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Events Marketing, Registrations, and Payment with RSVPMaker
The most common use of RSVPMaker in WordPress fot Toastmasters is to create and manage events linked to a meeting template. The setup of those events is described in the Agenda Administration section of the knowledge base. However, that is not all RSVPMaker can be used for.
You can use it to:
- Register guests for your regular meetings
- Promote a club open house
- Promote a TLI, conference, or other event and register people for that event.
- Collect money online via integration with PayPal and Stripe.
- Send broadcast email messages based on events or blog posts, using integration with MailChimp.
The RSVP / registration features can also be used in combination with Toastmasters agenda management. For example, Online Presenters Toastmasters uses RSVPMaker to register guests who wish to attend its online meetings. The online meeting sign in link is included with the confirmation message visitors get when they register.
See the RSVPMaker documentation for complete details, but here is the basic event setup process:
When you click the Add New option under RSVP Events, you get a blank event post loaded into the editor with a popup dialog that asks you to enter a few essential details like the event date and time before proceeding. Tabs within this dialog box also allow you to set confirmation and reminder messages, customize the registration form, and set pricing.
The dialog box with these options appears automatically when you open an unsaved draft. To access it for an existing event, click the RSVP / Event Options button in the editor sidebar, in the RSVP Event tab of the sidebar.
Once you have set the event date and time, you can proceed to filling in the event title and body content, adding images and other blocks the same as you would with a page or blog post.
A few basic options including event date and time and RSVPs on / off can be set from the editor sidebar when the document properties (as opposed to the properties for a specific block) are displayed. An RSVP / Event Options sidebar button allows you to display the dialog box again so that you can fill in or change details.
In most cases, there are defaults you can set for these options from the Settings -> RSVPMaker screen. For example, you might or might not want the timezone to always be displayed depending on whether you hold a lot of online events where attendees will be spread across different timezones.
Here are the options you can set, by the name of the tab within the dialog box.
- Event starting date and time
- Whether or not an end time should be displayed
- The end date and time
- The timezone, if it’s not the default for your website (from Settings -> General)
- RSVP On- toggle on or off whether the registration button and form should be displayed
- Show Add to Calendar buttons
- Show Timezone
- Show Timezone conversions
- Show the RSVP Count (number of people registered)
- Display attendee names / not field (useful for some community-oriented websites, let people see who is attending the potluck dinner and what they’re planning to bring)
- Under Notifications / Reminders
- The email address notifications should be sent to
- Send confirmation only after payment (toggle on / off)
- Include event content with confirmation (toggle on / off)
- Login required to RSVP (toggle on/off)
- Display Captcha (toggle on/off)
- Show Yes/No buttons on form (toggle on/off)
- Show Date and Time on Form (toggle on/off)
- Set a maximum number of participants (enter a number to set a limit)
- Form instructions (enter text, if any)
- Registration start date / time (optional, if you don’t want the form to be active before a given time)
- Registration deadline (optional)
- Choose form (dropdown, select one of the predefined forms)
- Show form preview (toggle on for a preview of the current form)
Below these options, there is a section that allows you to customize the currently selected form. You can move the existing options up and down the list or delete them (exception: the email field can be moved but not deleted).
You can also add fields including text entry, radio button, and select components (dropdown lists), as well as an Add me to your email list checkbox, and the guest name entry widget.
For example, if you are hosting a dinner with multiple meal choices, you might include radio buttons where the choices are Steak, Chicken, Vegetarian (with additional details on the menu in the body of the event post).
You can specify whether these form elements should be included on the guest entry section (for example, you would also want to collect the meal choices of the guests).
Confirmation / Reminders
You can customize the default confirmation message to provide additional details such as directions to the event location or an online meeting link.
This message will be displayed on screen after a registration is submitted and also sent by email (assuming you have specified that confirmation messages should be sent).
If you don’t want to change the default confirmation message for all events, click the Customize button to create one for this specific event. Confirmation and Reminder messages are separate documents that can be opened for editing in the WordPress editor.
You can also set one or more Reminder messages that should be sent the specified number of hours prior to an event.
Reminder messages will include the content of the confirmation message as a starting point, but you can customize them as needed.
This is where you can specify the pricing of an event, typically used in combination with the PayPal or Stripe online payment feature (see Settings -> RSVPMaker). You could also add a price along with confirmation message instructions telling people to bring cash or check for payment “at the door.”
An event can have multiple prices, for example a regular price, a VIP price, and an Early Bird Registration price with a deadline.
There is also an option to set discounting that’s available with a coupon code.
The process of creating events and event templates is much the same as it would be with meeting event templates — except that instead of making the body of the post a series of Agenda Role and Agenda Note blocks, you include whatever text, images, and other content that will do the best job of marketing your events.
Events and Templates
When you create an event template, the RSVP, pricing, and other parameters are copied to the events generated based on that template.
If you turn on Collect RSVPs in your regular meeting template, then update your upcoming meetings to match that template, they will all have the RSVP registration option turned on.
Adding an Events Listing to Your Home Page
You can get a summary listing of all events for which you’re inviting RSVPs for your home page that looks like this —
— by adding the RSVPMaker Next Events block to your home page or any other page, as shown below.