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Introduction to Events

We built the events toolset to help organizations more fully engage their members. By allowing members to organize and attend offline events, we hope to increase the engagement of these members and their connections both to your organization and one another. 

As an organization admin, you can create standalone events or you can create calendars. Calendars allow you to group together similar events — like petition hand-in events or days of action — and allow your supporters to create new events that are also part of the calendar. (In this way, calendars are like landing pages, but for events.)

This tutorial will start with standalone events before moving to calendarsgroup-associated events, and petition events.

To create a new standalone event, go to the admin homepage and click "All" under "Events;" then, click "New Event." 

The information included in this form will be displayed on the event page (with the exception of the attendee limit). By default, events do not have set end times, but if you need to include one, you can click "set end time." The location field will automatically fill based on google maps search results. It is important to only search for the address of the event location (for example, you shouldn't enter 'Outside the Safeway' as your location, instead search for 'Safeway [Anywhere, NY]' or  'Safeway [123 Main Street]).

When creating an event, you can also set an attendee limit. When a limit set, the system will only accept that number of Yes RSVPs. Once the limit is reached, site visitors will be asked if they want to join the waiting list for the event. If one of the confirmed attendees then switches his response, or if the attendee limit is raised, members on the waiting list will be emailed — in the order that they joined the waiting list — that space has opened up and that they can attend the event.

Once the event is created, event hosts and org admins can click "Manage" to edit event details, upload an image, view attendees, and/or edit default emails.

By clicking "Admin" org admins are able to export the attendee list.

 

In addition to standalone events, events can also be organized into calendars. Calendars allow you to group together similar events. Organizing events into calendars also makes it easy for your supporters to find, or organize, their closest event. (It may helpful to think of calendars as 'landing pages,' but for events).

To create a new calendar, go to the admin homepage and click "calendars" under "events;" then, click "new calendar."

Begin by entering the name of your calendar and its description. The information entered here will be shown on the calendar's hub page. (This is the page that your supporters will use to search for their local event and/or start their own.) The image that you choose for this calendar will be displayed on the calendar's hub page and will be used as the default image for events created within this calendar.

If you do not want your members to be able to create new events within the calendar, click the "Disable new events creation" box. 

The "Event Defaults" tab allows you to set specific information for new events that are created within this calendar. Clicking to "Set all contained events to good on creation" allows org admins to skip the moderation process. Instead of having to moderate each event created within the calendar, newly created events will automatically be moderated to good. We'll cover event moderation statuses shortly. The option to "allow hiding event address" gives event creators the option of only displaying the event's location to confirmed attendees. This may be a useful setting if you're asking your supporters to host house parties or other events at private residences.

The default title, description, start time, end time, and date are optional. When used, the information entered into these boxes will automatically be used for new event creation. (Note that these defaults are still editable by the event creator.)

 

When a user creates an event, or when someone RSVPs "yes" to an event, they are sent a series default emails thanking them for taking action and reminding them of the event information. However, if you want to customize the information in these emails to be specific to your calendar, you can do so from the "Emails" tab. The emails that are customizable are as follows:

"Thanks for attending email": Sent to users who RSVP "yes" 

"Thanks for creating event email": Sent to users who create a new event in the calendar

"Approaching event for host email": Sent to event hosts 24 hours before their event

"Approaching event for attendee email": Sent 24 hours before an event to the users who RSVPed "yes" 

"Attendee promoted from waiting list": When an event reaches its attendee limit, people are asked to add their name to a waiting list. If one of the "yes" responders changes her RSVP to not attending, the person at the top of the wait list is sent this email informing them that they can now attend the event.

The next tab, "Host Settings," allows org admins to choose certain settings for people creating new events in the calendar. If you click to "display organizer instructions before event creation," people who click to create events within the calendar will be given specific instructions about their responsibilities before creating their event.

If you need to have the mailing address of an event host, you can check the box labeled "Ask postal address to event hosts." This extra bit of information may be useful if you need to send a packet of information or other event materials to event hosts.

Once you've finished editing the calendar's settings, hit save, and the calendar will be created. You'll then be redirected to the calendar's manage page. 

 

From this page, you can see a list of all the events included in this calendar and some basic information about them. You can also edit the calendar's settings, create a new event, or export data about the events included in the calendar. From the calendar's manage page you can also go to the calendar's hub page.

 

The hub page is the calendar's main public-facing page. When you send supporters to the hub page, they'll be able to search for their closest event, see all of the calendar's future events (that have been moderated to good), and organize their own event.

 When a new event is created, it's added to the event moderation queue. To moderate new events, go to the admin homepage and click "Moderation" under "Events."

When you click the event that you want to moderate you'll be brought to that event's public page. As an admin, you can moderate events to be inappropriate, approved, or good. Like petitions, inappropriate events are not visible to anyone except org admins and the event creator. Even with a direct link, site visitors will not be able to view the event. Approved events are visible with a direct link, but are not searchable in calendars, and good events are both visible and searchable.

The next type of event is the group-associated event. Group events are standalone events that are created by organizers of a local group. These events look like normal events, except that they display the name of the group that is hosting the event.

 

In addition to linking back to the associated group, people who RSVP yes to the event, but who are not members of the associated group, are asked if they want to join the group. These events can also be displayed on the network's main page.

For an event to be displayed on the network's page, it must be moderated to good by admins. 

The final type of event is the petition event. Petition events are automatically enabled when a petition reaches 100 signatures and is moderated to good or above. Once this threshold is met, the petition creator is able to create events — whether strategy sessions, media events, or delivery events. The petition creator is then able to invite his supporters to attend the event (pending the approval of org admins). Additionally, once the event is moderated to approved or above, information about the event will be added to the post-signature popups, allowing new signers to attend the event as well. More information about petition events is available in this article.

If you have any questions about events, please send us a support email (support@controlshiftlabs.com).

 

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