Attendees can add events to iCal, Outlook, or Google Calendar

Event Espresso 4 provides one-way integration with iCal compatible calendars, including Google Calendar, Apple Calendar, Microsoft Outlook, etc. Using the Event Espresso 4 iCal feature, event attendees can quickly add events they have registered for to their personal calendar. The iCal download link includes details such the date and time of the event, venue name, and venue location, etc. That information is then added to the customer’s personal calendar.

 

What is iCal?

iCalendar, or iCal for short, is a standard method of transferring calendar information between computer systems. The standard allows products from many vendors to transfer calendar information between each other.  iCalendar files typically have the file extension “.ical” “.ics” “.ifb”  or “.icalendar” with a MIME type of “text/calendar”. The iCalendar open standard should not be confused with iCal, the former name for the commercial product “Calendar” developed by Apple Computer.

iCalendar is designed to be independent of the transport protocol. For example, individual events can be sent by traditional email. Web servers (using just the HTTP protocol) are often used to distribute iCalendar data about an event and to publish busy times of an individual.

 

How is iCal Implemented in Event Espresso 4?

There are three different ways we’ve applied iCal download links in Event Espresso 4. I’ll cover them below.

 

Event Listings Page

The first place your customers will notice the iCal download links is in the event listings. Your customers can click the iCal download link/button to add the event details to their personal calendar. Here’s how it might look on your site:

iCal Download Button Example in Event List

iCal Download Button Example in Event List

 

Event Details Page

Similar to the event listings page, the second place your attendees will be introduced to the iCal download link/button is when viewing the details about individual events, as seen in this example;

iCal Download Button Example below ticket selector

iCal Download Button Example below ticket selector

 

[Optional] Registration Confirmation Messages

The final place your customers might see an iCal download text link is directly after registering for an event on your site, via the “Registration Confirmation” email. I say they might see the link because this location is optional and can be activated by adding a shortcode to your message templates, as seen in the “How to Add iCal Download Links to Messages” documentation.

Registration Confirmation Email Message

 

 

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Event Schema Markup

Event Schema Markup is code that you put on your website to help the search engines return more informative results for users. By adding event schema markup, search engines (Google, Bing, Yandex, and Yahoo!) can read important details about the event, then generate what is known as a “rich snippet” in the organic search engine results pages.

For example, here is an search specific to “events in chicago”. The result are specific to the events happening now in Chicago, and the format is special for events.

Event Schema shown in Google search results

 

Event Espresso Supports Schema.org Structured Data Markup for Events

Event Espresso Supports Schema.org Structured Data Markup for Events

The event schema markup includes details such as when an event is happening, venue, time and location. Without this type of structured data, a web page is essentially all information with no context; adding structured data gives it that context.

 

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Invite staff members with limited access to help manage your events

WordPress developers familiar with the WordPress Roles and Capabilities system know that it provides a really powerful system for user management. You can grant you staff access to certain areas or functions of Event Espresso based on a capability or user role.

  • No UI for user management. The system is entirely hidden to the average user, but it can be managed via a third-party roles and capability plugin (see below).
  • Over 100+ granular capabilities added. A number of capabilities follow the capability mapping system WordPress provides for not only restricting access to general views but also restricting access based on whether a user “owns” the item being viewed or not (i.e. Event Authors only being able to edit their own events, or a user being able to edit only their own custom message templates).
  • Easy to use plugin API for extending functionality. In EE4 we’ve provided a handy API for developers to quickly integrate add-ons with different core components of Event Espresso.
  • Takes care of initializing new roles and adding capabilities to existing roles. When you hook in your new capabilities using this system you are automatically integrated with all the stuff the EE Capabilities system does.
  • Areas of EE4 admin can also be restricted to certain capabilities. This Google Spreadsheet gives you a high level overview and description of all roles and capabilities as of Event Espresso 4.6. We’ve listed all of the EE4 admin routes in the left column and the capabilities across the top. Along the bottom, each sheet represents a different area of Event Espresso.
  • Use any third-party roles and capabilities plugin to manage access to Event Espresso 4 features. Capabilities can now managed using any number of third party role and capability management systems, such as Members by Justin Tadlock, to grant users (by role) access to attendee data, events, registrations, and WordPress pages and post content.
ee4-general-capabilities ee4-event-capabilities
ee4-registration-capabilities ee4-add-new-role

If you have technical questions, please feel free to post in our support forums. Developers with access to Event Espresso on Github can post questions there.

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Display events without requiring registrations, tickets, or payments

custom-url-ee4Event Espresso 4 allows you to create and showcase new events without requiring attendees to select a pricing option (e.g. a ticket).

This means you can use Event Espresso to add events to a calendar or list of events for any type of event, not only the ones when tickets are for sale. All you have to do is set the “Display Ticket Selector” setting to “No” for the individual events.

