Launching our events feature – an open message
AN OPEN MESSAGE TO OUR MEMBERS – INVITATION TO JOIN 👉 HERE
We are buzzing to introduce events for our members and beneficiaries…
How events work
The events feature available within Community Network NI offers members the ability to create virtual or in-person events that we can share with other members and/or beneficiaries.
There are a variety of features we can use to run your events. You can set up repeat events, directly integrate with Zoom, duplicate events, restrict RSVPs — and more! Members can RSVP to events, sync events to their personal calendar, and add threaded comments and replies on each event.
At the moment we have it set to only Hosts and Moderators can create events so we can set it up for you, but, if you would prefer to go ahead and start setting up events yourself, please drop Sarah Scullion a DM and we’ll get you set up.
How to Create an Event
With events and permissions enabled, an events tab will appear within the left navigation. From the events page, we can use the + button to create an event.
From there, a form will open up giving us various options for how we want to set up and publish our event.
You’ll see options to select and customise:
- Where the event will live within Community Network NI (whether it’s in your main network or within a specific group or resource)
- The topic tag that should be applied to the event (this is always optional but advised)
- If you want the event to immediately appear in the activity feed when it’s posted
- The title of your event
- The start time and end time for the event, including time zone (for any online events, members will see the event’s time converted to their local time zone, and for local events you can indicate if the event’s time zone differs from the member’s local time)
- If you want this to be a repeat event
- The event type (see below)
- How you want to manage RSVPs
- The imagery and thumbnails you want to use for your event
- The description for your event (this area can include unlimited images, media embeds, file attachments, formatted text, and more — just like any article you create in Community Network NI)
When we’re ready, we can publish your event immediately and choose to notify all members, or you can schedule it to publish later.
Selecting the Event Type
Every time we create a new event, we’ll have the option to choose from one of six event types. The event type we select will help signal to members what to expect from the event and how they will be able to participate.
The event type appears as a tag on the event itself when it appears on the events list and when someone views the full details of the event. The event type will also be visible in the feed if we choose to have your event also appear in the activity feed when it’s posted.
If you are planning to host a virtual event, we can select the “online” option and then choose the specific event type you want to use.
Here’s a breakdown of each option when we select an online event:
When we select the Zoom event type, we’ll have the option to connect your Zoom account directly and schedule Zoom Events right within Community Network NI.
We can host an online meeting by directing members to a link of your choice. We simply copy the meeting URL and add it into the box that appears when we select this event type. Some of the favorite services are GoToMeeting, Join.me, or Google Meet.
We can host a webinar by directing members to a link of your choice. We simply copy the webinar URL and add it into the box that appears when we select this event type. Some of the favorite services are Crowdcast, WebinarNinja, GoToWebinar, or YouTube Live.
We can host a live video event by directing members to an external streaming service of your choice. We simply copy the video URL and add it into the box that appears when we select this event type. Again, some of the favorites are Crowdcast, Vimeo Livestream, or YouTube Live.
We can also host a text chat event for all members of our network, or all members of a group or resource. When it’s time for the event to start, members can click on a link that will open up all member chat in that space.
If you’re planning an in-person event, we’ll instead need to select the “local” option.
From here, we just enter the location of your event and add an optional link if you want members to visit an external website or registration page to learn more.
Where Events Show Up in Community Network NI
When we publish an event, it will show up in the events tab you can access from the left navigation.
The default upcoming events tab will show all upcoming events in chronological order. There are also tabs to view nearby events (local events nearby to the location saved in your profile), past events, and your events (the events you’ve RSVP’d to).
When we’re creating a new event, we’ll see an option to choose whether or not we want to also post your event in the activity feed. We can turn this option on if you want your event to also appear in the activity feed for the main network or a specific group or resource. Whether or not we decide to publish your event to the activity feed, it will always display on the events list and in the calendar view.
On the events list you’ll also see an option to expand a calendar view that showcases all the events in Community Network NI.
Events in the calendar view will be colour-coded according to the space where the event exists. Members will only see events happening within a group or resource if they are a member of that group or resource.
How Time Zones Display
When we set a start time and end time for an event, we can include the time zone. For any online events we create, members will see the event’s time converted to their local time zone. For local events, we can indicate if the event’s time zone differs from the member’s local time.
Managing Event RSVPs
If we choose to give members the option to RSVP for your event, we have a few different options available for how to manage RSVPs, including the options to restrict the event Link or close RSVPs. You can also message event attendees based on their RSVP status and download a full list of RSVPs.
Event Reminder Notifications
Members who RSVP “Going” or “Maybe” to an online event will automatically receive a reminder notification 30 minutes before the event is about to start. For local events, the reminder automatically gets sent 24 hours before the event.
Currently, we don’t have the option to sell event tickets directly within Community Network NI and our plan is only to list events that are free to our members and/or beneficiaries, at least to get started. We may look at some paid options for specific needs if demand is there in the future so do let us know if you are interested in hosting paid events or training.
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