🚀 The Event Playbook: Proven strategies to level up your next event!

🚀 The Event Playbook:
Proven strategies to level up your next event!

Best event management software for small business.

The Top Event Management Tools for Small Businesses in 2024

Innovative event platforms are transforming small businesses in 2024 by unlocking the creative superpowers hidden in tangled administrative tasks.

Managing events can be an overwhelming endeavor for small business owners and organizations.

Coordinating logistics alongside daily operations with limited staff and constrained budgets poses immense challenges.

However, the expansion of event technology provides powerful tools to streamline planning and executing successful events of all sizes.

In 2024, innovative solutions exist to facilitate any event need imaginable – from intimate 10-person virtual meetings to globally live-streamed conferences engaging 5000+ attendees. 

Intuitive, feature-rich platforms enhance efficiency, engagement, customization, data utilization, and integration for event managers while reducing costs, headaches, and hassles.

Now, smaller companies can leverage sophisticated, enterprise-level event software once only available to giant event production agencies.

This guide explores the premier event management platforms for small businesses in 2024.

We compare features, pricing, ratings and more across top solutions.

Read on for tips to identify and implement the ideal event software for your company’s requirements and finances.

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Tangible Benefits of Event Management Systems

Before reviewing particular platforms, let’s examine the tangible benefits small companies gain by utilizing event management software rather than manual methods or generic business applications:

  • Streamlined Event Planning – Centralized dashboards consolidate tasks, schedules, contacts, documents, etc. to reduce redundant data entry and prevent errors, lightening workloads.
  • Increased Efficiency – Task automation around email reminders, registration, etc. liberates staff for higher-value work rather than administration.
  • Enhanced Attendee Experiences – Robust registration forms, smooth check-in protocols and real-time support delight guests.
  • Improved Event Marketing – Email, social media promotions and analytics offer data to optimize conversion.
  • Actionable Insights – Granular analytics on registrations, attendance, engagement, expenses guide decisions to elevate ROI.
  • Simplified Payment Processing – Securely collect event fees, donations, sponsor dollars with minimal hassle.
  • Cohesive Branding – Apply branding across all assets for professional, unified messaging.
  • Centralized Data – House attendee information in one database for communications, loyalty tracking, etc.
  • Time and Cost Reduction – Eliminate inefficient systems, manual processes and superfluous spend.

Now, let’s explore must-have system capabilities to evaluate when selecting event software for your expanding small business.

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Small Business Event Coordination Software Features

Sophisticated event platforms share robust feature sets alongside unique capabilities tailored to diverse needs.

Below we detail fundamental elements small business event planners should prioritize.

Flexible Registration

Intuitive online registration facilitates attendee sign-ups and payments.

Customizable forms with conditional logic simplify collecting precise details like contact info, qualification questions, meal preferences, etc.

Seamless payment processor integration enables secure on-site credit card transactions.

Automated confirmations, reminders and name tags cut manual workload.

Dynamic Ticketing

For public events like conferences requiring tickets, these platforms smoothly handle flexible setup and sales.

Customizable pages allow tailored bundles and tiered pricing rules.

Backed by payment integrations, managers easily collect funds, generate receipts and track revenue.

Confirmation emails automatic ticket transfers, cancellations etc while analytics reveal buyer demographics.

Targeted Promotion

Integrated marketing automation simplifies event promotion.

Custom emails, social media templates and integration with marketing platforms like MailChimp allow targeted outreach driving registrations.

Centralized Data

Robust contact management furnishes a unified database to track guest details.

Automated messaging handles pre-event logistics and post-event follow-ups like satisfaction surveys to maintain positive experiences.

Name badges, digital guest lists and walk-up attendee tools ease on-site coordination.

Actionable Analytics

Monitoring engagement metrics provides intelligence to refine experiences continuously.

Dashboards tracking registrations, attendance, participation, revenue, ROI etc supply crucial insights on successes and improvement areas.

Integrating data platforms like Salesforce also enables precise audience segmentation.

Optimized Scheduling

Sophisticated calendaring simplifies scheduling one-time or recurring events.

Flexible views like month, week or day help visualize availability and conflicts.

Integration with common calendars like Outlook keeps stakeholders aligned on timing.

Some solutions even suggest optimal days/times based on historical data to boost attendance.

Streamlined On-Site Experiences

Smoothing on-site experiences proves vital, with dedicated check-in apps commonplace.

From custom access codes to unique QR code generation, paperless check-in is turnkey.

Some platforms connect RFID badges to live tracking and engagement analytics promoting participation.

