WordPress Events Registration with PayPal IPN

Attention! The plugin has undergone a major reconstruction and name change. The new name of the plugin is Event Espresso.

Event Registration and Management Plugin for WordPress

This WordPress plugin provides a way to take online registrations for events such as conference and seminars that are held live. Events are managed quickly and easily from within the WordPress dashboard.

The plugin also uses the PayPal IPN to record payments to the built in WordPress database. It allows you to capture the registering persons contact information to the WordPress database as well as provides the ability to send the registrar to your PayPal payment site for online collection of event fees. PayPal payments are captured to the database using the PayPal Standard IPN.

Reporting features provide a list of events, list of attendees, and excel export.

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  1. After unzipping, upload everything in the ‘paypal-events-registration’ folder to your ‘/wp-content/plugins/’ directory (preserving directory structure).
  2. Activate the plugin through the ‘Plugins’ menu in WordPress.
  3. Go to the Event Registration Menu and Configure Organization and enter your company info – note you will need a PayPal id if you plan on accepting PayPal payments
  4. Go to the Event Setup and create a new event, make sure you select ‘make active’.
  5. Create a new page (not post) on your site. Put {EVENTREGIS} in it on a line by itself.

Note: if you are upgradings from a previous version please backup your data prior to upgrade.

If you have watched the video below and are having trouble installing the plugin or just need additional support. Please visit our “Premium Support” page or view the FAQ below.

Setting up the Plugin

Frequently Asked Questions:
To use, create a new page with only  {EVENTREGIS}

To display list of attendees of an active event use {EVENTATTENDEES} on a page or post.

*For URL link back to the payment/thank you page use  {EVENTREGPAY} on a new page.

*For PayPal to notify about payment confirmation use  {EVENTPAYPALTXN} on a new page.

*This page should be hidden from from your navigation menu. Exclude pages by using the ‘Exclude Pages‘ plugin from http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/exclude-pages/ or using the ‘exclude’ parameter in your ‘wp_list_pages’ template tag. Please refer to http://codex.wordpress.org/Template_Tags/wp_list_pages for more information about excluding pages.

Email Confirmations:
For customized confirmation emails, the following tags can be placed in the email form and they will pull data from the database to include in the email.

[fname], [lname], [phone], [event],[description], [cost], [company], [co_add1], [co_add2], [co_city],[co_state], [co_zip],[contact], [payment_url], [start_date], [start_time], [end_date], [end_time]

Sample Mail Send:

***This is an automated response – Do Not Reply***

Thank you [fname] [lname] for registering for [event].  We hope that you will find this event both informative and enjoyable.  Should have any questions, please contact [contact].

If you have not done so already, please submit your payment in the amount of [cost].

Click here to review your payment information [payment_url].

Thank You.

Save 30,000 for WordCamp Campaign

Event Listings and Registration Pages
Event Listings and Registration Pages
Attendees and Payments
Attendees and Payments
Screenshot of Events Registration with IPN Pro
Screenshot of Events Registration with IPN Pro using the Calendar (Pro Version)
Event Setup Options
Screenshot of some Event Setup Options (Pro Version)
Events and Payments
Events and Payments

If you haven’t noticed, the WordPress plugin “Events Registration with PayPal IPN” is no longer available for download on WordPress.org. We found some serious security issues within the plugin (mostly deprecated WordPress database functions) so we decided it best to go ahead and remove the plugin until security was improved.

After a major overhaul of the back-end code we have re-released the plugin under a new name (Advanced Events Registration) and have also released a pro version of the plugin with many additional features.

It is highly recommended that you upgrade to the latest version of the Advanced Events Registration plugin ASAP.

Recurring Events Manager Screenshots

The Recurring Events Manager is almost here. While I have been busy fixing bugs and making updates to Event Espresso. My good friend Abel Sekepyan has been working hard on the “Recurring Events Manager” addon.

