Overall Satisfaction with Event Espresso
I use Event Espresso for WordPress to power a community learning program. Before implementing this solution, enrollment was done on paper and then volunteers were populating a spreadsheet with class information for teachers. Six years ago I'd had enough of that and moved the enrollment online, allowing participants to enroll in classes through Event Espresso. This made the participant do the data entry--which they needed to provide anyway--and allowed us to collect the enrollment information in MySQL. Event Espresso allows us to export enrollment activity as a .csv and provide that to teachers...slick! This solution has been a huge time saver. Also, in contrast to paper forms, we are able to conduct validation on entries, resulting in submissions with many fewer errors, which reduces time spent contacting participants to clarify or correct a response.
- Highly customizable to allow for a variety of event types and event scenarios.
- Accepts payments through a wide range of payment solutions.
- Really easy to learn and extremely well documented. I don't believe I've ever had to contact support to understand how to accomplish a task because I've always been able to find the answer online.
- They have thought of almost everything--the software is extremely well executed and feature rich. Just be aware that a lot of that functionality is available through add-ons at an additional cost.
- Integrating account creation with WordPress should be included in the core product, not an add-on. It's extremely frustrating to have to pay extra for that, especially when that add-on is not as flexible as it needs to be (for example, if someone is enrolling for a class on behalf of someone else).
- The data visualization is a mess. That feature doesn't seem to ever work and it should be left out until it does.
- The ability to show participant data on the front end is extremely limited. Event Espresso does provide a few hooks and some limited documentation on this feature, but I feel it should be more robust. Perhaps that can be a focus of future releases.
- Event Espresso has literally changed the lives of our volunteer organization, saving hundreds of hours of time and eliminating the frustration of paper enrollment.
- The add-ons allow you to accomplish just about any event registration goals you might have. It's an extremely powerful product.
- Integrating the plugin into our website was a breeze, and it's approachable enough where volunteers can create the classes and conduct the online enrollment all in a web browser.
I looked at EventBrite, but it wasn't customizable enough for our needs and didn't provide the level of integration with our website that I desired. I also looked at the ticketing system offered by The Events Calendar for WordPress (by Modern Tribe), but it too lacked the feature set we needed. Only Event Espresso offered all the features, customization, and integration we desired and needed.
As far as I have found, Event Espresso has no peer. Yes, there are other WordPress plugins that provide for event registration, including a few available through Code Canyon, but none of them promise the rich feature set and robust support of Event Espresso. It seems to be the only real game in town, but luckily it's a good product. It's highly extensible, so it should scale well to any size or type of event. Through add-ons, it's doubtful there is an event scenario it can't handle. And because it runs on WordPress, you can incorporate it as part of your site--the plugin even does a good job of picking up design cues from your theme, or you can customize it using CSS.