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In addition to group and campaign events, ControlShift also supports calendars and calendar events.
What are calendars? Calendars allow admins to group together similar events, like events included in a day of action. Organizing events in calendars makes it easy for your supporters to find, or organize, a local event that's part of a larger collection of events. (It may be helpful to think of calendars as an open-ended Effort, but for events).
Calendar Hub Page
Before looking at calendar creation, we'll take a brief tour of the calendar hub page. The calendar hub page is the public directory of events in the calendar.
Event Image by Susan Q Yin on Unsplash
In the left sidebar of the calendar hub you'll see:
- The title of the calendar is displayed in the top left corner, followed by
- Any calendar partners
- The calendar's description, followed by
- The calendar's share tools, followed by
- A map of event locations, followed by
- Calendar stats, including the number of events created and the number of event attendees.
To the right of the sidebar, in the main content section, the calendar hub page has:
- A search box where users can enter their location to find their closest event.
- A list of events. Events are shown in chronological order with the soonest event first and later events further down the list.
- An optional button allowing users to create their own events in the calendar. Note: If you're logged into the site as an org admin you will ALWAYS see the Host Your Own Event button regardless of the calendar's settings.
When users are sent to the calendar hub page, they'll enter their location in the search box to search for their closest event. (They can also click on a map marker to go to the event.) Search results will be shown with the closest event on top, followed by any other events that match the query.
Event Image by Aaron Burden on Unsplash
If there are no events nearby, the user will be prompted to create their own.
Please note: User created events will only be shown on the calendar hub page and in search results if the events are moderated to good.
Creating a Calendar
To create a new calendar, go to the admin homepage > Calendars > New Calendar.
From the new calendar page, enter the calendar's name. Please note: the name of the calendar will be used for its URL. While the name can be updated after creation, the URL cannot. If your organization is using Regions, you'll have the option of associating the calendar with a specific region. When associated with a region, all events in the calendar will also be added to that region regardless of their location.
Once you've entered the appropriate information, click Next. On the next page, choose if the calendar should be Open Ended or Constituency Bound.
Constituency bound calendars allow organizations to limit events to one event per constituency. This could be useful if you're planning a series of MP meetings, where there should be only one event per MP, or if you want supporters to deliver a subset of petition signatures to their Congressperson. The constituencies are tied to geographic collections – depending on your organization's configuration, you may see some decision maker collections already listed in the dropdown. When choosing a collection to tie the calendar to, please make sure that it's a geographically bound collection and not a virtual or point-location collection. Please note: it's not possible to change a calendar from constituency bound to opened ended (or vice versa) after creation.
If you'd prefer not to limit the creation of events, choose the Open Ended option. This will allow interested users to host events regardless of their location. Most organizations who run calendars choose the Open Ended option.
Once you've made your selection, your calendar will be created. However, before you begin sending supporters to the hub page to find and create events, there are other settings you'll likely want to configure.
To choose these additional settings, click the Configure Hub Page or Review Advanced Settings links on the success page or return to the calendar's admin page (org admin homepage > Calendars > name of your calendar.
Calendar Admin Page
The calendar admin page (shown after creating a calendar or by going to admin homepage > Calendars > name of calendar) contains information about events in the calendar and includes links to various calendar pages.
On the left side of this page, you'll see various options:
- Details: Allows admins to update basic calendar information, like the name and description.
- Settings: Allows admins to update the calendar's settings.
- Events: Lists all events in the calendar. Attendees can also export a CSV of all events (and hosts) from this tab.
- Attendees: Lists all attendees across all events in the calendar. Admins can also export a CSV of calendar attendees from this tab.
The buttons on this page are:
- Hub Page: Clicking here will take you to the calendar's hub page.
- New Event: Clicking here will allow you to create a new event in the calendar.
- Broadcast Post: Clicking here will allow admins to write a single message that's posted to the forums of all events in the calendar.
- Embed: Clicking here will display a script that allows you to embed the calendar's map onto an external page. More information on embedding a calendar map.
Below these buttons, are a list of events in need of moderation. As a reminder, calendar events will not show on the calendar hub page unless they've been moderated to Good. Clicking the Good button will update an event's moderation status and make i visible on the calendar hub page.
The Region and Partnership sections show if the calendar is currently tied to a region or a partnership. When a calendar is tied to a region or partnership, all events in the calendar will also be associated with the region (regardless of the event's location) or partnership. If the calendar is not associated with a region or partnership, you can move it into a partnership or region from here.
Finally, at the bottom of this page is the option to Archive the calendar. Archiving a calendar will remove it from the list of calendars.
The only required field for a new calendar is the Name of the calendar. However, from this Edit tab, you can add a description and default calendar image. The description will be displayed on the hub page. The default image will be used on the event pages of each event in the calendar.
The Settings tab is where the majority of the calendar's configuration options are visible.
In the Settings section the options are:
- Redirect Calendar to URL: When a URL is entered here, users who try to view the calendar hub page will be redirected to the new URL instead.
- Disable new events creation: this will prevent members from creating new events within the calendar. Please note: if you're logged into the site as an admin, you will *always* see the new event button on the calendar hub page. When this box is checked, non-admins will not see the button.
In the Emails section, admins can override the default emails that are sent when someone takes action within the calendar – i.e. creating a calendar event or RSVPing to a calendar event. The following emails can be overridden:
- Thanks for creating event email: This email is sent when a user creates an event in the calendar.
- Approaching event for host email: This email is sent to a calendar event's host 24 hours before the event.
