This is the third post in my Wild Apricot adventure series. In previous posts I’ve covered my initial experience in creating a Wild Apricot Website and using the Membership Management module to create a membership database, directory and membership application. Now, I’ll share my experience managing events in Wild Apricot.
While my membership group won’t be holding any major events in the foreseeable future, I realize that most non-profits and membership organizations are involved in some type of member or fundraising event, so I wanted to explore that module of the software.
Creating an event in Wild Apricot:
Since I’m an auditory learner, I always check out the online help docs first (even though Wild Apricot’s support documentation includes videos and webinars too). So I started by re-reading “Getting Started With Events.” This took me through the basics of “Setting up a new event” and customizing the registration form and ticket information.
Promoting the event:
Next I wanted to check out options for promoting the event. Since I had already created an “Events” page when I set up the website, I didn’t need to publish the event calendar - the new event was automatically published on the Events page. Here’s what it looks like:
But while it’s great to showcase events on your website, it’s also important to be able to send out event announcement emails – so that was my next challenge. I followed a link in the Getting Started guide that led me to “Customizing Event Emails” which had instructions (and visuals) on editing and scheduling event emails. Using the basic instructions, I edited the existing announcement template. Happily, I found that most of the information I wanted would be downloaded through the existing macros or pre-defined information on the default emails. So after making a few small edits, I hit the “Test email” button and immediately received a test email.
I was a little confused when I received the test email because it had some of my event details but also some other information. I found out from one of our friendly support Apricots that I’d been so excited to get going with the email that I hadn’t read the note (clearly marked!) in the Help doc that cautioned that test emails include sample data – not from my database. The note also confirmed that the macro data would be substituted from my database records when the email is actually sent.
Of course, I had to test this out for myself, so I sent out an email to myself and sure enough – the information was correct. This entire process, including the contact with our support team took a matter of minutes!
Registration and Reminder Emails:
In Wild Apricot, you can have up to 3 event announcements as well as up to 3 event reminder emails. So to be sure I used all of the available features, I registered for the event to see how the automatic registration notification email worked. I also created two separate reminder emails which I received as an event registrant. I didn’t spend any time formatting the look and feel of these, but the information was all correct and it pulled my event photo into the email too.
Event Calendar RSS feed:
Another feature that organizations that host a lot of events might want to use is the Event Calendar RSS feed. Each event calendar page (which is available as a standard page template) has an RSS feed (orange button next to the title of the page) so that people can subscribe to your calendar with RSS readers (e.g. Google reader). This is just another way to notify your members or supporters about upcoming events.
Finally, I checked out the options for reporting and had a look at Event registration fields report. Even though I only had one test registration, I did manage to create a report based on the parameters I indicated. If I’d had more information, I could have created a report with pending registrants etc. The system also enables you to create an Event Payment Report.
Want more? Free Webinar – Managing Events in Wild Apricot – Wed. June 20
So that’s my experience with Managing Events in Wild Apricot so far. But if you’d like to check out the Events portion of Wild Apricot, you can attend our free webinar on Wednesday, June 20 at 3:00 pm (Eastern). You can register online – here.
Have questions about Wild Apricot?
If you want more information about our Membership Management software, you should contact our Support Team – who are Wild Apricot experts who can answer any and all of your questions.
Here are your options for contacting the Support Team: