Quick Start Guide for Event Espresso

Welcome to Event Espresso! Everyday event organizers across the world use Event Espresso to power their events and now its your turn. We’ve created video tutorials to get you up and running quickly so lets get started.

This Quick Start guide covers the following topics:

  1. Pre-setup recommendations
  2. Install Event Espresso
  3. Update your organization settings
  4. Set up a payment method
  5. Create a venue
  6. Create your first event
  7. Custom registration questions
  8. Set up add-ons

If you need assistance with other topics, please check out our help and faq’s pages:

How to get help

Common questions

Are you working with a team member on your new project? Share a link to this page with them.

Pre-setup recommendations

Let’s review some important WordPress website settings before getting started with Event Espresso.

Step 1)  Confirm your website’s timezone are set a city/region near you. Go to your WP-admin (WordPress dashboard) –> Settings –> General. Change the UTC option to a city/region near you and save changes by clicking on the Save Changes button.

Step 2)  Confirm pretty permalinks are enabled. From your WordPress dashboard go to Settings –> Permalinks. If the option is set to Plain, then change it to post name and save changes by clicking on the Save Changes button.

Notes from the video: Enabling pretty permalinks is not required to use Event Espresso. However, it does make the links on your site easier to read and better for search engine optimization to help attendees find your events and for you to sell tickets.

Next action step: Continue to the section below ↓.

Install Event Espresso

Members with an active support license can download Event Espresso from their account page on EventEspresso.com.

Once you have the zip file on your computer, go to your  WP-admin (WordPress dashboard) –> Plugins –> Add New –> Upload Plugin –> Choose File and then browse to the event-espresso-core-reg.zip file on your computer. It will likely be in your downloads folder or on your desktop. Select the zip file and then begin the upload.

Afterwards, then click on the  Activate button to activate Event Espresso.

Notes from the video: the video focuses on getting the core plugin installed. We’ll talk about installing add-ons later on in this guide.

Next action step: Continue to the section below ↓.

Update your organization settings

Are you organizing events outside of the United States or Canada? If so, then follow the steps below to update the countries through Event Espresso. If you are located in Canada or the United States, then click here to learn how to update your organization settings.

Change country settings

By default, the United States and Canada are enabled as countries in Event Espresso. If you are located in another country, then you can change the countries through  Event Espresso –> General Settings –> Countries.

Look for the  Country Appears in Dropdown Select Lists option and set it to No for the United States. Then save by clicking on the Save Country Details button.

Now repeat this step for Canada and again set the option to  No and save changes.

Now you are ready to enable your country. Select your country from the drop-down option towards the top of the page and then look for the  Country Appears in Dropdown Select Lists option and this time set it to Yes and save changes by clicking on the Save Country Details button.

Next action step: If you need to enable a language other than English, then click here to see our translation guide. If not, then continue to the steps in the section below ↓.

From your WordPress dashboard, look for  Event Espresso in the admin menus and then click on General Settings.

Now update the  Contact Information section to add your own information and then save changes by clicking on the save button.

Notes from the video: You can also upload a logo for your organization and add social media links but these steps are optional.

Next action step: continue to the section below if you have paid events. Otherwise, move on to the section for creating an venue ↓.

Set up a payment method

With Event Espresso, you can accept offline payments with checks (e.g. an attendee mails you a check) and online (e.g. credit cards). We recommend accepting online payments so you can:

– Receive your funds as your attendees’ register without any delay
– Know who is attending your event so you can plan ahead
– Avoid the hassle of handling paper checks and needing to follow up with attendees who registered but haven’t paid

Event Espresso supports a variety of online payment services including Stripe, Authorize.net, PayPal Express, Braintree, and more.

Offline payment options like invoice, bank transfer, and checks are also supported.

We recommend setting up an online payment option so you receive payments for your events right away. If you are new to online payments, then go with Stripe.

Create a venue for your events

This step is optional and is only needed if you want to show a location for your events.

A venue or location of an event can be created and then it can be used for one or more events. From your WordPress dashboard (WP-admin) go to  Event Espresso –> Venues and click on Add New Venue. You’ll now be viewing the venue editor.

