Managing event visibility and status

In this article

Introduction
Event visibility
Pending event status
Confirming an event
Cancelling an event
Managing visibility settings for multiple events
Making selective status/visibility updates to an event sequence using batch actions
Distributing the event page link in your communications

Introduction

Being able to easily manage the visibility of events so that they're seen by the right audience is an important part of event management. In addition to setting the visibility of events to show in My ChurchSuite, Connect and Embed on an event-by-event basis, it's also possible to share event pages via social media and distribute embedded links to your event pages in your targeted email communications.

In this article we explore how to manage event visibility to maximise engagement, and how to use the event status - pending, confirmed or cancelled - to help with Calendar planning and event management.

Introduction to the event page

For each event added to the Calendar module, ChurchSuite creates an event page with its own unique URL - select Go to event page from the Go to drop-down button. The event page is accessible for all future events with a confirmed status. (To view the event page of past events, use the Visibility report in the Calendar module's Reports section.)

Often events are not public-facing or open to sign-up - perhaps simply an internal reminder in the Calendar module of the weekly staff meeting. For these events the event page can simply be ignored.

For public/member-facing future events with a confirmed status (with or without sign-up enabled), the Event Page is what people will see when they click through to the event from the calendar. We've produced a related support article that explores event pages in more detail, but for now, here's an example...

Check your Calendar module settings

For any event to be set to Show in My ChurchSuite, 'My ChurchSuite access' for the Calendar module must be enabled. Head into your Calendar module settings, accessed via the cog-wheel icon in the top right hand corner of the module, and select the My ChurchSuite Options tab Check that Enable My ChurchSuite access is enabled. This setting turns on the My Events menu for your members in My ChurchSuite.

Event visibility

Whether an event is visible outside of your Calendar module - in My ChurchSuite, Connect or Embed - is determined by each event's visibility settings and the event status. These can both be set when first adding an event and they can be subsequently changed at any time by editing the event.

Event status

Events can have a pending, confirmed or cancelled Status. For example, you might use the pending status while you're planning your events calendar for the next season, changing the status to confirmed once the details are finalised. And if you need to cancel an event, you can simply update the event status to cancelled without having to delete it. The event's Visibility settings (explained next) always apply regardless of event status. In this way you can optionally leave a cancelled event visible so that people can see the event's updated status, or set a pending status event visible so that people can reserve the date, even though it might not yet be confirmed. You have complete flexibility!

When considering an event's visibility it's important to remember that only those in your Address Book with My ChurchSuite access will be able to access the event page through My ChurchSuite. For those outside your Address Book and those without an email address and those who don't use My ChurchSuite, you may want to consider where else to promote your event in order to maximise engagement. For example, your weekend service Information Point (Connect), your website (Embed), social media channels (Share) and communications (Event page URL) are all effective promotional channels.

Visibility in My ChurchSuite

For an event to be visible in My ChurchSuite tick Show in My ChurchSuite. This will include the event in the My Events calendar that your members see if they have access to My ChurchSuite. Note also the option to restrict event visibility in My ChurchSuite to members in selected Tags. The Restrict to tag option is a great way to promote events to just the people to whom they're relevant. For example, perhaps you have a 'leader training event' that you only need to be visible to members in your "Leaders" tag, or maybe it's a 'men's event' that just needs to be visible to your male members using a Smart Tag with a condition set for "Sex = Male". See our related support articles for further information about My ChurchSuite and Smart Tags.

Visibility in Embed

You can also set events visible in your web-embedded calendar by selecting Show in Embed. So, for example, a newcomer dinner event will likely need to be visible in your website embed calendar since potential attendees may not yet have access to My ChurchSuite. See our related support article for further information about embedding your events calendar or 'featured events' feed into your website.

Visibility in Connect

If you use ChurchSuite's Sunday-facing Connect applications, perhaps at your weekend service Information Point, you can set an event visible in the Connect Event List application by ticking Show in Connect. Then, using a laptop or tablet at your Information point, members and visitors can view and search a list of events and even sign-up and purchase tickets (where applicable). See our related support article for further information about Connect.

Visibility in featured event feeds

The 'featured event' functionality is ideal for those higher profile events that you want to especially promote - an upcoming Alpha Course, the Small Group sign-up fair, the Student Weekend away, the next online service. Featured events are surfaced on the My ChurchSuite home page that your members will see when they first log in, and also in the My Events section of My ChurchSuite. You can also embed a 'featured events feed' into your website, perhaps on your home page. To feature an event, tick Show in featured events. See our related support article for further information about My ChurchSuite or for embedding a 'featured events' feed into your website.

Here's an example of the Featured Events feed on the My ChurchSuite home page. As one featured event passes, the next one becomes visible in the feed automatically.

Top Tip!

