Enhance Event Module for more complex events like conference & convention set up - e.g. events with sub-events
to allow admin to add more detail rather than the only area being the description box. Similar to Systems like yourmembership.com Wild apricot is not sophisticated enough to handle complex details for events. Need more ability to add things like hotel information, speaker headshots, bio's, exhibitor lists, exhibitor floor plans, conference sessions, tiered registration options for attendees, guest, sponsors, exhibitors. An event page needs to be eye catching, easy for people to register and the ability to market all your event has to offer in order to get people to register.
We are desperate for this function as well. We need the ability for main event registrants to be able to register (and get charged for) one or many sub-events. We would need separate attendance lists for each sub-event as well.
We are looking for the same functionality. I would like to have 1 MAIN event with many SUB-EVENTS. We also need the attendee list and check-in to be SUB-EVENT specific.
Ex: If the main event is "3-Day Conference", the attendee should be able to select 1 or many sub-events "morning seminar, dinner, golf etc..." with pricing added to each one. I would need to then look at a separate attendee list for each so that we can check in the "morning seminar" attendees separately from the "Golf" attendees.
The proposed workaround below is not suitable for us. We have literally hundreds of sessions at our conference so listing those sessions alone takes multiple web pages. Vital conferences and associations grow organically. In our case sessions are added by the membership all of the time. In short treating sessions as something radically different from events is self-defeating in too many ways.
Events are confluences of people over a span of time at a particular location. Events tie up people and other resources, they require publicity (web page, exportable data for programs, brochures etc.), registration capability with limits and controls, and check-in capabilities.
Whether one calls an event a conference or a session at a conference is almost meaningless: the needs are mostly the same.
The primary logical difference between a conference and a session is that latter has a relationship with the former. This suggests to me that super/sub relationship between events could be built by adding features around the existing event data type.
Let's ignore the coding architecture problem for a moment. From the standpoint of an organization the difference between a conference and a session is even greater. Sessions are the content of conferences. They are why conferences exist. The best way to sell a conference is to sell the session within that conference. In other words from the standpoint of promoting the organization sessions are more important than the conference itself. This may throw a gasket in someone's architecture but it is the truth: sessions deserve to be treated as full-fledged events.
As an aside, I think that part of the problem here has been that organizations have differing semantics for what is being discussed, including WA. For example, our organization grew around a convention that hosted events, which others would refer to as a conference hosting sessions. Some organizations have learned to adapt to WA treating sessions as less than events possibly because they have a manageable number of sessions. That is not a option for our organization's larger division. Nor is it an option for any organization that is growing its conferences in an organic, dynamic fashion.
Very important to have limits on individual options within an event. Our organization has options for different classes each having a limit and we currently have to monitor during signups and post a notice on the event details screen that some are full (and hope people read the notice and no one signs up for the filled ones).
Specifying limits per field will not solve the problem, particularly as a conference grows. Our three day conference has 400 sessions (we call them events) that are submitted to us by our attendees generally beforehand: try putting those onto a form.
What is needed is a true mega event / sub event relationship where there is no practical limit on the number of sub events that can be associated with the mega event. Registration in the mega event enables one to see the sub-events: just as membership levels currently have settable visibility of events using the calendar/event list gadget, registration in the mega event would be another visibility setting for the calendar/event list gadget. Certain registration types in the mega event might include automatic registration in specific sub-events.
Annemarie Cason commented
My organization would really like to have this option as well. We have an event with break-out sessions that have a limited number of seats. Within the breakout session we would like to allow registrations with and without fees. The total number of seats in the room is unaffected by whether they paid the fee so limiting the fee registration type to a specific number and no fee subtype to a certain number means I have to go in and manual move available seats around to allow for more of one type or the other... so... for example: 20 seats in each room room total of 40 registrations, and I set it up with 10 fee registrations and 10 no-fee. well if my 10 no-fee's fill up, I would like some of the with fee seats that are unused to be available for those who are able to register without a fee automatically. If this is unclear please feel free to email me to clarify. Thank you!
Karl Hakkarainen commented
We need to be able to identify a speaker (instructor) for each of our events, including a photo and biographical blurb. I will probably have to create a special page for each of our instructors and then manually link from the event to the specified page.
Agree! Very disappointed that the event registration model is not more full-featured. We need to be able to run both attendee registrations as well as exhibitor registrations where the exhibiting company can pick a booth location from a layout and the layout then shows sold/unsold booths and who is occupying each booth. We have to collect information on who the attending booth representatives are as well and contact info, which might be different from who is actually processing the registration.
We have another wishlist request: https://forums.wildapricot.com/forums/308932-wishlist/suggestions/8825575 - which asks to limit number of selections for particular event registration field. If we do this, then each workshop can be created as a checkbox field in event registration form.
If this can be a suitable workaround, I suggest you to vote for the suggestion (open it and click on Vote button).
Michael Selva commented
allow a major event (e.g., a conference) to be set up with sub-events, allowing registrants to sign up for specific workshops that are limited to a specific number of participants. There would be a cost associated with each sub-event.
We run conferences of 700+ attendees that have up to 400 sub events that are mostly submitted to us by our members. Due to the complexity of the conference we have to categorize our events into Event Areas (departments, if you will) and schedule all events on a conference wide time block system. The time blocks and custom data information about the event allows our staff and attendees to schedule their participation at the conference. While I put some of my comments in the proposal to allow members to submit events I will repeat my basic ideas in this topic.
