Brainstorm: WordPress Event Plugin

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Update: I’d highly recommend this $30 plugin called Events Calendar Pro for your wordpress events calendar needs.

 

The past few days I’ve been working on a new WordPress plugin. I’m pretty sure it won’t be quite as popular as my WordPress photo gallery plugin (wiki). However, I think it can be helpful and I hope it’s useful. To solidify its usefulness, I need some suggestions from you.

So, I’ve already built the shell to it, I just need some help deciding what it should do or how it should work.

The basics: An event plugin

The basic request, from a friend of a friend, was something which you could just press a button and input the data for the event into a form (kind of like the add-a-link screen, seen below).

v1 of Event Plugin

The contents are then sent to the editor formatted using the microformats spec for an hCalendar event.

So, the real question is (minus all the technical mumbo jumbo), what would you like it to come out formatted like?

Examples of possibilities:

  • inline: “I went to the Chargers Game last night and ….”
  • fully formatted:
    “What: Chargers Game
    Where: Qualcomm Stadium
    When: 9/12/2006 8:00pm
    Description: Chargers vs Seahawks.”
  • some hybrid: I don’t know what this would look like

Suggestions? Comments? Questions? Please, let me know what you think.

[tags]microformats, hcalendar, events, wordpress, plugin, vevent[/tags]

Update:


I’d highly recommend this $30 plugin called Events Calendar Pro.

 

Nate Ritter lives in San Diego, CA who popularized the #hashtag and creates scaleable web applications for a living. He also does miles and point hacking to enable cheap travel for his family. More here →

71 Comments on "Brainstorm: WordPress Event Plugin"

  1. nate says:

    For posterity’s sake (and my own bookmarking sanity), I’m inserting a few pertinent bookmarks here:

    1) Performancing.com: How to add MicroFormats And Why You Should
    2) blogHelper.com: Using Microformats in WordPress
    3) Microformats.org: Publishing Microformats in WordPress

  2. I think an event plugin is a good idea. I haven’t looked for one yet, but I have the need to use it.

    I wouldn’t mind if the display used the calendar available in the WordPress (which to me seems fairly useless since it just goes to the posts per day.)

    If the initial display was a calendar, with days highlighted in some way that have events, that’d be a good start.

    Perhaps when you mouseover a day it lists the events there (popup style), with the ability to click and view a list of events per day.

    Keep me posted on how it goes!

  3. nate says:

    Awesome idea Ben. Thanks for the input. I was thinking less of a calendar style event tracker and more about the fact you were talking about an event you’re going to or went to.

    But, that’s a great idea. Maybe I’ll throw that in as an optional component.

    Keep those ideas coming. That’s great!

  4. Paul says:

    Hey nate. This is a great idea. I think it would be perfect for my bands site. We use wordpress for our site and an event plugin could really help us organize the tour dates page. It would be cool to have make a verison with extras for bands. Let me know when its done!

  5. nate says:

    Paul,

    That’s cool. Thanks for the encouragement. In the meantime, you might check out the Eventful.com Google Gadget. If you add tour performances there as events, (and make sure your performer record is attached to the event), you can set the Google Gadget to default the search to your performer id and it will show your upcoming tour dates with links to the details on Eventful.com.

    Let me know if you need any help with that. It’s a pretty neat little gadget.

    But, I will let you know when I’m done with this plugin. I hope it helps.

  6. Justice says:

    Hello,
    Just wondering if anyone could help. I did something stupid and started my blog using a numerical archive system, and now I'd like to change it so that the post title is part of the URL for SEO reasons. Is there any WordPress plugins that anyone knows of that could switch it without sending Googlers to invalid pages? Maybe some sort of redirector to the correct page?

    Thanks.

  7. nate says:

    Hey Justice,

    I don’t know of any of those types of plugins for WP right now, not to say they don’t exist. But, one way you could do it is a mod_rewrite, if you’re so inclined to get your hands dirty. If you don’t know regex or mod_rewrite, then I’m not sure what to tell ya at this point.

    On the other hand, if your blog is new and you’re not getting a ton of hits yet, I’d do the switch, redo your Google Sitemap (make sure to get that plugin if you don’t already have it), and ping Google. That will help the googlers you’re worried about pretty quickly. Google fixes those things in about 24 hours usually, from my experience.

