CiviEvent Everyday Tasks

This chapter outlines a variety of tasks related to managing an event that you have set up in CiviEvent.


The CiviEvent Dashboard displays an Event Summary table, providing a summary of up to ten scheduled and recent Events. Click the Event name to view the event as it will be displayed to site visitors. Click the Participants count to see a list of participants.

To run your own customized searches, click Find more event participants at the end of the page. Here you can search by Participant Name, Event, Date Range and Status.

From the Dashboard you can also:

  • click on Manage Events to find and manage specific events
  • click on New Event to create a new event page
  • use the icons for RSS feeds and calendars to use the data in external applications.

Finding and Reporting on Participants

This section describes some common event searches. 

Overview of participants for all upcoming events

  1. Navigate to Events > Dashboard
  2. Click the Counted: link to see all the contacts for an event.
If any count is zero, the associated text will not be a hyperlink. Some participant roles may not count for the event total, such as someone who is on the clean-up duty. 

Find participants for any event with a variety of criteria

  1. Navigate to Events > Find Participants.
  2. In the event name field, start typing to see a list of events. Click on the event you want.  Set additional search choices for the fields you want to see. 
  3. Click Search. 

When the search returns results, you have the opportunity to select all of the resulting participants or a subset, and perform an action on them. Available actions include:

  • Batch update participants via profile: this feature is useful if you wish to edit multiple fields for multiple participants in a table grid layout. Note that you must create the profile set you wish to use before implementing this action. If you are not familiar with how Profiles work, please read the chapter on that topic before using this feature.

  • Cancel Event Registrations for the selected participants.

  • Change Participant Status for the selected participants.

  • Delete Participants: deleting participants does not delete the contact record; it will delete all transactions and activities associated with the participant for this event. Note that this action cannot be undone.

  • Export Participants: this allows you to export a predefined set of fields or create your own custom set of fields (which can be saved for reuse). The software exports to CSV format, which can be easily opened in standard spreadsheet software or directly used for mail merges.

  • New Smart Group: smart groups are saved search results based on defined criteria, similar to a query. The advantage of a smart group is that the system will rerun the query using the criteria you have defined each time you open the smart group. This is particularly helpful for complex search criteria that you need to view on a regular basis.
  • Print Event Name Badges: select the type of badge you require and a printable PDF will be generated with the names of the selected participants.
  • Send an Email to Contacts: CiviCRM also lets you generate an email on the fly to your search result list. For example, you may want to let recipients know details about the event in advance, such as parking options or changes to the programme.

List participant's individual fees 

  1. Navigate to Search > Custom Searches.
  2. Click on Event Aggregate.
  3. Choose your search criteria, and click Search

Create an event report from a template

  1.  Click Reports > Create reports from templates.
  2. Scroll to see the templates in the Event Report Templates section.
  3. Click the name of the report template to create a new report. 
  4. Choose the desired report criteria, then click Preview Report
  5. Expand the area labeled Create Report.
  6. Choose a report title, and other choices as desired. 
  7. Click Create Report. Typical results appear in the following screenshot. 

Mass Registrations

CiviEvent offers the time-saving feature of registering multiple contacts for an event at one time (or as a "batch"). Returning to the youth leadership workshop scenario, Arts in Action anticipate a high rate of attendance from participants at the previous workshop. The staff perform a search to find previous participants and mass register them, setting each individual's participate status to "pending". The list of pending contacts is then used to call or email people to see if they are coming. If the person says they will attend, the event organizer can change the person's status from "pending" to "registered".

Steps for Mass registration:

  1. Search for the set of contacts you are interested in (Arts in Action would navigate to Search > Find Participants to search for all participants at the previous workshop).
  2. On the search results page, either choose select all or put a check mark next to each contact you are interested in. A sample search results page appears in the following screen-shot. 