- Thanks to new hosts on existing event email: This email is sent to the new host when an admin switches an event's host.
- Thanks for attending email: This email is sent when a user RSVPs 'Yes' to an event in the calendar.
- Approaching event for attendee email: This email is sent to a calendar event's attendees 24 hours before the event.
- Attendee promoted from waiting list email: When an event has an attendee limit, and when that limit is reached, interested users will be added to the event's waiting list. If an attendee changes their 'Yes' response, or if the attendee limit is raised, users on the waitlist will be promoted to attendees in the order that they were added to the waitlist. This email is sent when the user is promoted.
Note: These fields accept HTML and the emails should be written in HTML or formatting will not come through. When deciding which text to use for these emails, we first look at the individual event to see if the text has been overridden there. If not, we look at the calendar to see if the text has been overridden at that level. If not, we use the text set in Settings > Content.
In the Event Host section the options are:
- Display Organiser Instructions before event creation: When this box is checked, admins will be able to enter Organiser Instructions. These instructions are shown after a user clicks to create a new event in the calendar, and before they are brought to the new event form. You can use this text to provide instructions, information about responsibilities, or tips to prospective event hosts.
- Ask postal address to event hosts: When this box is checked, we'll ask hosts for their postal addresses when they create new events. This can be useful if you want to send hosts packets of information or other materials for their events.
- Customize help text for host address: When this box is checked, you'll be able to provide custom help text that explains why you're asking for the host's address.
- Display decision maker information on Organiser Instructions page: This text is only used if the calendar is constituency bound. When checked, information about the decision maker associated with the constituency will be shown to event hosts.
The Event Defaults section includes default settings for events created within the calendar. All of these fields are optional, and you can provide default text for all or some of these fields. When text is entered here, the text will be pre-filled into the new event form when a user goes to create an event within the calendar. While the text is pre-filled, it is still editable by the event creators.
The other options available are:
- Set all contained events to good on creation: when this option is checked, admins will not need to moderate newly created events in the calendar. Instead, events will be automatically moderated to good and will automatically be visible on the calendar hub page.
- Allow hiding event address: when this option is checked, event hosts can choose to hide the event address from the event's and calendar's public pages. Users will only be able to see the address of the event when they submit their RSVP. Additionally, the event's location won't be designated with a marker on the calendar page; instead, the event's location will be a represented with a circle that approximates (and makes fuzzy) the event's location.
This option may be useful if you're asking your supporters to host house parties or other events at private residences.
- Enable event discussion forums by default: If this box is checked, all events in the calendar will include the forum section by default. (The forum can still be disabled at the individual event level.) If you do not want events in the calendar to have a forum, uncheck this box.
Finally, the Event Types section allows admins to choose which events types should be included in the calendar. Adding event types to a calendar is optional, but may make it easier for admins to know what type of events (e.g. rally vs. letter writing party vs. film screening) are being created in the calendar. Please note: when event types are added to a calendar, they are visible to the event host on the event creation form.
Creating a New Calendar Event
Events can be added to calendars in a few ways: by supporters via the hub page, by admins via the hub or admin pages, and by admins via an event upload.
If event creation is enabled, supporters will begin on the calendar hub page, and then click the Host Your Own Event button. If organiser instructions are enabled, the user will see the instructions page. Then the user will be brought to the event creation page. If event defaults were entered in the calendar's setting page, this text will be pre-filled. After entering relevant event information, the user clicks Create Event and is brought to a review screen. If no edits are needed, the user can click Publish and the event will be live. While the event host can start sharing their event right away, and other users can start RSVPing to the event as soon as it's created, the event will not be included on the calendar's hub page until it is moderated.
Admins can use the same workflow as above to create new events, or they can click the New Event button on the calendar's admin page. Regardless of the route, the event creation process will be the same as above.
Finally, admins can also upload a list of events to a calendar. Learn more about uploading events to a calendar.
Partner organizations can help you to organize and manage events in a calendar. With calendars there are two options for partner involvement: a calendar tied to an individual partner and a calendar that supports events from multiple partners.
To associate a calendar with an individual partner, go the calendar's admin page and update the Partner setting. Once a calendar is associated with an individual partner, all events created in the calendar will be tied to that partner and will use that partnership's email opt-in settings. The event page and the calendar hub page will also be updated to include the name (and potentially image) of the partner organization, and the partner's admin events and calendars list will include the calendar and its associated events. Please note: it used to be possible for partner admins to create calendars from their admin tools, but that functionality has been removed. Now, admins at the CSL organization must be the ones who create a calendar for the partner.
Calendars can also include events from multiple partners. To run a multiple-partner calendar, create the calendar normally, but do not associate it with any parter in the calendar's admin settings. Next, you'll need to create a partnership page for each partner organization that will be helping to run the calendar. When the partner organizations are publicizing the calendar, they can send their supporters to a version of the calendar URL that has a partner parameter appended. To create that URL, add
?partner=foo-bar, where foo-bar is the partner's slug (which is visible in the partnership's admin page URL). For example: https://demo.controlshiftlabs.com/calendars/national-day-of-action-against-fracking?partner=n-da. When an event is created from a URL with a partner parameter, the event will be automatically associated with the partner, and it will use the same settings that you've set up for the partner. When a user RSVPs to the event, they will be shared with the partner organization according to the rules that you've set up for the partnership.
Calendar events are not visible on the calendar hub page until they are moderated to Good. When a new calendar event is created, admins will be notified by email that a new event needs to be moderated. The event will then be included in the moderation queue (admin homepage > Moderation).
Learn more about event moderation.
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