November 1, 2019

Events Calendar vs Events Manager: Which is the Best WordPress Events Plugin?

Events are a big part of any business. They get people to come in, everyone has a fun time socializing & enjoying common interests. It’s great!

Now sure, putting on a mellow acoustic guitar night or an energizing Zumba session is wonderful! However, there are so many not-so-wonderful things you have to do before it happens.

The very first thing, of course, is to put up the event on your website – can’t have an event if people don’t know about it right? But wait, you also have to do it in an organized and attractive manner, keep track of attendees, manage all the events at the same time…..the list is long and full of terrors.

Do you know what can come to your rescue here? An event management plugin!

To help you choose, we’re going to be comparing two of the top Event Management plugins for WordPress – Events Calendar and Events Manager on the basis of:

So without any ado, let’s dive right into it!

Events Calendar vs Events Manager – An Overview

The Events Calendar – by Modern Tribe

Events Calendar Logo

The Events Calendar plugin is a very popular calendar plugin by Modern Tribe. It currently has over 700,00+ active installations, which is quite an impressive number.

Events Calendar gives you great options when it comes to showcasing your events, such as:

  • Multiple event-calendar views like the photo, map or week wise view.
  • Advanced widgets, shortcodes, and additional fields
  • Support for managing recurring events (Pro version)
  • Add-on plugins for ticketing & community events
  • Great support for any problem and regular maintenance by the Modern Tribe team

It’s not too complicated and doesn’t overwhelm you by having too much going on. It’s got all the necessary functionalities, couple it with a great UI & clean code and you have yourself a fantastic choice of a plugin.

Events Manager

Events Manager logo

The Events Manager plugin is like that one cousin in the family who somehow excels at their job, plays sports, has 3 hobbies, and a social life, who you happen to hate just a little bit.

Except for the fact that we love Events Manager! 😛

It’s a powerhouse of all the features you could want and more. From displaying events to booking & ticketing functionality Events Manager has got you covered. Some of its capabilities include:

  • Custom post types to create event-specific posts
  • User-submitted events & their management
  • Advanced customization options
  • Ticketing and booking functionalities with capacity management
  • Payment methods like PayPal & Stripe (Pro version)

And what’s even better is that most of these features are available even with the free version of the plugin, which means its a happy day for your wallet!

Events Calendar vs Events Manager – Event Calendar Display

Events Calendar

The Events Calendar plugin helps you beautifully showcase your events. It’s quite flexible in terms of how you want to display the events and comes with 6 types of calendar templates.

Which is great because that means it works for any type of website – a school, a bar, George Clooney fan club, you name it.

With the Events Calendar you get:

  • A List-type view
  • A Monthly events View
  • A Weekly events View
  • A Daily events View
  • Location-based view
  • Photo-grid style view

Events Calendar weekly events view

Events Calendar Photo View
Events Calendar Photo View

Events Calendar: Location-based view

Understandably, you also want the page to match your aesthetics. Hence, customization options!

The Events Calendar gives you a lot of help when it comes to building a calendar that you like, such as:

  • Selecting custom global and accent colors for calendar elements
  • Easy integration of calendar or event view with your Theme
  • Using default theme settings for your event template
  • Overriding CSS files and adding your own custom CSS
  • Adding featured events or sticky events for the month
  • Allowing user to add filters and narrow their search further than date and keyword

However, you are also not just limited to the main calendar page. Shortcodes are available for inserting a calendar page anywhere you want on your website. It’s convenient and it’s easy to do, so that’s aces. You can even do this for single events and for every type of calendar view.

Events Calendar: Inserting a calendar page on Website

Events Manager

The great thing about this plugin is that it offers a full-sized calendar page as well as a smaller calendar that you can embed all over your website.

The full-size calendar shows a list of events for each date; this list is customizable.

For the smaller calendar, clicking on each date takes the user to a page with a list of all events scheduled for the day. WP FullCalendar is a free add-on plugin you can use with Event Manager to create & style stunning calendars.

