Today I discovered a new need I have – to be able to organise events using an online calendar system with functionality that goes beyond the standard google calendar, doodle or Outlook functionality. What I want is this:
- Ability to have a web-page for the event (hosted somewhere for free) to display the details etc.
- A button on the website to ‘request’ a place at the event, with submission of name/email etc.
- Something that sends a ‘pending’ email to the applicant in the meantime.
- Storage of the applications for a place at the event ‘somewhere’ on the internet (also free) until I have time to look at them.
- A simple way of approving/rejecting requests, so that I can send confirmations to only the right number of people (and/or my chosen overbooking percentage!) and rejections/commiserations to those who didn’t manage to get a place.
- Something that keeps all this information in a useable, google calendar type format with the correct public/private permissions.
Actually this is a very common need for ‘voluntary’ organisations, that have free events in spaces (rooms/lecture theatres etc.) with limited capacity (due to fire safety requirements) but don’t actually need to collect money, as they are subscription financed organisations. I can’t believe that nobody has made a system like this before (that’s all free)! Certainly there are lots of salesforce.com type commercial players who will give you the service for $49, but actually I’d rather not pay for something I can make, hopefully, myself! Especially when it’s for a charity organisation to use –
Solution – isn’t quite finished (or even started yet), but it will look something like a google calendar/base mashup, doing some or all of the things listed above, at zero cost-ish.
In the interim my good friend Nikhil has pointed me to webticketing.net, which does all the ‘necessary functionality’, though doesn’t have the approve/reject option I’d like – it’s based on a small ticket price fee paying event model, very nice indeed! Also my good friend Mustafa suggested eventbrite.com, which is similar and (for free events) seems to have a slightly more flexible interface.