How We Built an Online Conference Registration System Using Stripe, Zapier and Google Sheets

Jack

By Jack Barber - 31 March 2021

IPRG has held a couple of in-person conferences in recent years. However, with COVID still causing major disruptions and the realisation that online meetings can be effective, this year IPRG are holding an online conference.

Part of the World Api Expo, IPRG are one of the founding members of the Global Bee Medicine Group, an international organisation providing opportunities for those working in this innovative field an opportunity to network, support one another and share in the results of their research.

In order to distinguish themselves from the rest of the World Api Exp (which is more concerned with commercial side of bee-keeping, such as honey production and so on), IPRG wanted to run their own registration system. The requirements were:

  • Take user registration details
  • Take payments securely (in Euros)
  • Provide IPRG staff with a list of confirmed registrants
  • Share registration data with World Api Expo in order to provide IPRG registrants access to the whole conference

Website

The IPRG conference website is built using Perch - a highly flexible and user-friendly content management system. We built the registration page as a page template, with the registration form written into the page itself (rather than using the Perch Forms addon, for example).

Payments

Payments are taken via Stripe, using Stripe.js and Stripe Elements. This is totally secure and PCI compliant, as Stripe explain:

Stripe significantly simplifies the PCI burden for companies that integrate with Checkout, Elements, mobile SDKs and Terminal SDKs. Stripe Checkout and Stripe Elements use a hosted payment field for handling all payment card data, so the cardholder enters all sensitive payment information in a payment field that originates directly from our PCI DSS validated servers.

Email Confirmation

When Stripe successfully takes a payment, the registrants details are passed to a PHP script which sends them as an email to IPRG. Stripe sends the registrant payment confirmation emails seperately, which include the logo and colour scheme of IPRG to keep everything looking consistent.

Zapier

Zapier have a tool called Parser, which parses in-bound email. It can be used alongside the standard Zapier platform to allow users to interact with other apps by directing emaill at a specific mailbox on Zapier’s servers. Neat!

The confirmation email generated by the website sends a copy of the data to Zapier, which parses it and then adds the data as a new line into a…

Google Sheets

..Google Sheet! The registrant data can then be shared in real time with the organisers of World Api Expo, ensuring that all registrants get access to both the specific IPRG conference sessions as well as the rest of the conference.

Conclusion

This is a practical and flexible solution for this particular circumstance. Registrations will only be open for a few weeks and the conference will not generate much income, so we needed a fairly simple solution.

Stripe, Zapier and Google Docs made light work of connecting the dots between the IPRG website and the end result - payments taken and a list of registrant details generated.