  8. Kelvin says:

    Can anyone give me ideas , i might get free time in the future and want to give it for wordpress …
    any idea ?
    i want idea from simple thing to mid … 1-2 hours –> 8-10 hours .
    post your ideas…

  9. nate says:

    Uh, not really sure what you’re talking about Kelvin.

  10. Reece says:

    Does anyone know the name of the wordpress plugin that creates a list of your posts in a category instead of just displaying them one after the other? I want it so that when someone clicks on a category they just get a list of posts from that category.

    I'm sure Ive seen one…and sifting through the WP site is a nightmare

  11. Salvador says:

    What I want to do on my blog, is every few hours take the oldest post and move it to the
    front of the queue, all automatically. Anyone know if there is a plugin that can do this or
    a simple way to set up another plugin to do this (use my own feed perhaps)?
    Thanks.

  12. nate says:

    I haven’t seen either plugin (Reece and Salvador). However, there’s a few good places to check for stuff like that.

    Those are the two big places. Let us know if/where you find what you’re looking for.

  13. CH says:

    Hi Nate!

    The vevent plugin sounds great! My wishlist would contain
    – the forementioned calendar,
    – the possibility to display a self-determined amount of events on one static blog page
    – blogging the events in a special category shown and/or not shown on the blogs main page.

    Did you already code something?

  14. nate says:

    Hi CH,

    Thanks for adding your wishlist. I’ll take them into consideration while building. I have built a really boring basic version for proof of concept, but haven’t integrated a lot of what people want (like the calendar, etc). So, it’s a work in progress.

    I will update this comment section and this page when I do have something to show, though.

  15. elipsoid says:

    I would really love to see this plugin working – I could use it to display tour dates on a website I am currently working on.

  16. Mendezki says:

    I’d vote for an event calendar that would be able to display an event list divided per (a pre-set number of) months. (as event calendar doesn’t do this) : )

  17. Tallfreak says:

    Yes, I could use an event plugin for the comedian’s page I’m working on!

  18. Bernie Hayden says:

    I’m searching for event plugins right now that would be useful in using WordPress as a workout journal. What I envision is each “event” would be a Workout. It would be nice if each event could then have a sub-type like cycling, running, weightlifting, etc. or maybe this can be handled by metadata? Anyway, the important thing is to have the form for the Workout/Event set-up to upload data like heartrate (Polar .HRM files), GPS tracks (.GPX) and track them in a database like MySQL for analysis.

  19. nate says:

    Bernie,

    Wow, that’s interesting. I’ve never heard of the .hrm files before. Sounds like a great request, especially with the gps stuff. I think those kind of requests probably needs a bit more than a wordpress plugin. They probably need to be folded into a full app for you, but it’s a great idea for an app, that’s for sure.

    Any takers? :)

  20. Bernie Hayden says:

    Right, doing something with the files would be a separate application. All I’d really want as a start is for the database to be able to associate a file(s) with a particular event. I’ve seen a plugin that lists attachments at the bottom of each post along with an icon for the file type so maybe what I’m after is an upload field in the event form. I think the file type is determined based on the extension. I guess a more general application would be to upload stuff like image files; for example a map or event flyer.

    .hrm files are just a text file of the workout data saved by Polar heartrate monitors. In the most basic form the just list a heartrate (beats per minute) for each time interval.

  21. nate says:

    Sounds good Bernie. Let’s see if we have any takers on making something like that. I would, but I just don’t have the time at this point.

  22. G says:

    any update on the plugin?

  23. Austin says:

    Adding categories to the calendar items, so that you could have a main events page, then maybe subpages based on the events that are categorized by type of event or perhaps location, etc.

  24. Bedava says:

    ya i think adding the categories would be a great idea though im not sure how he’d implement that given the api, but the ideas plausible

  25. Thomas Larsen says:

    Can’t wait to try this one

  26. etoainshrdlu says:

    Awesome, this is exactly what I’ve been looking for!
    Having the options for output would be helpful i.e. in a sidebar below the calendar (without reloading) or put it on the main page (again without reloading. Then allow for different categories of events eg. birthdays (could be a simple mouseover box), but minor events like rehearsals could be displayed below the calender (either on a click or just listed) and finally major events such as a performance could be displayed on the main page.
    Thanks for taking a crack at this!

