We built the events toolset to help organizations more fully engage their members. By allowing members to organize and attend events, we hope to increase the engagement of these members and their connections both to your organization and one another.
Within ControlShift, there are four types of events:
- Standalone events – these are events that are not related to anything else on the platform. More information about standalone events is below.
- Calendar events – these events are included in a calendar, which is often a day-of-action-style collection of events. Learn more about creating a calendar and calendar events.
- Campaign events– these events are associated with a petition on the platform. Learn more about campaign events.
- Group events – these events are associated with a group. Learn more about group events.
Each of these four types of events can be in-person or completely online. Learn more about virtual events. Additionally, any of these events can also be associated with a partnership. Learn more about partnership events.
In this article, we'll cover basic information about events through the lens of standalone events. Below you'll find information about creating a new event and using the event host's tools. By default, all events also have access to an event forum: learn more about event forums.
The event page includes information about the event, including: the date, time, and location of the event and its host. From the right sidebar, users can RSVP to attend the event.
The event creation process is basically the same for all types of events; the main difference is how users get to the event creation page (whether from the calendar hub page, the petition creator tools, etc.).
To create a new standalone event, go to the admin homepage > Events > New Event (or [your ControlShift site's URL]/events/new).This will bring you to the new event creation form.
The event creation form is intentionally simple. Like petitions, we want people without organizing experience to be able to quickly and easily create events. Some notes on the event creation form:
- The title of the event is used in the event's URL. Like petitions, the URL of the event can't be changed after the event is created.
- The description explains what will happen at this event.
- The date and time formats will automatically update based on the locale you're viewing the site in.
- By default, events do not have set end times, but if you want to include one, you can click the set end time link.
- The location field will automatically fill based on Google Maps search results. It's 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]').
- If you want to add additional details, like "Meet Outside Terminal 1" or "We've reserved the bar upstairs", you can enter these additional details later.
After entering a location, click the Enter more location details link to add more information. This additional context will be included on the event page, below the event address.
- If Google Maps doesn't understand your location, you can enter it manually instead. Just click the Enter address manually option.
- If you'd like, you can also set an attendee limit – the max number of attendees does not include the host. When a limit is 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 wait list for the event. If one of the confirmed attendees then switches their response, or if the attendee limit is raised, members on the wait list will be emailed — in the order that they joined the wait list — notifying them that space has opened up and that they can now attend the event.
Event Host Tools
Once the event is created, event hosts will be prompted to share the event on social media and by email. Then, hosts and org admins will have access to the event host's tools, which are included in the black bar at the top of the event page.
The Attendees page lists event attendees and people added to the event's waiting list. From this page, event hosts can also change attendees' RSVP status, confirm that they're planning to attend, or mark them as having attended the event. If the event has shifts, hosts can also view and reschedule attendee shifts.
From the Edit Content page, hosts and admins can update event information. If the date, time, or location of the event is changed, attendees will be notified of that change. If the event has an attendee limit, that can be set from this page too. If the attendee limit is raised, people added to the waitlist will be promoted to the attending status.
The Recruit Attendees Offline page allows hosts to print a sign up form for their event and recruit attendees in-person. Some organizations also use this sign up form as a check in form to track event attendance.
The Training page includes tips and tricks to host a successful event. This content can be customized by the organization (in Settings > Content).
The Settings tab includes various options for event hosts. From this page, hosts (or admins) can:
- invite co-hosts who will have full host privileges over the event. To invite a new co-host, click the Invite New Event Administrator button and enter the user's email address.
- enable or disable the contact messages feature.
- add pre-defined custom fields to their RSVP form.
- configure shifts for their event. Learn more about shifts.
- cancel their event. If the host cancels the event, attendees will be notified by email. This CANNOT be undone.
Shifts allow event hosts to control when attendees arrive for an event and can be useful for things like: staffing a table with more information about the organization or group, running a full day GOTV phonebank, or just ensuring that the event host has help with setup before and cleanup after an event.
When creating shifts, the event host can determine the start time and length of the shifts (which can begin before or end after the main event). The shifts can also be named and can overlap if needed.
Once shifts are enabled, attendees will be required to choose at least one shift when RSVPing to the event. The event's optional attendee limit will also apply to each of the event's shifts. (If an event has a five person attendee limit and three shifts, we'll only allow five people per shift for a total of 15 attendees across all three shifts.)
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