Events Manager for WordPress is an excellent event registration plugin.
It has almost all of the features you'll need to organize events via your WordPress site. Features include recurring events, calendars, Google map integration, booking management and more.
Events Manager is a very popular plugin because it's fairly simple to understand and the documentation is good.
In this tutorial, we're going to get you up and running with Events Manager.
Step 1: Installation
- Login to your WordPress site.
- Go to Plugins > Add New and search for Events Manager.
- Install and activate the plugin.
There are two versions of Event Manager: Free and Pro. You'll need the pro version if you want customized registration forms and payment gateways. Visit their website for complete information.
Step 2: General Settings
Once on the settings page you'll see several tabs. There is a Getting Started guide provided from this screen.
- We're going to start with the General tab.
- Click the General Options slide-down panel and you'll see these settings.
- Before you start using them, you must enable event settings for recurring events, bookings, categories and other features. That's a little confusing for beginners because most people want to start by entering events immediately.
- User Capabilities are also important to review before you start. You can set capabilities for all roles, including administrator, editor, author, contributor and subscriber.
- Make sure you have given the proper permissions for adding and editing events.
Step 3: Pages configuration
- The most important item on the Pages tab is deciding whether you want to use Pages or Posts to display your events. This makes a big difference in how your menu and widgets are going to work for you. Give this some thought before you enter a huge number of events. It will be a big influence on how your site flows.
- Do the same for Location Pages. That section has the same options.
Step 4: Formatting
- Formatting is all about the actual display of the events on the web site. While this is important, the defaults will work fine and you won't need to do anything here.
Step 5: Bookings
- You need to attend to everything in this section before you go live with your site. The defaults will work fine while you're learning how to create and manage events.
- This screen defines the really important choices for your events. It controls how are you going to actually manage bookings and ticket sales.
Step 6: Emails
- You'll need to set up the basic contact information.
- You may also want to customize the actual messages that are sent out.
- The default messages will work just fine, but you can customize them with placeholders. The links on each message section give you quick access to the placeholders you can use.
Step 7: Create Categories
Now that the settings are complete, let's take you through the process of adding a couple of events to your site.
I'm going to use an after-school program as an example. We'll have multiple categories and multiple locations. We'll also allow people to regiser for the events.
- Go to Events > Event Categories
- Create the following categories:
Step 8. Create locations
- Go to Events > Locations
- Click Add New
- In my example, I'm creating different elementary schools.
Creating locations is similar to creating pages and posts. You see the normal page and post features but special address fields have been added, as has map integration.
Step 9: Create an Event
- Go to Events > Add New and start filling in details for an event.
- Let's create Karate Classes at several different elementary schools.
- Again, this is very similar to the normal Page / Post creation screen.
- The location section can be autofilled by starting to type the location name in the name field. You could create a new location from here if you didn't already have one.
Advice for creating events: create a draft to use as a template
One useful feature is the ability to create a generic class that you can reuse quickly and easily. This is very useful if the event repeat:
- Create a generic class description for each type of class Karate, Chess, Art, Music and Language.
- Copy it once for each location.
- Edit each copy to make it specific for the location.
- Since the description of the class will be the same, but the dates and locations will be different, I can create one basic description and copy it 8 times, once for each of my 8 locations.
- I'll fill in the text and pictures, set the start and end times, and assign it to the correct category. Leave anything specific to the location blank. Anytime you get a new location you can use the draft to get a jump on creating a new entry.
- Save it as a draft, then duplicate.
- Be sure to set the dates and times.
- Assign it to the correct category.
- Create an entire list of Karate classes and assign one to each location that you have.
Step 10: Create a registration ticket
- Locate Bookings/Registration on the left side of the page, under the Location section.
- Check Enable registration for this event.
- You'll see the Standard Ticket.
- Click Edit to set up the ticket for this event.
- Give the ticket an appropriate name.
- Adjust the price and other details as needed.
- Save the ticket.
- Publish the event.
- Repeat this process for each Karate class.
- Repeat this process for the Chess, Art, Music and Language classes.
Step 11: The user experience
- The default menu item created by the plugin allows you to drill down to your events by category or location.
- Here's the result when you click Categories:
- Here's the result when you click Locations. This shows all events that are scheduled at that location.
- Click an individual event title and this is what you see:
There are many other display options including calendars, widgets and shortcodes to include widgets in articles.
Use the workflow that we've described in this tutorial and you'll be off to a good start. Read the Events Manager documentation and you'll really be able to build a great events site using WordPress.