Most event organizers use these areas:

✓ Venue title (top area)
✓ Venue description (top area)
✓ Physical Location (lower right area)
✓ Google map (lower right area)

Update these fields along with any others that you would like and then publish your venue by clicking on the  Publish button in the top right area of the venue editor.

Notes from the video: A venue must be published before it can be used for an event.

Enable Google maps

Event Espresso supports showing a location for a venue on a map. This uses Google maps so registering with their service is required. If you would like to show a map for your venues, then go to  Event Espresso –> Venues –> Google Maps and click on the link to get an API key. Complete the registration process and then add your API key and save changes.

Afterwards, go back to your venue and change the  Display Google Map for this venue option to Yes and save changes to the venue. This setting is located in the lower right area of the venue editor.

Next action step: Continue to the section below ↓.

Create your first event

Events for Event Espresso are created through the events editor. From your WordPress dashboard, go to  Event Espresso –> Events and click on Add New Event. You’ll now be viewing the event editor.

Go ahead and enter a  title for your event and then add a description. Then create a datetime (when an event takes place) and ticket/pricing option. You can then select the venue for the event. Scroll to the lower right area of the page and then upload a featured image. Then you can save the event as a draft using the Save as draft button in the top right area of the screen and then preview it.

If you are happy with the set up of the event, then you can publish it by clicking on the  Publish button and it will be open for registration.

Check out the video below to get an overview of how the main areas of the event editor work. We use a CPR training class as an introduction to the event editor and you can toggle full screen in the lower right area of the video.

You can also see video tutorials for other types of events with Event Espresso.

Next action step: If your event has multiple pricing options and dates, then see the next section below. Otherwise, continue to the section for creating a custom registration question ↓.

How to use multiple datetimes and pricing options

The multiple datetimes and pricing option feature will let you create several datetimes for an event and then grant access to the datetimes through one or more pricing options. Remember that a datetime is when an event takes place.

Here is an introduction to the multiple datetimes and pricing options feature.

Next action step: If you need to restrict an attendee to picking only one pricing option at a time, then continue to the section below ↓. Otherwise, continue to the section for creating a custom registration question.

How to use the maximum tickets option

The maximum tickets option can be used to restrict the number of pricing options that can be registered for during a single transaction. It can also be used to force a guest to select a single option rather than allowing different quantities of different pricing options.

That concludes our example of using a CPR training class for showing you how to use different areas of the event editor.

Video tutorials of different events in Event Espresso

Here are a few more examples of how to set up different kinds of events on your WordPress website through Event Espresso.


A multi-week summer camp

Classes, workshops

An art & painting class

A workshop with sub-events for different topics


A conference with early-bird pricing

A conference with a limited number of sessions or workshops


A course with different registration options

A multi-week course


A multi-day festival


A golf tournament fundraiser

A charity fundraising dinner

A raffle fundraiser


A seminar with an optional add-on


A multi-day retreat

An annual gala dinner with tickets and tables

A high school reunion


A church service registration

A walking tour

Next action step: Continue to the section below ↓.

Create a custom registration question

Event Espresso has questions available to request the name, email, address, and phone number from your guests.

You can also collect their address and phone number. These existing questions are considered system questions and are organized by question groups. A question group bundles a series of questions together. For example, the personal question group has the name and email address and the address question group has address related questions and a phone number. If you would like to collect a custom registration question, then it can be created using the questions editor.

Go to your  WordPress dashboard –> Registration Form. Towards the top of the screen, you’ll see a button that says Add New Question. Go ahead and click on it and you’ll then be taken to the question editor. Enter a name for the question in the Question Text field. Then select a Question Type. Here is an overview of the most popular question types:

– Text: a free-form text field
– Textarea: a free-form text field intended for a paragraph of information
– Checkboxes: select one or more responses
– Radio: select only one option from multiple choices
– Dropdown: select only one option from multiple choices in a dropdown menu

Next, you can select if this question should be required. If you set it to required, then an attendee will only be able to proceed with registration checkout if they complete the required question (e.g. a terms and conditions question).

