Using the Events Screen
The Events Screen allows you create multiple calendars for managing events. You can also attach people to events, which is useful for volunteer management, or you can configure an event as Public and allow people to register for it (event registration with customizable fields). The Events screen also can manage event locations and display location views (facilities management), and prompt you if multiple events are scheduled for the same location during the same timeframe.
The Events screen has many different view options, including Calendar views, List views, and Location views (on very small screens, the List view will be the only option). Select the view that works best for you, or that displays the information you need.
Creating and Editing Events
To create a new event you can click in a blank space on many of the views, or click the Create Event button in the header. (If you want to create a multiple-day event, click on the first day of the event and drag the cursor to the last day of the event.) A window will open, allowing you to enter the details of the new event.
When you have finished entering the details for the event, click the Add This Event button, and your calendar view will be updated to display the new event.
Here are some tips for creating Events:
- New events are usually created as "All Day" events. By unchecking the "All Day" box, you can set the start and end time for the event.
- If an event recurs on a predictable schedule (daily, weekly, etc.), you can create one Recurring event instead of many individual events.
- Events can be assigned to both a Calendar and a Location (each of these can be configured from the Events screen toolbar). Calendars can be created with different view and edit permissions. When you assign a location, the Location views will display a grid showing which facilitiesare being utilized during a specific timeframe.
- Click the Manage Event Participants button to use the volunteer management and event registrations features. These are discussed in more detail below.
To edit or delete an existing event, click directly on the event, either in a list view or a calendar view. An edit window will appear (which is very similar to the Create Event window), allowing you to view more information about the event, or to make changes to the existing event. The edit window also provides a delete button for users who have delete privileges.
Note: User accounts can be configured with a permission level that determines whether or not they can view and/or edit events on a particular calendar. Administrators can change a user's permission level from the Home screen in ChurchTrac Online. See the Creating a New Calendar section below for information on settings the
permission level for each calendar.
By default, your Home screen dashboard will display upcoming events. You can also add an event to your reminders, and ChurchTrac Online will prompt you each time you log in until the reminder is dismissed.
Volunteer Management and Event Registration
When creating an event (or editing an existing event), click the Manage Event Participants button to open the Event Participant window and to view a list of people who are connected to the event.
You can manually assign people to an event, which is useful for scheduling volunteers for nursery, for band or ensemble, as greeters--or whatever. Once you have added your people to an event, you can send them an invite via email. When they respond to the invite, the application will automatically update their status for the event, letting you know if they will be able to attend or if they are unsure.
TIP: If someone is scheduled for multiple events that overlap in time, ChurchTrac Online will display the words
(Scheduling Conflict) next to their name in the list of event participants. However, this only works for events that have a start and end
time, and not for 'all day' events.
Private events will have a "Send Invites" button on the Event Participants button bar. When you click this, CTO will send an email to each person you've added who has not yet been invited. Once an invite is sent, their status will update to 'Invited' until they have responded. After they respond, their status will be updated to "Confirmed", "Unable to Attend", or "Unsure". For private events, invitees will be linked to a page that looks similar to the one shown below.
By default, events are created as Private events, which means that individuals cannot 'Register' to attend. Private events are 'by invite only', as described above. If you want others to be able to register for an event, you can switch it to a Public event by clicking the Event Options button. Public events will display a Registration Link URL that you can share with others. Public events will also be 'clickable' on your public calendar and in our Congregation Access portal.
To register for a Public event, a person will need to log in and/or register. The login credentials used to register for public events is the same as what is used for our Congregation Access feature and for Online Giving. When registering for a Public event, registrants will be presented with a screen similar to what is shown below:
Both Public and Private events have several other settings that you can configure in Event Options. For example, you can upload an event logo that is displayed to a person when they are responding to an invitation or registering for an event. There's also an optional deadline that you can set for responses or registration, and an option to notify you or another user via email whenever someone registers.
For some events you may want to change the "Show Additional Guests Field" to Yes. This will present the registrant with the opportunity to enter an additional number of people that will be coming to the event, and ChurchTrac Online will keep a running total of registrants plus guests.
Additionally, for both Public and Private events, you can add one or more Event Fields, allowing you to customize the registration experience or collect specific information from your attendees (a couple of sample fields are shown in the image above and below). You can ask questions or request information, and choose whether or not each response is required or optional. You can create several different types of fields, including a Yes/No option, a simple text box where the respondent can type a response, a selection list where they will pick a value, a date field that requires a year, or a year-optional date field. You can also import fields from another event that you have designated as a template for event fields.
To view an attendee's responses to your event fields, simply click on their name on the Event Participant screen, or click the Event Report button on the button bar.
Creating a New Calendar
To create a new calendar (or edit an existing calendar), click on "Edit Calendars" in the Event screen's toolbar. Creating different calendars allows you to categorize your events. For example, you can assign all "Youth Events" to one calendar, and those events will be displayed on the Calendar Screen in the color you selected for that calendar. You can create multiple calendars, like a church calendar, a pastor's appointment calendar, or calendars for specific ministries. The permission level options control which calendars each user level is allowed to view or edit.
When creating a calendar, you have the option to choose between creating a Database Calendar (default), or a Google Calendar. A Google calendar is essentially a read-only feed from your Google calendar that is displayed in CTO. Events on Google calendars cannot be edited in CTO, nor are advanced options, like Volunteer and Event Management available for Google calendars. Displaying a read-only Google calendar in CTO may be helpful in some instances, but for most uses we recommend creating a Database calendar. There's more information on creating and configuring a Google calendar here
Tip: All Calendars will show by default on the main calendar view. You can decide which calendars you want to show on this view by clicking on the Calendars button in the header section.
This will show a list of the available calendars with checkboxes next to them. Clicking the checkbox will toggle them on/off.
Event Locations and Location Views
The Events screen toolbar also has a button for creating and editing your list of locations. You will want to add any rooms or facilities to this list that you use for scheduling events. When creating (or editing) an event, you'll be able to select one of the locations you've configured. If ChurchTrac Online detects that a location is in use by two overlapping events, it will prompt you when creating or editing the conflicting event.
When you assign a location to an event, it also gives you the ability to view your events in one of our Location views. The Location Views will display a grid (similar to a spreadsheet) where date/time is on one axis and location is on the other. This makes it easy to see which locations are being utilized at a specific time, or where potential scheduling conflicts may occur.
Printing and Exporting Calendar Events
The current calendar view can be easily printed by clicking the Print button the header section above the calendar. There's also a print option on the Events screen toolbar which allows you to generate a list of events for a longer timespan. With this option, only the events on the visible calendars will be included on the report. The calendars can also be exported to an iCal/.ics file.
We also provide a calendar plug-in that you can add to your church's website (This same calendar is also viewable in our Congregation Access portal). Click "Public Calendar" in the Events screen toolbar to get instructions for inserting our plug-in on your website. Note: Only events on calendars that have a view permission of "Everyone" will appear on the calendar plug-in.