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IP.Board 3.2.0 Dev Update: Calendar Improvements, Part III: RSVP

Posted by bfarber , in Calendar, 3.2.x 16 February 2011 · 7,454 views

rsvp 3.2 calendar
As part of our continuing IP.Board 3.2.0 development update blog entries, we've already told you about some great improvements you can expect to see in Calendar with the release of IP.Board 3.2. In addition to much improved SEO capabilities in Calendar, we have also made loads of changes to improve the consistency of Calendar compared to the rest of our suite lineup. While these changes alone will make Calendar much more useful for administrators and users alike, we are most certainly not done yet. We can still squeeze some more improvements out of Calendar in 3.2.0 before moving on to other important tasks, and to that end I'd like to use this entry to discuss a new feature you will have opportunity to use in the next release of Calendar: RSVP events.

Important Note: The screenshots you will see below are taken of a very-early build of 3.2 and the interface will be subject to change. Our UX designer will be going over the RSVP changes in Calendar in greater detail in the weeks to come, so please understand that what you see below is not how the final result will appear upon release.


The Concept

Often times you will find that when creating an event on your community you want to allow users the opportunity to let you know if they will be attending or not. This is useful for both real-world events (i.e. a club meetup at a coffee shop) and for online-only events (i.e. a developer seminar). As the event organizer you may need to know how many people will be attending, and/or if specific users will be attending. It is useful to have a way to allow users to signal that they will be attending the event.

In the "real world", this is usually done through what is known as "RSVP". Basically, an RSVP is a notification from a participant to the event organizer that the participant will be attending the event.

In the next version of Calendar, users will have the ability to create events that request attendees to RSVP for the event.


Administrative Controls

Administrators can control which users can both create RSVP-requested events and which users can respond to RSVP-requested events.

For each individual calendar you create within the Calendar application, you can specify on a per-permission mask basis which users can create RSVP events, and which users can respond to RSVP events. You can also control on a per-calendar basis if the event poster is allowed to remove users who have saved an RSVP for an event or not (super moderators always have this ability). If you do not wish to use this capability in a specific calendar (or at all), you can simply not allow any users the ability to create RSVP events in the calendar.


Creating and responding to an RSVP event

Creating an RSVP-requested event is as simple as checking a box on the event submission form.

When viewing an RSVP-requested event, a new box will be shown to the user to signal that the event organizer requests attendees to RSVP, and who has already RSVPed for the event.

Attached Image

When you click on the RSVP button in the RSVP area, your participation status will be saved through AJAX and the attendee list will be dynamically updated. Note that if javascript is disabled, your status is saved through a normal browser redirect screen fallback.

Attached Image

If you have permission to remove attendees (as I do in this screenshot), a delete icon will show next to each attendee, affording you the opportunity to remove them from the list.


Wrapping Up

While we have some ideas in mind for future versions of Calendar to possibly expand the system as implemented presently, we wanted to go with a clear, simple and straight-forward approach for this first implementation of the RSVP system that we feel will be easily understood by your users (and thus, more likely to be used properly by your users as well). Creating an RSVP event is as simple as checking a box (if you have permission to do so), and signaling your attendance is as simple as clicking a button (again, if you have permission to do so). We feel this approach will make the feature more likely to be used, while still allowing us opportunities to expand the feature in the future.

Let us know what you think in the comment area below, and be sure to keep an eye out for our next blog update about Calendar, coming soon!

Feel free to comment on this blog entry below or, if you have feedback unrelated to this blog entry, start a new topic in our feedback forum. Be sure to check the What's New in IP.Board 3.2 topic for a running list of announced changes!

  • Breadfan, Wilford Tibbetts, Donkerrood and 10 others like this



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Clickfinity
Feb 16 2011 08:15 AM
This will come in very handy for people organising bike rides on CycleChat. :thumbsup:
    • IPB Bob and borra like this
A very welcome change. Great to hear this finally arising in IPB as well! Thank you so much.
Nice. :) It would be nice to have an option to hide the list of RSVP attendees so they are not public (preferably on a "per event" basis, so the person creating the event can decide whether or not these should be shown publicly).

..Al
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PrinceOfAbyss
Feb 16 2011 08:37 AM
In some cases, it's not only important to declare your attendance, but also any persons you will bring to the event.

In such situations, we currently open a topic for such events/meetings, and members post something like: PrinceOfAbyss, then another one posts Brandon +2 (meaning he will bring two more persons with him), Lee +1, etc...

So, I believe that in order to cover this necessity as well, you can program the system to not hide the RSVP button once somebody declares their participation, but keep it there for them to press it additional times to declare the +1, +2 etc...
nice... thumbs up!
Is there no integration with social networks like facebook you can have events and RSVP for those. Would make sense to integrate the two?<br>
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Edward Shephard
Feb 16 2011 09:21 AM
This drip feed of great new stuff we can't yet use is torture! I love it, great work guys.
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jasperjames
Feb 16 2011 09:24 AM
Facebook integration would be phenomenal, save pestering users twice. If they're separate then Facebook will have to remain the default (just because everyone uses it, and for sigh-on) shame they couldn't make it look nice. I'm sure it's horribly tricky too!
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Clickfinity
Feb 16 2011 10:10 AM
Please please please don't go down the route of integrating everything with Facebook. It literally halved my visitor count when I enabled the "Like" feature on my board because content was pulled from "facebook.com" and people's work routers blocked them.

