Setting Up Your Event
If you watched the video above, hopefully the process of setting up your first event is a bit clearer. It should be noted that I have modified the page that you will see when you post your event so that its a lot cleaner, nicer to look at and hopefully a good bit friendlier to the average user than the default page as seen in the video. Now, let’s review the process of posting an event in greater depth.
To set up your first event, navigate your browser to http://tvccpaddler2.wpengine.com and click on the down arrow next to the main menu item “Calendar” at the top of the page. Choose “Add events to the calendar” from the drop down menu that appears. This will take you to a page where you will sign in with the assigned user name and password. To create a new event:
- Title, description (entry body), tags, categories and featured image are self-explanatory and all of these fields are required so add them first. Assign and configure them accordingly before moving into the actual calendar setup section, which appears below the entry body field. As you enter this initial data it is imperitive that you pay attention to the catagory selection on the right side of the page. Always choose one or more of the appropriate catagories or if you find that your event doesn’t easily fall into an existing catagory you may add one that is more descriptive of your event. This is very important because we need to identify which events are sponsored and or organized by TVCC and which are not. (Remember, it is entirely OK to add events to the calendar that are not specifically TVCC events but are paddling related and may be of interest to the membership at large for whatever reason as long as they are catagorized as non-TVCC events.) A new addition to highlight this information for the membership is the color coding of the events according to catagory as they are displayed on the normal monthly view of the calendar. Again, please do not neglect to choose an appropriate catagory before you publish your event.
- Once you begin configuring event details, the first thing you’ll need to decide is whether or not this will be an all-day event. If it is, hit the checkbox; you’ll see the start/end time fields disappear upon doing so. If it isn’t an all-day event, leave this field unchanged.
- Select the start date/time; start date will default to today and start time/end time will default to 8 a.m. / 5 p.m. respectively. However — assuming you haven’t set this event as all day — you can change these to whatever fits your event criteria using the dropdowns.
- You’ll also see a dropdown for “Recurrence.” This is a new feature that I have just added to help avoid having to deal with repetitive entries for things like roll practice. Leave “Recurrence” set to “None” for now; we’ll discuss recurring events below (Setting up recurring events).
- Event Location Details will determine the venue for your event. You can either use a saved venue from the dropdown or create a new one on the spot. If you do create a new one now, it’ll be saved in the dropdown for use on any future event you create. It’s also worth noting that you can add as many or as few venue details as you see fit; whether it’s a specific address or just the name of the river, this page will accommodate your needs. You can also leave these fields entirely blank if you don’t want any venue information to display. However, you will need a full address if you want to make use of the Google Maps options, Map View, and/or Location Search.
- If you check the “Show Google Maps Link” box, it will include a nice button that links your readers to view the venue information at http://maps.google.com. If you check the “Show Google Maps” box, it will embed a map of the venue into the events page directly. You can include one, both or neither of these on an event-by-event basis. Keep in mind that the use of the maps really helps new members or anyone who isn’t as familiar with the river locations as you might be. It might help you to determine the venue location if you visit http://maps.google.com or http://americanwhitewater.org and gather those details so that you can pass them along to the membership right along with the calendar posting. Please take the time to add as much detail as possible in this field and use the maps option if at all possible.
- Event Organizer Details are similar to the venue details we added above, only these focus on the person putting the event together. Once again you have the option to pick from existing organizers via the dropdown or to add a new one using the fields available; and once again, you can add as many or as few organizer details as you wish. Please remember that for most of the events that you are posting it is going to be necessary for the reader to contact the organizer so that they can participate in the event. It would help the member who is wanting to attend an event to have the contact information for the organizer posted right with the event on the calendar so do them a favor and take the time to include this information in your post.
- The Event Website field allows you to enter a URL if the venue or event itself has a separate website. For example: The National Paddling Film Festival has its own website. If you’ve got access to this info, Please include it here, otherwise you can leave it blank.
- The Event Cost options allow you to set a cost for the event (as in the case of Paddle School or Outdoor Chattanooga’s Roll Practice). The next field, Cost, is how much your users can expect to pay for the event. If you leave it blank, no cost field will appear. If you enter a “0”, it will say the cost is “Free”. Otherwise just enter the numeric value you deem appropriate.
- The last field on the page is “Excerpt.” If you add any text here, it will appear in various views either in list form or tool tips, followed by a link to the full entry. If you leave this field blank the list & grid view will pull their preview directly from the full entry body.
