Events, calendars, recurring, multi-day, sign-ups, registrations, RSVPs, tickets, maximum capacity … oh my.
It usually starts out innocently enough, “I just have a few events lined up.” But sooner than you can say “Refund that Rally Registration, Rufus!” things are spiraling out of control. So what’s the answer? I don’t know either, I just work here. We’re going to embark on a mission through the jungle of event management options. I don’t know what we’ll find, but if we come out on the other end, we’ll hopefully at least be able to insert a map into our neighbor’s house warming party. Stay close!
We could just stop all of this nonsense and use Google Calendar and call it a day, hang up our pith helmet and head back to the lodge for a Tusker. It’s in the cloud, it’s easy to share (kinda), you can have multiple calendars, and it looks pretty. OK, 3 out of 4 ain’t bad. But seriously dear swashbucklers, if you want to get out before someone gets hurt, you won’t steer too wrong with Google Calendar. We’ll look at it in more detail in this series, but know that you’ll be OK.
For the rest of us, let’s get going.
[Note: I’m looking for a good “table” or “chart” plugin where I can compare lots of options easily and makes it easy to read. Until then, I’m going with text and bullet points.]
RequirementsWhat do we need this thing to do? Here’s a short list. Have other ideas for the list?
- Meta data: the basics, event title, date, time, location, details.
- Layout: a list can be nice and easy, but a full-page calendar is what gives you that overview. How about a weekly version?
- Data: where does this data live? Cloud? In your personal calendar program on your computer? This is a biggie.
- Upcoming events: this may sound simple, but just a list of what’s coming up is important–and not always an option.
- Integration: this goes hand in hand with data. Is the data easily accessible? To what? To whom? Can I “subscribe” to your events calendar? On my phone? No, I don’t want your company’s calendar, I want just your calendar. WordPress guy that I am, I want it to at least be embeddable into WP.
- Map: even a link is helpful, but what else? Automated maps with directions?
- What else? I’m going to keep adding to this as I work through our options.
Nice To Haves
This can get out of hand, but hey, live a little. How about a Google Map of little custom pins to show where you have had romantic weddings? (You could even call it the Love Map.) Or sign ups? RSVPs? Payments?
- Payment: pay for the event? Now we’re getting serious. This can be very important … and very complex. Or not.
- Multiple calendars: so the school has the PTA calendar, but also the administrative calendar and the holidays. Are they all one calendar or separate? Can they be different colors? Can I subscribe to just one of them on my phone?
- Reminders: “Your sister’s birthday is tomorrow!” Maybe this should be in the Required section …
- RSVP: Do people need to reserve a spot? How many spots are there?
- What else is out there? Don’t even know yet.
I’m tired already and I can still see camp! We’ll trudge on tomorrow and see what we can find.