Also I like the simplicity of just pressing a button too. No options, just click for showing attendance and that's it.

Otherwise we'll end up with a situation similar to the current Like button: Click > pop-up > select/don't select > click button again. All of which is overkill - we just need a simple click - that's it, nice and easy and quick.

Well ... that's my take on it anyway. (I'm sure I'll be reminded of this when I ask for this / that option in the future ... lol)

Cheers,
Shaun :D
    • Cyrem and Claudia999 like this

In some cases, it's not only important to declare your attendance, but also any persons you will bring to the event.In such situations, we currently open a topic for such events/meetings, and members post something like: PrinceOfAbyss, then another one posts Brandon +2 (meaning he will bring two more persons with him), Lee +1, etc...So, I believe that in order to cover this necessity as well, you can program the system to not hide the RSVP button once somebody declares their participation, but keep it there for them to press it additional times to declare the +1, +2 etc...


Keep in mind there is still the commenting system new to Calendar in 3.2 so you can express additional feedback by commenting on an event. :)


To everyone else, there are some great ideas here (both some we thought about, and some we didn't) and I just want to remind everyone that there is always 3.3 to look forward to. ;) I would recommend starting a feedback topic in the appropriate forum, specific to event RSVP, and post your ideas in there. As we are working on 3.3 (and other future versions) we can review the topic and see what kind of tweaks and enhancements we can make to the system. We purposefully kept it simple (the old adage KISS goes a long way sometimes) in the first release to (1) release a solid working system, and (2) determine what features were truly useful to our customers before slapping a bunch of unused stuff into the core. :)
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Clickfinity
Feb 16 2011 10:35 AM
You can't do that ... you can't mention 3.3 ... not yet!!!!!! Cor blimey man!!!!

We haven't even got our grubby mits on 3.2 yet ... :thumbsup:
    • Matt likes this
I was wondering if we going have " Custom field" with the new calendar so we can add what we need,because that's something i need when i'm adding events to our calendar.
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Ohio Riders
Feb 16 2011 12:21 PM
Updates like these are what I want to see, not updates like Skimlinks integration from vB. I'm anxious to see 3.2. It just might be what pushes me over the edge to switch.
I agree with CycleChat - please do not do this Facebook integration thing.

We use our Facebook page to list activity and as a neon sign to visit our community. We have Facebook connect enabled so they can one-click over to the calendar event and then RSVP but plllllease keep this out of Facebook.

Love the RSVP feature. It seems to me a simple drop down next to the RSVP button would fix the concerns expressed above (1, 2, 3, 4, 5)

Thanks for this feature. It is awesome!
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invisionhispano
Feb 16 2011 02:35 PM
This is a great feature...

What would be also perfect, would be to create an RSVP event several days before the event and x days before the event it could automatically create and send an invitation to the event with Bulk Mail... :thumbsup:

Very difficult, perhaps ?
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NVGADeveloper
Feb 16 2011 02:44 PM
This is the needed change to the calendar and I posted somethinkg like this in the company feed back section. I would like to see the ability to be able to make thread for an event then post it to the calendar so you don't have to post the event twice. For example, when I do events I have a thread with details about the event. I would love to simnply be able to click on a button saying "Promote topics to Calendar as event". Something similar to how IP Content handles articles. Would save me some time like crazy and you don't have to post the event twice

What is really interesting about this new system is how it will work with my custom pre-reg system. Right now I require people to make an account then they have to log into our pre-reg and fill out all the information for what games they want to enter into. With the ability to RSVP on the event in the calendar I'm wondering now if this will give me the ability to allow existing users to simply use the calendar to RSVP but then if they want put enter in additional items then they simply go back into the pre-reg. So many ideas now....

Great job invision!!
Here is my suggestion concerning the RSVP.

Many events are discussed in topics. So why not paste a link from the calendar event into the topic, parse it just like galleries in ip gallery 4, and allow members to RSVP directly from the topic, as well as from the event in the calendar.
    • NVGADeveloper and ideric like this
Or maybe include in the topic creation a functionality to create an event with rsvp just like polls. and the event to be posted automatically in the calendar as well.
    • NVGADeveloper likes this
The second one sounds much much better to me.
OK. This feature is nice and handy and all but you didn't talk about how it "fits" within the rest of board. I mean there is no point of having a feature that is not quite integrated with the rest of the board. For example, let's say I created an event about raising money for charity, what's next? How do people participate? Can they comment on the event? Can we create a topic where they can comment/discuss? Will this topic be visible only to those who responded to the event?

The feature is nice but the most important thing is to show how to use it.

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