Reports and analysis
There are a number of techniques for reporting on and analysing your events and participants.
The event dashboard gives a quick overview of your upcoming events showing for each event the number of registrations and their statuses (how many are registered, how many are counted, how many are pending for different reasons). The dashboard is limited to 12 events scheduled to start at a date closest to today. This is most likely not to be sufficient to organizations with many scheduled events.
Other ways that provide more detailed and customised analysis using CiviCRM's search features and CiviReport.
If you are interested in the financial aspects of events, you may also find the reports and analysis chapter in contributions useful.
Event and participant reports
Reports have several features that cannot be accomplished by search. For instance, you cannot agregate data from multiple events at once or limit the date of registration very flexibly. Also, repeating the same searches over and over can be very time consuming. Searches can be set as Smart Groups but this leads to a proliferation of groups.
The solution is to set up reports for each event or a collection of events. The reports can be automatically assigned to a designated submenu (e.g. under Events > Reports) or made available as dashlets for the main dashboard.
Out of the box, CiviCRM comes with five reports designed to help you analyse events. Of these, Event Participant Report (List) is the most useful. It will display both participant and individual data and all custom data. All of these can also be used as filters.
The Event income report (detail) and Event income report (summary) work together to show details of revenue from events. The summary report is suitable for showing total income for a series of events, all your conference in 2011, for example. Clicking on one of those events will give you more details about the event breakdown of the income per role and per status. It can also be displayed in graphical form as Pie Chart or Bar Chart.
Searching based on participant data
CiviCRM makes an important distinction between contacts and event participants. Sometimes it is useful to get the answer to your event related question in terms of contacts, e.g. which contacts came to events in 2011. Other times it is more useful to have the answer in terms of participants, e.g. how many training sessions did we deliver as part of our sexual health education programme this year. It is important to take this into consideration when carrying out a search for event attendees.
The Find participants search allows you to search based on participant data and return participant data. The Advanced search allows you to search based on most participant information and combine that with other contact information and return contacts. You can also choose Participant from the column to show participants rather than contacts.
Searching based on these criteria gives you access to simple totals. You can also export your search results as CSV for further analysis in your spreadsheet software.
If you can't do what you want with a built in report or search, consider commissioning a new report or custom search. Read the CiviReport section for more information.