RSVPMaker as an alternative to #newmeetup

Meetup organizers who are frustrated at the changes in the service may want to consider RSVPMaker as an alternative. With a WordPress website running RSVPMaker, you can  be more in control of your own destiny by managing events on a website where you set the rules. By combining RSVPMaker with plugins and enhancements such as BuddyPress or discussion boards, you can round out the experience.

Version 1.2 will automatically retrieve profile details for a logged in user, and you can customize this function (see Changing the RSVP Form, Other Customizations).

If you try this approach, let me know how it works for you and what still needs to work better.

RSVPMaker 1.0 Released (Make that 1.1)

Update: After a couple of small bug fixes, RSVPMaker is actually at 1.1 already.

I finally worked up the nerve to call RSVPMaker a version 1.0 quality product. The latest release includes a number of things people have been asking for, as well as a few things that are considered best practices, such as providing an uninstall script to remove custom tables and plugin-specific database entries.

Here’s the rundown:


  • Added a basic_form function that you can override to change the basic fields of the RSVP form. For example, you can change it to omit the section that asks for the names of guests. This is in addition to the rsvp_profile function, which is used to collect additional contact details such as phone # or mailing address. See the instructions for adding custom functions.
  • You have the option of allowing the names of attendees and the contents of the notes field to be displayed publicly. To avoid encouraging spam entries, this content is loaded via AJAX and only when the user clicks the Show Attendees button
  • Moved most of the default formatting into a CSS file that is queued up on pages that show event content. There is in option on the settings page for specifying your own css file to use instead. Most inline styles have been replaced by class selectors. However, the styling of the RSVP Now button is still set on the RSVPMaker settings screen. Works better for email distribution of events.
  • RSVP Report now lists timestamp on reply and lets you sort by either alphabetical order or most recent.
  • If you’re signing up employees or workers for specific timeslots, you can now set that to half-hour increments
  • Tweaked redirection code to handle confirmation and error messages on sites that don’t have permalinks enabled
  • Changed label for RSVPMaker widget as it shows up on the administrator’s screen under Appearance.
  • Added an uninstall script for removing custom tables and database entries.

Version 0.9, Better Editing of Dates

I’m getting ready to declare RSVPMaker polished enough that it deserves version 1.0 status.

Today, I put out version 0.9, with these changes:

  • Made it easier to edit dates for events previously entered in system.
  • Widget and headlines listing shortcode output now include a link to your event listing page.
  • Cleanup on options handling.

Previously, if you entered an event and wanted to change the date or time, you had to delete the existing date and enter a new one. Embarrassingly awkward, I know, but it was a detail I hadn’t gotten around to doing anything about until now. First, I had to solve a few programming challenges related to the way dates are calculated.

Now the date editing panel looks like this:

Download it here:

RSVPMaker 0.8 Released

Here are a few improvements early users of RSVPMaker have been asking for:

Version 0.8

  • Added type parameter for shortcode so you can display only events tagged with “featured” or another event type using [rsvpmaker_upcoming type=”featured”] (see the featured events on the home page of this site)
  • Added ability to set RSVP start date as well as deadline for RSVPs
  • If signing up workers or volunteers for specific timeslots, you can now specify the duration of the timeslots in one-hour increments
  • Cleaned up “Event Dates, RSVP Options” box in editor, moving less commonly used parameters to the bottom.
  • Added a Tweak Permalinks setting (a hack for a few users who have reported “page not found” errors, possibly because some other plugin is overwriting the RSVPmaker url rewrite rules).
  • Tested with WP 3.1 release candidate

Download from

Shortcodes used on home page for event headlines, featured events

Utility for Posting Recurring Events

I just published RSVPMaker version 0.7.5, which updates the utility for adding a series of recurring events. This includes the ability for software to calculate the dates based on a schedule like “Second Tuesday of the month.”

The idea is that you can create a basic event listing for several months into the future, with boilerplate details on your meeting location and other common parameters such as whether an RSVP will be required. You can then go back and edit or update those listings as needed.

This alternate editor does not include the rich text editor you get when you edit a single post, but you can include your own HTML in the description body. The RSVP options at the bottom of the screen are the same ones displayed on the main event editor screen.

Recurring Event Editor

If I make use of the ability to specify a schedule such as “Second Tuesday,” I get a series of dates loaded into the editor. I change the dates as necessary (for example, to account for schedule changes around holidays), enter my details, and submit.

Fetching a calculated series of dates

The results:

Sample Recurring Event

I also provide a Multiple Events editor, which is even more basic — just a quick way of editing a bunch of events at once. Again, you can always go back and enhance the listings as needed.