We go through great lengths here at Event Wizard® to bring you features that make it easy to create and manage your event. One such feature is the ability to automatically create and include a downloadable calendar file, (.ics) that your registrants can add to just about any digital calendar app. While this is sufficient most of the time, you may find the need to customize and/or include extra event details in your calendar files, or just include a download link in your confirmation emails. This is where creating custom .ics files comes into play.
There are multiple ways to create .ics files in various applications and online services, but for this example we are going to cover the two most popular ones:
While this method varies slightly depending on which version of Outlook you’re using, the basic process is as follows:
- Start by creating an Appointment in Outlook by going to the Calendar panel and selecting “New Appointment”.
- Enter the event title, location, start/end date and times, time zone, and any other information you wish to include, then click Save.
- With the new Appointment selected, click the File menu, then Save As.
- In the “Save As” dialog, navigate to the desired folder, give it a file name, ensure “Calendar Format (*.ics)” is selected for the file type, and click the Save button.
The .ics creation process is much simpler in the Mac-native Calendar app:
- Start by double-clicking the date in question.
- Enter all the event’s information in the popup, (title, location, time(s), etc.) and click anywhere outside of the popup to save the details.
- Then, simply drag and drop the newly-created event on to your desktop to automatically create the .ics file.
If you don’t happen to have a Mac or have Outlook on your PC, you can try one of the many online third-party .ics generators, such as:
NOTE: Event Wizard® has no affiliation with the above sites. They are simply examples and are to be used at your own risk.
Using Your .ics File
Once you have your new .ics file, you’ll need to upload it to My Files in Event Wizard® so you can reference this link later. You can use this download link in things like confirmation emails, site pages, or anywhere else you’d like to share it. This process has already been covered in another blog post, so in case you missed it, you can check it out here.
One of the most useful features of Event Wizard® is the ability to create multiple pages for your registration site. It allows you to organize and present information in a very appealing way without the need of a separate website hosted elsewhere. You can create pages for things like agendas, contact information, photos, or in the case of our example today, a simple Welcome/Introductory page.
Getting Started With Pages
Head over to the purple section of your event task list and select “Website Pages” from the submenu, then “Edit Custom Pages”.
Here you will see a list of all the pages on your site and whether they are visible or hidden. By default, only the Registration and Thank You pages are enabled, since they are the only ones required for all registration sites. Event Wizard® does create a Welcome page for all new events, but it is left hidden for simplicity’s sake. Since it’s already there, let’s start by unhiding the Welcome page and adding some content – click the Edit icon to do so.
Before adding any page content, it’s a good idea to start at the top with the page’s properties and options, just to make sure it’s set up the way we want it:
- Page Title: appears in the browser’s toolbar and when the page is added to favourites.
- Page Type: tells the system whether it is a special kind of page, (we don’t need to worry about this for now).
- Navigation Link Text: represents this particular page in your navigation menu that, when clicked, will navigate to this page.
- Enter password to protect this page: useful for password-protecting pages with sensitive content, (again, not something we will worry about for now).
- Introduction message for password page: a simple message that appears above the password input on a password-protected page.
- Hide this page?: when checked, this renders the page inaccessible and hides it from the navigation menu.
- Open in new window?: when checked, clicking the navigation link for this page will open it in a new window/tab in your browser. This is used mostly for links that will take visitors away from your registration site, so we will leave it unchecked here.
- Make this my default page: when checked, it sets this page as the first page visitors will see when landing on your site through the standard https://event-wizard.com/events/[EVENT_CODE]/ link structure.
The first thing we will want to do is make sure the page is visible on the navigation menu. To do so, uncheck the “Hide this page?” checkbox. We also want this to be the first page visitors will see when they come to the site, so ensure “Make this my default page” is checked before moving on. You can also customize the Page Title and/or Navigation Link Text values, but we will leave them as is for this demo. Once your properties and options are ready, go ahead and add some content before clicking Save at the bottom of the page. If you’re unfamiliar with the online editor, we have a short but comprehensive help video on how to use it to add contents to your page.
NOTE: creating new custom pages is basically the same process, except you’ll need to click the “Add New Page” button at the top-right, (or in your event task list) before proceeding the same as above.
Enabling the Navigation Menu
To enable and modify your site’s navigation menu, head back to the purple section of your task list, select “Form Fields & Site Layout” in the submenu, then “Edit navigation menu properties”.
Once again, we are presented with some properties:
- Navigation Width: sets the physical width of your navigation menu in pixels or percentage – it is matched to the width of your page contents by default.
- Navigation Position: allows you to position the navigation at the top or left side of the page – by default it is placed at the top, (under the header).
- Navigation Link Alignment: sets the horizontal alignment of your navigation links within the menu box itself – they are centre-aligned by default.
- Disable Navigation Menu?: shows/hides the navigation menu.
Most of the above will be fine to leave as is, but again, since new events are only created with one active page, the navigation menu is disabled by default. Let’s enable the menu by unchecking the “Disable Navigation Menu?” checkbox and clicking Save.
NOTE: keep in mind that any pages that aren’t hidden are still accessible to anyone with a direct link, even if the navigation menu is disabled. To hide them from view, ensure the “Hide this page?” option for that page is checked.
The last thing we may want to modify is the order of the links within the navigation menu. To change this, head back to the same section of your task list and select “Edit/manage navigation menu links”.
Here you’ll see all of your site’s pages, listed in the order they will appear in the navigation menu, (Top to Bottom for side navigation = Left to Right for top navigation). If you’d like to reorder them, simply drag and drop them in the order you’d like and click Save.
You can also create links in your menu to pages or documents that are outside the scope of your event website, such as social media pages, PDFs, etc. Do this by clicking the “Add New Menu Item” button in the top right, (or on your event task list) filling in Label, (navigation link text) Link/URL, and the properties, then clicking Save.
Hopefully you now have a better understanding of the page/navigation systems in Event Wizard®. As always, if you have any questions not answered here, we’d be happy to help!
The theme builder in Event Wizard® has been a staple feature for nearly a decade now. It provides the ability to fully customize look and feel, and makes it easy to apply to multiple events. With that, we’ve added a couple new things to take your event customization even further:
You asked; we listened! While rounded corners have always been an option for the navigation links, there was never really a way to apply it to other elements. Now, after receiving requests from clients, we’ve expanded the rounded corner option to both the confirmation page headers and the form buttons.
Not only have the form buttons received the rounded corner treatment, they have also been given the option of extra padding. Similar to the navigation links, you can now add some extra space around your button text to really dial in the shape and size of these form elements.
As a bonus, we’ve also added rounded corners to the section label field type. It works the same as in the theme builder: just check off the boxes for the corners you want rounded and save your field — easy!
To this point, the file uploader field type has always used the same blue button, regardless of what your theme colours are. Now, whatever colours and styles you have applied to your other form buttons will be applied to your file uploaders, (I mean, it just makes sense, right?)
NOTE: Existing themes will need to be re-saved in order to apply the new styles.
Hopefully you can utilize these new features in one or more of your events. That said, we are always looking to expand the functionality of Event Wizard®, so if you have any suggestions for features or improvements, we would love to hear from you. You never know, they just might end up in the next feature update!