Alliant Events Calendar User Guide

Entering events on the Alliant Events Calendar.

The events calendar is powered by Localist and located at: https://events.alliant.edu

The Events Calendar is optimized for sharing content across social media channels. It’s easy to use and will allow you to:
  • Publish, manage, and promote your events
  • Increase awareness and discoverability of your events
  • Increase attendance and engagement with your audience

Getting Started
Users can sign up using an email address or log in through Facebook, LinkedIn, or Twitter. Those that sign up using their Alliant.edu email will subsequently log in using their netID and password. If you would like to manage a calendar, please submit a new ticket. Include your name, title, role in event promotion, and for what unit (department or group) you are requesting access.

How to add events
Any user with an Alliant login may submit an event.  Click on the Submit Event button to display the event submission form.
 
What kind of activities are appropriate to submit?
All sorts of Alliant sponsored events!

An event is an activity that occurs at a specific time and place and that people attend in person, or virtually. The Alliant events calendar is a promotional system for advertising activities to make them more visible and to increase attendance. It is to be used for events advertised to the public that are organized, sponsored or co-sponsored by the university or by Alliant-affiliated organizations. The calendar does not include non-university events and usually will not list events simply because they occur at a University facility.
For details on the types of events appropriate for inclusion, see our moderation guidelines.
 
How do I prepare an event for submission?
Include a relevant and compelling title and a clear and simple picture.  Event descriptions should be inviting and answer the audience's basic logistical questions: what kind of activity, who should attend, what makes it appealing, where is it, how do I register or purchase tickets and how much does it cost.

Make your event easy to understand!  Be sure to explain jargon and abbreviations not commonly known or used outside Alliant, and check your spelling and grammar before submitting your event. A contact name, phone number and email are required for all submissions.
See some examples of well-written and not-so-well-written events here.
 
What picture should I use with my event?
Images are displayed within a circular frame. A centered image at a moderate distance is generally most effective. The best pictures are simple images related to the event being advertised. For example, a photo of a speaker's face, the building where an event will be held or an item that represents the topic, such as a soccer ball for a soccer match. Public domain images may be used, and you are welcome to select an image from the Library of Congress Digital Collection. Pictures to avoid include photographs of a poster or agenda (cannot be read and look messy), and pictures of unrelated items, such as a pencil to advertise a soccer match. If you do not include a picture, a default Alliant image will be displayed
 
What do all the fields mean?
Form fields are explained in detail here.  See below for some additional content hints.
​​​​​​
  • Description: If your description contains a URL, use the link icon to make it a hyperlink your audience can easily click on
  • Organization: (optional) Select one--or more, if co-sponsored--organizations sponsoring or organizing the event
  • County: California counties are listed.  Leave blank for online-only or out-of-state events.
  • Contact name, email and phone
  • For questions about the event. Can be an individual or organization.

Can I enter multi-day events?
These can be entered as repeating events. Several examples for entering events with complex schedules can be found here.
 
How do I enter a location that is not pre-configured?
Type the location's name in Place and press the Tab key. Additional fields (Community and Directions) will appear below the Address field.  Be sure to fill in the Address field to display a map with your event.

How do I delete my event?
Locate and open the event on the calendar, and click on the Edit Event button. If you need to cancel an event, we recommend editing the event and entering CANCELED in the Event Place field instead of deleting the event.  The system does not email interested users when an event is canceled, but it will email them if the date or location is updated, so editing this field will make the cancellation more visible.

Other event-related questions

Is there an approval step?
Yes.  Events are held in a pending queue until reviewed by a moderator.  Approval typically takes no more than 1-2 business days. Events are reviewed for clarity, categorization and appropriate content. Moderators follow these guidelines when reviewing events.
 
Does the events calendar reserve rooms or collect RSVPs?
No.  Use a room reservation system to reserve space for your event--if needed--before promoting the event on Alliant's events calendar.

How does "I'm Interested" work?
Users can signal interest in attending by selecting the I'm Interested button.  People following the organization associated with the event or the place where the event is held will also display as interested attendees.  This is a great way to gauge interest, but is not a commitment to attend!  For more exact counts, be sure to include RSVP instructions or a link to an external system for registration or ticket purchase.
 
What happened to linking to Facebook events?
In the past, the event submission page included a field for adding a Facebook event.  People who indicated they were interested or going to the event on Facebook would appear under "I'm Interested."  On April 4 2018, Facebook restricted access to their events API, which prevented the calendar from retrieving Facebook guest lists. This field was removed from event submission forms.  The vendor will continue to monitor Facebook developments and will return the field if access is restored.  As always, you can include a link to related Facebook events in the event Description for user convenience.

Will the Events Calendar replace my existing calendar?
The Events Calendar can support all of your events. It will be the central location for all campus events. Best practice 
will be to maintain one calendar for discoverability and Search Engine Optimization (SEO) of your events.

Will my department have its own calendar?
Yes, if your department, group, or place has been added to the Events Calendar, a specific calendar/landing page has been created for it.  

How do I get my event listed on the Featured carousel?
The featured events carousel is used to display a variety of events that are open to the public and appeal to a broad, institute-wide audience. University marketing selects events that meet these criteria. If you’d like your event considered for the featured events carousel, submit a new ticket.
 
What can I do to make my event appear in the Trending list?
An algorithim is used to determine which events are most popular and most interesting/visible. You can increase your event's chances of appearing in this list by using some of the features that are included in this calculation.

