WP Event Manager is a free and lightweight plugin for WordPress with powerful features for creating, displaying, and managing event listings. Developed by WP Event Manager Team, it offers many optional premium add-ons to help take your event management needs to another level.
Both site administrators and visitors can create and manage events, as it allows event submissions from both the frontend and backend of WordPress.
In this review, we’ll take a closer look at the feature set of WP Event Manager, how to set it up and use it, and give you our final conclusions and recommendations about the plugin. Read on to learn more.
WP Event Manager’s Main Features
The free, core version of WP Event Manager offers enough features to meet the needs of most personal and small business WordPress users. When you add on the features that come with the optional premium plugins, it provides functionality that can meet the needs of larger organizations.
Listed below are the features that come with the free version of the plugin. We’ll take a look at optional premium features later.
• Setup wizard for fast and easy creation of pages and shortcodes for event submission, management, and listing
• Built with custom post types
• Compatibility with all WordPress themes
• AJAX powered filter and search for event listings (filter listings by keyword, date, location, and more)
• Automatic generation of RSS feeds helps event attendees get notified of new events that match their search
• Administrators can submit events in the backend of WordPress. Guests and registered users can submit from the frontend.
• Logged in organizers can manage event listings with an easy-to-use event dashboard, allowing them to view, edit, mark canceled, or delete their active event listings.
• Preview button allows users to see an exact copy of the submitted event before it goes live.
• Listings can be associated with an email or website address, allowing for easy event registration.
• Assign locations to events, and view events by their location
• Add online or offline events
• Bootstrap compatible for mobile responsiveness
• SEO-friendly and SEO plugin compatibility
• Organize events in categories and subcategories
• Easily create custom event fields
• Includes widgets for Recent Events, Upcoming Events, and Featured Events
• Provides template tags and shortcodes for outputting events in various formats to your pages and posts
• Developer friendly: debug mode, filters and hooks, well organized and annotated code, custom post types, endpoints, and template files
• Fully responsive with cross-browser support
• Supports caching for fast performance
• Multilingual translation support
Setting Up WP Event Manager
To Install WP Event Manager
1. From the WordPress admin, go to Plugins… Add New.
2. In the Search plugins field, enter WP Event Manager.
3. Click the Install Now button and then click Activate.
You’ll immediately be taken to the WP Event Manager Setup Wizard, where you’ll create pages for event submission, event management, and listing your events.
If you want to skip the Setup Wizard and set up the pages and shortcodes manually, you have the option to do so. The process is simple and they provide documentation. My recommendation is to let the plugin handle it. It’s automated and can be done in just a couple of clicks.
4. From the Setup Wizard, click the Continue to page setup button.
In this section, you’ll see the page titles and shortcodes for three pages that can be created automatically. If you want, you can change the titles for the pages here. The three pages are for:
• Posting an Event (from your website’s frontend)
If you just want to post events from the admin dashboard, and not accept user submissions, you can choose not to create this page.
• Event Dashboard (for managing and editing events from your website’s frontend)
If you plan on managing all listings from the admin dashboard yourself, and not letting users manage their submissions, you can choose to not create this page.
• Event Listings (for browsing, searching, and filtering event listings from your website’s frontend)
5. Choose the pages you want to create, and click the Create selected pages button. It’s that simple—you can create the foundation for your event listings in just seconds!
Using WP Event Manager
After having set up WP Event Manager, you’ll see the Event Listings menu in the WordPress admin sidebar. Within this menu, you’ll see submenus for:
Note: If you turn on certain optional settings (see below), such as Event Types and Event Categories, they’ll be listed under the Event Listings menu, as well.
The first thing you should do is make a trip to the Settings menu, where you can tweak the plugin’s settings under these tabs:
The General tab lets you choose to enable the bootstrap framework style for the frontend and/or backend of WordPress. It’s a good idea to do so for better mobile compatibility.
You also have the option to enter a Google Maps API Key to show location information (i.e., Google Maps) for events.
The Event Listings tab lets you determine setting for the number of event listings to show per page. It also allows you to decide whether to: hide canceled events from archives, keep expired events from being searchable and/or hidden, enable event categories and types, enable ticket prices for listings, and much more.
In the Event Submission tab, you can choose who can list events on the frontend of your site, along with some of the features around those listings.
