you'll need additional tools if you want to send quotes.
Finally laying the Filofax to rest, Evernote is a place to keep all those things you really need to make a note of without resorting to decorating the office in wall-to-wall Post-Its or having digital documents strewn across several applications.
It is a rare free online event planning tool. Although the free accounts are missing a couple of functions from the paid version, we assure you both that a monthly subscription and the effort of getting started are well worth it.
Evernote is already known as one of the premier project management tools. You can save anything you can think of for posterity or research purposes, and we really do mean anything. Photographs, PDFs and other documents, voice memos, even drawings can be stored and filed for reference, effectively making Evernote a bespoke library of content that you can quickly search and reference from the comfort of your own smartphone. The point being you'll never misplace a great idea again.
Pros of Evernote
Instead of having notes scattered all over the place on different tools, create an "event" notebook in Evernote and share it with your team members. The next thing you know, everything will sync up between devices so they can see what others have done too. You could also tag notes and organise categories like "schedule" or even more specific ones such as 'venue details', making managing easy. Now you can share information with vendors, venues or fellow event planners in a way that is accessible for everyone involved.
The event planning process is usually a creative endeavour, and you might get overwhelmed. With Evernote, you could try looking around for inspiration in different places and capture what pops out. Use the seamless Web Clipper extension to save any random idea with one click.
You can't just dream up an event and hope for the best. Your budget has to be in check. The size of your budget will determine everything from where you hold the event to what food is served. You'll need the hard numbers at your disposal. The event budget template will help with all of that.
Cons of Evernote
Evernote does offer some inconveniences when trying to make sure everything syncs accurately. At times the sync takes more time than expected.
Some records might be lost due to saving errors. This is a timely reminder to remain careful if there's no internet connection or you're using Evernote offline. Regular backups always help.
The Windows version especially is unstable at times and needs improvement in this area.
It can be inconvenient to export data from other applications. Since this is a crucial prerequisite for all event planning tools, Evernote needs to get better fast.
The aesthetics could be cluttered for some users, though several updates have helped clean things up. The interface feels clunky in general, with lots of features feeling overwhelming. Ideally, a super sleek, clean design is better for an event planner or coordinator.
Very few people relish paperwork, but having to draft and finalise that paperwork is even less appealing. Enter Member Solutions stage right, a unique event planning tool that focuses on the small print, potentially freeing up a significant amount of time for organisers, especially those who lack legal and ethical expertise.
The key here is an event registration feature that gives you a library of templates like signup forms and liability waivers. You just need to select the appropriate spec for your needs to produce tight documents that protect guests and hosts alike. An email marketing option lets you quickly build and run databases for newsletters, which is obviously a massive help with audience awareness.
Pros of Member Solutions
The platform is designed from the ground up to capture more registrations for events. This effectively means simplified registration, improved lead generation, and sales in a single package deal.
The flexible contract-based system makes it easy to create your own contracts on the fly. You can also adjust the legal terms according to the way that best suits you. This unique feature makes Member Solutions one of the best event planning tools for all verticals.
A variety of pricing and payment options are available to maximise revenue from events.
Perfect real-time reporting, you can keep an eye on signups and revenue and track registration data with the most up-to-date insights.
You can brand the event registration pages to resemble your current website.
Cons of Member Solutions
Like a one-trick pony, Member Solutions works well as a billing platform (not as a virtual event management system that supports the latest features.) The competition has caught up with most other features, however. While they have everything you "need," the platform lacks modern features with dated online software at the helm.
At the time of writing the events industry remains largely online as ongoing restrictions resulting from a global pandemic continue to render gatherings of most kinds illegal in most parts of the world. Thankfully, this will not last forever, and as we all know once businesses can exist in the real world again, there's going to be a big uptake in the use of contract workers. Here's a great event planning tool that takes the sting out of fresh hires.
Guru allows you to create a body of training and knowledge guides, which are then available to everyone in the company for more efficient and convenient up-skilling and onboarding. As you would expect in 2021, there's no limit to what you can include in the guides content-wise. However, things get really impressive when you start using web browser extensions and third-party app integration, effectively automating many collaborative functions.
With Guru, your team would spend less time on training and retraining. It is the perfect knowledge sharing tool for users to outline specific tasks in the browser (that are then showcased when they need it most.) This critical feature makes Guru a powerful virtual event planning software for large events with many moving parts and marketing information.
One of the primary aims of all event planning tools is to make you more efficient. You need to know where your marketing information (event details, email templates, and confirmed registration lists) is, which can be troublesome with so many different sources. That's precisely where Guru comes in to organise everything and make you productive.
The interface needs some work. Although, with constant updates, you can use new features as soon as they're released!
Some questions are not discoverable in the database even after trying out several inputs. So there is a good chance some of your resources still live in Google Drive or on team/personal databases.
There is a little bit of groundwork to get started. At times, you have no idea how to find the specific information you need. It is safe to say there's some learning curve on this one.
Cvent is one of the largest and most well known players in the event management/planning space. But does that mean it’s good? We think the event workflow management tools it features are well worth talking about. You can create task lists for each member of your event’s staff, schedule to-do-list email and even assign event launch admin rights. These are simply must have tools for any event manager.
Cvent proudly brandishes engagement creds on its website, but the community aspect goes much further. There's a huge event marketing side to the product and engagement tools to try and manage audiences online. However, we're just as happy to hear the company's ethos; streamlining every guest experience also applies to the real world. Think high speed, touchless pass and badge systems, for example. The venue exchange, which is essentially a massive database of spaces and sites, isn't bad either.