Event Manager with WP FullCalendar

The Calendar Format Panel helps you format how the events appear on the Calendar. Another feature to mention here is the Long Event, which allows you to create events that span multiple days.

If you are confident in your technical skills, you can always override the default calendar template and add your own stylings to match your theme.

Events Manager: Default Calendar template with Theme options

The Events Manager plugin makes it easy for your users to know about your events. You get an upcoming-events widget, a featured event slider, convenient shortcodes for categories as well as the calendar that you can add into the sidebar. This makes your events visible all across your website.

Events Manager: Sample Featured Events Slider
Events Manager – Frontend event display
Events Calendar Events Manager
Choice of calendar view types 5/5 3/5
Ease of customization 4/5 3/5
Choice of displaying calendar across the website 4/5 4/5
Additional features like filters, upcoming-events widgets 4/5 3/5

Events Calendar vs Events Manager – Creating New Events

Events Calendar

The most important part of any event management process is adding the events to your website. The Events Calendar makes this job extremely effortless. It’s as easy as filling out a form because well, it’s exactly that. All you have to do is fill up the fields and you’re done.

With the Add New section, you can:

Creating a new event in Events Calendar
Creating a new event in Events Calendar
  1. Add a title
  2. Describe your event
  3. Select the date and time for your initial event & recurrence
  4. Select a venue from existing ones or create a new
  5. Add organizers, categories and create tags
  6. Link to an external website
  7. Event Options
  8. Create a featured image

The venue location can be added in a jiffy with Google Maps, along with the date, time, and duration.

A great feature of this plugin is also you can also display related events based on the categories and tags you’ve selected. And if you have events that happen more than once at a regular interval, you can set it up as a recurring event and never have to worry about it again!

Events Manager

Adding a new event with the events manager is pretty straightforward – fill out the essential details and you’re good to go. With custom post types and custom event fields, you can create basically any event you desire.

Creating a new event with Events Manager
Creating a new event with Events Manager

However, the more important feature that Event Manager provides is that it lets you accept User-Submitted events.

This means that you can,

  • Create community events that people can upload from the front-end of your website and can be managed easily
  • Duplicate events and have recurring events set up beforehand for a simplified process
  • Categorize your events
  • Display this category list on your website.

This way customers can look for events based on their interests. So, whether a person is looking for conferences or lessons or parties it makes their job a little easier.

Events Calendar Events Manager
Ease of creating new events 5/5 5/5
Ability to create detailed listings & add custom fields 5/5 4/5
Display events based on categories 3/5 4/5
Display related events 4/5 NA
Ease of adding event location pin/map 5/5 5/5
Support for Recurring & duplicate events 4/5 5/5
Support for User-submitted events NA 5/5

Events Calendar vs Events Manager – Managing Events

Events Calendar

  • Supports iCal and GCal export – sync up your calendars and keep track of every event happening
  • Completely responsive – don’t worry about it showing up incorrectly on different devices
  • Venue and Organizer info is always saved – convenient if you have events at the same venue frequently
  • Import or Export events venues, and organizers into your calendar with the CSV Importer
  • Users can export individual events or the full calendar to their iCal or Google Calendar
  • Decide event URL and cut-off time

In addition, you can tinker around with basic template settings, date formats, select how many events are displayed simultaneously, whether the event should show up in the search bar and various other settings.

Events Manager

  • Automatically generates an iCal feed/files for all upcoming events that can be used to import events information into Google Calendars, Outlook, Thunderbird, etc.
  • Provides links to iCal files for single events – user can add the events they are interested in and are going to attend
  • Has an Event Admin Page which contains an editable overview of all events happening in the future
  • Lets you manage all user-submitted events easily – approve and publish events yourself or give editing & publishing powers to specific users
  • Event owner is notified when the event is published through a notification email
  • Configures automated emails to be sent to users or admins
  • Lets BuddyPress users manage events from your website front-end
Events Calendar Events Manager
Ical & Google calendar support 5/5 5/5
Import & export of event data 5/5 2/5
Template and other settings 4/5 4/5
Email notifications NA 5/5
Configuring user permissions NA 5/5

Events Calendar vs Events Manager – Ticketing and Payment Options

Events Calendar

Now, here’s where it gets tricky. Events Calendar, while a fantastic calendar plugin, doesn’t really handle booking, ticketing or payment for events.