  3. From the actions list just above the search results, choose  Add Contacts to Event then click Go.
  4. Complete the registration form, choosing the appropriate action choices for this set of people, such as setting the Participant Status to pending. Choices made here will be applied to all contacts in this set.
  5. Click Save.

Limitations of mass registrations

The action choices you make (in Step 3) are applied uniformly to the entire set of selected contacts. To work around this limitation, do a mass registration several times, each time choosing the desired action choices for that set of contacts. For example, you might mark one set of contacts you plan to call and invite with a Participant Status of "pending", then add another set of contacts to the event, such as event leaders you know will attend, with a Participant Status of "registered". 

You cannot apply contribution information, such as a pay later contribution or a credit card transaction, in a batch action. Therefore, mass registration is best for free events or for contacts who are not required to pay a fee at this point. You can always add payment details for individual contacts later on.  

Importing Registrations

Arts in Action is collaborating with a local school for its youth leadership workshop; the school is handling their students' registrations and sending a spreadsheet after the event which Arts in Action will then import into CiviCRM. It is important to record the event registration inside CiviCRM to enable Arts in Action to consolidate accurate information and enhance interactions and reporting for future event participants. 

Importing registration information is a quick way to add a bunch of registrations to the event. The data to be imported must be available in a comma-separated values (CSV) file. If the majority of the contacts are already in CiviCRM, it may be faster to do a mass registration action as mentioned earlier in this chapter. 

Steps for importing registrations

  1. Prepare the data in the CSV file: make sure date fields (if used) are valid dates, and if some of the contacts are already present as contacts in CiviCRM, make sure the first name, last name and email address match what is already in CiviCRM. Differences between an imported contact's and an existing contact's information can cause a duplicate record to be created. While duplicate contacts can be merged later, its preferable to avoid the situation. The rules for determining duplicate contacts can be defined by navigating to Administer > Manage > Find and Merge.
  2. On the navigation menu, choose Events > Import Participants.
  3. Browse to the data file on your local computer.
  4. Select the appropriate contact type, date format and other options, and click Continue.
  5. Match the fields of your CSV file to the CiviCRM fields. 
  6. If this is something you may repeat in the future, check the Save this field mapping box.
  7. Preview and Save.

Promoting your events

Getting the word out and building excitement about your event can take many forms, but most important is to ensure that the event is prominently listed on your organization's website and your public calendar. Then you can use various strategies to let people and organizations know about it, and encourage participants to help promote the event.

If you are publicising your events on another website or organization's calendar, make it clear how people are expected to register. For example, some social networks have a built-in event registration system, such as Facebook events. Other organizations that are helping to publicise your event may have their own event registration systems. Make sure that no matter where you publicise the event, it is obvious how the person is expected to register.

Display an event description or registration on the website


  1. Navigate to Events > Manage Events and then click  more > Live Page for the event.
  2. Copy the URL for the event page.
  3. Create a Drupal menu item for this URL or paste the URL into any Drupal page.
Additionally, you can enable a Drupal block that lists all upcoming public events. To learn more, go to the CiviCRM wiki:


  1. Go into the Joomla! control panel.
  2. Choose Menu Manager > Your menu name.
  3. Click New.
  4. Expand CiviCRM > CiviCRM Events and click the Event Info item.
  5. Choose the event from the Select an Event list on the right side of the page.
  6. Click Save.

Add the participant list to the event information page

Some organizations may wish to publicise their guest list as part of the event description to encouraging others to register.   

  1. Navigate to Events > Manage Events, then click the Configure link for the event.
  2. Expand the section labeled Public Participant Listing and copy the URL in the description area. 
  3. Click the link Event Information and Settings.
  4. Paste the URL from step 2 into the event summary or event description, then click Save and Done.
  5. Optionally, you can share the URL via other communication vehicles such as within an email message, associated web sites and any other places you are promoting the event. 