For example: whether submitting a listing requires an account with your site, automatic generation of account usernames, account passwords and user roles for registered users, moderation of new listings, user editing capabilities, banner options, automatic deletion of expired listings, registration method for listings, and event type and category options.
The Pages tab is where you go to select (and change) the frontend pages that contain the shortcodes for posting an event, the event dashboard, and event listings.
Adding A New Event
To add a new event listing, go to Event Listings…Add New in the WordPress admin sidebar.
In this submenu, you can add new events in the backend of your site. This is done through the event custom post type that is added automatically when you install the plugin.
1. From the Add Event page, first add an event title at the top of the page.
2. Below that, in the WordPress visual editor, write a description for the event.
3. Further down the page, add the Event Data that is pertinent to your event, including the event title, venue name, event banner, time format, start and end times, price, registration deadline, logo, contact name, website link, video link, social media links, registration email or URL, whether the event is online or offline, location, ticket options, event page link, organization name, and more.
4. Further down the page, in the Custom Fields section, you can add and edit extra metadata to the event, such as geolocation information.
5. In the right sidebar (if you turned on Event Categories and Event Types from the Settings menu), you can add single or multiple event Categories and Types.
You can add unlimited event categories and subcategories, which basically define what the subject of the event (e.g., business, fashion, music, dance, etc.). This makes it easy for visitors to find events they’re interested in. Event types pertain to the kind of event (e.g., conference, webinar, convention, seminar, concert, etc.).
Note: When Event Categories and Event Types are turned on under Settings, you can add and edit them from Event Listings…Event Categories and Event Listings…Event Types in the WordPress admin sidebar.
5. Click Publish to make your listing go live.
After publishing the event, the event listing will automatically be added to a page created by the plugin. You also have the option to put the event on any page or post you wish by using its shortcode. And, as with any page or post, you can go back and edit its information whenever you wish.
Under Event Listings…All Events, you can view all submitted events in a tabled list.
You can see and edit their status (active, canceled, featured), the event title, location, organizer, posted date, end date, and expiration date.
At the far right, the Actions column includes icons for viewing, editing, and deleting an event.
You can also filter events by date, and execute bulk actions such as deleting, approving, and expiring events.
From the Event Listings…Field Editor, WP Event Manager lets you edit the many fields that are used for various forms.
For frontend form fields, you can edit both event fields and organizer fields. For backend form fields, you can edit event fields.
The Field Editor lets you edit the field label and type, field description, placeholder and options, priority value, and whether validation is required for the field.
Here’s where you can get information (including pricing) for the add-on plugins that extend the functionality of WP Event Manager. Prices for these premium plugins ranges from $19-$39 and includes a license with one year of support.
Currently, these are the optional add-ons that are available for WP Event Manager:
• Calendar displays an event calendar with upcoming events.
• Google Maps lets you find events by searching their location.
• Registrations lets visitors to your site register for an event as an attendee. It also lets organizers view and manage registrations from their event dashboard.
• Sell Tickets lets you sell event tickets on your WordPress site.
• Attendee Information gives you information about people who register for events.
• WooCommerce Paid Listings lets you create custom event packages that can be purchased or redeemed during event submission.
• Recurring Events automatically relists recurring events after a specified time.
• Event Alerts lets registered users get event alerts through email. Visitors can create alerts based on searches using keywords, location, categories, and more.
• Bookmarks lets attendees or users bookmark events. It also lets organizers bookmark attendees and users.
• Embeddable Event Widgets lets organizers display event listings in different areas of your site without writing code.
• Sliders lets you show event listings through carousels and other responsive sliders.
• Event Tags makes events more searchable by adding a new custom event tags field to the event post type. It also shows events filtered by tags via shortcuts and adds tag filtering to the standard events shortcode.
• Eventbrite Integration lets you backfill event listings so new event listing pages are not empty.
• Organizers lets you display grouped and alphabetized lists of all organizers. It also shows total active events and total organizers.
• Contact Organizer lets visitors contact the event organizer through a contact form. It also lets you create your own email template for sending mail to the organizer.
• Export lets you export all the events on your website for backup and portability.
• iCal lets you show the events from your site on different calendars, including Google Calendar.
• Google Recaptcha lets you protect your event website from spam.
• Google Analytics lets you track your site and view key Google Analytics reports.
• Emails sends you email alerts based on user activity, such as new user registration.
Adding Events via the Frontend
WP Event Manager lets you optionally accept events from other users through a frontend form. To add their event, they must first sign in with their account, or create an account by entering their email address and getting a password.