In addition to restricting event visibility in My ChurchSuite to those particular Tags, you may also consider adding custom menu links to the My ChurchSuite Menu for an important event. Custom menu items can be added for any external link, including an Event Page - and you can optionally restrict visibility of external links to just those members in particular Tags. See our related support article for further details on how to add custom menu items.

Pending event status

You can set the Default status to be applied to new events added to the Calendar module in the module's settings.

Events with a Pending status are easily distinguished throughout ChurchSuite in an italic font with a ? icon at the end of the event name. Since we can't italicise event names in iCal feeds, we prefix the name with [?] e.g. '[?] The Alpha Course Online'.

While an event has a Pending status you will not be able to send event invites, access event check-in, share the event page on social media or access the event page to sign up. However, an event's Visibility settings always apply, regardless of event status. In this way you can optionally have a pending status event visible so that people can reserve the date, even though the event is yet be confirmed.

Confirming an event

For events with a Pending or Cancelled status you can easily Edit an event and manually update the visibility settings and status to Confirmed, or for Pending events you can simply click Confirm on the event's 'View' page.

On the Confirm pop up, review the event's existing Visibility settings and update where appropriate. For sequence events you can tick to Update sequence. Click Confirm to close the pop-up and process the change.

The event updates to a Confirmed status - the Pending status is removed.

Cancelling an event

An event's Visibility settings always apply, regardless of event status. In this way you can optionally leave a cancelled event visible so that people can see the event's updated status when clicking through from your event calendar. While an event has a Cancelled status you will not be able to send event invites, use event check-in, share the event on social media or access the event page to sign up.

For events with a Pending or Confirmed status you can easily Edit an event and manually update the visibility settings and status to Cancelled, or for Confirmed events, click Cancel.

On the Cancel pop up, review the event's existing Visibility settings and update where appropriate. For sequence events you can tick to Update sequence - this will update all sequence dates, past and future (see next section details on how to use batch actions to selectively cancel just certain dates in a sequence). Click Confirm to close to pop up and process the changes.

The event updates to a Cancelled status.

A cancelled event can easily be reinstated by editing the event and updating the event Status and Visibility fields.

Note: Cancelling an event does not affect existing sign ups - you can manually process refunds for paid sign ups based on your organisation's internal refund policy and T&Cs. You can also communicate to existing sign ups to let them know the event is cancelled.

Cancelled events are easily distinguished throughout ChurchSuite in a strikethrough font. Since we can't strikethrough the event name in iCal feeds, we prefix the name with [X] e.g. '[X] The Alpha Course Online'.

Managing the visibility settings for multiple events

The Visibility column on the Events list in the Calendar module includes visual icons to indicate the event's visibility settings: -

  • Events Visible in My ChurchSuite display with an 'eye' icon.
  • Embed events display with the '</>' embed tool icon,
  • Featured Events have a star icon.
  • Events visible in Connect are distinguished by a 'tablet' icon.
  • Restricted visibility events in My ChurchSuite have a tag 'label' icon. Hovering your mouse over an icon in the Visibility column gives you a helpful reminder about the settings.

These same icons are surfaced in the Added Events report, which lists all events that have been added to the calendar within a range of dates - ideal for seeing which new events have been recently added and the visibility settings of those events.

You can easily manage (and edit) the visibility of all your events using the Visibility report. Optionally filter the report by event Categories category or Status or range of event Dates. Within this report you can even click a visibility icon to change the visibility settings of an event. Note also the URL column - ideal for quickly navigating to Event Pages without having to open each event one at a time. In a browser only you can "right-click" on the URL icon and select Copy Link Address. Then you can simply paste that Event Page URL wherever you choose - ideal for getting multiple Event Page URLs to drop in to your e-newsletter.

Making selective status/visibility updates to an event sequence using batch actions

You can make bulk changes to the visibility settings and event status of selected events using batch actions. This may be helpful with event sequences where you only want to update some or all of the future-dated events in a sequence without changing past events.

Working within the Events section of the Calendar module, search or filter the list and select the events you want to update by ticking the box to the left of the event name. From the batch Actions menu select Edit.

On the Edit pop-up, set the Status and Visibility settings to be applied. Type I CONFIRM to process the changes.

Distributing the event page link in your communications

The most obvious way of sharing or promoting an event is to copy and paste the Event Page URL into your email communications or sharing the link to you social media feeds.

Selecting a word or phrase in an email and using the Insert/edit link tool...

...you can easily embed an Event Page URL into the message, creating a clickable link that email recipients can use to access the event page. This embed method looks neater than simply pasting long URLs into messages.

This method also has the distinct advantage of enabling those who may not be in your Address Book to access the Event Page (and sign-up where applicable) when you share it using an external email application outside of ChurchSuite. For example, the Event Page link can be embedded into a MailChimp campaign communication or embedded behind a button or link on your website.

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