Actionable Feedback

Gain immediate post-event feedback for continuous improvements with integrated surveys.

Customizable questions and automated reporting provide quick insights versus manual follow-ups.

Further, many solutions integrate review managers like Trustpilot to easily generate and monitor event ratings.

Enhanced CRM Integration

Link event data to CRM systems like Salesforce to nurture participants into loyal customers.

Segment audiences based on event activity for tailored communication while tracking lifetime value.

Integrated platforms reveal holistic views of leads and clients with bi-directional data flows.

Comprehensive Reporting

Robust reporting furnishes transparency for stakeholders while uncovering optimization opportunities.

Custom dashboards present real-time analytics on registrations, participation, revenues, expenses and overall ROI.

Granular filtering allows drilling into metrics like individual session or presenter performance.

Some platforms even integrate business intelligence tools like Dat Studio for advanced analysis.

Now that we have detailed the most crucial components, let’s explore the premier platforms designed specifically for stellar small business event orchestration.

 

Easy starting packages • Advanced options • Proven results

 

Top Event Management Software for Small Businesses

Numerous robust solutions built for mammoth enterprise events also furnish scaled versions or free tiers friendly for smaller companies.

Below we highlight picks purpose-built around features, flexibility and affordability catering specifically to small business teams.

#1 – Hubilo

This nimble platform built for adaptable virtual and hybrid events affords planning everything from intimate meetings to large conferences, online or onsite.

Base tier pricing starts free up to 25 attendees, making Hubilo accessible for early stage companies.

Touted as an all-in-one solution, Hubilo delivers strong core registration management, scheduling, ticketing, email marketing, reporting, surveys and basic CRM integration.

Ideal Customer Profile 

While Hubilo may lack long-standing industry recognition, innovative gamification, networking and analytics features have quickly garnered positive word-of-mouth.

One highlight is robust exhibitor dashboards and gamified lead generation furnishing intuitive virtual trade show and expo orchestration ideal for small business product launches or networking events.

Bottom Line

For cutting edge virtual event technology with solid baseline functionality plus whitespace to innovate experiences, Hubilo makes an affordable, flexible contender.

#2 – Airmeet

Valued for its intuitive interface and comprehensive feature set spanning event planning to post-event analysis, Airmeet gives lean teams big event capabilities.

The free tier allows small businesses to pilot virtual sessions at no cost up to 25 live attendees.

Smooth registration and email campaign creation aid conversion driving.

Polls, Q&As and robust live chat bolster audience interactivity for workshops or seminars.

Expo booths with lead generation metrics furnish actionable insights from recruitment fairs to virtual summits.

Ideal Customer Profile

While after-hours networking rooms for extended schmoozing may lag other platforms, Airmeet otherwise punches above its weight.

For small-to-midsized companies seeking an integrated solution to produce professional virtual or hybrid events solo, Airmeet delivers.

Bottom Line

Airmeet provides integrated end-to-end event functionality from planning through analysis that solo event coordinators can implement reliably at an affordable entry point to test event types before adding supplemental capabilities as strategic needs evolve.

#3 – Cadence

Purpose-built for facilitating meaningful connections during online sessions, Cadence shines for sales teams, executive huddles and high-touch meetings.

Starting at $25 monthly per host, independent contractors can level up client consultations with interactive screen sharing and annotatable whiteboards conductive to collaboration.

Seamless session recording and note-taking reduce post meeting admin.

CRM, calendar and email integration streamline follow-ups so client relationships flourish.

With strong support for moderated Q&As, private side-chats and audience engagement gauges, Cadence fosters the interpersonal dynamics vital for impactful virtual workshops, training and town halls on an easy-to-use platform.

Ideal Customer Profile

Overall Cadence creates frictionless, engaging small group experiences at an accessible price point for solopreneurs to grow business and teams through quality conversations.

Bottom Line

For consultants and service professionals conducting regular small group sessions, Cadence provides an affordable, tailored platform optimizing meaningful engagement.

#4 – Welcome

Welcome‘s television-grade production value lends professional sheen to virtual and hybrid events at an affordable rate.

Mobile live streaming and interactive features like Q&As and polls make this turnkey solution shine for product launches, shareholder meetings and marketing events.

While specific pricing remains opaque without contacting sales, Welcome leans towards the budget end of full service event platforms.

It best suits small shops aiming to punch above their production capabilities alone. All-inclusive packages provide hassle-free event execution from rehearsals to live editing assistance.

