The 8 best conference management tools for 2024

7 minute read

Great event planning software should provide time- and stress-saving solutions that add real value to your life. Here we share eight of the industry’s favourite conference management tools for 2024.

If you’re a conference organiser or association professional involved in scholarly events, you’ll know that orchestrating a top-drawer meeting demands impeccable organisational and time-management skills. Whether you’re planning a physical, virtual, or hybrid event, simplifying and streamlining your processes with conference management tools and apps is essential to taming the conference planning beast. Sourcing and setting up your abstract management software, and cross-checking whether your presenters have registered (and paid), are just a fraction of the challenges inherent to planning and executing these types of events. 

Negotiating the complexities of research conferences is stressful enough. And we know that choosing the right software can also be a daunting task in its own right. So, to spare you days of research, we’ve curated a list of tried-and-tested conference management tools that are designed to not only make your life easier, but thanks to their great UI and UX design, will go a long way in keeping your hard-working committee, events team members, and volunteers invested and engaged.

First, we’ll briefly explain the difference between event management software and conference management software, to clear up any confusion between the two.

Event management software is the generic term for a wide range of software used for managing commercial or corporate events.

Conference management software is event management software designed specifically for medical, technical, scientific, and academic conferences (aka research conferences). The core functionality of conference management software is abstract management (collecting submissions, managing peer review, and accepting or rejecting authors to present at the research conference), with further conference management features linked into this.

Right, let’s get started.

1. Ex Ordo

conference management toolsEx Ordo is custom-built for research conferences

A leading conference platform, Ex Ordo understands that scholarly events have specific needs. Needs that are underserved, with event planners often left feeling stressed and overworked, dealing with workarounds and lack of support. This all-in-one conference management system boasts abstract management software, a programme builder, registration system, and mobile app, with an integrated virtual conference platform to support online and hybrid events. 

When you’re managing submissions and reviews, it can feel like you’re facing an endless march of admin if your system is not intuitive. Unlike a lot of conference management software that includes basic functionality to manage submissions, Ex Ordo’s abstract management isn’t simply an add-on, it’s the system’s core functionality.

Flexible configuration options allow you to create the precise setup you want to ensure you get exactly what you need from authors, reviewers, and attendees. You can automatically match submissions to the best-qualified reviewers. Track reviewers’ progress and send reminders to those who fall behind. Re-assign, close, or disable reviews. Filter completed reviews by score or browse and inspect them individually. Request RSVPs and see which presenters have registered to attend (and those who haven’t). Share accepted abstracts and sessions with attendees through the virtual platform or mobile app. And so much more.

A market-leading solution to help scholarly conference organisers solve bandwidth and capacity issues, all backed by dedicated, expert support. No call centres, scripts, or bots.

Ex Ordo – the best end-to-end conference management tool for research conferences, big and small. Learn more in our upcoming open demo. 

2. Guidebook

conference management toolsGuidebook lets you update your event programme on the fly

A best-in-class mobile app building platform, Guidebook. With intuitive, drag-and-drop features, you can effortlessly create and publish your own branded conference app. It will also be available for attendees to download from Google Play or the App Store.

A more eco-friendly digital solution to the traditional printed programme, attendees can use this mobile guide to conveniently navigate your event directly from their phones. In-app sponsorship opportunities provide a valuable channel for your sponsors and exhibitors to connect and engage with their target audiences. All whilst creating a new revenue stream for you. It can also host event guides for multiple conferences, which allows you to collect comparable data within the app year-on-year.

For Ex Ordo customers, a seamless integration with Guidebook allows you to sync the full conference programme you build out in the core conference management system with your mobile app. No more template imports and manual edits. This not only saves you a significant amount of time on tedious data entry, but also reduces the chance for human error. It allows you to make those inevitable last-minute programme changes and communicate these with attendees in real-time through push notifications. A really great way for you to communicate important and time-sensitive information so attendees have the correct details at all times.

Guidebook  – the best tool for taking your conference mobile.

3. Eventbrite

conference management toolsMaking ticketing easy – Eventbrite

One of the world’s best-known ticketing platforms, Eventbrite . They work with all types of events, ranging from music festivals and pop-up events to research conferences.

Some conference management tools have a connected registration platform. But Eventbrite is a great choice if you are organising a small conference with low-cost (or free) entry. While it’s not connected to other tools, it does give you a centralised place to send delegates to register. It’s also good for finding new audiences by targeting attendees who have registered for similar events. 

Eventbrite – the best tool for ticketing small research conferences.


4. Trello

Trello task management tool, conference management toolsTrello gives you a visual overview of what needs doing

Between booking caterers, choosing your online event provider, and building your conference programme, we know how challenging keeping track of your seemingly never-ending list of tasks can be.