  27. dexter says:

    Cool idea, It should be kept simple and straight to the point, I would love to see it when its complete, keep with it

  28. o2smedia says:

    I’m looking for something where users can submit an event and it has a bio as well…like what you can do on myspace, facebook ect..abd create events.

  29. MP says:

    How about a event plugin, thats connect wordpress to the facebook events? Im imaging a plugin thats recieve the data from the event profile on facebook and post them on a wordpress blog?

  30. vc says:

    Dear Nate,

    We have a website like this – http://www.cuca.org.uk/

    There we have events listed, and as you can see ‘today’ and ‘tomorrow’ are quite outdated as it has not been manually updated. However, it would be nice to have a plugin that would just post events and automatically update with system time change, from ‘tomorrow’ to ‘today’ and ‘today’ to ‘yesterday’ and so on.

    Many thanks.

    Best regards,
    Murali.

  31. Bob says:

    if you could make a wordpress version of this, that would be awesome.

    go to http://ekittell.com/ then select scripts > events list

  32. nate says:

    Bob, with that code, I just might actually do it. :) Finally. haha.. I need another boost of the stats for a new WP plugin.

    Thanks for the ref.

  33. ryan says:

    Great idea.. I’ve been looking for an event system for a sailing club wordpress site I have been working on. Some functionality that we are looking for includes registration for the event by site members, limiting how many people can register, having dates on when registration can occur, and sending an iCal meeting to the registered user.

    Thanks for you help on this.

  34. jack says:

    Very very interesting… this events plugin :)
    The last few days I’ve been looking at Drupal for making a new website which should list events, but I’m so familiar with WordPress and it’s so much easier to theme, that an events plugin would be great!

    In my case I have to make a website for a non-profit organisation that initiates and lists events about psychiatry, whatever happens in a certain region that would benefit a better understanding of people who suffer from a mental illness.

    I need to create an overview with: title, date, location, city and what kind of event it is: theatre, music, literature, local, movie, art, cooking, etc.
    List 2 mentioned by Bob would be an option, but personally I would want to try and create a more visual display of events, like rectangular blocks, perhaps even each type of event with a different background color: movie=yellow, theatre=blue etc. But perhaps a list would be sufficient too.

    Anyway, a seperation of type would also be nice, so next to a flat list with events (ordered by upcoming events) I would also like to have the events ordered by type and then ordered by date or event. If an event could be tagged and these ‘event’tags could come with a css-class, then each kind of tag could have a different color…

    Just a few thoughts about such a plugin ;)

  35. Tom Leith says:

    Hmmmm.

    I’m looking right now for something that works like EventCalendar, but has a different output format. My organization’s Calendar of Events is sparse: at most about 30 events per year. Most people just want to know when the next few are coming up: they don’t necessarily want to browse through the whole year looking to see what days events are happening.

    Instead of a “calendar” I think I’d like a different output style that looks like a text widget, but has links to the event posts, maybe with a short headline versus the post’s “regular” headline. Maybe it could display something like:

    17-Apr Education Event
    25-Apr Board Meeting
    15-May Networking Event
    16-May Education Event
    30-May Board Meeting
    6-Jun KC Planning Meeting

    When the time of the topmost event comes, it disappears from the top of the list, and the next one appears at the bottom. Maybe it could scroll so you could see every event that’s scheduled. I’m not sure whether it’s possible to create a link to an “unpublished” or “future” post – this isn’t strictly necessary, only that the dates & titles show up for all the future events.

    For extra credit, add a filter to the widget to let me say “display only events tagged in the KC Category”. To be really, really cool, there’d be a set of radio buttons where I could choose a few categories. And to be even cooler than that, place a cookie to remember the default event filter for each visitor/member.

    I am just beginning to understand WordPress. If you want to have a gander at what I’m trying to accomplish look here: http://moheg.org

    t

  36. Harry says:

    I find it really a catchy one and also very user friendly
    good work Done i am also thinking on same lines for me

  37. Hi! I really need an event plugin.

    In my blog, I talk about future events, what I need is to associate a “event date” to any post so I can display on each post When the event will take plave AND I can have a list (sidebar and maybe RSS too) with next occuring events.

    Do you know anything like it?
    Do you have any advances on your plugin?

  38. Yvette says:

    I second that. I know it’s been 2 years since you posted this but hopefully, you haven’t abandoned the idea. Even if you have to release it as a premium plugin, we and others I know in the industry would pay for it.