List of upcoming events

Sometimes you may want to give an external organization or web site a link to a list of your upcoming events, that they can place anywhere on their website. For example, the school that is collaborating with Arts in Action might want to make information about future workshops easily accessible to their students' parents by including it in the school web site. 

To get the URL: 

  1. Navigate to Events > Manage Events.
  2. Click on the globe icon on the top right of the page.
  3. Copy the URL.
  4. Send the URL to the other organisation for inclusion in their site.
The only drawback is that the page will appear visually like your own website. 

RSS feed for all upcoming events

This lets visitors subscribe to all your events in the RSS feed reader of their choice. Many website management systems also allow a website to subscribe to any RSS feed and present the information within their layout.

  1. Navigate to Events > Manage Events
  2. Click on the orange and white square icon on the top right of the page.
  3. Copy the URL to share or embed into your website.

Allowing people to tell a friend about an event

This offers people the chance, when they register for the event, to email their friends and colleagues about it. CiviCRM will then capture the friend's email and create a Tell A Friend activity for the email, and create a corresponding activity in the participant's record.

  1. Navigate to Events > Manage Events and click the Configure link for this event.
  2. Click on the Tell a Friend link.
  3. Click the checkbox to enable Tell a Friend for this event.
  4. Provide an appropriate message to include for this event.
The Tell A Friend option will now appear in the event registration page.

Showing events in a calendar

Many web sites include a graphical calendar that can display upcoming events by the month, week or day. It is very useful to get your events on relevant calendar pages. Often individuals maintain personal digital calendars to track events along with their personal meetings and appointments; you can make it easy for them to copy your event to their calendars. 

The standard format for sharing information between calendar systems is called iCal. CiviCRM can export a static iCal file as well as a dynamic iCal feed.    

 Getting a static list of events into another calendar system

  1. Navigate to Events > Manage Events.
  2. Click on the square icon displaying  "31" on the top right of the page.
  3. Save the iCal file on your local computer.
  4. Go into the other calendar system and find the import iCal file tool.
  5. Within the import wizard of the other calendar system, browse to and upload the iCal file from your local computer.

New CiviEvents created later will not appear in the other calendar system. These steps will need to be repeated to show new events. Dynamic updates are described in the following procedure.

Getting a dynamic list of events into another calendar system

  1. Navigate to Events > Manage Events.
  2. Click on the square green icon displaying the letters "ICAL" on the top right of the page.
  3. Copy the URL of the page that opens.
  4. Go into the other calendar system and find the import iCal feed tool.
  5. Within the import wizard of the other calendar system, paste the URL from step 3. 

From this point on, any new public events created in CiviEvent will automatically appear within the external calendar system.

Displaying an event report on CiviCRM 's home dashboard

If you haven't already created any Event Reports, see the following chapter Reports and Analysis for instructions on how to create reports. You must then ensure that the report you want to display is available for the dashboard:

  1. From the navigation menu, click on Reports and select the report you wish to display.
  2. In the Report Settings area, check the Available for Dashboard? box.
  3. Click Update Report.
Once the report is available for the dashboard, you can then:
  1. Navigate to Home to view the dashboard.
  2. Click Configure Your Dashboard.
  3. Drag the desired report from the Available Dashlets area into either the Left Column or Right Column of the dashboard area, and click Done.
  4. You should now see your report on your home dashboard.  To view the latest updated information for your report as well as any other items you've included on your dashboard, click Refresh Dashboard Data.  


Your organization may have limits on attendance, such as a 25-person limit for a training workshop or a 200-person limit for a fund-raising dinner. CiviEvent lets you set the maximum number of people allowed to register for your event. When registrations reach that number, CiviEvent will not allow other people to register, but will instead send an automatic message saying, "The event is currently full." This message can be customized by the organization when creating a new event, and you can let people add themselves on a first-come-first-served basis to a waitlist.

