What is CiviEvent?
CiviEvent provides a set of tools for running events and minimizes the amount of administration required. In CiviCRM, an event is something that happens at a specified time, with a registration process, and has participants.
CiviEvent helps you to organise and hold events by:
- Facilitating self-registration for participants, including online credit card payments
- Allowing you to track event sign-ups, cancellations, and attendance
- Making it easy for you to promote your event online
- Allowing you to check participants in on-site at the event from any computer with an internet connection
- Streamlining event set-up for similar, recurring events with event templates
As with all CiviCRM components, CiviEvent is integrated with other parts of CiviCRM. For example, you can promote the event to a targeted list and communicate with event participants via email before and after the event using CiviMail (see the Email section, particularly the Set-up and Scheduled Reminders chapters, for more information). CiviContribute allows you to accept event payments online. (To do this, you must enable CiviContribute and set up a payment processor; see the Contributions section for more information.)
Scenario: Youth leadership workshop
A community arts group, Arts in Action, conducts leadership workshops for people under age 25 throughout the year. Their goals include attracting new youth to attend their workshops and enlisting past attendees to volunteer and teach. Youth from local schools and theater groups are invited to attend, and there are youth speakers and volunteers, as well as other speakers for the training workshops.
The Arts in Action communications staff use CiviEvent to efficiently manage each workshop from the beginning of its planning to the end of its evaluation. First, a staff member creates an event page that includes an online registration form. Because this is a regular event, a staff member has previously created an event template, which fills in much of the information needed in the event set-up process. There is a flat fee for registration, with additional fees for optional workshops; attendees can select what they are registering for and pay for it online. The registration form also gathers information about participants' food and lodging preferences using a CiviCRM feature called a profile.
A targeted list of youth and groups is drawn from existing contacts, and staff send personalised invitations using CiviMail (also based on a template, so that information can be reused from one event to the next). The invitation includes a direct link to the event page so that participants can arrive at the online registration with a single click. The event is also announced publicly by posting it on the Arts in Action website, and the "Tell-a-friend" function is enabled so that the information can easily be spread through people's networks.
A staff person is designated to manage the process by which participants register themselves, periodically checking to make sure that payments are being made, managing the wait list when participant sign-ups exceed the maximum number, and answering any questions.
On the day of the event, organisers can check in each attendee on-site to keep track in real time of who is attending and whether there are any no-shows. Participants with outstanding fees can also be asked to pay at this time. The database is updated immediately, freeing up spaces for those on the wait list and recording payments.
After each workshop, Arts in Action staff evaluate the success of the event and use CiviEvent to quickly generate reports such as the number of attendees, total event fees paid, and total amount still due. The event and mail templates can be updated if necessary and saved for the next event.