Santa Clara University

Web Publishing @ SCU

CommonSpot Elements

Displaying Events and RSVP forms


The event calendar manager is designed to allow you to easily add, edit, change, and share events. Events you enter are automatically associated with your commonspot account, but you can also share them with others in your department. When you first log in, you'll see a menu that includes links to set your defaults and manage groups and series, and a list of events that you have access to. The most recent events that have been entered or edited (last time modified) will show up first by default, but you can also sort them by name or date, and include past or future events.

There are two main types of events you can enter: public or private. Public events will appear in the main campus events calendar ( and are subject to an approval process through the Office of Marketing and Communications. Private events, on the other hand, will not appear in the public calendar view. They are intended to be included in a calendar on your own department Web site and do not require any outside approval.

Series vs. Multiple Instances

There is an important distinction between an event that is a member of a Series and one that has multiple occurences. An advanced event can have more than one date and time, it can even recur regularly. But it has one title and description. An example of an event with multiple occurences is "HR Payroll Dates" because it happens every 7th and 22nd of each month, but it is always the same. A series, on the other hand, is a group of events that are similar or related but are different enough to have unique titles and/or descriptions. An example of events in a Series is "Ethics at Noon" because although they occur regularly, each one is different.

Common Tasks

  • "My Defaults"

    Setting "My Defaults" allows you to save your contact information and common preferences in order to conveniently pre-fill the form when you are entering a new event. From the main menu, click "My defaults". You will see a form that includes your organization, contact information, and 'private' or 'public' preferences. Enter your prefences for these fields and click 'save'. Now, when you go back to the main menu and click either the "simple" or "advanced" create event links, you will see an event form that has been pre-populated with your information.

  • Entering a Simple Event

    For the most basic events, there is a "simple" event entry form that allows you to quickly enter an event without having to navigate extra fields such as RSVP options, recurring or multiple schedule instances, and sharing. To enter a simple event, click the link 'Simple' in the add event option from the main menu. There you will see a form that allows you to enter the title, description, contact information, and other basic information for the simple event. If your event happens multiple times or recurs, has RSVP options, or if you would like to share editing access with others in your department, you will find these options on the "advanced" event form instead. If you've entered your event using the simple form and realize later that you wanted some of the advanced options, don't worry; just browse to the event in your main menu, and click 'edit', and the advanced options will appear.

  • Entering an Advanced Event

    An advanced event is the same as a simple event except that it has a few more options. These options include: uploading an image with the event, specifying multiple instances or a recurring schedule, configuring RSVP options, and sharing editing access with others in your department.

    • Multiple Instances/Recurring

      You may enter as many instances of a single event as necessary (see Series vs. Multiples Instances). First, choose the radio button at the left that best describes the way the event repeats. If it is just once, choose "One Time Event". If it recurs regularly with some pattern, choose "Daily," "Weekly," or "Monthly". If it occurs multiple times but without any pattern, choose "other". Each regularly recurring option (Daily/Weekly/Monthly) has options for how many days, weeks, or months elapse between occurrences, and options that allow you to specify which days of the week and weeks of the month it occurs on. Finally, there are options for "excluded dates." You can enter a list of dates in the exclusion box that would be met by the regular pattern but for some reason the event does not occur on.

      For example, for a regular Thursday meeting, you would choose "Weekly," "every 1 week," "thursday," and the date list "11/22/2007,12/27/2007" in the "exclude dates" box to exclude the weeks of Thanksgiving and Christmas. At any time when entering a recurring event formula, you can click the "see selected dates" link to preview which dates will be calculated by your formula

    • Sharing

      The sharing section allows you to distribute editing access to the event with others in your department. A list of commonspot users and custom groups that you have created or are a member of (see Managing Groups) will appear in the box on the left. Users/groups that you select and click over to the righthand box will have access to edit the event. Sharing is generally a good idea in case someone needs to make a change to an event while you are out of the office or other similar situation.

  • Editing an Event

    You can edit events that you have entered or have been given access to at any time, as many times as necesary. Simply browse to the event from your main menu. Events that you have access to will appear in a list there, sorted by default by most recently modified. You can choose to sort them by title or date as well. When you find the event, click the 'edit' link, make any required changes to the event, and click 'save'. If you do not have access to a particular event and the person who did cannot give you access for some reason, use the Access Request Form below.

  • RSVP Forms

    RSVP forms are now managed exclusively in the event calendar manager (in the past you would configure an RSVP form by dropping the "RSVP Custom Element" into your website).

    • Creating/Editing RSVP forms

      To create an RSVP form, you must first have entered the events that you want to accept reservations for in the events calendar (see Entering an Event). To begin creating the form, click "Add a New RSVP Form" from the right side of the main menu. You will then see the form that allows you to configure the various aspects of the RSVP form. You will need to specifiy which events that the RSVP form should apply to, and you can do this by checking the box next to the event or series. Note that when you check a series, all of the events in that series are also automatically checked. Each scheduled instance of an event can have a response deadline, max response limit, and waiting list size configured. To do this, expand the series or event (using the "plus" icons), and click the '»' button next to the date. This allows you to set different deadlines and response limits for each event even though they share the same RSVP form.

