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I've been told to set up software to organize a workshop. Is there (preferably an open source) conference solution that allows for:

  • Abstract Submission
  • Event Planning
  • Arbitrary user data-fields

Apparently managing "dietary requirements" is a really big deal for the organizers.

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I think it's on topic. Unfortunately, I don't the answer, as I usually see Easychair for abstract submission, the event planned "by hand", and the registration process is delegated to a specific company (that can deal with credit-card billing) and that has some fields for dietary requirements, so I don't know any specific software that does all of that. – user102 Jul 23 '12 at 8:42
Not only do I think it is on topic, I think it is a very good question. The dietary requirements part in the question title might make it a little too localized, but the bullet point list of what you want is excellent. – StrongBad Jul 23 '12 at 9:15
@BrianBallsun-Stanton, I edited this question a bit to make it more general. It is now OK for you? – Piotr Migdal Jul 23 '12 at 17:17
For registration only, Google Forms are fine (also, you have full freedom with the questions). Not open source, but free. – Piotr Migdal Jul 23 '12 at 17:19
@BrianBallsun-Stanton your original comment suggests you were not sure if it was an appropriate question. As I said, I think it is an excellent question (and I up voted it). My comment about the title was just a nitpick. I think Piotr's edit makes it better, but it is fine if you want to role it back. – StrongBad Jul 24 '12 at 7:55

5 Answers 5

According to the developer, the non-free version of easychair can support something like this:

We have a similar functionality in the registration module (non-free). All your requirements are related to conference registration, not to paper submission.

However, the "registration module" is very difficult to find.

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Open conference systems supports a nuanced registration module.

While arbitrary checkboxes are not supported out of the box, there is an area for "optional registration types" which we have repurposes into an area for us to track the various optional things we need.

The rest of the system supports abstract management and scheduling.

Also, this forum post has literal instructions of how to hack registration.

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We just had this question asked by a customer (dietary requirements for conf.dinner), and included it in our solution rConf try the demo there. Generally, rConf has been used for rather large as well as small conferences. We guarantee the foolproof operation of the service, give support and add specific asked for add-ons.

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You can use OpenConf for your purpose. It is free but you have to buy license for upgraded features. Going through the demo, it seems impressive. Bear in mind that you have to host this on your event website.

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does OpenConf have abritrary registration fields? – Brian Ballsun-Stanton Jul 23 '12 at 21:09
I think it has that option, you better take a demo tour - – M. G. Rashed Jul 24 '12 at 14:54

Have you checked out Acteva ( It is a cloud-based event management, registration and payment solution. You can create your own registration data fields and questions. The platform does a lot more and can help manage the entire event process.

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