3 Best Free and Open Source Event Management Software

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Struggling to manage your events smoothly? Check out these top three free and open source event management solutions for some help.


Imagine this: You’re using a free event management software platform to manage your event. You’ve used it for event planning, registering event attendees, and payment processing. But, now it’s two days before the event, and you need to send a reminder email to all your registered attendees—but the software doesn’t offer that feature.

Failing to send a reminder email can result in a lot of no-shows to the event, simply because it slipped their minds. Had you evaluated the software more thoroughly before choosing it, this situation could have been avoided.

There are several open source and free event management systems on the market. However, finding a planning tool that meets all your needs as an event planner requires an evaluation of its features. To help you do that, we have prepared this list of the best open source and free solutions, in alphabetical order. To be considered for this list, the software had to offer at least the following functionalities:

  • Enable organizers to create an event page or website with details such as location and times.
  • Allow event registration so attendees can sign up or buy tickets/passes.

Other important event management features include attendee management, barcode/QR scanning, event website management, event marketing, and an event management app. However, these features were not considered “must have” for the software included in this list.

This article looks at three highly-rated free event management software options. See the full list of free event management software solutions here.

What do we mean by “best”? Each of the three tools included in this article has been taken from our Top 20 event management software report for 2020. For more details on how we selected these products, you can review our methodology at the bottom.*

3 best free and open source event management software

Odoo Events

Odoo Events is an open source event management platform that offers features for all stages of the event planning process. Event organizers can use it to design and set up an event website or page, organize and schedule multiple subevents, and manage attendee registrations. You can also use it for event marketing via email and integrations with social media, search engine optimization (SEO) tools, and Google Analytics.

Events calendar in Odoo Events

Events calendar in Odoo Events (Source)

The software integrates with other Odoo applications, such as Website Builder, Blogs, CRM, and Email Marketing. Given the platform’s open source architecture, you’ll need to take the costs of deployment into account. You can choose to host it on-premise if you already have the necessary infrastructure or budget to build it up. Otherwise, you can choose to host it on Odoo’s Cloud Platform for a custom price or with a third-party cloud provider.

Here’s what reviewers on Capterra say about Odoo:

Pros Cons
  • User-friendly interface with a high level of customizability in both look and feel.
  • The tool is flexible enough to cater to the diverse functionality needs of different users.
  • Self-service means users have to fix any glitches or errors by themselves.
  • Getting direct support from the vendor or affiliates is possible but can be pricey.

Cost to upgrade: If you’d like to integrate with other Odoo tools, that costs starts at $4/month. Without integration with other Odoo tools, it is free.

Mobile apps: Not available (Odoo integrates with third-party vendors for event-related apps and app integrations).

Most suitable for: An event manager or planner of recurring events with a mass audience, such as sports leagues, music festivals, and auto shows.

Highly rated by: 85% of Odoo’s reviewers came from small businesses, 9% from midsize businesses, and 7% from large businesses.

Want to find software solutions with comparable features? These Odoo alternatives might be what you are looking for.

RSVPify

RSVPify is an end-to-end event management platform for in-person and virtual events. It offers features such as guest list management, ticketing, and embeddable RSVP forms for attendee registration. It also offers a drag-and-drop seating chart maker to plan optimal seating, menu options to allow guests to share meal choices and dietary needs, and age-verification for events that have age-restrictions.

Event dashboard in RSVPify

Event dashboard in RSVPify (Source)

In addition to other common event planning tool features such as a check-in system and digital invitations, the solution also offers secondary events. This allows event professionals to invite select guests to secondary events such as rehearsal dinners or a post-conference VIP dinner. The free version of the solution is cloud-based and allows advanced access for up to 100 guests.

Here’s what reviewers on Capterra say about RSVPify:

Pros Cons
  • Customizability of the forms and data collected to the exact needs of the event organizer.
  • The variety of templates available for invites is diverse and can be tailored to almost any kind of event, including an online event.
  • Learning to navigate the tool can be a steep curve for new users.
  • Resending invites to guests who have not yet responded is not automated and can be time consuming.

Cost to upgrade: Starts at $29 for a premium plan or 1.95% + $.90 per ticket for ticketed events.

Mobile apps: Only available for iOS.

Most suitable for: Organizers of small community events such as office parties, corporate events, or small-scale performance events.

Highly rated by: 73% of RSVPify’s reviewers came from small businesses, 15% from midsize businesses, and 13% from large businesses.

