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Event planning and management

This chapter covers some general information on planning and managing your events. There are lots of things to consider when planning an event which will affect the way you set up your event, so it is worth thinking about the information in this chapter before you start.

Planning your event

If you are new to CiviEvent, it is a good idea to think about the structure of your events and how you want a person to experience the event registration process before you start. This will help to inform how you set up and configure your events. Here are some important questions to consider.

  • What different types of events does your organization hold? And what type of event is this?

  • What different roles will participants have at the event?

  • What kinds of information you want to collect about participants, e.g., food and lodging preferences?

  • Will you allow online registrations to the event?

  • Is there a limit on the number of participants that can attend?

  • Do you want to approve registration, or leave it open to anyone?

  • Will there be a waitlist if the maximum number of registrations is exceeded?

  • Should one person be able to register multiple people?

  • Do you want to give registrants confirmation of registering?

  • Do you want to make the listing of the participants public?

  • Is this an event that repeats regularly with roughly the same details?

  • Will this be a paid event? If so..

    • What Financial Type will you consider the event fees to be?

    • What kind of fee structure will you need to hold your event?

    • Will you charge multiple fees, such as fees for additional sessions or meals?

    • Will you offer discounts or early registration?

Take time to assess the kind of information you need to run your events effectively, as well as what information it would be useful to collect during events and from event participants. If you run recurring events that are very similar, think about using event templates or the event copy features to make the set-up processes easier.

Promoting your events

Getting the word out and building excitement about your event can take many forms. Think about who you want at your event and where they tend to get their information. This will help you determine which tools can help you promote it:

  • What strategy will you use to promote your event, and through what channels?

  • Will you be posting your event on your website and allow people to register online?

  • Is email a good way to reach your constituents to market the event?
  • Is your event "by invitation only"? Who are you are inviting?
  • Have you planned a schedule to announce your event from the initial invitation to sending out event reminders?

Prominently listing your event on your organization's website and your public calendar is an important way to promote your event. Then you can use various strategies to let people and organizations know about it, and encourage participants to help promote the event. See the Integrating events with your website sub-section of the Online event registration chapter in this section.

If you are publicising your events on another website or organization's calendar, make it clear how people are expected to register. For example, some social networks have a built-in event registration system, such as Facebook events. Other organizations that are helping to publicise your event may have their own event registration systems. Make sure that no matter where you publicise the event, it is obvious how the person is expected to register.

Following up after the Event

Updating the status of each participant during the event or soon after will help to ensure that you have the most accurate information to evaluate your event.

It is good practice to send an email after the event to all the attendees to thank them and provide links to any documentation you have online. You may want to send a different email to those who registered but did not attend. You might also want to use this opportunity to promote a new event, suggest that attendees join your organisation as a member, or solicit donations for a specific campaign. You can learn more about how to do this in Scheduled Reminders in the Email section.