I have a similar complaint. I was recommended to try Constant Contact specifically because of the Events feature. I thoroughly researched the website (i.e. spent hours trying to find the correct information) and even found a plan comparison that shows events are available for both plans: email and email plus (see screenshot - ticks in columns for both plans for event management), so decided to just give the free month's trial a test run. Like many of you, I was successfully able to complete all details for a test event but unfortunately got this same "pop-up box to upgrade" in order to publish my event. Very unhappy - especially considering the time spent to determine if this is what would eventuate and finding specific information to indicate that it would not! Additionally, it does not appear that a user in Australia can connect to WePay for credit card payments, as I had a lot of issues with their system not recognising an Australian address or post code.
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