5 Free and Open Source Event Registration Software

Whether virtual or in person, small businesses, nonprofits, and clubs all find themselves, at some point, in need of a place to host an event signup or ticket sales.

Luckily, there are a lot of excellent free software options out there that can set your event up for success.

Here are five of the top options for free, freemium (some features are offered for free while others are unlocked with a premium subscription), and open source (the source code is open and available for outside developers to alter and edit based on their needs) event registration software.

Software options are listed in alphabetical order, except for the one open source option which is listed last. For the full methodology of how these products were chosen for this list, click here.

See all free event registration tools

This article looks at five highly rated free event registration software systems. See the full list of free event registration software systems in Capterra’s software directory.


Free plan: Free version includes 50 booking spaces per month and only covers free events.

Paid plans: Upgraded plans start at $15 dollars per month and include 300 spaces booked per month.

Whether it’s for a children’s theater class or a local political rally, this software suits businesses that need to build an event registration page for a small, free event (or recurring event).

Bookwhen prides itself on “slashing your admin time.” It strives for that by providing a clean, easy-to-navigate interface that can have you logged in and setting up an event page in minutes.

Bookwhen offers an impressive features list that includes a waiting list, “basket” system for booking, custom booking form, online payment, attachments, discount options, and in-app support. Once your event is live, clients can view your scheduled event from a customizable landing page within the Bookwhen app, or it can be integrated into your own website.

Key features: Ticketing, multi-location and group scheduling, automated scheduling, attendee tracking.

Event page set up from software service Bookwhen

Live, customer-facing event page from Bookwhen (Source)


Free plan: Free version covers small gatherings, meetups, and other simple, free events.

Paid plans: Basic plan costs $1.50 per event registration and includes unlimited events and a standardized registration form.

Eventzilla offers a mobile-friendly, easy-to-navigate event registration and marketing software platform. The company prides itself on a smooth user experience for event attendees, presenters/speakers, and the business hosting the event.

Functionality is designed for both in-person and virtual events. Eventzilla comes equipped with everything you need to set up a custom event website, publish event schedules, process payments, and manage attendees and check-in easily.

Many of the features and capabilities offered by Eventzilla are not available for free version users. So be aware that access to things such as the built-in promotion tools and registrant tracking tools will require an investment in the paid version of this software.

Key features: Ticketing, gamification, conference/convention management, social media promotion.

Event management dashboard for software service Eventzilla

Event management dashboard for Eventzilla (Source)


Free plan: Eventbrite is free to use for free events.

Paid plans: Using Eventbrite’s most modest package, paid events cost 2% plus $0.79 per attendee.

The most-reviewed event registration software on our list by a landslide, Eventbrite works for events of all sizes, from workshops to concerts to conferences. Eventbrite’s platform, which can be accessed online or via a mobile app, scales from basic registration and ticketing to a fully-featured event management platform.

Users also have the ability to publicize events through Eventbrite’s integration with popular social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, and Spotify. Organizers with only free events have access to all the features included in the Essentials package and everything in the Professional package except for phone, chat, or email support.

Key features: Exhibit/vendor management, social media promotion, surveys/feedback, ticketing.

Screenshot of event dashboard from Eventbrite

Event dashboard from Eventbrite (Source)


Free plan: Ticket Tailor is free to use for free events.

Paid plans: Ticket Tailor is $.65 cents per paid ticket ($.26 cents if you buy credits in advance). This fee can be wrapped up into the ticket price.

While Ticket Tailor calls itself simply a ticketing app, it is by all accounts event registration software. Equipped with features such as ticketing options, attendee management, and social media promotion, Ticket Tailor offers a clean interface that helps event organizers get their registration site up quickly and smoothly.

Did you notice that incredible rating of 4.9 out of 5 stars? Ticket Tailor boasts the highest user rating of all the free and open source event registration software options included in our list.

Ticket Tailor also integrates with both Stripe and PayPal, as well as other customer tracking and marketing tools.

Key features: Ticketing, social media promotion, conference/convention features, surveys/feedback.

Screenshot of Ticket Tailor's ticket creation app

Ticket Tailor ticket creation app (Source)


Open source event registration software

For those of you counting along at home, that was only four event registration software solutions. Our fifth and last software option doesn’t strictly meet our methodology guidelines as it currently doesn’t have any user reviews on Capterra’s directory.

However, if you are a more tech-savvy soul looking for an excellent open source option for your event registration needs, then you may want to check out our final software option:


Ticket Tailor logo

Open Conference Systems

Ratings: n/a
Reviews: n/a

Open Conference Systems (OCS) is part of the Public Knowledge Project, a multi-university initiative that develops free open source software and conducts research to improve the quality and reach of scholarly publishing.

While this open source tool was created for managing scholarly conferences, it can be used by technologically fluent business owners and marketers to create a conference/event website, register participants, and post event details.

Users can also integrate a post-event online discussion forum to gather information and feedback regarding their event.

For download instructions, demos, and more information, check out the OCS page on the Public Knowledge Project site.