  39. nate says:

    I haven’t abandoned the idea completely. I’ve just gotten busy with other things (for 2 years). Funny as that may sound, I just re prioritized it.

  40. Danno says:

    I offer myself to test it and give some feedback. I’ve been looking for some plugin like this for a while and the closest I could get is this mixing a couple of plugins.

    But there is still lots of feature that could make this plugin a success and a “have to have” for all those WP sites with an event section.

    Good job and I hope I hear back from this project soon.

  41. Ariel Leroux says:

    The ability for members to register their names and email essentially allowing for the data to be recorded to so the event handler knows approximately how many are planning to show.

  42. Danno says:

    It will be good to have an option to upload a flyer or image from the event don’t you think?

  43. Tri says:

    I’ve looked high and low for a solid implementation of this. Looking forward to it!

  44. tony says:

    i have looked around for something like this also. it would be so wonderful. please re-prioritize!

  45. lorraine says:

    I am desperately in need of an events listings with drop down boxes linked to pages that looks like the Shows & Tickets section on http://www.chicagoplays.com. I contacted the developer of it, but his structure won’t work with wordpress (which he had never heard of!).

    Anyone out there capable of doing this? Let me know as soon as possible.

  46. John says:

    Integration with facebook would be awesome! Something where you could post an event on your blog and have it show up on facebook or something that pulls your facebook events and places them in the wordpress event format that you create.

    This would be useful whether you are just having a personal event or are a band and need better ways to promote your shows.

    Here is the API, http://wiki.developers.facebook.com/index.php/Events.create

    I could possibly help out.

  47. nate says:

    Thanks for the offer John. I am currently advising an events-listing company on creating this plugin and will definitely pass that suggestion along. It’s a great suggestion.

    If for some reason they don’t create the plugin that works for you (I’ll be mentioning it here once it’s released), by all means let me know and I’ll be happy to either create another one that does or advise the company to upgrade it with your recommendations.

    That goes for everyone’s suggestions too, which have been a great help.

    Thanks!

  48. Scott Purdie says:

    Hey, we are going to work on this, there’s so many ideas here. You all rock!

    So im putting together what most people are looking for and im getting a pretty good idea from reading the content.

    If there are any more ideas, or one in particular thats really important, let me know.

    Thanks!

  49. Evran says:

    Hi.

    Integration with facebook is something I have been looking for for some time now!

    “Something where you could post an event on your blog and have it show up on facebook or something that pulls your facebook events and places them in the wordpress event format that you create.”

    Any progress on this facebook event integration?

  50. wolf says:

    Check out this plugin (which can be altered easily to work for events, not just shows)
    http://gigpress.com/shows/

    Love it!

  51. nate says:

    Wow Wolf, that’s a great plugin! Thanks for listing it! I could use this in a few clients’ sites right away!

    Love this WP community!

  52. AJ says:

    Hey nate! ive seen all kinds of weird facebook/wordpress combinations, but unfortunately the one that most of us are still waiting for is a way to atleast push event info from fb to wp. Im guessing since i havent seen many facebook event broadcast that facebook.get api is being a tough cookie to crack!
    I am gonna take a roundabout method and see if it works…. when it does will post the results here.

  53. Hugh says:

    Was just looking to see if there was any conclusion to this…

  54. Aaron says:

    Lots of feedback! I didn’t read it all, sorry. So if this is a repeat, you know it is in high demand. The two things I am looking for in an event plugin is a) Calendar b) email notification or auto post a preset time before an event c) reoccurring events … okay so three.

    I’ll bake you a cake if you succeed… though since it would be messy to mail, I’ll probably eat it for you too, but on the bright side, I’ll be eating all those extra calories for you… isn’t that nice?

  55. Greg says:

    I’m looking for to include events on our group wordpress blog.

    The link wolf provided is now broken, so I can’t determine if it meets our needs.

    Requirements:
    Set date/time
    Include description
    Share to facebook as a facebook event on group fan page
    Show on blog

    Would be nice features:
    Shows in blog sidebar
    imports events from facebook
    Share to other social networking sites

  56. Charlie says:

    I’m looking for one for my scout site. Basics we need are:
    a) formatted what, where, when in the blog post.
    b) entry of the event back into a “big calendar” (such as Events-Calendar 3 plug in)
    c) option to share to social nets a big plus
    d) ability to rss feed just the events

  57. mbacoder says:

    A good events calendar is sorely missing from WordPress! I’ve tried everything out there, but nothing works well.

