Heads Up and a Quick Review: Show Themes Specializes in Event Themes for WordPress

Heads Up and a Quick Review: Show Themes Specializes in Event Themes for WordPress

On what’s turned into an essentially endless quest to catalog good event themes for WordPress, we stumbled across Showthemes.com, a WordPress theme development provider whose work is targeted at the event industry.

Before we dive into the detalis, perhaps a peek at their promo video:

Thank freakin’ goodness and hats off to Show Themes – it’s about time a development shop sat down to tackle this, and a good event industry theme catalog is very needed. Show Themes currently offers a catalog of 5 theme options, some of which are geared towards conferences, some toward expos, some towards managing multiple events. The basic features are all there: speaker management, Eventbrite / Etouches integration, schedule listing, countdown clocks, ticketing levels, and tiered sponsor management – good stuff.

Now, a small critique: I know that Show Themes is just really kicking off and is bound to evolve quickly, so take this with a grain of salt, but I’m not 100% sold on the front-end and I think the themes still seem a tad clunky on the visual design side. Tyler Theme, for example, could benefit from some work on the typography (Vertoh Theme fares better in this regard).

Where Show Themes really shines in terms of evaluation is that they provide access to the WordPress back end prior to purchase – many theme developers don’t offer the same courtesy. A look at the Vertoh administration panel:

Wordpress themes for event planners

The back end is off to a good start, utilizing WordPress’ “custom post types” features to create event-specific input categories in WordPress upon theme install, but benefit from some tweaking and extras. For example, it would be nice if we could see each session’s time and location on the session listing page, then drag-and-drop to reorder sessions, as opposed to having to enter each event and manually re-set the time and date in case the event schedule changes (which of course, it will).

Event Production WordPress Themes for Conferences and Meetings: Showthemes

Speakers & Exhibitors

Nice one: session administration pages list all speakers present in the system, and allow event managers to associate speakers with sessions. This is crucial, because it means that you can easily edit session content in a couple of clicks without a ton of fiddling around with code.

201504-event-production-wordpress-themes-showthemes-4

At the moment, speakers and exhibitors must be entered manually by the site administrator, meaning that application submissions must happen via a different system. It’d be nice if future themes offered a custom registration that automatically created an unpublished “draft” speaker / exhibitor entry in the system for the administrator to review.

The verdict

While in its infancy, Show Themes should be on your must-watch list. We very much hope they continue to develop the concept and their list of theme offerings – this is a much needed niche that we’re excited to see filled.

David Sonntag
david@decibelmanagement.com
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