Topic: How to use "Price Categories"  (Read 108181 times)

During the configuration process, we stumbled across the option "Price Category". Can you explain the purpose of this option and how to define these categories appropriately?

(A German version of this article is available.)

Price categories are required to define the prices on the registration form. Every option (event / item) of the registration form needs one price category; therefore, this is a vital concept of the system.

Price categories provide two advantages:
  • If your conference has several events / items with the same price, you can use one price category for all of them and have to enter the corresponding prices only once.
  • Price categories also allow you to define for which participant groups and / or time discounts events / items are available on the registration form.

Let us use a bottom-up approach and some examples to be able to understand the concept behind price categories.

First Example: Different Fees for Different Participant Groups and Time Discounts for One Event

You may want to offer your main event, the conference, at different prices to different user / status groups (e.g. students, members and regular visitors) and at different time rates (early bird, late rate, on-site).

Example fees:
Student: 50
Member Early Bird: 200
Member Late: 250
Member On-Site: 300
Regular Early Bird: 350
Regular Late: 400
Regular On-Site: 500

The first step is to create a price matrix with all participant groups in the rows and time discounts in the columns.

Conference fees – the corresponding price matrix:

 Early Bird   Late      On-Site  
Student  50   50  50
Member  200   250  300
Regular  350   400  500

This matrix already resembles the concept of the ConfTool price categories. Every price category in ConfTool also is created of a matrix of participant groups and time discounts (registration phases) with according price input fields. For our example, only one price category is required, as you offer in fact only one event / item (conference registration), but with different prices, depending on the participant group and the time of registration.

As most events have a registration fee, the default installation already has this pre-defined price category. You can of course rename or change it as you like. Please note that price categories are only used to define and assign prices, they are not shown to the participants / on the registration form.

How to enter different prices from the price matrix for events

If your price structure works with different participant groups and / or time discounts, please first create a price matrix for visualization offline. Then follow the steps from this example:
  • Create three time discounts (e.g. "Early Bird", "Late", "On-Site")
    Overview => Settings => Manage Time Discounts
  • Create three participant groups (e.g. "Student", "Member", "Regular"):
    Overview => Settings => Manage Participant Groups
  • Create the price category:
    Overview => Settings => Manage Price Categories
    Only one price category is required, as you have only one event / item in the current example (e.g. "Conference Fee").
  • Enter the prices for the price category:
    Overview => Settings > Prices
    The system will create the matrix to enter the prices.
  • Create an event / item and assign the price category to it:
    Overview => Settings => Manage Events and Items => Edit Event/Item
    In the section "Pricing" use the option "Price Category" to assign the price category.

Second Example: Extra Event with a Flat Price

There is only one flat price for our social event, no matter who registers or when. Do I still need to resort to price category, as we have no “matrix” of prices, but only one price?

In the case that one of your events has the same price during the whole registration phase, i.e., you do not offer any time discount and you do not distinguish between different participant groups (e.g. members, students, etc.), you still have to create one price category.

When filling in the prices in the price matrix, please use the same price for all fields of this new price category (see image: Conference_Event_Price_Categories_Extra_Event_Flat_Price.gif).

Then create the event / item and assign the price category to your event:
Overview => Settings => Manage Events and Items => Edit Event/Item
In the section “Pricing” use the option “Price Category” to assign the price category.

NB: If your event does not have any participant groups or time discounts at all, you need exactly one time discount ("Normal") and one participant group ("Regular"). The price matrix will then consist of only one field (see image: Conference_Event_Price_Categories_Flat_Price.gif).

Third Example: Several Workshops, All with the Same Price.

If your conference has several items or events with the same price (or price matrix), you only need one price category for all these events / items.
For events / items on the registration form for which the same price will be charged (or the same price matrix applies), you can assign the corresponding price category to each of these items / events (see image: Price_Category_Same_Several_Events.gif).

Fourth Example: Events / Items without Prices

For events / items without costs you do not need to create a price category. There is a pre-defined category available, which is called “No costs apply”.
If you want to offer an event / item free of charge, simply assign the price category “No costs apply” to the corresponding event / item (see image: Price_Category_One_Event_No_Costs.png).

Fifth Example: Event / Item that is Available to Certain Participant Groups Only

The event has a “Member Meeting” that shall only be available for participants of the participant group “Member”. The meeting is free of charge, but the members have to register for organizational reasons.

In this special case, “No costs apply” will not suffice as a price category. Let us explain in detail:

We will use the same time discounts and participant groups from the first example.
  • Create a new price category and call it, e.g., “Members – free of charge”:
    Overview => Settings => Manage Price Categories
  • Now fill in the “prices” for the price category:
    Overview => Settings > Prices
    First, please activate the expert settings on the bottom of the page by clicking on “Expert Settings Disabled” or the cogwheel-icon.
    Since the event connected with this price category will be free of charge, use the default price “0” for all fields (all time discounts and all participant groups).
    Now, uncheck the checkboxes in front of the prices of participant groups “Students” and “Regular”.  When you deselect the checkbox in front of a price, you will remove the events / items with the corresponding price category from the registration form for either specific participant groups (this example), time discounts, or both.
  • Create an Event/Item and assign the price category to it:
    Overview => Settings => Manage Events and Items => Edit Event/Item
    In the section “Pricing” use the option “Price Category” to assign the price category (see image: Conference_Event_Price_Categories_Checkboxes.png).

When “Regular” or “Student” participants register, they will not see the event / item using this price category, as the prices have been deactivated in the price matrix.

Please also see this graphical overview of the price category structure for examples 1 to 5: