Managing the visibility of your Events
In this article
For each new event added to your Calendar module, ChurchSuite creates an event page with its own unique web-URL. 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 reports.
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 external-facing events, with and without sign-up enabled, the event page is what people will see. While you can set event visibility for My ChurchSuite, Connect and Embed, there may be times you wish to "manage" the audience. In this scenario, the URL of the event page can easily be distributed in your communications.
Distributing the event page URL for event promotion
The most obvious use of the event page URL is to copy/paste or embed the link into your email communications; or pasted into your social media pages.
This paste/embed method also has the distinct advantage of allowing 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 URL can be embedded into a MailChimp campaign communication or embedded behind a button or link on your website.
For added security you may want to use a temporary URL site to create a 'time-restricted link', and therefore minimise the risk of your contacts sharing the link and using it. For more information about this have a look at this article.
Setting your event visibility
For any events to be visible in My ChurchSuite, the My Events menu must first be enabled. To do this, head into your Calendar module options (via the cog-wheel in the top right hand corner of the screen - you'll need Administrator or Manage module permission to do this). Select the "My ChurchSuite" tab and check the option to 'Enable My ChurchSuite access'. This will turn on the "My Events" menu for your church members in My ChurchSuite.
You may also wish to enable "sign-up" for some of your events. Still in the module settings, click on "Module" 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.
Importantly, you can manage each event's visibility on an event-by-event basis. Select an event and open it in "edit" view and scroll down to the Visibility section.
To set an event visible within My ChurchSuite, tick "Show in My ChurchSuite". Doing this will now set that event visible to all church members who have access to My ChurchSuite; however, you may wish to restrict the visibility of your event further, perhaps to just those members in a particular Tag or Tags. For example, perhaps you have a leader's training event that you only need to be visible to leaders in your leader tag. Or maybe it's a men's event that just needs to be set visible to your male church members.
You can also set your public-facing events visible in your web-embedded calendar by selecting " Show in Embed". So a newcomer dinner event, for example, is likely to need to be visible on your website as potential attendees are unlikely to have My ChurchSuite yet.
If you use ChurchSuite's Sunday-facing Connect application at your church Information Desk (called Connect Events), you can also select to set your event as visible in Connect. Then, using simply a laptop or inexpensive tablet at your Information Desk, people can view your upcoming events and even sign-up and purchase tickets (where applicable).
Lastly, you have the option to set your event as a "Featured Event" to raise its prominence on the Home page and My Events page within My ChurchSuite. Events set as "Featured" will also be included in the Featured Events embed that you may have on your website. The "Featured Events" functionality is ideal for those higher profile events you want to especially highlight to people - an upcoming Alpha Course, the Small Group sign-up fair, the Student Weekend away.
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. If you want people outside your Address Book to be able to access the event page then you will either need to consider using the Event List application within Connect, or Embed your ChurchSuite calendar/events in your public-facing website, or share the event page URL in your web site or communications - or a combination of these methods.
In addition to restricting event visibility in My ChurchSuite to members in a particular Tag, you could consider creating an external link to your event page. External links can be any URL and you have the option to explicitly restrict visibility to particular Tag group(s). Essentially this method would allow you to put an important upcoming event on the menu within My ChurchSuite.
To do this, as explained above, simply copy the event page URL and paste it into the External Link field (see the related article on External Links). This would then allow you to designate that only those with the Tag '20-30s' to see the External Link to your "20-30s Weekend Away" event. Note however, that External Links might not be as obvious as a Featured Event so you should also consider doing some extra comms to let your 20-30s know where to go to sign up.
Seeing the visibility settings for all your events
The events list in your Calendar module provides you with simple visual icons to indicate the visibility settings for all of your events - note the Visibility column.
Hovering your mouse over an icon in the Visibility column gives you a helpful reminder about the settings.
Events visible in My ChurchSuite display with an 'eye' icon. Embed events display with the '</>' embed tool icon, featured events have a star and restricted visibility events in My ChurchSuite have a tag label icon.
These same icons are used in the Calendar > Reports > Added Events report, which allows you to view all events that have been added to the calendar within a given date range, and see the visibility settings for each event.
You can manage (and edit) the visibility of all your events using the Visibility report in the Calendar module reports.
You can filter the report by a particular category or range of event dates. You can even click to toggle the visibility settings of any event by simply clicking the visibility setting icon. 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 your various public-facing event pages without having to open each event one at a time. Right-click on the URL icon and select "Copy Link Address" and now you can paste that event page URL wherever you choose - ideal for grabbing multiple event page URLs to drop in to your e-newsletter.