Looking for products with comparable features? These RSVPify alternatives are a great starting point.

Splash

Splash is an event management and marketing solution for in-person and virtual events. It offers a range of design features, as well as branded templates to create event collaterals and registration pages. It also offers invitation automation for custom and personalized event invites, reminders, updates, and follow-ups.

Event analytics in Splash

Event analytics in Splash (Source)

Splash also offers custom data dashboards and event analytics to help you better understand and analyze the performance of the event. You can also channel the data you have toward marketing by segmenting your audience by social influence, engagement, location, and more. The free plan for Splash is cloud-based and only offers features for guest registration, templates and design, and event promotion.

Here’s what reviewers on Capterra say about Splash:

Pros Cons
  • The ability to bring the design and analytics aspects of event management into one platform.
  • Integration with more than a dozen third-party solutions for project management, communication, data import, and more.
  • No 24/7 customer support or toll free number to call for help.
  • Marketing analytics can feel basic in comparison to marketing automation solutions or advertising solutions.

Cost to upgrade: Starting $9,500 per year for a basic plan for small businesses and teams.

Mobile apps: Available for iOS and Android.

Most suitable for: Organizers of small scale performance events, especially if you’re looking at some in-person and some virtual attendance.

Highly rated by: 16% of Splash’s reviewers came from small businesses, 24% from midsize businesses, and 60% from large businesses.

If you want to take a look at software solutions with similar features, these Splash alternatives are a great place to start.

Next steps

Selecting event management or event planning software can be an overwhelming experience. There are various factors to consider, such as number of attendees, feature requirements, and hosting. Therefore, it is always a good idea to thoroughly explore a few solutions before choosing one.

To help you better evaluate event management solutions, here are some important points to keep in mind:

  • Size of events you plan to host: While some free solutions are equipped to handle hundreds and even thousands of attendees, others might cap the attendees at 100. Before you choose a solution, know the size of the crowd you intend to cater to, and choose accordingly.
  • Marketing and promotions needs: Online marketing is an integral part of selling tickets for your events. While some tools let you do various marketing activities within the system, others integrate with third-party tools for marketing automation and promotional activities. Explore marketing-related functions of the tool thoroughly before choosing one.
  • Deployment options: In cloud-based deployment, the vendor is responsible for hosting the solution and taking care of any maintenance. You can choose a plan priced on a per-user per-month or per-attendee basis. On the other hand, with on-premise deployment, the responsibility of hosting and maintaining the solution lies with you. You might need technical expertise to host it. Choose a deployment model that you are technically as well as financially equipped for.
  • Experience of other users: Find out what the users of a tool have to say about it. Watch out for any common problems users are facing and what kind of customer support the tool offers. You can read user reviews on Capterra to learn more.

If you are currently using an event management tool, or have used one in the past, feel free to share your experience with us in the comments below.


Product selection methodology

We shortlisted all products in the Capterra Top 20 Event Management Software report for 2020. From this list, we evaluated each product to find one that was free. We classify a product as free if:

  • It offers a stand-alone free version of the software.
  • This version is not a trial version of the software that requires you to purchase the product after a set period of time.

All the products that met the criteria were included in the article.

Note: The listed pros and cons are derived from features listed on the product website and product user reviews on Gartner Digital Markets domains (Capterra, GetApp, and Software Advice). They do not represent the views of, nor constitute an endorsement by, Capterra or its affiliates.

*This was the rating on the product’s Capterra page as of October 30, 2020.

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

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About the Author

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Rupal Bhandari

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Content Writer @ Capterra, sharing the latest strategies and insights about digital marketing, sales, and customer engagement. She received her MA in English Literature from the University of Delhi, India, and has created research-intensive and thought-leadership content for some of the world's leading technology products and companies for over five years. She is an aspiring vegetarian chef and a pay-me-with-cuddles dog sitter in her free time.

Comments

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Please don’t confuse FREE as in FREEDOM, with free as in free of charge when talking about free software.
What matters more is the freedom of use, copy, study or modify that free software enables.

A software may be free of charge, but still locks its users down, limits and mistreats them. Like it is the case with many famous phone/computer operating systems and programs.

Otherwise, thank you for including some freedom respecting software in the article.
Cheers!

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Thanks for sharing this information. I like to share a creative app for event
named orquideatech which is specially designed for an arrangement of events. It has a specific capacity, for example, customized profile, alarms, and individual timetable makes you fill inside an encounter advantageous.