Check out the video below.

Notes from the video: Event Espresso supports a variety of different question types. Create different questions and question groups as needed and then assign them on a per-event basis through the event editor.

Next action step: Continue to the section below ↓.

Create a custom registration question group

A question group organizes or holds a set of questions. For example, the Personal Information question group includes the name and email address questions and the Address Information question group includes questions for an address and a phone number.

You can create a custom question group for your custom questions so you can enable them for your events. This offers the best flexibility since you’ll be able to collect basic information (e.g., a name and email address) for one event and then different information (e.g. a name, email address + meal choice, how did you hear about us, etc) for another event.

Go to your  WP dashboard dashboard –> Registration Form. Near the top of your screen, you’ll see a tab that says Question Groups. Go ahead and click on the Questions Groups tab and you’ll then be taken to the question groups overview screen. Click on the Add New Question Group button and you’ll be taken to the question groups editor. Enter a name for the question in the Group Name and then place a checkmark next to each question that you want to enable and then save changes.

Check out the video below.

Next action step: Did you purchase an add-on or extension for Event Espresso? Continue to the section below ↓. Otherwise, move on to how to get help with Event Espresso.

Install and set up add-ons

An add-on extends Event Espresso to introduce a feature that is not part of the core plugin. Examples of add-ons or extensions include the Events Calendar, Promotions, Events Table View Template, Printable Tickets, and Attendee Mover. You can see add-ons that are available in our store.

Once you purchase support for an add-on, then you’ll have access to it through your account page on EventEspresso.com. There is a documentation link for every add-on next to each download link in your account page. You can click the link to see the documentation page which has information on how to get set up and use a specific add-on.

How to get help with Event Espresso

Event Espresso has built-in documentation on various pages. It can be found by clicking on the  Help tab in the top right corner of a page for Event Espresso within your WordPress dashboard. Click here for an example of the help tabs.

Tips on troubleshooting issues can also be found in your  WordPress dashboard –> Event Espresso –> Help & Support.

Support for Event Espresso is provided through our support channel which is in our member support forums.

Team members in multiple time zones monitor the support forums through out the day and help members with questions.

If you need some help with Event Espresso, then here are the steps to get help.

Step 1) Login to your account on EventEspresso.com.

Step 2) Create a support post in our member support forums by clicking on the  Create a Topic button. If you do not see the button to create a topic, then double-check that you are logged into your account with an active support license.

Use a  clear and descriptive title in your support post, describe the issue to the best of your knowledge, and never post any sensitive information such as login details.

Next action step: Continue to the section below ↓.

Common questions about Event Espresso

Here are some frequently asked questions about Event Espresso 4.

Are there recommended website hosts?
Yes, you can see WordPress hosts based on feedback from our members on our requirements page. A good WordPress host is an investment for your organization.

Can I get a list of guests for my events?
The Registrations CSV report system can create that report for you.

Can I change the order of the event elements on the event pages?
Yes, you can re-order the content through  Event Espresso –> Events –> Templates in the WP Dashboard.

I’m using a caching solution like WP Super Cache, W3 Total Cache, or my web host uses caching. Do I need to change anything?
Please exclude the Event Espresso pages from your caching solution.

Where can I see shortcodes for Event Espresso 4?
Check out the shortcodes for Event Espresso 4.

I want to customize the templates for Event Espresso. What do you recommend?
Take a look as this blog post for more information on working with custom templates. If you are not comfortable with making customizations, then partner with an Event Espresso professional.

Can I upgrade my Personal support license to the Everything support license and receive credit for my existing purchases?
Yes you can! Go to the Account Settings area of your Event Espresso account page and select your new Everything support license from the dropdown menu and then confirm the change on the next page and your account will be immediately updated.

Are there any other resources available for members?
You can meet other event organizers on Slack.

Can you recommend a web professional for some customizations?
Check out our Event Espresso professionals.

Is there a roadmap available for new features?
You can see our roadmap for Event Espresso 4 on Trello.

Did this answer your question? Thanks for the feedback There was a problem submitting your feedback. Please try again later.

Still need help? Contact Us Contact Us