Managing event visibility
In this article
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 being able to control the visibility of events in My ChurchSuite, Connect and Embed on an event-by-event basis, it's also possible to share event pages on social media and distribute event page links in targeted communications. In this article we explore how to manage event visibility and hopefully maximise engagement.
For each new event added to the Calendar module, ChurchSuite creates an Event Page with its own unique URL. From an event's "View" page select Go to event page from the Go to drop-down button. The Event Page is accessible for all future events. To view the event page of past events, use the Visibility report in the Calendar module's Reports section.
Often events are created that are not public-facing or for sign-up; perhaps simply an internal reminder on the Calendar of the weekly staff meeting. For these events the Event Page can simply be ignored.
For public/member-facing events, with or without sign-up enabled, the Event Page is what people will see when they click through to the event from the calendar. Here's an example...
While you can easily manage an event's visibility in My ChurchSuite, Connect and Embed - explained later - there may be times you wish to further manage an event's audience by sharing the Event Page URL in your church communications. In the next section we describe how you can promote an Event Page in your email communications.
Distributing an Event Page in your communications
The most obvious way of distributing and promoting an Event Page is to copy/paste the Event Page URL (or insert/embed the Event Page link) into your email communications; or sharing it to 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 recipients can use to access the Event Page. This embed method is neater than pasting long URLs into messages.
This paste/embed 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.
Setting event visibility
For any events to be set visible 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 will turn on the My Events menu for your church members in My ChurchSuite.
If you plan to allow sign up to any of your events, the Enable event sign-up module option must be ticked. Still in the module settings, click on Module Options tab and check the box to Enable event sign-up. Without this option checked, it will not be possible to sign-up for any events by SMS, in My ChurchSuite, Connect or Embed - this module option essentially enables or disables all sign-up functionality in the Calendar module.
You can manage event visibility on an event-by-event basis. The Visibility settings are located on an event's "Edit" page.
To set an event visible within My ChurchSuite, tick to Show in My ChurchSuite. Doing this will include that event in the My Events calendar that your church members can see if they have access to My ChurchSuite. Note also the option to optionally restrict event visibility in My ChurchSuite to church members who are in certain Tags. The restrict to tag option is a great way of promoting events to just the people to whom they're relevant. For example, perhaps you have a leader's training event that you only need to be visible to church member in your "leader" tag. Or maybe it's a men's event that just needs to be set visible to your male church members using a Smart Tag with a condition set for "Sex = Male".
Beyond member-facing visibility in My ChurchSuite, you can also set public-facing events visible in your web-embedded calendar by selecting Show in Embed. So a newcomer dinner event, for example, will likely need to be visible on your website embed as potential attendees are unlikely to have My ChurchSuite yet.
If you use ChurchSuite's Sunday-facing Connect applications at your church Information point, you can also set an event visible at your Information point by ticking Show in Connect. Using a laptop or tablet at your Information point, church members and visitors can view a list of public-facing events in Connect's Event List application and even sign-up and purchase tickets (where applicable).
Finally, you may wish to set your event to be a featured event. 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. Featured events are featured on the My ChurchSuite home page when church members first log in, and in the My Events section. It's also possible to embed a featured events feed into your website, perhaps on your home page. To feature an event, tick Show in featured events.
Here's an example of the featured events list on the My ChurchSuite home page. As one featured event passes, the next one becomes visible automatically.
When managing 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 of your Address Book, those without an email address and those who don't use My ChurchSuite, you'll likely want to consider where else to promote or make visible your event in order to maximise engagement. Your church Information point, website, social media channels and communications are all effective promotional channels.
In addition to restricting event visibility in My ChurchSuite to members in a particular Tag, you may also consider creating adding a custom menu item to My ChurchSuite 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 church members in particular Tags.
In the example below, notice the Church Weekend Away on the My ChurchSuite menu - this is an external link to the Event Page. For further details on how to add external links, see the related support article.
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. Events visible in Connect are distinguished by a 'tablet' icon. And 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.
You can filter the report by event Categories category or range of event Dates. Within this report you can even click a visibility icon to toggle the visibility settings of an event. This saves you having to open and edit each individual event and enables you to make global changes to the visibility settings of lots of events really quickly! 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 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 grabbing multiple Event Page URLs to drop in to your e-newsletter.