All I can say, This thing is amazing! The Recurring Events Manager for Event Espresso is going to change the lives of teachers, gym owners, and event professionals everywhere.

Go see for your self, I have just posted the first screen shots on the Event Espresso Website.

Event Espresso Version 3.0.17 for WordPress is Almost Here!

I have been working hard over the last few weeks fixing bugs, updating the calendar, writing tutorials, and adding new features.

I have also opened up a new subscription service for you to get the latest news, expedited support in the forums, and cutting edge updates.


Calendar Week View
Calendar Week View

List of Attendees
List of Attendees

Movie Listings
Movie Listings (in Custom Files Addon)

Vote for Event Espresso – 2010 Plugin of the Year

Vote for Event Espresso
Vote for Event Espresso

Event Espresso has been nominated for the prestigious “2010 Plugin of the Year Award” at WordPress Honors. Please take a few minutes to show your support for Event Espresso (and any of  your other favorite plugins,) by voting.

Need a little more incentive? Each person that registers on the WordPress Honors website will be entered to win great prizes from other great WordPress theme and plugin developers.

So hurry up and cast your vote for Event Espresso and start winning prizes! 🙂

Expandable/Collapsible Event Listings

I posted a quick example of how to add jQuery enabled expandable/collapsible panels to your event listings over at the Event Espresso forums. Be sure to check it out if you want to learn how to add this cool feature to your event listings.

Closed Panels
Closed Panels
Open Panel
Open Panel

Event Espresso Version 3.0.16 Just Released

Social Media Buttons
Social Media Buttons

Now includes Facebook and Twitter share buttons and an updated calendar.

Among several minor bug fixes etc, we have included a simple social media plugin/addon that can be used to display Twitter and Facebook buttons in your Event Espresso templates. If you have relocated your template files to your uploads folder, you will need to make these changes to your template files.

I have also provided templates for the payment and return to payment pages.

The calendar has also been updated to include weekly and daily agenda views and a settings page to manage the calendar options.

Calendar Week View
Calendar Week View

Here is a list of recent changes between the last four versions.

Added simple buttons for Twitter and Facebook. Templates have been updated to include these changes.
Added payment and return to payment templates.
Added required text to form fields.
Added a new function to Get a single start or end time:
* function event_espresso_get_time($event_id, $format = ‘start_time’)
* @params $event_id (required)
* @params $time (optional, start_time (default) | end_time)
Changed the plugin to use the built in jQuery library, instead of the Google jQuery API.
Adjusted the questions display query to order by group order. This will work if the users do use the group_order field. Otherwise the questions will get mixed up.
Added the search and replace values to the invoice email

Moved the system questions and question groups function into the database install scipt. Hopefully this will fix the problem with the system questions and groups not getting installed.

Applied some formatting to the category name in the category listing.
Removed the wpautop function from the category editor.
Added the end_date of an event to the event_list.php.
Fixed the following issues
1) Edited questions always defaulting to ‘required’.
2) Deleting of questions and groups via checkbox.

Download your copy now!

Follow us on Twitter @EventEspresso

#WP #eventprofs #plugin

Adding Images to RSS Feeds

I had the pleasure of meeting John Hawkins of (9Seeds) this weekend at WordCamp Utah. I also got see John give a great presentation on beginning plugin development.

Now he has taken the events of this past weekend and has given us an example (and a plugin) of how to attach images to your WordPress RSS feeds.

Friends Don’t Let Friends Host Events on Eventbrite

Still using Eventbrite to host your events? You could be wasting hundreds of dollars in fees.

In a recent blog post, Event Espresso goes head-to-head with Eventbrite. While Event Espresso boasts no per event registration fees and transaction fees and your customer’s data is stored safely on your server. Event Espresso comes out looking like the best option for a self-hosted event registration and management systems. The Eventbrite hosted event management system continues to hammer you with outrageous fees.

For a limited time, get $10 off the basic license using the discount code EVENTBRITE when checking out.