If the event details are available on a different website, you can easily link there by adding the URL in the “Alternative Registration Page” field.

southern-utah-hiking-meetup-1

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Sell tickets or event registrations to multiple dates for the same event

New to Event Espresso 4 is the capability for events to have:

  • Multiple dates and times (datetimes) per event
  • Individual datetime capacity limits
  • Tickets are automatically locked when an assigned ticket is purchased
  • Individual ticket options (including multiple ticket options per datetime)
  • Datetime titles and descriptions

Multiple Datetimes per Event

Event Espresso 4 allows you to set up an event with multiple dates and times (datetimes). You no longer have to have the same event that occurs on a different date be a different event. This means you can use the same event page for many events. It is also now possible to keep the event published even after registration has closed, which is useful for archiving events. See the photo above for the datetime manager.

Individual Datetime Capacity Limits

Notice the “limit” field for each datetime in the graphic above. With Event Espresso 4, event managers now have the ability to set capacity limits for each datetime of an event. As the tickets that have access to a certain datetime are purchased, the datetime “Sold” value increments so that the datetime is not oversold (regardless of which combinations of tickets are purchased).

Automatically Locked Ticket Selection With Purchased Tickets

When a ticket assigned to a datetime is sold, that ticket cannot be unassigned from that individual datetime. This ensures accurate registration and transaction data. See the “lock” icon below in the lower right corner.

Locked Datetime

Individual or Customized Ticket Options per Datetime

Event Espresso 4 gets more advanced with the ability to have multiple and different tickets assigned to each datetime. Ticket options per datetime gives you a lot of control to build the access and ticketing options for almost any type of event. You can allow a ticket to have access to some datetimes and not others, based on the ticket purchased.

Multiple Tickets per Datetime

Individual Datetime Titles and Description

Each datetime can have a title and descriptions that can help with organizing events with a lot of dates (see top image). This datetime title and description is also used on the front-end as a way to sell/explain datetimes to attendees.

Image

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Object-oriented Programming

Our goal is to make Event Espresso simple and reliable enough for the basic user, but robust and customizable enough for the enterprise-level user. One of the major refactors in Event Espresso 4 was to move from procedural-based coding to Object-oriented programming (OOP).

The premise behind OOP is to organize code into smaller software systems that can be reused throughout the entire software application. The smaller objects can also be reused rather than programmed multiple times (as is done with Procedural programming).

Experienced developers will appreciate how far we’ve abstracted the Event Espresso code, added hundreds of hooks, and added comments throughout. Developers will find that this more advanced way of programming will facilitate more complex systems and add to the possibilities of what you can build with Event Espresso.

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Define Extra Meta Information

WordPress custom fields allow the post author to assign custom fields to a post (or in this case an event).

Meta-data is handled with key/value pairs. The key is the name of the meta-data element. The value is the information that will appear in the meta-data list on each individual post associated with the information.

There are advanced methods for referencing, displaying and using post meta-data functions.

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Keyword Rich URLs

Event Espresso 4 leverages your Permalinks configuration settings in WordPress. “Pretty” permalinks or web links (urls) that have relevant keywords add to the context of your events and is favored by search engines (a.k.a Google). Having keyword-rich event page urls is a generally recognized method to help improve your relevant search engine ranking and get more traffic to your website.

Pretty Permalinks

By default, WordPress uses web URLs which have question marks and lots of numbers in them; however, WordPress offers you the ability to create a custom URL structure for your permalinks and archives. This can improve the aesthetics, usability, and forward-compatibility of your links.

Event Espresso 4 Pretty Urls:

  • Event pages, e.g.: yourdomain.com/events/youngling-jedi-training/
  • Event lists, e.g.: yourdomain.com/events/
  • Event categories, e.g.: yourdomain.com/event-category/jedi-yoga/
  • Venue pages, e.g.: yourdomain.com/venues/palace-of-the-jedi/
  • Venue lists, e.g.: yourdomain.com/venues/
  • Venue categories, e.g.: yourdomain.com/venue-category/jedi-politics/

More Event Espresso SEO mastery is coming soon, and this is the first step. Event Espresso is also compatible with many of the top SEO plugins.

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Allow discussion about your events through public comments

One easy and powerful way to build a relationship with your attendees is to enable commenting about your events—right on the event page!

Allowing comments on your event page allows potential registrants to ask frequently asked questions that can help other people make a decision whether to attend your event (or not).

Commenting also allows past attendees to rave about your events and offer a review for other people considering your next event.

Your events are awesome, make sure it’s super easy for people to talk to you—and others—about them with comments on your event page!

The WordPress commenting system allows you to configure moderation settings, reply right within your event page (see above image) and much more! The layout, style and format of comments are configured on a theme-by-theme basis or adopt the design from your theme.

Front-end (public) commenting

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Create events as drafts and preview them before publishing

Event Editor Publish Meta Box (Draft Status)We know you can’t always create an event and publish it all in one sitting. Publishing a new event can take time. With draft events, you can work on your event pages over a period of time or hand them off to someone else for editing before you publish it live to your website.

Event Espresso 4 will automatically save the events you have in-progress as “drafts”, plus you can save them as a “draft” as you go. You can even schedule to publish your event at a later date and time.

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