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.
Emails can be found all over Event Wizard®, like the ones that are sent automatically when someone registers/pays for one of your events, or sent manually using the Mass Email tool in your event’s reports section. While you can’t directly attach files to these emails, you can easily create a link to the file using your online file hosting space, which is included with every Event Wizard® account.
1. Upload Your File
The first step is to navigate to My Files in Event Wizard®, which can be found in the main menu at the top of every page.
From here, you can either click the Upload button and choose a file local to your computer, or simply drag-and-drop it into the browser window. You will likely notice a progress bar at the bottom of the screen as your file is uploaded; the speed of which will depend on the file size and the speed of your internet connection. Once the uploader has finished doing its thing, you will see your new file in the list.
2. Create Your Link
For this example, we are going to use the Registration Confirmation Email.
Now that you have uploaded your file, head over to your event’s task list, open up your Edit registration confirmation email page and scroll down to the editor. Highlight the text into which you’d like to insert your link and click the Link button in the editor’s toolbar.
In the popup that appears, click the Browse Server button, which will open up your list of files in a new window. Locate your newly-uploaded file in the list, (likely near the top) and click the file name to close the window and insert the link into the URL box.
NOTE: Some older email clients require that you set the Target of your link to open in a new window. To do this, click the Target tab at the top of the popup and select New Window (_blank) from the list of options.
Click OK to confirm, then click Save to lock in the changes to your email contents.
That’s it! Now, when someone receives this email, the embedded link will allow them to download the linked file from your Event Wizard® storage. You can also use this method when linking to files elsewhere in your event; to an agenda PDF on your Welcome page, for example.
One of the biggest changes to Event Wizard® that came along with the version 6 launch was the My Files page. In addition to the new look and feel, we also re-created it from the ground up, allowing us to add new features like ‘drag & drop’ functionality and the ability to create folders, (among other things). Now, with the help of feedback from our users, we have developed yet *more* useful features that help you get the most out of this page:
1. File Sorting
The tables in Event Wizard® allow you to sort the data how you like it, whether it be by First Name, Last Name, Email, etc. However, on the My Files page this was not an option … until now! When you first come into the My Files page, your files will be sorted by date created, (with the newest at the top) but simply click on one of the column headings to sort by that column, then click it again to reverse the order – easy!
2. Search/Filter Capabilities
Looking for a specific file, or maybe a certain type of file? No problem – use our new Search/Filter box to find what you’re looking for quickly and easily. Click in the box and start typing; you’ll see your file list transform real-time as it filters out all the files and folders that don’t match your search terms.
NOTE: Keep in mind that this will not find files that are tucked away in folders – in this case, you would need to open the folder before typing in your filter.
3. Additional 500MB of Storage Space
Let’s face it, 100MB isn’t a lot of space, especially if you have a lot of events on the go. Not to mention, this also includes any files uploaded by your registrants. So, we decided to give you a bit more, (500MB more, to be exact) to give you a total of 600MB storage space!
We are always looking for ways to improve Event Wizard® and these new features are just a few small examples of this. As always, if you have any feature requests, likes/dislikes about Event Wizard®, or just want to tell us how great we are doing, check out our Event Wizard® Feedback form. Also, for more information on the My Files page and how to use it, check out our original My Files blog post.
Let’s cover some basic points before we get into how you upload and access files within your Event Wizard® account.
- All of the files you upload to Event Wizard are contained in your My Files section
- These files can be accessed from any event you’ve created
- You have 600MB of space in your file bank
- Allowed file types include .jpg, .jpeg, .gif, .png, .bmp, .pdf, .doc, .docx, .rtf, .xls, .xlsx, .ppt, .pptx, .ics, .swf, .svg, .woff, .docm
For the purpose of this post let’s say you had a .pdf you wanted accessible on your registration site for download, even though the process for uploading your files will be the same for any allowable file type. The first thing you’ll do is go to the My Files section of your account and click Upload.
Search for the .pdf on your local hard drive and upload. Once the file is uploaded it is now permanently stored within your My Files until you delete it.
NOTE: You can also drag and drop files from your computer into your browser window to upload them. Drag and drop is supported by all modern web browsers, (sorry Internet Explorer 8 users!) and can be used in the same way you would drag and drop files from folder to folder on your computer.
To access your newly uploaded .pdf you have two options:
Option 1 – Your .pdf will be at the top of your My Files list, this is the case for any new file you add. When you click on the name of the file it will open in a browser tab.
Copy and paste the URL of the file when it opens and navigate into the events task list that you’re working on. Choose the area you would like the agenda to be available in, for instance the top of the registration form. Once you’ve opened the registration page editor you can simply paste the URL into the editor or hyperlink an image or text.
Click OK and be sure to save the changes when you’re done.
Option 2 – For this method you do not have to copy and paste the files URL after uploading it. Simply navigate to the registration pages editor and highlight the text or image as you did above, except this time when you click the hyperlink icon and the box appears, you will choose ‘Browse Server’. This will open your My Files bank so you can choose from any file you’ve uploaded.
Click OK, save the changes are you’re done! This same method should be used when accessing any photos or logos, except you will click the picture icon in the editor instead of the hyperlink icon.
Use the My Files section in your account to store any file types you may want to embed or link to from your registration site.
If you have any questions, let us know or post to the comments.