Read the full story >>

A Short History of Event Espresso and How GPL Compliance Has Helped My Business

Recently Matt Mullenweg has been discussing the GPL license and how it benefits WordPress users, theme developers, plugin developers and programmers. In a recent post on his blog, Matt commented about how people were moving from the non-GPL compliant themes such as Thesis to GPL compliant like Woo, StudioPress, iThemes as a result of the Thesis license violation episode.

I have been following this whole episode from the very beginning. After reading the post “Syn-thesis 3: Switchers” I added my own reply about how I feel about the GPL and how it has affected my own WordPress plugin, Event Espresso. As time went on, more people added their comments/experiences with GPL compliance pertaining to how it affects their business (big or small) and why they don’t think that being GPL compliant will work for their business.

There were two comments (by Ash and Liz) in particular that I wanted to reply to, but the comments for the post were closed. So I sent Matt the following letter, via his contact form.

Hi Matt,

Sorry to bug you on your contact form. I wanted to reply to Liz and Ash about how the GPL license CAN and DOES work for small business, but I noticed that replies were turned off or not working.

I just wanted to give them an example of my situation and how I made the GPL work for my own small business.

In my situation, my web design business was not doing so well. I had a pretty hard time competing with some of the bigger web design firms in my area, as well as competition from design firms in India and other developing countries that offer much lower prices for the same work.

How does this pertain to the GPL?

Well, my wife Shelly is into stamping, crafting and scrap booking. She holds stamping/crafting/scrap booking classes and workshops in our basement about once or twice a month. Ironically, every year (over the last 5 years or so) she has an event called “Stamp Camp” where about 20-30 women show up at a local church or restaurant to learn how to make custom hand made cards, scrap book pages, and other fun stuff using rubber stamps.

I had almost given up on web development, when Shelly asked me to make her an online registration and payment system for an up-coming Stamp Camp. So I figured I would find a plugin in the WP plugin directory, but I had a hard time finding something that met her needs. So I created my own event registration and management plugin then added it to the plugin repository. After a short time, people started using the plugin and asking for more features, requesting support, etc.

As you can imagine I became pretty busy, and a few people were paying me for support or the addition of features. I started realizing that maybe I should add some of these features to a premium version of the plugin and sell a support license for it. This way I could keep the plugin under a GPL license and still make a little money for all of the hard work I had done. So I started selling a premium version (support license) of the plugin (“Advanced Events Registration“) on my blog.

How does being GPL compliant help my business?

Over the course of about six months the premium version started selling pretty well. People continued to give me great feedback and even sending me their versions of the plugin with their modified code. (I did have a little hiccup early on when someone I brought on to help me demanded I change the licensing, but I managed to overcome this poison and keep the license GPL compatible in the end (making me feel much better about the plugin and its development.))

The plugin has become very beneficial to other small businesses/organizations since its conception and is being used all over the world. Keeping the plugin GPL compatible made it possible for other programmers to change the code to suit their or their clients needs. It has also saved many businesses/organizations hundreds and even thousands of dollars a year that they would have had to pay in fees and monthly services at other event registration companies, such as Eventbrite or Reg Online.

Selling a support license for the plugin and keeping it GPL compatible has turned out to be a good move for myself and my business. It has also afforded me the opportunity to keep my business running, as well as allowing me to  keep doing what I love.

Since the plugin has started becoming more recognized. I had to come up with a better name for it, because that name just wasn’t doing it for me. So I renamed it “Event Espresso“.

How did I come up with that name?

I love coffee and often frequent the local coffee shops around town. We have a calendar hanging on our wall at home that has different Italian restaurant or cafe themes on it for each month. One month it had a couple of large coffee cups on it and in fancy writing it said “Espresso!” So I started thinking to myself, “how can I tie espresso into the name of my plugin?” Then, just like that, it hit me! Event Espresso was born.


Seth Shoultes