A hyper-visual tool for task-management, Trello. A hugely customisable digital kanban board, it provides a bird’s-eye view of what’s going on at any given moment in time. At a glance, you can see where your conference treasurer is at in terms of finalising the budget, or which venues or virtual platforms your local chair has contacted for a quote.

You can create multiple boards to manage your entire list of conferences (including all your to-dos). And Trello’s ability to tag other users on a card and tick off tasks on a checklist means you won’t have to waste time sending emails to your events or executive team. At the very least, members of your conference organising team could use this great little tool to manage their own tasks for the event.

Trello  – the best tool for tracking tasks.

5. Hootsuite

Hootsuite social media management tool, conference management toolsIt allows you to bring your social media conversations into one space

In a survey conducted at Canberra University, 83% of the academics surveyed said they use Twitter/X for their academic work. So, Twitter/X is a great way to get your conference out to the research community. And Hootsuite is an excellent social media management tool to manage multiple channels from one dashboard.

It allows you to save time by scheduling your posts in advance and bringing all your conversations into one manageable space. Hashtags can help you watch hashtags that relate to your conferences and track mentions of your events. Authors can use Hootsuite delegate support hub. This is a place to monitor conversations and answer questions about anything from submission deadlines to membership benefits. Keep your finger on the pulse of your conference in live time, and immediately address any issues that may arise on social media.

So, whether you decide to have an individual account for each of your conferences, or promote your conferences from just one account, Hootsuite’s got you covered.

Hootsuite  – the best tool for managing your Twitter/X streams.



IFTTT digital automation platform , conference management toolsIFTTT (which stands for ‘If This Then That’) automates and integrates your apps and devices 

Mundane and repetitive tasks can be a source of frustration and displeasure for many, especially those with more value-driven duties and responsibilities that require human judgement and critical thinking.

Pronounced to rhyme with ‘thrift’, IFTTT allows you to automate many of these laborious tasks by getting your favourite apps and devices talking to one another. You can use this fabulous free tool to build automations, called Applets, that connect two or more of your favourite services to create a new experience. Each service has unique triggers, queries, and actions that allow you to build different Applets.

For example, you could build an Applet to receive a notification every time someone Tweets your conference hashtag, or an Applet to automatically email your committee meeting notes to a shared Google Drive folder, or an Applet to create events in your iPhone Calendar via Google Assistant. 

IFTTT –  the best tool for automating and integrating your favourite apps and devices.

7. TRACE by isla

conference management toolsTRACE by isla captures emission and waste data from your live, hybrid, and digital events, generating impact reports in real-time

For a definitive carbon measurement platform for sustainable events you need to go to TRACE by isla. The tool captures emission and waste data from live, hybrid, and digital events, generating impact reports in real-time. It helps you understand your impact quicker, and gives you insight into the environmental cost of your event. TRACE helps you capitalise on the data you’re already collecting and provides guidance on additional information you may need to generate your impact report. And you can take advantage of the in-app reduction tips and guidance to plan your next event with an even more positive environmental impact.

TRACE by isla – the best app for measuring the environmental impact of your event.


8. VoiceMap

conference management tools
VoiceMap allows attendees to explore your conference venue’s surroundings with a safe, self-guided audio tour

A mobile app that boasts over 1,000 immersive audio tours narrated by insightful local storytellers, VoiceMap. These tours are available for more than 30,000 locations, in almost 350 destinations, across 64 countries around the world. You can also create your own tour for attendees, which could include photos, 360 videos, 3D objects, and music. Anything you want to personalise the experience for them.

Once attendees download your tour onto their phones, both the map and audio will be available offline. They don’t have to pay roaming fees. The app uses GPS autoplay, so they can just put in their headphones, tap on Start, and let it guide them. If they do wander off in the wrong direction the app will play an audio alert, and they can follow the map on their screen to the next location. Their access to your tour doesn’t expire, so they can listen to it as often as they like. A wonderful little memento to accompany any personal photos they snap or videos they film on their tour. Either to share with family, friends, or jealous colleagues when they get home. 

VoiceMap the best app to help your attendees enjoy a bit of sight-seeing in your conference’s host city.

Using conference management tools to empower your team & boost productivity

An empowered team is an efficient team. An efficient team is a productive team. And an efficient, productive team is one of the most valuable tools you have at your disposal. 

By harnessing the power of technology and equipping your team with the right range of conference management tools. They’ll help them carry out their work as effectively and efficiently as possible, you’ll minimise admin stress and optimise workflow. And with your team functioning like a well-oiled machine, your conference will reap the rewards tenfold.

Gemma Elliott