To create an event with a waitlist:

  1. Navigate to Events > Manage Events.
  2. Click the Configure link next to your event.
  3. Click the Event Information and Settings link.
  4. On the Info and Settings form, check the Offer a Waitlist? box.
  5. Click Save.

Approving Registrants

Many events are open to everyone, but there may be times when your organization invites only specific people to the event. For example, you could invite volunteers who have donated 100 or more volunteer hours to an appreciation dinner. The people invited may talk about the event to their friends, and possibly forward the information. With CiviEvent, you can check who has registered and approve only the people invited.

To create an event that requires approval:

  1. Navigate to Events > Manage Events.
  2. Click the Configure link for your event.
  3. Click the Online Registration link. 
  4. On the Online Registration form, check the Requires Participant Approval box.
  5. You can then customize the text for the Approval Message. You can also limit the amount of time participants have to complete their registration after approval by entering the time in hours in the Pending participant expiration field. For example, if you want to give participants 3 days to complete their registration, enter "72" in that field.
  6. Click Save or Save and Done.
Now, when a person registers for the event, they will get a reply that says, "Your registration has been submitted. Once your registration has been reviewed, you will receive an email with a link to a web page where you can complete the registration process." This reply can be customized to your organisation's needs. 

Managing Participants

After creating your event and providing the registration form to web site visitors, you can manage your participants through the CiviEvent administrative tools. In this section we will discuss how these administrative tools are used. 

CiviEvent lets you:

  • register participants manually
  • search through participants based on a variety of criteria
  • export participant lists
  • perform a number of other functions on your event records. 

The Events dashboard brings all your events and participant information together in one place (see screenshot). 

Registering a Participant Manually

Although CiviCRM helps alleviate data entry for event registration by allowing your constituents to register directly through your website, a segment of your contacts may continue to register by mail, phone, or in person on-site. Your staff will then need to enter the registration information manually.

For example, when a person calls the office to register for an event, the staff person who takes the call can:

  1. enter the person's name in the Quick search box
  2. select the contact from the results
  3. click the Events tab on the caller's contact record
  4. add the person to the event.

The Events tab, shown in the following screenshot, displays a summary list of the contact's past event attendance and provides a link for registering the contact for a new event.


There are two options for registering the contact:

  • Add Event Registration: for people who pay later, such as by sending a check or paying when they arrive at the event.
  • Submit Credit Card Event Registration: for people paying immediately with a credit card. This option is available only if you've configured a payment processor that allows direct payments through your web site. If you are taking a registration over the phone you can ask them for their credit card information and enter it manually.

The interface for both options is very similar, with the exception of those fields that record payment details.


As you work through this form, certain sections of the page change to reflect choices you have made. For example, when you choose the event you are registering the contact for and select a participant role, the form will automatically load predefined custom data fields that pertain to those selections.

If the event selected is a paid event, you will see an event fees section which has been defined in the event configuration details, and an option to record the financial transaction details (Record Payment) will be visible. This leads us to an important concept central to CiviEvent (as well as other modules): event registration records in CiviCRM are independent of, but can be related to, a financial transaction. While this may seem confusing to organizations accustomed to viewing event registrations as essentially a financial transaction, it offers an important and valuable distinction.

An event registration communicates the contact's participation in the organization's event. A corresponding financial transaction indicates the monetary value associated with that participation. While related, the two are distinct. 

The distinction is best understood by considering the common scenario of an organization waiving fees for a V.I.P., a speaker, or someone who participating in the event in a limited way. In such cases, you want to register the individuals but may not want to create an associated financial transaction. CiviCRM respects this distinction by recording the event registration record under the Events tab, recording the financial record under the Contributions tab, and then creating a link between the two records.

If the event is a paid event, click the Record Payment checkbox and enter information in the transaction fields that are displayed. This process essentially links together the event registration and the contribution record for this contact. After recording the registration, you will be able to view the event registration record and see the related contribution record at the bottom (see screenshot). If you do not select the Record Payment check box, only a registration record will be created.