How to import events into your Calendar module
Importing your church's existing event calendar into ChurchSuite is simple, easy and quick. Here's how...
Make sure you have your calendar file in the right format
The first step is getting your existing calendar event data into an iCal/ICS file. This is a standard calendar format used for calendars. You are basically looking to end up with a file that looks like this: name_of_calendar.ics
Different calendar applications enable you to export into iCal and ICS format. Here are a few:
- Exporting from Google Calendar
- Exporting your calendar from Microsoft Outlook (follow the instructions for exporting the calendar for Google, but without the step2 part where you import it into Google Calendar)
- Exporting from Apple Calendar
Follow the instructions for your Calendar application. Once you have your file, move on to the next section. Note that you may wish to edit the file or restrict which events are exported to the .ics file, rather than having a file of all your past events (which may include many years of past events).
Every calendar application is different and each store event information in different data structures. One of the limitations of iCal/ICS files is their inability to distinguish event sequences, meaning that each date in a repeating event sequence are stored as individual events. So when you import that file into ChurchSuite, the system will create individual events for each item imported, and will be unable to link events together into sequences. This may be undesirable!
One of the distinct advantages of an event sequence is that changes made to one date in a sequence can be easily applied to other dates, or even all dates, in the sequence. This won't be possible if the events are imported and created as individual, unlinked event dates.
For this reason, and because the process of adding events in ChurchSuite is so easy, you may prefer to add your events in ChurchSuite afresh, rather than import - this will enable you to easily build repeating event sequences that are linked together, and you'll be able to supply all the other fields of event information that are not included in an iCal/ICS file, such as event images, overseers, event categories, tickets, custom sign-up questions, visibility and sign-up settings.
Importing your calendar file into ChurchSuite
Working within the Calendar module's Events section, click Import events.
Click on Choose file and navigate to and select the iCS/iCal file you created in the previous step. Then, click the Import ICS/iCal File button.
Follow the on-screen instructions. The events are imported into an "Imported" event Category. You can easily re-categorise events after import and back-fill missing event information. The Missing Data report in the Calendar module's Reports section may be helpful in identifying which events have certain missing fields of data.