4 Free Video Editing Software Options for Event Planners on a Budget

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Event planning is a delicate balance between cutting as many unnecessary costs as possible without forsaking quality.

When considering all your business costs such as staffing, overhead, and event management software, it helps if you can find free software options for less pressing needs.

Free video editing software graphic

Video production is very important in event advertising and event presentations, especially when it comes to your online marketing strategy.

Facebook, Snapchat, and Twitter are all making moves to prioritize video content, leaving a marketing opportunity for your event planning business. In fact, according to eMarketer, 83% of marketers surveyed said they are confident that Facebook is driving business to their sites, and 67% are similarly confident about Instagram.

Luckily, there are free software options that will enable you to produce video content at no cost. I’ve put together a list of four free video editing software options you can use to create all kinds of media for your event planning needs.

Four free video editing software options

I chose these four options based on several criteria. First, I want to provide both beginner-level and advanced software options, so I chose two options for each level of experience.

Second, in addition to the standard editing features (trimming, audio mixing, titles, transitions, etc.) each software option has to have either 4K resolution support, mobile video editing, social sharing, or an open source code. Each option meets at least one of these criteria.

Software options are listed in alphabetical order.

1. iMovie

iMovie video editing software
iMovie on Mac, iPad, and iPhone (via Apple)

iMovie has come a long way from its old QuickTime-styled layout, simple transitions, and limited number of effects. Today, iMovie offers all of the basic video editing features such as cropping, transitions, and filters, along with higher-end editing features such as sound editing, high-quality video templates, and the ability to handle 4K resolution videos.

iMovie turns the video editing process into a plug-and-play system. Titles, transitions, video clips, and audio tracks are all drag-and-drop, which will save you time when creating advertisements, presentation materials, or other event video needs.

To further save you time, iMovie lets you post directly to your social media and video channels, including Facebook, YouTube, and Vimeo, from the application, saving you the process of exporting and uploading your files to a browser. Finally, if you need to edit video on-the-go, iMovie is also available on iPhone and iPad with many of the same features.

The only drawback to this software is that it’s only available for Apple users. But if you have a Mac, iPad, or iPhone, chances are you already have this software available to you on your device.

Noteworthy features:

  • 4K resolution video editing
  • Social sharing with Facebook, YouTube, and Vimeo
  • Video templates
  • Mobile app support

Level of expertise: Beginner

2. Movie Maker

Movie Maker video editing software
Movie Maker from V3TApps (via Microsoft)

No, this is not the same Windows Movie Maker you grew up with. That Movie Maker joined the rest of Microsoft’s discontinued apps in the great cloud storage in the sky as of January 2017. This Movie Maker is from V3TApps and it aspires to be the spiritual successor to the free Microsoft video editor.

Movie Maker offers all of the standard video editing features such as video trimming, transitions, video clip merging, filters, and titles. It accepts all of the most common video types (.avi, .flv, .mp4, etc.) but does not support 4K resolution video editing.

Similar to iMovie’s exclusivity for Apple, Movie Maker is available only for Windows-based devices, including Windows mobile devices for on-the-go editing.

One area where Movie Maker falls short is it doesn’t offer the ability to share your video projects directly to your event social media pages and YouTube channels.

Noteworthy features:

  • Mobile app support

Level of expertise: Beginner

3. OpenShot Video Editor

OpenShot open source video editing software
Video tracks (via OpenShot)

OpenShot is open source, cross-platform, free video editing software. It’s available for Windows, Mac, and even Linux-based systems, so don’t fret if you’re running the latest version of Ubuntu.

While the user interface is not as aesthetically pleasing as iMovie or Movie Maker, OpenShot makes up for it by offering their source code to all users. If you are knowledgeable enough to alter or modify the code, this level of customization is perfect for those looking for unique capabilities not offered with the original product.

Aside from its customizable platform, OpenShot offers everything you would expect from a video editing software, including video trimming, audio mixing/editing, transitions, animated titles/effects, filters, watermarks, and video templates.

The feature I find most appealing for OpenShot is the multi-track capability. With this feature you can have multiple video tracks playing in the same frame at the same time, allowing you to create side-by-side videos or picture-in-picture.

For those looking to edit high-definition video clips, OpenShot also supports 4K resolution video files.

The only drawbacks with OpenShot are the lack of mobile device support and social sharing features.

Noteworthy features:

  • Source code access/customizable
  • Multi-video/multi-audio tracking
  • 4K resolution video editing

Level of expertise: Intermediate

4. Shotcut

Shotcut open source video editing software
Video track editing (via Shotcut)

Shotcut, like OpenShot, allows users to alter the source code to customize the software for their own use. If you have the coding know-how for open source software, you can’t put a price on that level of flexibility. Good thing you won’t have to though, as the software is free.

As for features, Shotcut offers all of the standard video editing features: video trimming, audio editing, titles, transitions, and filters. What sets Shotcut apart is the vast list of video file types accepted by the software and the 4K resolution support.

Unfortunately, the tradeoff you make with Shotcut is a gain in video features for a lack of convenience features such as social sharing, mobile editing, and video templates for plug-and-play video projects.

Noteworthy features:

  • 4K resolution video editing
  • Source code access/customizable
  • Vast list of accepted video files types

Level of expertise: Intermediate

Other free event tools and software

Are you looking for other ways to save money at your event planning business? I’ve put together many free event tool and software lists on the Capterra event management blog. If you enjoyed this piece and want to find out what other resources are available to you for free, check out these other lists:

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

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About the Author


Nick Morpus

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Nick Morpus is a former Capterra analyst.



You are missing a couple of very good alternatives:

Avid Mediacomposer | First is a little simplified version of the most used tool in Hollywood. The Mediacomposer software is the mother-of-all, and the ones you have in your list are all copies of it.

They also have Avid Protools | First for those that want to do some serious audio/music editing.

Another fantastic tool for video editors is Blackmagic DaVinci Resolve. It has video editing, color correction, audio editing and effects in the same program. And the free version can edit up to UHD resolution (aka 4K). This was originally one of the most used color correction software in the industry, but after Blackmagic bought it, they added the rest.

Also, the price for video editing software today has gotten so low that there is no excuse to not pay for a better tool. Unless it is pure hobby and not something you earn money from.

The full version of DaVinci Resolve is around 300 USD.
Avid Mediacomposer is now 20 USD (200 if you pay by year).

Anyone that do this for a living can afford this. And the advantage is that you get the full product and support that you need.

Both these programs run on Windows and Mac. In addition, DaVinci Resolve runs on Linux.

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