Introducing Venture Event Manager

It’s time to unveil the project that’s been keeping me busy the past several months: Venture Event Manager, a WordPress event management plugin.

Five years ago, I launched The Venture Platform, a hosted, managed web development service for arts organizations and artists. Not long after that launch, my programmer and I explored the potential for extracting the event management functionality and offering it as a standalone WordPress plugin.

After perfecting VEM’s functionality for more than five years, our latest round of major upgrade work presented an ideal opportunity to finally bring that vision to life and we officially released the plugin this week.

From a business dev perspective, this is a logical pivot by way of a mutually exclusive event management plugin that parallels development of the exact same functionality we include as part of the much larger hosted platform service. From an ongoing support and development perspective, it became a genuine twofer once all the initial work making it a standalone plugin was complete.


Time To Right Some Wrongs

What I’m most excited about is something that has been near and dear to my heart for years: along with the annual license fee pro version, we’re offering a free for life version.

From a personal and professional perspective, I’ve been increasingly frustrated watching event-based arts orgs use event management plugins that are difficult to use, not maintained, and plagued with sloppy code and support. It’s the very worst of the ill-fitting suit syndrome.

Not every group is able to be a full Venture Platform user, but that doesn’t mean they should suffer using inadequate event management tools.

To that end, one of the hallmarks of the free version is a comprehensive feature set. It’s not a watered-down version of Pro; instead, it includes all the necessary tools needed to properly manage the diversity found in most arts org event calendars. Multiple calendar outputs, unlimited event lists, event widgets, recurring event functionality, and custom layout options as standard features for all user levels (complete feature list).

The free version will be available on the WordPress repository by the end of the month, but you can download it now at

Likewise, pro license versions are available for purchase in both single ($149/year) and a 25-license developer pack ($499/year).

Lastly, when examining the other paid event management plugins, it was difficult to miss that not even one of them offered a nonprofit discount.

As such, that became one more wrong to right and I’m thrilled to offer nonprofits a 33 percent discount off a single license pro account. That brings the price down to only $99/year. Just reach out with a link to your Guidestar page or a copy of your nonprofit articles of incorporation and I’ll send you a personalized discount code.

In the meantime, you can head over to to learn more or pickup a copy of the free or pro version.

About Drew McManus

"I hear that every time you show up to work with an orchestra, people get fired." Those were the first words out of an executive's mouth after her board chair introduced us. That executive is now a dear colleague and friend but the day that consulting contract began with her orchestra, she was convinced I was a hatchet-man brought in by the board to clean house.

I understand where the trepidation comes from as a great deal of my consulting and technology provider work for arts organizations involves due diligence, separating fact from fiction, interpreting spin, as well as performance review and oversight. So yes, sometimes that work results in one or two individuals "aggressively embracing career change" but far more often than not, it reinforces and clarifies exactly what works and why.

In short, it doesn't matter if you know where all the bodies are buried if you can't keep your own clients out of the ground, and I'm fortunate enough to say that for more than 15 years, I've done exactly that for groups of all budget size from Qatar to Kathmandu.

For fun, I write a daily blog about the orchestra business, provide a platform for arts insiders to speak their mind, keep track of what people in this business get paid, help write a satirical cartoon about orchestra life, hack the arts, and love a good coffee drink.

Related Posts