1) Allow sub-events, where registration in the super-event allows one access to the list of sub-events for registration purposes. At the database level super-events could hold common information used by sub-events.
2) Similar to what you allow for contacts and members, allow administrators to create extra event data fields (including images and files) where the designing administrator can determine the visibility and UI of the data field.
3) Similar to item 2) allow administrators to create a UI for members and administrators to add administrator designed meta tags to the event.
4) I agree with the other comment in this proposal that there needs to be a better way to construct the display of events. I would add that eventually you may want to have a datagrid for events that can be customized by administrators.
5) Controlled release of registration slots to attendees. At our conferences we don't always open all of the registration slots at one time. This is to allow late registrants some chance to attend some events. We generally do this by making a fixed percentage available at one time. While the release of slots could be set to be timed by schedule we would also want to able to adjust manually on multiple event basis.
6) Going off the last part of item 5) above there is also a need for administrators to able to display, report, and edit characteristics of multiple events at the same time based on some kind of advanced search of events.
7) Allocated resource database. Certain resources at a conference can only be in one place at one time. Allow administrators to self-define resources for each conference; these could be chairs, tables, rooms, overhead projectors, booth spaces, etc. The resource database records could be attached to individual event sessions, thereby denying the use of the resource in another event session happening at the same time. A schedule of resource use could be produced from all of these records.
I am happy to see that you are paying more attention to conferences. Many organizations are centered around them.
Joe at NSGP commented
One significant need our organization has is to have a 'Mega' Event, i.e., an Event that can have multiple Events nested within it.
We run a three day conference that has multiple choices per day for registrants.
We've done a workaround so far, but we can't set registration limits, check in registrants, etc., for each separate workshop.
Northeastern Society for Group Psychotherapy
Those are exactly the types of details we need! And I can see how much easier it would be if all those elements were handled via specific tools vs. a general description area.
Looking forward to seeing more votes/comments from other users.
Edie Tella commented
I've used word press event modules for smaller clients which allows admin to set up speakers, headshots, bio's, program details, etc all within the built in module templates. In Wild Apricot I do not see any of this. I have to build separate pages and links which is very time consuming. A convention or conference with sponsors, general sessions, exhibit hall is very different set up than that of a small event. Not to mention CEU tracking for members. The event description box is not adequate to lay it all out in especially if you are looking to incorporate pictures & graphics. All these are great modules and enhancements that I wish your product could offer. I use wild apricot for three different clients. I am in the process of researching & demoing other products like yourmembership.com and membersuites and could let you know some feedback from there as well. Thanks for your time.
Hi Edie! Thanks for sharing your feedback. Can you please tell why current description content editing is not enough for what you mentioned? Do you have any system in mind that solve all above and can be used as an example?
I think that this particular problem would be better resolved with another suggestion - see
One of our divisions hosts a convention that runs 150-200 events (sub-events in your parlance?) during a three day period of time. Many of these events are organized into event categories (we call them "event areas") and within each category there may be more than one event happening at the same time. To complicate matters the convention's activities are organized into fixed time blocks which serve to rationalize how attendees and staff allocate their time and facilities. Right now we don't see a very good way of displaying these events by time and event category using the existing views of the event calendar. In general your system could benefit from having a better way of displaying a lot of events that take place in the space of a day.
In our case we have need for a basic grid view that is available for events where the one axis of a grid would be Dates/Times (such as start and end times) and other axis would be event categories. As our attendees and staff need to plan their activities during the convention having such a grid view would be very useful.
Given that it is possible to apply tags to events I am thinking that would be possible to use those tags, in addition to start and end date/times, as the means of defining the axes of such a grid display. The tag could be used to denote an event category, activity track, or a location such as a table or conference room. It also might be possible have nested groupings of axes, such sorting the grid first by event category and then by location. Another issue is how to display events that have the same categorizations so that they will end being displayed within the same grid cell: they could be displayed horizontally or vertically and sorted by some field value or another event tag value. As a final option I could see having the each event itself having a graphical display, such as rectangle that is longer (or wider) because it spans more categories or times; this would provide a user a visual cue as to how to scope out the underlying event.
It would be even better if we could export such a view as a spreadsheet file or into a program like Outlook, so that we could print it out or include it in our convention program.
P.S. I started this topic several days ago but accidentally posted it before I was finished and subsequently tried to delete it. This message is a massively re-edited version of my original post. It would be useful if the delete button on this forum actually worked.
Mark Rougeux commented
I would like to have the ability to add "sub-events" to my main event. We have a major 2-day bicycle ride, with 150 volunteers. This year we asked everyone to register within WA: riders and volunteers. Most of the volunteer stations have a limit on the number of workers. So for each of the 35 volunteer stations, we had to create a separate event with a limit to the number of registrants. That was no problem. The problem is, within WA, those are all totally separate events, and so it was quite time-consuming to aggregate the volunteer stations with the regular registrants (over 1100). We needed to know how many, in total, tshirts were ordered, jerseys ordered, meals ordered, etc., as well as how many volunteers in total we had.
The limits of the current event registration process makes this very cumbersome.