If you used the default page that the Setup Wizard created, you can see the frontend form by going to the Post an Event page. Of course, if you put the shortcode for the submission form on a different page, visit that page instead.
Users can include event and organizer details through the submission form. They can also click the Preview button at the bottom of the form to view an exact copy of the submitted event before it goes live. If they’re happy with the preview, they can then submit the listing. Or they can continue editing to make additional changes.
Admin users can manually approve or disapprove submitted events through the WordPress dashboard.
Through the Setup Wizard, WP Event Manager also automatically creates an events listing page. To view submitted event listings, go to the Events page of your site or whatever page the shortcode exists on.
The Events page features an Ajax powered search and filter form, allowing users to sort event listings by keyword, location, date, event category, event type, and ticket price.
You can choose to display events in either grid or list form.
Clicking on an event listing will take you to the single event page, where you’ll get much more detail about the event. For example, on the single event page you can see an overview of the event, organizer description and details, organizer social networks, the event venue, event date and time, event location (linked to Google Maps), and more.
The event dashboard, another page that is created automatically through the Setup Wizard, lets users manage the events that they listed on your site from the fronted.
To view the event dashboard, go to the Event Dashboard page of your website (or whatever page the shortcode for the event dashboard is on).
Here, users can view the single event page and take different actions for the event listing (i.e., edit, cancel, duplicate, delete).
They can also see different information about the event, such as its location, start and end date, and the number of times the event has been viewed.
Single Event Page
The single event page is what you’ll see when you click on an event listing. It includes the details of your event (depending on the choices you make in the Settings menu).
Generally, it will provide:
• Event title
• Event overview
• Event type
• Event location
• Event posted date
• Organizer information and logo
• Registration button
• Ticket information
• Social sharing icons
Note: For users who are familiar with PHP, you can customize the layout and information on the single event page. To do so, create a new template file by copying your theme’s single.php file, and renaming it single-event_listing.php. From there, you can make changes within the new file.
WP Event Manager comes with a number of widgets for showing event listings:
The Recent Events widget shows event listings according to their date. You can set the title for the widget, the number of events you want to show, whether to display listings around a specific keyword or location, and whether to show the events in ascending or descending order.
The Upcoming Events widget displays event listings according to future dates. It also lets you set the title for the widget, the number of events you want to show, and whether to show the events in ascending or descending order.
The Featured Events widget shows your event listings according to the Featured Listing option that’s available when you create the listing. As with the other widgets, you can set the title, the number of events to show, and whether to show the events in ascending or descending order.
Note: It’s possible to customize the content for the different widgets by changing the PHP for the following template: content-widget-event_listing.php
Video Tutorial: Setting Up and Using WP Event Manager
Support & Documentation
WP Event Manager comes with a variety of support options, including:
• Simple and customized demos
• Documentation for both the free core plugin and premium add-ons
• Knowledge base
• Community support at the WordPress.org forum
• Email support for premium plugins
WP Event Manager is a free, open-source plugin that’s available through the WordPress.org plugin repository. You can also download it from the developer’s website.
It offers premium add-ons that range in price from $19-$39. You can get more information about their premium plugins, as well as pricing, here.
Conclusions & Recommendations
WP Event Manager is a lightweight, scalable, and full-featured event listing and management plugin for WordPress.
Compatible with any WordPress theme, the plugin allows for both frontend and backend event submission and listings. Administrators can post and manage their own events on the backend of WordPress, while you can optionally let guests or registered users post events on the frontend. The plugin also comes with an event dashboard so that users can manage their own event listings.
While the free version of the plugin can handle the needs of most personal and small business websites, the optional premium add-ons provide advanced functionality that will satisfy more complex needs.
I was very impressed how fast and easy it was to set up the plugin. After installation, it literally took just two clicks to create the pages and shortcodes for a basic event management system. This is a valuable plugin that many WordPress users can benefit from.
However, I felt it would be nice to be able to control the colors and layout of the frontend forms a bit easier. Although you can tweak them with CSS and PHP, easier functionality within the plugin’s user interface would take it to another level.
But that’s certainly not a deal breaker, as WP Event Manager has much to offer and a lot of promise, especially with its current toolset of 18 premium add-ons that allow for features such as selling tickets, WooCommerce paid listings, event alerts, event sliders, and much more.