Ideal Customer Profile 

For small businesses seeking to convey polish and presence on screen as much as IRL, Welcome offers a managed path to executing video-forward events that feels world-class.

Bottom Line

Welcome furnishes high-touch support delivering professional grade events for brand-conscious early-stage companies prioritizing premium optics with turnkey execution.

#5 – BigMarker

Valued for swift deployment and lower overhead costs, BigMarker gives solopreneurs to mid-market companies easy access to virtual and hybrid event capabilities.

Free and starter tiers up to 500 participants furnish ample room to pilot town halls, recruiting mixers and regional summits while only paying for more advanced features as needed.

Between prevalent integrations easing third-party coordination and one-click session launches, BigMarker lets small teams focus less on troubleshooting tech and more on quality event delivery and audience engagement.

Customizable registration pages aid brand continuity for sporadic small events or coordinated event series.

Ideal Customer Profile

For lightweight, affordable basic event functionality with ability to scale, BigMarker empowers small businesses to drive virtual or hybrid events reliably.

Bottom Line 

BigMarker furnishes no-fuss core event facilitation so bootstrap teams focus time and budget on compelling experiences over complex coordination.

#6 – Goldcast

Blending ease of use with deeper data insights, Goldcast brings enterprise-grade hybrid and virtual event infrastructure within reach of early stage companies.

While sales interactions are required to furnish quotes, launches under 500 attendees merit Goldcast Basic affordably.

Customizable registration pages aid conversion driving event promotion and foster continuity with business branding.

Strong device support and interactive features like polls and Q&As boost participant engagement.

Salesforce and Hubspot integrations generate actionable event analytics central to maximizing event ROI – especially vital for small marketing teams weighing cost per lead.

Ideal Customer Profile 

Overall Goldcast democratizes access to advanced event optimization capabilities so growing event programs can scale strategically as emerging companies professionalize.

Bottom Line

Goldcast empowers early-stage event initiatives to tap robust data tools driving strategic audience development minus typical enterprise software costs hampering flexibility.

#7 – Hopin

Hopin brings full-service production and extensive customization range to virtual and hybrid events, though for smaller teams just developing event programming, its enterprise orientation merits caution.

Hopin’s free tier allows unlimited hour-long events for 100 attendees annually – sufficient for startup product demos and networking.

However, the learning curve can prove demanding for nascent event managers lacking dedicated resources.

Monthly subscriptions start at $83.25 allowing more extended events amongst other perks, though supplemental fees add up fast à la carte.

Smaller teams may find the platform overengineered.

However, for organizations anticipating aggressive event growth requiring robust analytics and customization, Hopin delivers professionalism.

Alternately smaller firms could tap Hopin for annual tentpole conference needs given heavy lifting required.

Ideal Customer Profile

Established event managers anticipating scaling complex programming and customization long-term. Large annual conferences warranting extensive polish.

Bottom Line

As an enterprise-grade solution tailored towards significant ongoing event investments, Hopin overserves the needs of most early-stage companies apart from usage for high-visibility annual keynotes.

Now let’s explore key elements small event planners should weigh when evaluating vendor options.

Critical factors like pricing models, complexity, scalability and more mandate careful examination to pinpoint the ideal match.

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Comparing Event Software Solutions

Having explored core platform capabilities and top contenders, let’s provide crucial context guiding your personalized evaluation process.

Below I have highlighted key elements small business event managers must carefully weigh when selecting solutions:

  • Aligned Pricing – Seek pricing tiers scalable to current needs and long-term growth plans. Consider beyond immediate event goals to projected business expansion. Target predictable costs without complex licensing or hidden fees.
  • Intuitive User Experiences – If tools prove overly complex, staff adoption and success rates plunge. Instead prioritize intuitive navigation, drag-and-drop builders, robust templates and responsive technical support.
  • Responsive Support – Scrutinize each vendor’s SLA for responsiveness, available channels and overall support resources. These teams serve as your lifeline solving problems and maximizing value.
  • Ironclad Security – Thoroughly vet how platform providers secure your data including backup protocols and redundancy safeguards. Formalized disaster recovery plans also defend against weather, health or political disruptions.
  • Built-in Scalability – Compare current attendee counts against 3-year organizational growth plans. Seek platforms flexing alongside your expanding business vs forcing complex migrations from quick obsolescence. Confirm how features, integrations and customizations carry forward through growth phases.
  • Seamless Integrations – Review how easily target platforms interconnect into your existing martech, CRM, A/V production, expense tracking solutions etc. Leveraging your core event software as an integration hub enhances innovation potential.
  • Strategic Customization – While templates maximize efficiency, customized experiences best reflect unique brands. Scrutinize customization options around site pages, registration flows, post event follow-ups etc required for your events.
  • Inherent Ease of Use – Well designed platforms minimize workload while empowering creativity. Seek solutions with minimal IT demands, simple workflows and automation strengths to amplify productivity.