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Thanks for sharing great information with us. I would like to suggest one of the best online concerts, event and Live theater tickets selling sites. Etickets.ca https://www.etickets.ca/ here you can buy concert tickets with cheap price.

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Also add Eventdex to the list.Its one of the best customized event management software in the event industry.

for more info go through eventdex.com

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I would like to add another event management and ticketing platform to the list, i.e. Yapsody (https://www.yapsody.com/ticketing/).

Yapsody is a professional event ticketing platform that helps event organizers to create, manage, and sell event tickets online. Yapsody is free for free events.

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Hi I would also like to share here eventsframe.com

Designed to simplify ticket creation and multi event management with comprehensive discount tools, EventsFrame is designed by event organisers for events organisers!

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I’ve just started using http://www.eventsframe.com for all the events at my school. Found them on Twitter. I think they have a paid option but it’s free for our free events.

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Recently, we heard more and more event organizers complaining that their registration service vendors increased their fees.

Here is interesting article about it: “Why Event Registration Fees are Rising — What can You Do about It?”
(https://whova.com/blog/event-registration-fees-rising/)

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I have been playing around with the free version of Jotform for an upcoming arts and crafts festival. So far it seems very simple to use. You can create unlimited questions and it also allows for file uploads from registrants. Another positive is that it interfaces with Squarespace, which is the platform that our website is hosted on. The free version does limit you to only 100 submissions per month and a 500 mb storage limit. All in all I am really liking it!

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Nice read! Another freebie: http://www.sci-db.com (Scientific DataBase), scientific events management system.

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Good article and Eventdex is also one of best event management software
https://www.eventdex.com

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I expecting Ticketgateway.com in the list. which is known for best customer services and quick refunds.

[…] Here’s an awesome blog post with 11 free event management softwares that you can use for your campus event! https://blog.capterra.com/free-event-management-software/ […]

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Hey there–what about AllSeated? They have a free seating plan software that lets you map out the seating for your event. I am frankly quite surprised not to them here, as they are free and my go-to for event planning. If you haven’t already, definitely check them out.

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Sorry I noted the above update after my post. However, I am interested in free open source tools since I am with minimal budget as a start up.

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Is there a updated version of this information for 2017? I am seeking a free open source event planning software that will allow minimal cost online ticketing for up to 140, registration, no buyer fee, social sharing, mobile attendee check in and analytics. I am a new startup that hosts events/concerts.

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Hi,
I work for a foreign embassy and we will need to manage our guest/attendee list. For security purposes we can not use online servers . Do you know any offline software able to create custom invites ( around 4000) including for each guest a custom qr code with name, organization position) to be fast indentified at check in.
Thanks in advance for your help.

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At EventBank (https://www.eventbank.com) we are also supporting a lot of NGOs with our technology so they can run charity events such as balls, seminars or conferences more productively.

Hannah, feel free to add us to this list or reach out if you need more information or testimonials.

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Another one for those in Australia/New Zealand/Asia is http://digitaltickets.net they have various free and ‘pass fees on’ or solutions available for events, camps and groups.

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Great list of free tools. I noticed a few were a bit outdated (ex. 123ContactForm has a new look).

I recently posted a list of the best nonprofit event management software tools that includes a bunch of these free tools and some paid ones which also have a nonprofit discount: http://www.wildapricot.com/blogs/newsblog/2017/01/19/nonprofit-event-management-software-tools

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I would like to suggest one more online event planning service: http://www.partylabz.com. It is mostly focused for such events as birthdays, baby showers, weddings, graduations, house warming, getting together and any other celebrations. Though, any type of event can be created using the service. No registration required to create, manage and RSVP to an event. It is free but has some advanced paid options. I believe it is worthy alternative to services mentioned in articles above.

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Great article! I also wanted to add another tool to the list, http://www.whennow.com. WhenNow is a free online ticketing and registration platform. It’s super easy to use and there are NO buyer fees! They also have social sharing, mobile attendee check-in, and analytics reporting.

As for having some of the lowest transaction fees, there’s a cool price calculator to see how they stack up against other big companies like EventBrite, Ticket Spice, and others.

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Hi,

Thanks for sharing very useful informative article…

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Hi,
I’m an event manager working for not-for-profit organisations.
I need a affordable events programme that can allow for inputting of excel guests lists into the system to begin with, enable all types of reports, updating on payments, table hosts, seating plans etc, which one would you recommend? Thanks

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Excuse me but none of these are free.

