Try our free event scheduling tool for WordPress

By on February 3, 2016

Today the Online News Association (ONA) released our free, easy-to-use Event Manager, a scheduling tool for newsrooms planning to host virtual or live events.

The open-source WordPress plugin allows journalists to use Google Docs, specifically Google Sheets, to create and update a schedule for events with the push of a button. In other words, you can make a beautiful schedule that displays event dates, session times, presenter bios and photos and other essential details.

We’ve had many requests to make this tool available, as it powers our annual conference websites. Thanks to generous support from the Ethics & Excellence in Journalism Foundation (EEJF), we refined the plugin, created user-friendly instructions and made it freely available to newsrooms.

Once the ONA Event Manager is installed, anyone can easily make additions or updates to a Google Sheet, and your event schedule can be updated instantaneously.


  • you’ll need a WordPress site, since this is a WordPress plugin
  • plugins are usually easy to install, but you may need a developer to help install the plugin and make sure everything looks correct; after that, anyone should be able to update it!
  • the schedule and speaker pages are powered by Google Sheets; instructions for how to complete the sheets can be found here
  • you’ll need access to your WordPress site; once your Google sheets are filled out, you can make adjustments on the fly at the push of a button! We’ve made template Google sheets for you to help you get started.

So go ahead, give it a try! We hope it simplifies your life, and helps create revenue-generating opportunities for newsrooms.

This latest tool is part of a new Digital Toolkit created by ONA, which also includes the Build Your Own Ethics Code platform, aimed at helping journalists create or update their own codes to encompass critical issues emerging from digital media. The Build Your Own Ethics Code was also funded by EEJF.


Trevor Knoblich

As ONA's Chief Knowledge Officer, Trevor works to coordinate information sharing internally, oversees learning for all ONA programs, as well as registration and logistics for events.