Event WaxVivabit, the company behind the popular @media conference for web design professionals, has launched Event Wax, a product they personally use to organize and book attendees to their events. It’s a free web-based service that allows event organizers to publish a hosted event website, accept payments online and manage attendee registration. Whether you are running a conference, workshop, or a TechCrunch party, Event Wax is designed to help.

Event Wax was originally developed earlier this year as a way for Vivabit to manage their @media 2006 conference. Based on their experience running @media in 2005, they knew exactly what they were needing. They describe on their website, “The initial method of keeping track of delegates with a rudimentary spreadsheet, manual invoicing, and notes scribbled all over the place, simply wasn’t going to cut the mustard.” They have since developed, refined and improved their prototype application and found it to be a success at this years @media conference with 800 delegates, as noted by Dan Webb of Vivabit on his personal blog.

I’m not sure why, but I have always had high interest in this field of event planning – especially large scale events. I can’t even imagine the amount of planning and organization that has to be made when running them. But, in light of testing Event Wax, I created a (fake) Solution Watch Meetup. I’m going to pass it to my fellow workers at Parallel inviting them to register for the meetup at my favorite restaurant, Olive Garden, where we usually eat once a week anyways!

You start off by creating your Event Wax account and picking an address to access it at (you.eventwax.com). Once set, login and create your first event (in my case, Solution Watch Meetup). Event Wax asks you to specify the events capacity, where it’s located, when it will be held, and how you are going to accept payment from attendees (if not free). If you do plan on charging for your event, you can either set up your payement gateway in Account Settings first, or just set payment options later. Currently, PayPal is the only supported gateway for payments, but other gateways, including Authorize.Net and Secpay, are coming soon.

After creating your event, head to the Tickets area where you can manage different types of tickets you plan to offer for your event. Each ticket can be assigned: the amount you have available, pricing, date available, and a color label (to help organize all attendees). So for example, one could create separate tickets at separate prices for bloggers, press, and so on. Then, when someone goes to register for the event, they will be presented with each ticket and can specify how many of each they need. You can also set additional charges by percent or fixed rate for each attendee if needed (example use: tax).

Now it’s time to customize your event website. You have two options for this: 1. Use Event Wax’s hosted website and registration form; 2. Create your own website and send your visitors to the hosted registration form. I have went with option one where I was able to change my content, using Textile formatting, and theme the design using CSS. However, you cannot change the templates structure – only the CSS and basic formatting. But if you are good with CSS, you can make a presentable design. The Event Wax website also says more functionality to come including comments, attendee profiles, and other interactive options. Here’s my Solution Watch Meetup event site powered by Event Wax.

As people register to your event from your Event Wax website, the Attendees section will fill up and each attendee will receive an email confirming their booking. The Attendees section nicely presents all bookings with sorting options, instant search filter, and color coding (color of the their ticket). You can also select an individual booking and add some notes to it if needed. What’s also nice is when selecting one or more attendees from the list, you can select to send an email to them all and export them to a spreadsheet or XML file. I could not find any importing options or manual entry to add attendees though.

Although I don’t know much about planning and organizing events, I felt that Event Wax did a great job with attendee registration and management. It was extremely simple to get a site up and attendees coming in. And being able to instantly assign a PayPal account to it was a big plus, although I’d much rather use a gateway like Authorize.net (which is coming soon). I also found the help documentation to be nicely implemented (uses Ajax). However, there were some areas that I felt were lacking in Event Wax. For example, you can view all attendees and charge them for the tickets, but you cannot get a total amount earned from the tickets or totals of the additional charges. Also, I would have liked manual entry or importing options in case I needed them.

Event Wax also has some noteworthy features coming soon including a feature-rich API, Upcoming.com integration, more payment options, and interactive websites including commenting and attendee profiles.


7 Comments on “Polish up your event with Event Wax”

  1. Abhimanyu Chirimar says:

    Perfect. I was just looking for this.

  2. dave says:

    this is a very nice solution, it would be great to see them add support for virtual meetings etc (e.g. integrate support for webex or other unique paths in the meeting for approved attendees) – this blows away sites like meetup for sophisticated users, training etc…anxious to see how it grows.

  3. 13 Nov, 2006 from Download Squad « spoons for shoes says:

    [...] EventWax is a web-based service for organizing events. Through the web site, event organizers can publish an event site, accept payments, and manage the event attendees’ registration. The initial system was built as a way for a company to organize and manage a conference. The EventWax system is simple to use and can be customized and hosted on your own web site or through EventWax. You can accept payments though PayPal and quickly search the attendee details. All data that the systems captures can be exported as a spreadsheet or XML for easy archiving or referencing. If you organize events, or are thinking about organizing events, try this tool out–you’ll love its simplicity, and power. [...]

  4. Event Organiser Tool - EventWax - Real Geek says:

    [...] The initial system was built as a way for a company to organize and manage a conference. The EventWax system is simple to use and can be customized and hosted on your own web site or through EventWax. It was originally developed earlier this year as a way for Vivabit to manage their @media 2006 conference. Based on their experience running @media in 2005, they knew exactly what they were needing. [...]

  5. Organize your events with EventWax : Tech Tips says:

    [...] EventWax is a web-based service for organizing events. Through the web site, event organizers can publish an event site, accept payments, and manage the event attendees’ registration. The initial system was built as a way for a company to organize and manage a conference. The EventWax system is simple to use and can be customized and hosted on your own web site or through EventWax. You can accept payments though PayPal and quickly search the attendee details. All data that the systems captures can be exported as a spreadsheet or XML for easy archiving or referencing. If you organize events, or are thinking about organizing events, try this tool out–you’ll love its simplicity, and power. [...]

  6. Daily Clerks says:

    [...] Polish up your event with Event Wax [...]

  7. bex says:

    This seems a lot like eventbrite (formerly mollyguard) with more web2.0 sugar.

    I run an event every year (3300+ last year) and would like to see someone actually build something to manage all the ugly bits behind the scenes (i.e. room assignments, speaker assigments, guests of honor, hotel rooms, Audio/Visual needs, catering, etc.)

    I’d build it if I had the time :D