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Hi,

I have a church camp coming up and I would like to introduce an online registration portal for the participants. I would prefer it if it is open source. I also have the intention of hosting the webpage and database locally from my computer. Please recommend a software for me. Thank you.

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Does anyone have any good options for guest list management? I am with a nonprofit and we do a sitdown gala once a year, in which major sponsors purchase tables. I would like to be able to send them a link for them to input their own Guest lists. Currently they send me their guest lists via email, and someone has to manually input them into a spreadsheet

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I want to add free video invitations platform: https://inviter.com/. Using this you can manage RSVP’s, how many members attend and also allows to send reminders to your guests. The other features are call to action buttons, calendar integration and also have number of customized templates.

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New conference management system from Czech republic univerisites in cooperation with Germany uni is http://www.proconfer.com – very easy, some special features (reviewer’s rating, autosending papers to conferences of same topics,..) and they have free pricing for small conferences (below 100 attendees)

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Very informative article. I am still really in need of a system that will work for a ‘sip and paint’ type of business. It needs to allow me to create unique invites to give to hostesses who can then forward to their invitees. Invitees need to be able to register and pay for that specific party. Hostesses need to be able to log in to review their invite list and party progress. I need to be able to create numerous unique party invites at one time, and give the hostesses the unique ‘party codes’ to pass on to their guests so the guests can get more party information and register (pay). I know these exist because I’ve seen them on other sites, but have found the paint and sip market to be filled to the brim with ‘consultants’ who choose not to freely share even a feature without payment. I’ve been searching for quite a while. Any assistance would be appreciated!!! BTW this is NOT a sip and paint business but something similar.

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Hi Jonathan,

Evite seems to have that functionality, but it looks like it’s only one way (Evite to Facebook, not the other way around): http://help.evite.com/customer/portal/articles/381652-for-a-free-invitation-how-do-i-invite-my-facebook-friends-or-post-my-event-on-facebook-

Similarly, Eventsbot seems to do this: http://www.eventsbot.com/blog/new-features-added-on-eventsbotcom-2/

As does Eventleaf: http://www.eventmanagerblog.com/eventleaf-online-event-registration-review/

It looks like Odoo may support this feature in the future through a third party app: https://zapier.com/zapbook/facebook-pages/odoo/

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Hi, thanks for posting this list. I help to run a group which organises regular social events. We currently have a facebook Group page to create events and send out invitations, and where members can log into the group and see what’s on, as well as post and organise events themselves. There are some members of the group who do not ‘do’ facebook for whatever reason, any suggestions for free & open source event management web-based packages which could replicate these tasks, and would be able to integrate with facebook so that events could be created in facebook and then automatically be published on the event management system?

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Dryfta is the new kid on the block. It is the free, organiser-friendly event management platform. Use it to capture event data & measure event ROI, sell tickets (no service fees), create event website & native mobile apps, add schedules & let attendees check-in to sessions, design badges & retrieve leads for exhibitors, segment attendees & create email campaigns, share real-time reports with multiple teams, among other things.

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Great article, thanks for posting! Having tried quite a few of the products on this list alone, I found that many were a bit too clunky for the type of work I needed to get done. If you’re looking for something a little lighter, I would recommend checking out RSVPify: https://rsvpify.com/

Though they seem to be more wedding oriented, the functionality extends for any type of event. My only complaint is that the free version only supports 100 responses, but the subscription cost is affordable.

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The information was very helpful. Thanks for sharing. One of my companies manages various events, so this might come in handy.

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Your Information on Event management Software was useful

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Thank you for including Event Track from Jolly Events, Hannah. We also have a full event registration solution now, branded as Eventleaf. There are both offline (desktop) and online versions of the software – and some really powerful features like:
– Register event attendees online or on-site
– Register quickly by scanning driver’s license or business card
– Register attendees for specific seminars or sessions
– Print professional name badges
– Scan and verify badges with barcodes or RFID tags

Oh, and there is a free edition of course.

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Hi David,

Thanks so much for your comment–I don’t know how I missed Bizzabo, when I read your blog on a regular basis! I’m happy to add it to the list.

Hannah

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OpenConf is a peer-review, conference, and abstract management web application that has been used by thousands of events in over 100 countries. The Community Edition is free to use for events supporting themselves. See http://www.OpenConf.com for more information.

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Bizzabo also provides users with the ability to pass registration costs on to attendees.

Our flexible fees allow organizers to pay the fees themselves, pass them on to attendees, or split fees between themselves and attendees.

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