I am looking for a way to run registration for a conference next summer. In addition to meetings, interest groups and general sign-up, I need to be able to assign housing and coordinate special needs.

The group that I am working with has/had a registration program that broke. It was proprietary and apparently not fixable. I need to show them a program that works, will be long lasting, and not too expensive. Mainly I am looking for help to setup the program and occasional ongoing support when problems occur.

CiviCRM seems like a good choice, but I am just starting to read through the documentation and try it out. While it mostly makes sense, I know that I need a really simple demo to convince others to use this software.

Thanks for any suggestions and pointers to simple examples.

  • 1
    Sounds like you've got some fairly complete answers below, and I'd echo the general answer that CiviCRM is likely an excellent solution. It might help if you were able to point us to a copy of past years' registration forms, the details can be key to how easy it is or not to implement in CivICRM. One of the hardest bits can be calculating costs based on complex choices. And finally, since you asked for an example, here's a simple one: secure.quakerearthcare.org/civicrm/event/…
    – Alan Dixon
    Commented Aug 8, 2017 at 17:24

3 Answers 3


Just wanted to share how a volunteer Admin for one of our projects is handling assets - e.g. Table assignments for Events; Room assignments for Camp; Equipment etc.

Warning: must be abstract thinker - and you'll never look at Tables the same :-)

Let's look at Table assignments for Events - as I have the site open and can pull in some screenshots - to Demo for you how this could work:

Contact Types

CiviCRM will let you create Contact sub-types -> Event Table is a Contact sub-type -> it's a banquet table;

enter image description here


CiviCRM will let you define custom Relationship Types between Contacts - so you can define an Has Guest and Is Guest relationship (between Tables and Individuals)

Table View

There are three people sitting at this Table at the moment; As you can see we're using yet another relationship to identify that 'Regular' Table host (for a monthly recurring Event).

enter image description here

Webform CiviCRM

Since you're on Drupal you can add-on Webform CiviCRM - this is maintained by one of CiviCRM's Core Team members @coleman - with that we can now: a) Email the Regular Table host of the next upcoming Event b) Regular Table host already has a relationship with a Table (we configure webform_civicrm to automatically load it) c) We also configure webform_civicrm to also also load the Contacts with whom the Regular Table host has a (normally sits at my table) relationship d) And b/c it's an Event we also want to know if they actually will attend the next Event -> so we configure webform_civicrm to also offer the option of Event Registration -> RSVP

Table Management

If we want to move Mark -> to another Table -> we simply -> in his Relationship Tab; divorce/delete his relationship with Table 99 and add a new relationship with another Table:

enter image description here

Housing / Room bookings - can be done just the same

  • create a webform_civicrm where Contacts register: Contact, Family Members, Relationships -> and user-select a Relationship option -> to indicate their preferred Housing (shared, individual, family e.g.)

  • add payment to the form if this is a paid registration (or deposit); with token based payment processors you can get Card on File ability (make it a recurring series with two installments; charge deposit now; adjust date and $amount if needed and automatically charge the card for second payment later);

  • in CiviCRM - you'll be able to move Contact from having a relationship of type "individual" -> with a Room called "Individual" -> to having a relationship of type "individual" with Room called "Individual 04" - just as an example.

  • What we can't do just yet - is have a maximum number of Relationships. So right now we occasionally get too many guests at a Table! That still requires eyes from an Admin. It will take some code to add that maximum number of Relationships - I may be able to get into that at some point.

  • But everything I've shown here (above) is all out of the Box - if you can manage to wrap your head around Relationships to Tables and Rooms;

  • Nice. I would just add that regarding "If we want to move Mark -> to another Table -> we simply -> in his Relationship Tab". Since that requires dealing with 2 relationships, this can also be done on a single webform. I forget right now if we needed some magic sauce to handle how to do this but will go back and check and update here. hopefully our magic sauce got contributed back
    – petednz - fuzion
    Commented Aug 6, 2017 at 3:18
  • Ah - and perhaps Views VBO to re-arrange the entire seating map - do you know if you can change relationships via Views VBO? Commented Aug 6, 2017 at 3:20

The questions about "assign housing and coordinate special needs" would really need more specific requirements to be able to provide a substantive answer.

If 'assign housing' means something like, "provide fields so people can indicate whether they want single rooms, shared rooms, or specify other attendees that they want to share with" then yes I can think of ways of doing this through 'native civi' using Custom Fields on the registration form, or via Drupal's webform_civicrm with additional forms for people to specify their needs including providing names of other registrants, that could if required create Relationships between them of eg 'roomie'.

In other words, CiviCRM 'can' handle more complex requirements but the effort/expertise to deliver increases.

Additional requirements maybe able to be met with the CiviBooking extension

  • Housing has a lot of issues with personal preferences and room assignments. A custom field to describe preferences would probably be all that I would want.
    – Clint
    Commented Aug 4, 2017 at 23:02
  • What I also would need is to know what rooms are available and which ones are already assigned.
    – Clint
    Commented Aug 4, 2017 at 23:03
  • added link above to civibooking
    – petednz - fuzion
    Commented Aug 5, 2017 at 3:07
  • CiviBooking is an add on/extension - I'll add another idea to handle Housing in CiviCRM native below in a separate answer Commented Aug 5, 2017 at 14:03

CiviCRM would be able to accommodate your needs, generally.

You can find a couple of demo sites that are available here. They should have a few dummy events set up that you can look at:


If you need help with specifics, you can feel free to ask specific questions on Stack Exchange. In addition, here is a good list of CiviCRM experts who could help you:


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