I have a lot of events to submit. Can I bulk-load them?
Absolutely!  Submit a new ticket at Marketing Desk and request a .csv file (spreadsheet). Update that file with your events and return it for a calendar administrator to load.

Can I create a private event?
Private events are best communicated through targeted solutions, such as email. For large events where specific event calendar features are needed, an administrator can adjust an event to be visible only to people with the URL. Submit a new ticket to Marketing Desk for more information.

None of the filters really suit my event, can we add filters?
Using filters is not required, but increases the visibility of your event.  We will typically advise you to use a filter that is close enough, such as "Sale or Fundraiser" for a giveaway or contest.  Additionally, be sure to include words in your event description that people are likely to search for. A long filter list is difficult to use and frustrating to end users.  We've therefore kept the list of filters intentionally short, and we will remove filters that are not frequently and consistently used. If you would like to suggest a new or different filter, please submit a new ticket
 
I have a question or concern regarding user comments.
Please submit a new ticket detailing your specific question(s).

Organizations

How do I approve events for my organization's calendar?
You don't have to!  Unlike Alliant's previous system, this system is not a collection of separate calendars.  All events belong to one big calendar, and events are approved centrally, typically within 1-2 business days.
 
Can I request an organization landing page?
Organization landing pages are suitable for larger departments, colleges or organizations that host 10 or more events per year, that users are likely to follow, and that may want widgets of their events on their own web pages. Landing pages are not required to submit an event.  If the organization or group hosting the event does not have a landing page or an event is co-sponsored, just include the organization name(s) in the event description, which is searchable. To request an organization landing page, please submit a new ticket. Organizations will be periodically reviewed and those hosting no or few events will be removed.
 
What organizational level should be listed?
We suggest listing organizations that host 10 or more events per year, as people may wish to follow their activities. In some areas, that would be a college or division. In other areas, much smaller departments or sub-departments may need their own landing pages. As a general rule, fewer organizations hosting many events is better than a bunch of tiny organizations hosting only occasional events. Users will want to follow active organizations that host a number of activities of interest to them. There is no hierarchical structure or logical nesting within organization landing pages.  A user following the California  would School of Education will not also automatically hear about events associated with the California School of Management and Leadership.  However, it is possible to display events for multiple organizations in a widget on your organization's homepage.
 
An event appeared on my organization's landing page that we did not create!
When creating events, people can select one or more organizations from a pull-down list of all organizations with an active landing page.
If someone mistakenly associates an event with your group or department that concerns you, please submit a new ticket.  We will contact the owner to see if an update is needed.

Using the calendar

Do I have to log in?
Logging in is not required to view events or save them to your personal calendar. Logging in with your Alliant ID allows you to: 
  • Submit an event
  • Click on the "I'm Interested" button
  • Invite friends to join you
  • Follow an organization or place
  • Get email reminders from the event calendar about events you are interested in
  • Post comments and photos about an event, organization or location you follow
 
How do I put an event on my personal calendar?
You can easily save an event to Google calendar, Apple iCal or Outlook by opening an event and selecting one of the icons displayed in the Subscribe section below the event description.  You do not need to be logged in to use this feature. Want to subscribe to a bunch of events at once?  Just select a filter to display a selection of events​, then scroll to the bottom of the page where you'll see options to "Subscribe to these results"
 
Where are the notification and privacy settings?
By default, notification about events and friend activities is turned on and other calendar users are able to see your calendar activities. To adjust these settings, log on, click on the pull-down arrow to the right of your image, and select Settings​​​​​​. Notification (email) settings are in the Notification tab below Account Settings. Privacy settings are in the Privacy tab.
 
What does I'm Interested do?
Selecting "I'm Interested" places an event on your personal calendar within the event calendar system. It will send you a reminder to attend and request a review the day after the event occurs.  This helps show the popularity of an event and who hopes to attend. You can also appear in the list of people interested in an event if you follow the organization hosting the event or follow the place where the event is held. I'm Interested is not a commitment to attend an event.  Be sure to read the event and to RSVP, register or purchase tickets if required for attendance.
 
Are there any guidelines for using the calendar or commenting on events?
Submitted content should be in keeping with Alliant's policy for Acceptable Use of Computing Resources. Additionally, comments and photos are encouraged and welcome! They should be on-topic and in keeping with the Alliant Code of Ethics.
If you notice comments that appear inappropriate, please contact the IS Service Desk to investigate.

Website owners

Can I display events on my department's website?
Yes!  Several options are available, including widgets, RSS feeds and APIs.

How do I export calendar events as an RSS feed?
RSS feeds can be found on results pages.  The feeds cover up to 1000 events from one month ago through one year from now.  To create a feed, just select a filter, an organization or a place to display a selection of events you would like to export as a feed.  To obtain a feed of all events on the main calendar, click on All Events.
If selecting an organization or place landing page, scroll to the bottom of the list of upcoming events and click on "View full calendar."
Scroll to the the bottom of the right column and click on the RSS feed to establish your feed.
 
Can I display a widget on my department home page?
Of course!  To create a widget, use the built-in widget-builder tool here: https://events.alliant.edu/help/widget.
Creation date: 9/19/2019 12:06 PM (Reg)      Updated: 9/19/2019 12:41 PM (Reg)