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Collect and Display Community Events without Hiring a Developer

Description

Before you hire a developer to collect and display community events on your website, check out what you can do on your own with Gravity Forms and GravityView.
This Post is Part of a Series
1. Collect and Display Community Events Without Hiring a Developer (This Post)
2. Display Community Events on Your Website (Basic)
3. Display Community Events on Your Website (including Map View) (Coming Soon)

This post may contain affiliate links. If you purchase something through one of these links, I will receive a small commission at no additional cost to you. Your trust is important to me and I only recommend products that I have tried and believe in. Read my full disclosure statement here.

Tools Used

i

Gravity Forms - Any License

U

GravityView - Core License

U

GravityView - All Access License (optional)

Form

Use Case

There are a number of community events specific plugins available. I searched high and low for ones that included a map view and would allow users to submit their own events. I found a couple and tried them out, but they didn’t work for me. Here is a quick synopsis:

  • The Events Calendar does not allow more than one location for an event. That was a deal breaker for me.
  • Calendarize it! does allow multiple locations for one event, but the user interface is a bit confusing. I ended up collecting event information through Typeform and then manually entering it into Calendarize it!, but that was too much work to sustain.

When I purchased Gravity Forms for another form on my site, I decided to replace the Typeform form I was using with a Gravity Form. Once that was set up, I started researching how to display the information on my site without having to enter it myself. That’s when I discovered GravityView and it was a game changer!

I’ve listed two license options for GravityView above:

  • GravityView Core will allow you to display your information in table or list view layouts. (See more {{here}}.)
  • GravityView All Access allows you to display all of your entries on a map (including multiple locations in one entry!). It also gives you access to the DIY Layout, which allows you to customize your layout any way you want with a little CSS. (More coming soon.)

This form was inspired by KidsOutAndAbout.com, a site that is not built on WordPress (and that I have no affiliation with), but if it were, it would be a perfect candidate for collecting and displaying community events with Gravity Forms.

 

Steps

Step 1: Set up Your Form Fields

Collect any information that you need for your event. You’ll be able to pick and choose what gets displayed on the website using GravityView, so you can collect information on your form that you don’t want to make publicly available. Some fields to consider:

  • Event Date
  • Event Start Time
  • Event End Time
  • Contact Person
  • Contact Phone Number
  • Contact Email
  • Event Location(s)
  • Event Cost (if applicable)
  • Event Title
  • Event Description
  • Hosting Organization
  • Event Target Age Group (or other demographics)
  • Event Tags

Once your fields are set, you can move on to Step 2.

Step 1a (optional): Set up Pricing Fields if You are Charging for Submissions

With Gravity Forms you can add a payment field to the form so that you can collect payment for the privilege of adding a listing to your site. In order to collect the payment, you’ll need to have a Gravity Forms Pro License for PayPal Standard or a Gravity Forms Elite License for 2Checkout, Authorize.net, PayPal Pro, or Stripe. (There are 3rd party plugins that connect Gravity Forms to a payment provider, but I do not have experience with them.)

Step 2: Set up any Form Feeds

Do you want a confirmation email sent to the submitter? (If so, make sure you collect their email address!) You can create confirmation emails through Forms Settings > Notifications.

Do you want to add the submitter to your mailing list? If so, you’ll want to install the appropriate Gravity Forms Add On for the email marketing service you use.

If you are collecting payment, you’ll also need to set up a feed to transmit the payment to the credit card processor. (I may have forgotten to set this up a time or two and I can assure you there is no way to run the credit card again. For security purposes Gravity Forms only saves the last 4 digits of the card number and cannot transmit the information to the payment processor after the fact. The only way to collect payment in this case is to have the customer resubmit the form or to get their credit card information from them and run it manually.)

Step 3: Test Your Form

I try to run as many scenarios as possible through my testing phase. If you’ve been using a different method to collect information in the past, use some of your previous submissions to test the form (the more complicated, the better). This helps you make sure you have all the right fields in the right places and your conditional logic works.

If this is a new effort and you do not have any prior submissions, test out several dummy submissions.

Don’t delete your test submissions yet! You’ll need them as you set up your View.

Next Steps: Display Community Events Without Hiring a Developer

You’ll find the steps to set up the View, using a GravityView Core license in this next post.

Another post is coming soon to show how to set up a View with a GravityView All Access license.

Form Help

You can download and install the form here. If you run in to trouble, I’m here to help. Just click the Contact Me button below to reach out to me and I’ll be in touch shortly.

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