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[IPS News] Unite your community with the Events application

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Bringing your community together with both online and in-person events is one of the most powerful ways to create meaningful connections, long-lasting relationships and one-of-a-kind experiences. The pandemic put a stop to many in-person events, but now that the dust is settling and people are beginning to return to some sense of normalcy, physical events are becoming commonplace. However, we can’t ignore the recent surge in online events now that COVID inspired a new norm. Previously, the Calendar application acted as more of a personal planner, focusing on daily, weekly, monthly and yearly happenings. That functionality still exists, but we’ll leave it to Google Calendar and the likes to handle your standard appointments. Instead, we’re shifting focus to community-driven events with our appropriately named app, Events, available for all Invision Community clients. Our Events app features a beautiful overview page that showcases community events. Let’s take a closer look: Featured Events calendar.mp4 Community leaders can now promote member-driven events with the “Feature” option. This highlights the event on the main overview page for all to see. It includes the event’s cover photo, date, title and description. Search Events Search for community events that are located near you. Tapping the “use my location” prompt allows your browser to identify your physical location, then shows a list of events that are in close proximity to you. Get granular with your search. Filter by general location, date and/or whether the event is an in-person or online event. Maps When searching, a map is also available for you to see in an instant what community events are happening. Happening Near You This section shows a list of events happening near you. It includes a snap shot of the events happening near your physical location, as well as a map of where the event is taking place. This tailor-made page displays events based on geo-location, so communities with members from all over the world will view and experience the Events page differently. If there aren’t any events happening, a message block is displayed instead that says: Happening Today On the day of, your event will include a badge to show the entire community the special event is happening. Online Events This section displays a list of virtual events within your community. Events are shown in chronological order by date and time. Browse by month We extended the search functionality to automatically show both in-person and online events categorized by the month. This is particularly useful to plan what events you’d like to attend and also see what’s in the pipeline. Event Page Here's an example of what an Event's page looks like. It includes the event details, a map if it's an in-person event and an “Open Event” linked button for the online events. Optionally members can RSVP or confirm they attended when you request that per event. Integrations A particularly useful addition to our new Events application is the inclusion of popular, third-party video streaming platforms. When creating a virtual event in your Events application, you may include a link to your event and the platform will advertise it with the vendor’s logo so your community knows what to expect. When your members are ready to join, choosing the “Open Event” button will set them on their way. Below is a complete list of platforms that Invision Community’s Events app can showcase (see examples in the screen shots above): Zoom YouTube EventBrite On24 Facebook Google Webex Slack Discord Microsoft Teams Here are a few examples of how your community can leverage our Events with in-person events: Team building meeting Unite your team with a collaborative event celebrating the company’s wins and victories. Sometimes in-person meetings spark new ideas in ways that a virtual environment can’t. Donation drive Round up your local community and raise money for those in need with an in-person fundraiser. Training programs Gather a group of community moderators and/or employees together and teach them how to innovate, strategize and lead with a physical training event. Flash sale Make Black Friday, Boxing Day and other major retail sales an event within your community. Encourage your community to show up to a limited-time flash sale where in-person purchases are the only route to obtain an exclusive item. Let's check out some examples for online events: Virtual happy hour Let loose with a few of your community buddies at a virtual happy hour. Schedule something once a week or month and make a few extra friends no matter where they live (a cold brew at 5 a.m. your time when it’s 5 p.m. their time might be a tad awkward, but hey, it’s 5 p.m. somewhere). Holiday party If your company is remote-based, an online holiday party is the perfect solution to spread the good time vibes. Interviews Invite fans of an artist to watch a virtual live stream or music video where they can actively engage and contribute. Fan gatherings Speaking of fans or an artist or brand, unite people who share common interests together with a fan-fueled event. Conduct a Q&A, share inside information and create a space for them to celebrate their collective passions. Our Events application is a welcomed addition designed to bring an enhanced presentation of the events happening in your space both on and offline. Community users can enjoy this interactive overview as an add-on to the traditional view. As a site admin, the overview page can be set as the new default in your AdminCP. We are excited to bring the Events application to all Invision Community plans in an upcoming release. Let us know what you think in the comments.

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