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

Each event in the Calendar module has an event page with a public-facing URL that can be optionally shared - select Go to event page.

Often events are not public-facing or open to sign-up - perhaps an internal reminder in the Calendar module of the weekly staff meeting. For these events, the event page can be ignored. However, 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 the event page in more detail but for now, here's an example...

Check your Calendar module settings

For events set to Show in My ChurchSuite, 'My ChurchSuite access' for the Calendar module must be enabled. Head into the Calendar module settings - accessed via the cogwheel icon in the top right-hand corner of the module - and click on the My ChurchSuite Options tab. Check that Enable My ChurchSuite access is enabled - click Edit to make changes. This setting turns on the My Events section for those with My ChurchSuite access.

Event visibility

Event visibility outside of the Calendar module - in My ChurchSuite, Connect or Embed - is determined by each event's visibility settings and the event status - explained below. 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 update the event status to cancelled without having to delete it. Events with a pending status do not accept sign-ups, even if sign-up is enabled for the event.

The event 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, 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 event visibility it's important to remember that only those with My ChurchSuite access will be able to access the event page through My ChurchSuite. For those outside your Address Book or those without an email address or those who don't use My ChurchSuite, you may wish to promote your event to maximise engagement in other ways. For example, at your weekend services or in-person gatherings at your Information Point (using Connect), through your website (using Embed), on social media channels (using Share), or in your communications (using the event page URL) - these are all effective channels for event promotion.

Visibility in My ChurchSuite

For an event to be visible in My ChurchSuite tick Show in My ChurchSuite. The event will show in the My Events calendar that those with My ChurchSuite access can see and search. You can optionally restrict event visibility in My ChurchSuite to just those 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 set visible to those in a "Leaders" tag, or maybe it's a Marriage Course that only needs to be visible to your married contacts by using a Smart Tag with a condition set for "Marital = Married". See our related support articles for further information about My ChurchSuite and Smart Tags. Finally, note the option to choose All contacts and All children and the visual distinction between Address Book and Children module Tags, enabling you to promote events to just the right groupings of contacts and children based on the Tags they belong to.

Visibility in Embed

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

Visibility in Connect

If you're using ChurchSuite's in-person event-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, people can view and search a list of upcoming 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 important events that you want to raise the profile and promote - an upcoming Alpha Course, the Small Group sign-up fair, the Student Weekend away, and the next online service. Featured events are surfaced on the My ChurchSuite home page that people see when they log in. 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 for embedding event feeds into your website.

Here's an example of the Featured Events feed on the My ChurchSuite home page - users can use the forward and backward controls to see other featured events. As each featured event passes, the feed updates automatically.

Top Tip!

In addition to restricting event visibility in My ChurchSuite to those in particular Tags, you may also consider adding a custom Link to the My ChurchSuite Menu for your most important 'current' event. Menu links can be added for any external link, including an Event Page URL. You can even restrict the visibility of Links to just those in particular Tags. See our related support article for further details on how to add custom menu links.

Pending event status

You can set the default status applied to new events in the module's settings, accessed via the cogwheels icon in the top-right corner of the module. On the Module Options tab click to Edit the Settings to change the Default Event status.

Events with a Pending status are distinguished throughout ChurchSuite in italic font with a ? icon at the end of the event name. And since it's not possible to italicise content in iCal feeds, we prefix the event name with [?] e.g. '[?] The Alpha Course Online'.

While an event has a Pending status you will be unable to send event invites, access event check-in, share the event page on social media or use the event page to sign up. However, event Visibility applies, regardless of event status, meaning that a pending status event can still be visible so that people can reserve the date, even though the event is not yet 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 click Confirm on the event's 'View' page.

On the Confirm pop-up, review the event's existing Visibility settings and update as appropriate. For sequence events, you can tick to Update sequence, which will update the status for all future events (from today onwards) in the sequence. Click Save to close the pop-up and process the change.

The event status updates to Confirmed.

Cancelling an event

Event 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 be unable to send event invites, use event check-in, share the event on social media or use the event page to sign up.

Note: if you have used the Schedule Email option to schedule event invites, you will need to cancel the email using the Cancel action on the Communication report.

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

On the Cancel pop-up, review the event's existing Visibility settings and update as appropriate. For sequence events, you can tick to Update sequence - this will update all future sequence dates from today onwards (see also the next section for information on how to use batch actions to selectively cancel certain dates in a sequence). Click Save to close the pop-up and process the changes.

The event status is updated to Cancelled.

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 optionally cancel sign-ups and manually process refunds for paid tickets based on your organisation's internal refund policy and T&Cs. You can also communicate with existing sign-ups to let them know the event is cancelled.

Cancelled events are distinguished throughout ChurchSuite in strikethrough font. Since it is not possible to style text in strikethrough in iCal feeds, we prefix the event 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 Date 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.

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. Select Yes, I'm absolutely sure before clicking Save 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 share the link to your 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 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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