    A calendar, with list of events below it. The size should fit wherever it gets stuck, full page, great, smaller duplicate copy on front page, great. Personally not really interested in something so small it will fit in a sidebar, those exist.

    The events list should show up like blog posts beneath the calendar, but have their own table in the database.

    Either use the wp css, or have separate an easy to customize css.

    Would love it if each event had an icon pulled from a folder. Ship with a nice set of generic icons, and instructions on adding our own.

    Like the calendar and list here, although could have nicer looking calendar:
    http://www.visitottawakansas.com/cms.php?whatsgoingon.php
    If I could figure out what content management system that is, would use it if possible just for that calendar and list!

  58. Peter says:

    WebReserv has created 2 new EVENT plugins.

    One is a sidebar plugin, and the other embeds it in a page.

    Look for the plugins with the word EVENT in it as the others are more for bookings of hotels and cars etc.

    All their plugins can be found at
    http://blog.webreserv.eu/webreserv-booking-plugins-for-wordpress/

    Pete

  59. Pete says:

    You can see the webreserv one here – it is simply pasted into a page.
    CSS parm allows personal fonts, etc Just add “css=http://yourdomain/special.css” to the parm list

    http://www.webreserv.eu/bookingcalendar.do?bizid=demogymes

    Pete

  60. Paul Ottar says:

    I tried to read all the posts here. And I don’t think anyone here has talked about this.

    How about the ability to make an event on the wordpress page and then have the facebook plugin make an facebook event with the ability to invite friends / group members to the event! ?

  61. Mitch says:

    I find myself behind on researching events I need for my site. I wish there was a plugin that could search certain sites for keywords and dig up events and auto post them into my events calendar.
    The plugin could be set to look at certain sites I deem credible and specifically looks for events, times, dates and additional info. Taking that information and posting it into my event calendar and highlighting events for that day or week.
    I guess I would like this to cut back on research time… or because I’m lazy?
    Doable?

  62. mel says:

    Hey Nate. I just read through all the postings and I would also LOVE a facebook integration. There’s no dates on these comments so I have no idea how far along you are with that idea?

  63. Found a way to sync Facebook Events with Google Calendar…

    http://thesocialmediaguide.com.au/2009/05/24/how-to-sync-facebook-events-with-google-calendar/

    I’m still interested in a plugin for wordpress that allows users to RSVP to FB Events, Show FB Avatars…ability to share on various social media and allows me to pick and choose which ones to publicly share with the plugin.

    If anyone comes up with something, please let me know. Pls and thx ♥ xoxo

  64. Tim says:

    i’m also searching for an event sync tool between fb an wp. i’m looking forward to some ideas and links guys :)

    thx!

  65. MJ says:

    Our company uses Joomla but would SORELY like to move to WordPress. The only thing holding us back is the lack of an appropriate event plugin.

    We currently use the EventList plugin by http://schlu.net and have found it to be almost perfect for our needs in terms of features, back-end use and front-end display/appearance (front end demo – http://schlu.net/eventlist-overview/eventlist-demo/simplelist-layout.html ).

    You might want to take a look at it to see if some of it’s ideas/features/functions would be appropriate for inclusion in your plugin. And a FB event sync tool we be awesome. Good call Paul!

    Thanks!

  66. Hi Nate,

    I’m looking for a good events plugin at the minute. Any news on when yours will be ready?

    Features I’d like, be able to order the events according to date.

    – Have a thumbnail aligned left for each event and a few lines of text
    What: Chargers Game
    Where: Qualcomm Stadium
    When: 9/12/2006 8:00pm
    Description: Chargers vs Seahawks.”

    Then the option to link to a post for some events where people can find out more.

    Option to only display events which haven’t happened yet?
    Or make events which have already occured greyed out or a red text saying Sold out / Closed or something to that effect.

    • nate says:

      Hi Victoria,

      Thanks for the comment. Unfortunately I don’t have an ETA on the plugin, but I appreciate the request. Sorry for being so vague on when it might be available.

      Go Chargers and Hawks! :) I love them both.

  67. Dave Brown says:

    hey not sure when this was last posted on but just checking to see if there were any updates on this project. I am currently looking for a good event plugin and came across your site!

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