If you require these functionalities for your website, you need to get the Event Tickets plugin. You can use this plugin along with the Events Calendar plugin. It allows you to sell any number of tickets for the event of your choosing.

This plugin also lets people RSVP to your event and for you to see a count of attendees. Anyone who has ever organized an event can agree that it is important information. It helps you plan better, make provisions easily, ensure that there are enough supplies, and organize the event smoothly.

With Event Tickets, you can connect your Paypal business account and collect the ticket fee. The tickets are directly emailed to the purchaser. QR codes on the tickets can be used to check-in attendees into the event.

Events Manager

The Events Manager plugin itself provides all Booking and Payment functionalities, and a lot of them are available with just the free plugin.

All you have to do is check the ‘Enable registration box’ for any event of your choosing. This automatically displays a booking form for that event.

Adding a ticket in Events Manager
Adding a ticket in Events Manager

On top of that, you also have the flexibility to create different types of tickets for the same event. For each ticket category you can choose:

  • Ticket Price
  • Min/max tickets person needs to buy to be eligible for a category: eg group booking
  • Start and end dates for ticket availability, useful for early bird categories
  • Number of available spaces

Events Manager even lets you create Coupons! These can be availed for specific events or all events depending on what you want.

As for Payment methods, Events Manager supports PayPal, Stripe, Authorize.net. Alternatively, users can opt to pay offline at the venue. Either way, the user has plenty of options.

Events Calendar Event Tickets
(Add-on for Events Calendar)
Events Manager
Creating bookable events NA 4/5 5/5
Creating tickets & ticket categories NA 3/5 5/5
Adding RSVP form NA 5/5 NA
Payment Methods/Options NA 3/5 5/5

Events Calendar vs Events Manager – Pricing

Events Calendar

Events Calendar is a freemium plugin with both free & pro versions.

The cost for the Events Calendar Pro plugin is $89 for 1 site. But you do really get a lot of great functionalities with the Pro version as well as premium support.

However, if you also need to add the Event Tickets Pro plugin, it will set you back another $89. But you can probably get away with using the free version of this plugin as it covers most of what you need.

Events Manager

The premium Events Manager plugin for 1 site will cost you $75.

The free version of Events Manager by itself is quite comprehensive and comes with a lot of features. However, some payment, email notification, and customization functionalities are limited to the Pro version.

Events Calendar Events Manager
Free version $0 $0
1-site installation $89 $75
3-site installation $149
5- site installation $150

Which WordPress Events plugin is the best for you?

At the end of the day, both Events Calendar and Events Manager are excellent plugins that do the job and do it well.

It really just boils down to what you need from the plugin. Here’s a handy table to help you decide based on features that are important to you:

Parameter Events Calendar Events Manager
Active installs 700,000+ 100,000+
Better Event Calendar display ✔️
More comprehensive list of features ✔️
Ease of creating events & adding details ✔️
Ticketing & payment features for the standalone plugin ✔️
Better price point ✔️

Will you be using one of these WordPress event management plugins? If not, which one would you recommend?

Let us know! Do leave your thoughts in the comments below!

Lavanya Deshmukh
Lavanya Deshmukh

Computer Engineer, food enthusiast and die-hard Harry Potter fan that now writes content full time for Epitrove

Disclosure: Some of the links in this blog post might be affiliate links. When you purchase through a link on our website, we receive a small commission, at no added cost to you, which helps us run Epitrove and keep producing great content. This does not influence our recommendations; we only recommend products we work with or love. Thank you for your support!

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