Cvent is a complete event management software that allows you to manage everything from your contact list, speaker abstracts and registrations. It acts as a collaborative virtual event planning software.
Besides managing the overall event, a virtual event management system should also have tools that allow you to manage finances. The financial management aspect of Cvent is also pretty straightforward and robust.
Cvent offers an excellent customer service experience. The team is always ready to answer any questions you may have about their products and services. You can make calls, chat sessions and emails from your preferred device.
Cvent offers an invaluable reporting feature with built-in reports. These reports are exportable in the form of pdf or word docs, placing Cvent amongst the very best event planning tools in the market today.
One of the best features of Cvent is the rollout of its new Flex app. It allows members to customise and personalise an event's website.
The email design can lack in some aspects. For instance, a major disappointment includes an inability to use A/B testing in your emails. More robust email features would help set preferences and determine what contacts precisely want from a mailing list.
The company's new products are sluggish and unevenly released. You spend hours manually creating workarounds for most releases.
Price is relatively high when compared with other event management tools.
Some of the best practices to use this event management software are not well documented. There is a need for more guidance and documentation on devices like Apple's Macbook.
Social media display walls are nothing new, and while there's an argument that this type of event design can prove distracting and perhaps isn't ideal for all types of presentations, they can add a real sense of occasion, boost inclusion and maximise reach. Everwall is an impressively simple solution for a live multi-channel social ticker. It was first to arrive on the market and it has been leading for over a decade, with lightning-fast publishing tools among its trophy pieces.
What's more, Everwall comes with a vast number of advertising, customisation and moderation options that can create new monetisation opportunities and offer you overall peace of mind. Some really solid analytics tools come built-in, too (so you're never going to realise the true power of platforms like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.)
Pros of Everwall
Again, the biggest strength of Everwall is an all-in-one social media display wall that provides some industry-best analytics.
The social wall is lightning fast. Each post takes less than a quarter of a second to be published.
The social media wall can be showcased on any website with simple iframe code you can copy and paste anywhere.
The wall updates in real-time so you can keep up with the pulse and flow of your event to drive instant engagement for guests. Everwall is undoubtedly one of the best event software for unique multi-channel social tickers.
Cons of Everwall
According to some users, the directions for setting up sources aren't crystal clear.
There are a few features that seem challenging to get grips with. But with each passing year, Everwall becomes even more streamlined and accessible.
ClickUp is undoubtedly amongst the best project management tools. However, it is also one of the best event planning tools that can help you seamlessly collaborate with all parties, manage budgets, and much more. It offers a suite of user-friendly event tools to manage your engagements with a two-way Google Calendar sync.
More specifically, you can break big projects into individual tasks and then calculate billable hours with automatic global time tracking. You could also create a clear order of operations for your crew to ensure they know what to do on the day of the event. ClickUp helps you remove the friction caused by using so many varied applications.
Pros of ClickUp
Turn staff comments into simple tasks.
Host any kind of virtual event with the Zoom integration.
Use Custom Fields to create an efficient ticketing system.
Utilise powerful mind maps for some robust planning.
It is a rare event planning tool that works in offline mode when the internet is down.
There are various helpful views (Gantt, Kanban, e.g.)
Cons of ClickUp
There are extra charges for using any other payment processor besides internal.
You might feel that the paid version of the app is almost identical to its free counterpart, with only a few exceptions.
The form view could be much better with more font designs, templates, and spacing flexibility.
ClickUp is a rare online event planning tool that does not allow to export dashboards.
Sometimes the sync is not smooth enough and takes a couple of seconds to refresh.
Eventzilla can be used for both in-person and virtual events. It offers a fairly large suite of event planning tools you can use to manage registrations, check-ins, promotions, and more. The tool also offers excellent efficiency, frequent quality improvements.
Eventzilla's integration with top-tiered payment gateways ensures that you are in control of your event. It offers some great features like integrating seamlessly into major online marketplaces such as PayPal and Stripe. It also offers Authorize.net payments which is becoming increasingly popular amongst consumers due to its simplicity when making purchases from mobile devices.
The tool comes with a flexible schedule builder with support for multiple parallel sessions. You could keep track of everything from an intuitive dashboard with a one-click export option for all data.
Pros of EventZilla
It is a rare event planning tool that offers 24*7 customer support.
The users can create a personalised email marketing campaign.
You can embed your registration widget anywhere on your website.
Customers can pay through the website before the event happens.
You can use it to promote and manage the pre-registration process and communicate with attendees after the event.
Cons of EventZilla
The text editor needs improvement.
Eventzilla is a pretty robust online event planning tool, but the payment interface still needs work.
Eventzilla can be confusing at first to set up, especially if you are a complete newbie with these digitised platforms.
It is somewhat difficult to customise for multiple experiences at the same event. That's not right if you're trying to be one of the best event planning software in the market.
Some pretty useful features are only available in the paid version.
So, how do you choose the best event planning tool?
Planning an event can be daunting, but the key is in choosing one that ties into your specific needs. When it comes to virtual events, it's ideal to identify all areas in your event that need automating; from ticketing and registration to livestreaming. This already cuts your work in half and allows for more headspace to dive into the details.
This is when you bust out your go-to online event planning tools. Remember, the best tools integrate with one another, so you get more than your money's worth and concentrate on pulling off a memorable event. Your staff can enjoy more free time from mundane tasks. Your guests feel like VIPs, and you're ready to tackle anything.
Whatever set of tools you choose absolutely beats doing it all yourself!
Need more event management advice?
We cover all things events on the Eventcube blog, from virtual to hybrid and beyond. Take a further read of some of our related events management guides below. Enjoy!