I advise developing a personalized rubric scoring solutions across your unique priorities following structured product assessments.

Consistently evaluating platforms against clear criteria allows intelligent comparisons to determine your ideal match.

 

Tips for Choosing Event Management Software

With so many options on the market, selecting event technology can feel overwhelming initially.

However, following a structured approach ensures you find an ideal fit for all stakeholders long term.

Below are best practices small business event managers should employ when evaluating platforms:

  1. Define Requirements – Detail must-have capabilities now and in the next few years based on business plans. Note nice-to-have elements should budget allow. Creating this roadmap focuses your search.
  2. Consider Budget – Be realistic around current spend abilities and growth trajectories. Secure executive buy-in by showing long term scaling cost projections in your recommendation.
  3. Evaluate User Friendliness – Try before you buy with hands-on demos. Recruit team members to test navigation, workflows and customization firsthand. Their feedback is invaluable.
  4. Check Reviews and Testimonials – Independent user reviews highlight frustrations and flaws vendor sales pitches won’t. Seek customer case studies from companies similar to yours detailing implementation and measuring program success.
  5. Request Demos and Free Trials – Hands-on experience before committing provides the best assessment and surfaces gaps unnoticed in brochures. Compare competing platforms by creating actual events in trials.
  6. Consider Scalability – Will current feature sets, integrations, customizations and pricing models support your organization in 3-5 years? Seek evidence a vendor actively enhances technology aligned to small business needs versus quick obsoleting platforms forcing complex migrations.
  7. Assess Security Measures – Review third party audits evaluating data security, privacy protocols and redundancy safeguards. Formal disaster recovery plans also provide tremendous defense.
  8. Consider Ease of Customization – Beyond standard configuration, can platforms adapt to novel concepts and integrate with future technologies? Creative customizations set memorable brand experiences yet require flexible systems.

Pinpointing Optimal Event Software

After reviewing the landscape of platforms tailored for 2024 small business needs, clear contenders emerge.

Solutions like Hubilo, Airmeet and Cadence deliver robust core functions alongside pricing models scalable from early startup stages through growth phases.

Despite lacking longstanding brand recognition, these forward-looking platforms drive innovation with virtual event capabilities, seamless CRM integrations and creative community-building features previously limited to major event production agencies.

Other niche solutions warrant consideration for specialized use cases.

Welcome smooths chaotic manual scheduling for small venues like theaters, museums by orchestrating space rentals and public event programming.

BigMarker’s free tiers furnish solid baseline webinar and basic streaming features accessible for capital-constrained startups.
Of course no singular “best” solution prevails, with individual feature priorities and budget realities shaping ideal alignments.Carefully scrutinize elements like pricing transparency, support responsiveness, customization options and overall ease-of-use during product assessments.

Hands-on platform trials allow stakeholders at all levels to evaluate firsthand against scoring criteria personalized for your organization.

While migrating event coordination from makeshift manuals and generic tools into specialized software represents a notable investment, tangible productivity, engagement and revenue gains quickly justify costs.

Perhaps most critically, adopting streamlined technology liberates capacity previously drained by administrative minutiae to now focus on customer connections, creative programming and strategy sustaining modern small business growth.

Prioritizing events automation ultimately catalyzes lasting competitive advantage.

Jumpstart Event Management Innovation With Tailored Software

If the pandemic taught us anything, it’s that events must evolve technologically to engage audiences. 

With audiences now accustomed to virtual accessibility, small businesses require robust, affordable software delivering streamlined digital event coordination. 

Purpose-built platforms like Hubilo and Airmeet align pricing models and capabilities with early-stage company needs. 

Don’t stagnate with status quo manual methods handicapping experience innovation, conversion and revenue. 

Schedule a guided demo showcasing software tailor-made for your strategic vision and budget today. 

We & Goliath

We & Goliath is an award-winning, top 100 worldwide event agency known for increasing conference attendance by 7X and profits by 3X through beautifully designed virtual, hybrid, and in-person events. Since 1999, their team of innovative strategists and creative designers has worked with global enterprises, SMBs, non-profits, and other organizations to engage audiences and exceed expectations.

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