If you still have questions, please don’t hesitate to contact the Webmaster @ (423) 837-9292 or Webmaster@tvccpaddler.com
Modifying an event that’s already been submitted
It’s easy to make changes to the calendar any time that the details of an event that you’ve posted change. It’s important to make sure that any changes are reflected on the website calendar and not just updated via the Yahoo Group or by emailing individual members. Note that only the Webmaster or the original author of an event ay make changes to that event. Just hover over “Calendar” on the main menu bar and when the drop down appears move your cursor over “Add events to the Calandar”. “Modify your Event” will pop out to the right. Click on that. A list of all of the events that you have added to the calendar will be displayed on the next page. Choose the item that you want to modify, sign in, and make your changes. Republish the event and you’re done. It’s that easy.
Setting Up Recurring Events
Recurring Event settings allows you to create a New Event once and have it recur at a regular interval. It’s really handy for things like meetings, roll practice, and more. If you want to get in-depth and use the Custom Recurrence options, check out the guide below. Setting up custom recurrences is a rather detailed procedure and we really don’t have much need for it for our calendar but I’ve included the instructions below because it is a pretty powerful and useful feature if you do find yourself in need of it. If you have an event that falls into this catagory this could be a real time saver and after you’ve read it, I’m sure you’ll find it a lot easier than it looks at first glance.
A Detailed Look at Custom Recurrence
The Recurring Event feature is pretty cool, and it’s even cooler when you get into the possibilities for custom recurrence patterns. Unlike it’s more standard counterparts (“Every Day,” “Every Week,” “Every Month” & “Every Year”), the “Custom” field is quite detailed and allows you to build recurring events so finely customized that they could meet any event planner’s purpose.
The basic recurrence functionality itself isn’t particularly sexy. You set up an event, you tell it to repeat for a few days or weeks and you’re set. But when you get into the custom offerings it’s a whole different game, with enough flexibility that it’s worth taking a peek at specifically.
As is the case with all types of recurrence, when you select “Custom” from the dropdown you first have to define whether you want your recurring event to end ON a certain date or AFTER a fixed number of recurrences. Selecting ON lets you pick from a 3 month grid-based calendar:
While selecting AFTER just gives you a field in which you can type a number. Whatever you select when first configuring this will remain standard as long as you’re in custom recurrence, regardless of what changes you make to the fields below it.
You’ll notice on the next row below, there are frequency configuration options:
Those will default to showing “Daily,” but check the dropdown — there’s also “Weekly,” “Monthly” and “Yearly.”
A custom daily recurrence is the least customizable of all options, and — beyond making the ON/AFTER decision — leaves you with just one field to populate: that which dictates how often this recurrence occurs. Here, we’ve configured an event that will occur every 2 days, 15 times.
Weekly custom recurrence gets a bit more detailed. Now, you have to determine both the frequency (“Every X weeks”) along with what days of the week this event will occur. Those weekdays appear via a row of checkboxes. Below, we’ve configured an event that will occur weekly between now and December 31 2011, occurring every 2 weeks on Monday/Thursday/Friday/Saturday.
For events occurring less frequently, maybe a custom monthly recurrence is more appropriate. Selecting it from the dropdown again reveals a different interface for configuring when this event will occur: our standard frequency selector, as well as two dropdowns.
The first allows you to select a day of the month…
…while the second allows you to set the day of the week.
Notice that you can be specific and tell your event to occur on, say, the 15th of each month — or you can be more flexible and have it say something like the “last Sunday” of the month. In the instance below, our event will take place every 2 months, on the last day of the month, for 10 occurrences.
The last custom offering, yearly is also the one with the most options to pick from when setting up your event. Check out what happens when you select it from the frequency dropdown: not only do the two new dropdown menus that appeared in custom “Monthly” remain, but we’ve also got a checkbox-based month selector.
The same options will appear in both dropdowns here at custom “Yearly” that you saw in custom “Monthly”. You’ll also notice that in order to make sure your selections from these two dropdowns active, there is a checkbox that needs to be hit on the right-hand side. This differs from custom monthly events, where no checkbox appeared.
When it all comes together in a finished custom yearly event, you’ve got something like what we have below: an event occurring every year until the end of 2014, on the last Saturday of January/March/April/September/October.
Remember that when viewing any custom recurrence on the frontend, users will have the option to see the rules of that recurrence when viewing your event details. For example, the yearly recurrence we created on the backend above would have this explanation and link for users to click & view all events in the series on the frontend:
Note that any event you publish will always occur first on the date set in the event picker. In the example above, while that custom yearly recurrence will in the future occur on the last Saturday of January, March, April, etc — the first instance did occur today (8/16), which falls outside of that recurrence pattern.
It’s also important to note that sometimes, you’ll schedule an event for a day that’s non-existent; for example, “every month on the 4th Saturday”, when one or two months of the year you’re scheduling for only has 3 Saturdays. In such an instance, the calendar will simply skip over including an event any of those months where there is no 4th Saturday to publish on.