Tag Archives | conferences

Conferences/Events

Planning a conference? The Commons offers great tools to help with publicity, organization, and registration before your conference. And during the conference, your website and groups on the Commons serve as social hubs, where participants can meet and discuss issues, access information, post presentations, and aggregate tweets.  And once the conference is over, the social network you’ve created provides a way for people to stay connected and keep the conversation going, as well as a space to archive what went on.

Getting Started

  • Create a WordPress site on the Commons. Here you can centralize all information about your conference, publish agendas and presentations, advertise, and provide a place where members can blog and comment on other posts. You might want to select a theme with a slider that will showcase presentations and create a buzz.
  • Post it on the Events Calendar
  • Optionally, create a group or a number of groups on the Commons. This can help with organization, provide an addition place for discussion, and launch a permanent space for like-minded colleagues to meet. Groups can provide a powerful social layer to your conference. Tools include discussion forums, announcement boards, file uploads, docs, email notifications, and reply by email functionality.
  • If you have a group and a blog – consider attaching them for better integration. Learn more about groups and group blogs.
  • Optionally – get a “CUNY.IS/[yourSiteName]” quick link for your conference site or group (or both). These easy-to-remember, short URLs help make the information about your conference easy to find.
  • Use the Announcements group to Call For Proposals, and for publicity and reminders about your conference.

Map your Domain

Does your conference already have its own domain name? Or does your department or program have a place where events typically reside? No worrries. You can map that address to your site on the Commons. This provides a great way to take advantage of the great functionality available at the Commons while still maintaining a connection to your traditional domain. Users can either type in your domain’s URL or the Commons URL to access the conference site.

The Commons is open to faculty, staff, graduate students, and graduate alums (we do make some exceptions and create some temporary accounts). If your conference audience does not fall into these categories, you can still use the Commons, but keep in mind that Non-Commons members cannot join groups. They can view your conference’s public site and post comments on posts and pages, but they will not be able to subscribe and create posts.

 

Curious to see how it worked out for others? Check out these past CUNY events:

Bronx Ed Tech Showcase

bronxedtech

 

 

Lehman, Hostos and Bronx Community College use the Commons to host their annual Bronx EdTech Showcase. The site gathers proposals via online forms, posts agendas, showcases presentations, provides directions, and archives past conferences.

 

The CUNY Games Festival

Another great example of how the Commons can be used to host a conference, The CUNY Games Festival used its site to publish its program, recognize sponsors, archive presentations, link to live streaming, provide directions, food and lodging information, and a blog for reflections and wrap-ups. The Commons homepage had a slider promoting the festival, with links to the site and registration page.

games

 

The Commons lets you create a free website for your conference, and offers a bunch of add-ons that may help both before, during, and after your event. Hope to see your event on the Commons!

Events Manager Plugin

If you have a WordPress site on the Commons and frequently announce or organize events, check out the Events Manager plugin. It is a neat way to manage and display upcoming lectures, seminars, conferences, meetings, etc. Each event is nicely displayed on its own separate page with an automatically generated Google map pointing to its location. Events can be categorized and tagged, and can be displayed in your site’s sidebar using widgets that itemize them in a bulletted list, or in an interactive calendar. You may also use shortcodes on pages or posts to display all or selected events. This is a great way to organize the way your site displays upcoming events.

Getting Started

Go to Plugins and activate the “Events Manager” plugin, using the usual procedure. You will notice a new tab on the left-hand side of you dashboard called “Events.” (You’ll also see that the plugin author has included three test events for demo purposes. You’ll want to get rid of these after you get the hang of how the plugin works.) Click on “Add Event” to add your first event. There are seven basic attributes for each event. Only the first two are required: (1) title; (2) date; (3) location; (4) description; (5) thumbnail image; (6) tags & categories; and (7) enable bookings. If you don’t give your event a location, the Google map will (obviously) not appear. If you enable bookings, you can let your users register for the event, and manage tickets and seats. Click here for more info on bookings.

Here is a screenshot of how an event may appear on your site:

Widgets and Shortcodes

The plugin has two widgets, one called “Events” and the other called “Events Calendar.” Simply drag and drop these into your sidebar to give your readers quick access to the events you want them to know about. There are also many shortcodes which can be used on individual posts and pages to list and aggregate events by tags and categories. Here is a page explaining the shortcodes and their implementations. Shortcodes can be used to create detailed calendars of events, or styled lists with thumbnail images.

Settings and Documentation

There are tons of settings possible. One immediate change you might want to make is to switch the date display from European style to month/day/year. The plugin has great documentation and its own demo site. As the author notes about the demo site:

This website is only a small example of what’s possible with this plugin. With all the formatting options and event settings in the admin area, you can style and format events to look the way you want them!

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