Screenshot of event setup page for Open Conference Systems

Event setup page for OCS (Source)


How to choose the right free event software for your business

Read our event management software buyers guide to understand the benefits and common features of these tools.

Beyond the common features (e.g. attendee management, ticketing, event scheduling), there are a few more considerations to make sure the software you choose meets all of your event management needs:

  • Consider software integrations: Software integrations with accounting, membership management, and other software make it easy to share data across different systems. This can speed up workflows and prevent data-entry mistakes.
  • Reporting and analytics: If attendance and behavior metrics are important to your business strategy, look for a software solution that includes analytics capabilities. This will allow your team to track metrics for a variety of purposes, including event expenses and revenue for accounting, and online user engagement for social media analytics.
  • Tech trend to watch: wearable technology: According to our research, 40% of small and midsize businesses say they are using or considering use of wearable computing technology within the next one to two years. Big-league events have already moved to ticketing systems built on radio frequency identification (RFID). Event goers just swipe their bracelets, name tags, watches, or other wearables over an attendee scanner.


Methodology

Products considered for this article had to:

  • Offer either a free version of the software or offer the ability to wrap all software costs/fees into ticket pricing for event attendees.
  • Software needs to be listed on Capterra’s category page for either registration software and/or event management software with a minimum of 75 reviews.
  • Considered software must include the following event management core features: attendee management, event scheduling, and registration management.

Looking for Event Management software? Check out Capterra's list of the best Event Management software solutions.

About the Author

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Samantha Bonanno

Senior Specialist Analyst @ Capterra, sharing insights about marketing technology and business trends. BA in English, SUNY Geneseo. Published in MarTech, Protocol, Marketing Profs. DC transplant, Upstate NY native. I love lively debates, strong coffee, and backpacking with my rescue dogs.

Comments

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Hi Cary,
You should check out our directory on Event Management Software for an extensive list of options. You can use the filtering tool on the left to narrow down your results, and each software page has a more in-depth look at the software features they provide.
Please let me know if I can help with anything else!

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While these look to be nice options what I need is for a small local convention that I can enter people who pre register and if they have purchased any of the other options such as meals or memorabilia and then print their badge. It would also be able to be changed each year to accommodate any changes in what is offered. It would need to track how many people registered, meals sold and so forth with the ability to run reports. Does such software exist?

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Hey Nick, Thanks for sharing the great list! Eventdex is also one of the best event registration software, Eventdex is 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. We charge just a small flat fee $0.75 per ticket. Unlike other ticketing services and we do NOT charge an additional percentage fee. No charge for free tickets. Do check us out if you have a minute: http://bit.ly/2OW4yEY

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If you are just planning to list an event online then you can try event registration systems such as https://www.eventry.com. It’s an completely unique and free for promoting an event.

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This is a great list. I’d also recommend Picatic as another great option. It’s also completely free to run a free event. https://www.picatic.com/p/tour

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If you’re looking for something free and SIMPLE, just for listings? Planaby has a plugin that you can list your events on partner or friend sites really easily – that let’s folks like music acts grow their reach because sometimes other sites have a lot more traffic and potential audience than than the one for your band or local wine shop. Also, planaby has a separate website and even a mobile app where activity seekers can discovery you and your events. https://wordpress.org/plugins/planaby-shows-and-events-widget

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Great list. Another popular open source event registration solution for the Joomla CMS that is worthy of mention is Event Registration Pro. We have used it for many of our clients successfully for many years. It is also supported well and has tons of great features. I highly recommend it. You can find it here https://www.joomlashowroom.com/products/event-registration-pro-calendar

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I totally agree with Jose Bort. Another thing is that using Open Source is sort of risky because of low security resons. Attendees details are crucial and should be secured at the highest level possible. If everyone is allowed to modify the code of the application it becomes like an open book. Some people will be applying modifications to gather registrations in a better way and others will be looking for ways to break inside and use these registrations for totally different reasons. I am founder of CONREGO – software that is between SaaS and OpenSource – for Event Managers who prefer to keep all data secure on their own server. Do not hesitate to mail me if you want to know more.

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Thanks for this resource, Nick. Using free vs. paid registration software ultimately boils down to the needs of an event organiser. While fundamental functions can be enjoyed from free software, there are specific functions that can only be utilised from paid services. A good example of paid functions is ticketing (as mentioned in the article). It’s very convenient to use a registration platform that allows for online ticketing and payments. This may allow for better event turnout since the entire process can be done in a matter of seconds. There are also check-in apps that may be paired with these registration software to significantly reduce headaches associated to these vital activities. If the success of your event depends on the amount of sales you generate, research well to see if any free or paid software can meet your specific needs.

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Hi Nick,

Thanks for the writeup on Ticketbud! We’ve found that most people pass on our (competitive) service rate, so we’re effectively free to use for anyone. We also offer a nonprofit reduced rate for charities, fundraisers, and the like. : )

Have a great week!

Cheers,
Sean

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