Once you've created your event and provided the registration form to website visitors, you will need to begin managing your participants through the CiviEvent administrative tools. CiviEvent provides the ability to register participants administratively, search through participants based on a variety of criteria, export participant lists, and perform a number of other functions on your event records. CiviEvent not only gives participants a smooth journey from registration to payment to attendance at the event, but also lightens the burden of administrative duties on your organisation's staff.
An events' administrator at your organization can view an intuitive events dashboard that brings together all your events and participant information in one place. In this section we will discuss how these administrative tools are used.
While CiviCRM helps alleviate data entry for event registration by allowing your constituents to register directly through your website, it is likely that you will continue to have a segment of your contacts that continue to register by mail, phone, or in person on-site.
As with other functions in CiviCRM, you register a contact for an event by first locating their contact record, and then selecting the Events tab. This tab displays a summary list of past event attendance and provides a link for registering the contact for a new event.
You'll notice that there are two options available for registering the contact: "new event registration" and "submit credit card event registration." The latter will only be available if you've configured a payment processor that allows direct payments through your website. The first option is used for offline registrations—those that do not require actually processing a credit card. The interface for both options is very similar, with the exception of those fields that impact the payment recording details.
After choosing to create a new registration for this contact, you are taken to a form where you complete details regarding the record.
As you work through this form, you'll notice certain sections of the page may change to reflect selections you have made. For example, when you choose the event you want to register the contact for and select their participant role, the form will automatically load predefined custom data fields that pertain to those selections.
If the event selected is a paid event, you will see an event fees section which has been defined in the event configuration details, and an option to record the financial transaction details will be visible (Record Payment).
This introduces an important concept central to CiviCRM's event function (as well as other areas). Event registration records in CiviCRM are independent of, but can be related to, a financial transaction. While this may seem confusing to organizations accustomed to viewing event registrations as essentially a financial transaction, it offers an important and valuable distinction.
An event registration communicates the contact's participation in the organization's event. A corresponding financial transaction indicates the monetary value associated with that participation. While related, the two are distinct.
The distinction is best understood by considering the all too common scenario of an organization waiving fees for certain attendees. This may be done because the individual is a V.I.P., a speaker, or is participating in the event in a limited way. Regardless, the organization will want to record the individuals involvement in the event by registering them, but may not want to create an associated financial transaction.
CiviCRM respects this distinction by recording the event registration record under the Events tab, and the Financial record under the Contributions tab, and then creating a link between the two records.
By clicking the Record Payment checkbox and completing the transaction fields that are displayed, you are building these two associated records. After recording the membership, you will be able to view the event registration record and see the related contribution record at the bottom. If you do not select the Record Payment checkbox, only a registration record will be created.
A great time saving feature that CiviCRM offers is bulk registration for an event. Using this feature you can register a group of contacts simultaneously.
Note that when registering multiple participants for an event using this tool there are two limitations:
Another way to register a large number of individuals quickly is to import registrants from another application using a "comma-separated-values" format file (CSV).
This can be very convenient in a number of situations. Your organization may be collaborating with another organization for a specific event where the other organization has a preferred events registration system other than CiviCRM. Or perhaps a volunteer in charge of the event with no experience using CiviCRM recorded registrations with MS Excel. In these cases it is still important to capture inside CiviCRM those individuals who have registered through these alternative methods. Importing the records into CiviCRM will help consolidate your information and allow better interactions with your contacts in the future.
Importing records involves preparing your data, and then walking through the Import Participants wizard.
It is ideal if the records to be imported contain data that can uniquely match to an existing contact in your CiviCRM database. In general, the first name, last name and email are used for this purpose. Be aware that even slight variations in these values can inadvertently create duplicate contact records. you may want to run deduplication rules after the import in order to identify and merge duplicate records.
In some cases where there are only a few registrants to be imported and they already exist in CiviCRM, it may make sense to use the bulk registration action above. But usually when there is a significant number of registrations, including registrants who are not currently in your database, it will be faster and lead to less errors if you process a bulk import and deal with deduping efforts after the import.
Up until this point we have focused on how to register contacts for events and review past event participation for each individual through the contact's Events tab. But one of the most important functions of any event management tool is the ability to search for participants and quickly pull up attendance lists for an event.
Returning to the main event dashboard page (by clicking the CiviEvent menu item), you notice that the list of upcoming events includes several hyperlinked options in the attendee summary column.
The hyperlinked options available will depend on your registrants to date. For example, if you have no Registered/Attended status records, the text would not be hyperlinked. Selecting one of the options quickly displays a list of the registrants meeting that criteria for the event.
CiviCRM also provides event participant search tools, accessible by clicking Find Participants in the CiviEvent submenu. The resulting search form provides the ability to search by participant name, event name, event type, event dates, participant status, participant role, fees, pay later registrants, and any combination of the above.
After conducting a search you have the opportunity to select all of the resulting records or a subset, and to perform an action on the records. The actions available include:
CiviCRM has several pre-built custom search pages available through Find Contacts » Custom Searches that provide advanced tools for event management.
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