New Meeting / Events Editor, RSVP Function

I have just updated the form for posting events to the BlueBroward Calendar to feature a more user friendly “rich text editor,” which means it should be easier for folks to add links, as well as bold and italic text and other effects to their calendar entries. Like anything technical that’s new, it may have some bugs to be worked out, so just yell if you run into problems. (I did test it first, honest, but it may turn out I’ve missed something).

The main thing that’s new is this rich text editor, which is courtesy of a user interface library developed by Yahoo. The button you use to add a link looks like a link in a chain, and most of the other buttons should be fairly self-explanatory.

The new editor provides rich text editing options
The new editor provides rich text editing options

If you are going to be posting meetings regularly for a Democratic Club or campaign, I ask you to set up an event template for that organization and associate all events for that club or campaign with that template. For a club, the template is the boilerplate information about your club, where it meets, and what its regular schedule is. When you post a new event, that information will be filled in by default. You can add other details, and you can always post an event for a different date or location, but associating all events with the record for your organization in the database helps keep things organized. Your organization can also designate multiple people with rights to post and edit events, so that you can back each other up.

The function for editing the club/organization template used to be down at the bottom of the screen. Now, you click on the button on the right hand sign of the screen that says “Switch to Template Editor” and the options will change from asking you to pick a specific date to picking a schedule such as “First Tuesday” (can also be “Varies Month to Month” if you don’t have a regular schedule).

For campaigns, the campaign profile functions as the event template. Again, multiple people can be designated with rights to edit the campaign profile and post / edit events on behalf of the campaign.

If you want to collect RSVPs through BlueBroward, you can now do so. Note that this is an option: if you use some other service such as Meetup to help you organize events, I’m not going to force you to use my RSVP setup. Instead, you can just link to the page for your event on Meetup.

On the other hand, I know some of you have gotten away from using Meetup because of the fees they charge, and for some of you it may be simpler to handle RSVPs for a Democratic event through BlueBroward. To turn on that feature, you must supply an email address where notifications can be sent as RSVPs come in.

You can also add some instructions for how you want the form filled out by attendees. By default, the RSVP form asks for name, phone number, and email address, but there’s also a space for people to provide other information. For example, you might want to ask people to tell you what they will be bringing for a pot luck dinner. Or you might have specific information you have to supply for the security detail at a presidential visit.

Along with the instructions, you can add a confirmation message to be displayed after the RSVP is entered. This information will also be included in an email confirmation that goes to the attendee. For example, if there is a charge for event, you might want to include reminders about the pricing and where checks should be mailed.

The RSVP fields aren’t displayed when you first open the web page that includes the form. They will appear when you click the link “Click to Set RSVP options”

How to display the RSVP options
How to display the RSVP options

I wouldn’t suggest asking for RSVPs for every monthly meeting of a Democratic Club, but rather for special events for which it would be helpful to get a good headcount.

When you set a request for RSVPs, a link to the RSVP page for your event will be displayed as part of your event listing on the BlueBroward Calendar. Users who click on that link will be taken to a page like the one below.

Entering an RSVP
Entering an RSVP

When someone completes the form, an email will be sent to the email address you supplied (by default, the one associated with your account, although you can provide a different email if you prefer). A list of the people who have responded will also be displayed on your MyPage Menu page.

None of this is carved in stone, so let me know if you run into something that doesn’t work the way it ought to.

Author: David F. Carr

BlueBroward webmaster