      You will also need to specify what information should be collected from respondents to your RSVP form. Every RSVP form has the fields "First Name", "Last Name", and "Email address", and you can add your own custom fields as neccesary in the "RSVP Form Fields" section. To add a field, click "add new field". Enter a name for the field and configure it as neccesary. For example, if you wanted to ask for Access ID number and have it be required, you would enter "Access ID" as the field name and click the "yes" option for required. Also you will want to choose "number" from the "Validate As..." drop down, which will make sure the user only enters a numeric value. Finally you would want the "Max length" field to be '11' to ensure that the user only enters fields that are 11 characters long. When finished, click "add field »" and you will see the field appear in the list above.

      The final area in the RSVP creation form allows you to share access to the responses with other commonspot users, most likely someone in your department. Simply select the user from the list and click the right arrow to add the user to the list. You can also add a group of users if you have created groups (see Managing Groups). If you grant access to a person here, it will only give them access to edit this RSVP form and view responses. They will not be able to edit the event details.

      To Edit an RSVP form, click "View RSVPs" from the main menu. You will see a list of RSVP forms that you have either created or been given access to. Click the 'edit' link next to the form you would like to change.

    • Viewing Responses

      Once you have saved your RSVP form, it will be linked to from the event's detail view. When a user fills out the form, an email containing the response will be sent to the email address specified in the "Response Email" field of the RSVP configuration. You can also view responses through the events manager interface, and there are two ways to do this. First, you can go to the main menu and find the event you want to see responses for in the list. Click the "rsvp's" link next to the event and you will see the responses. The second way to view rsvps is to click "View RSVPs" in the right top column of the main menu. You will then see a list of rsvp forms that you have either created or been given access to. Click the "view responses" link next to the form you would like to see results for.

    • Including an RSVP Form on your Site

      Once you have configured an rsvp form, you do not need to do anything else. If the event is public, a link will appear in the detail view of the event calendar. If you have a calendar element included in your website (which might include public and/or private events), a link will also appear there in detail view for a particular event. If, however, you would like to create a page on your site with the RSVP form, you can do so by dropping the "Event RSVP Form" element (found in the content well) into a page. You will need to provide one parameter for the rsvp element, which is an ID for the rsvp form (ie. rsvp=84). If you are creating a new RSVP form, the rsvp ID will be given to you after you save the form. To find out the ID for an existing rsvp form, go to the "View RSVPs" link from the main menu, click 'edit', and the id will be specified at the bottom of the form (just below the 'save' button).

  • "My Calendars"

    You can now manage your "summary-details" calendar elements using a simpler form interface, instead of name/value pairs of custom element parameters.

    • Creating/Editing Calendars

      From the main menu of the event manager, click on "View Calendars" and you will see a list of calendars that you have configured. To begin a new one, click "add new calendar". In the form, you will be asked to specify organizations, series, and event types in order to select the correct events from the calendar. You can also add tags to events and select only those events by checking the box next to the appropriate tags in the form. You can preview which events are selected once you've entered any parameters by clicking the "preview selected events" link near the bottom of the form. Save the form, and you're ready to include the element in a page.

    • Including a calendar in your Site

      Once you have saved your calendar, you will need to drop the "Events Calendar Summary and Details" element into the desired page. Select the "Event Calendar Summary and details" element from the content well section or right clumn, depending on where you are inserting it. You will only need to supply one parameter, a calendar ID. To get the calendar ID, go to "edit calendar" and you'll see the ID at the bottom. The ID will also be displayed when you save a calendar.

    • Troubleshooting

      The most common problem is that certain desired events are not being 'found' by the calendar. To resolve this, verify that each event has the correct organization(s), series, and/or public/private settings.

  • Managing Series

    You can create, edit, and delete your own series (see Series vs. Multiples Instances) at any time. From your main manu, choose "Manage Series." Click the "add" link to add new series. Once you have added Series, they will appear in a list on this page so that you can edit or remove them.

  • Managing Groups

    Groups allow you to speed up the process of sharing events with other people in your department. If there is a group of people that should access to more than one event that you enter, you can save time by putting these people into a "group," which will allow you to add all of them with one click on the event form. To create a group, from the main menu click "Manage Groups" and then "add new". You will also see a list of groups that you have access to on this page.

  • Managing Tags

    Tags allow you to label events with whatever categorization is convenient for you. First you need to create tags. For example, I want to create a calendar of events that are targetted towards Alumni. I would create a tag called "alumni", then go through the calendar and apply the label to all the events that are relevant to alumni, regardless of what department or series they belong to.

    To accomplish this, you will first need to create the tags desired. From the event manage interface (, click on "Manage Tags" on the right. There you can add, edit, and delete your tags. Next you will need to apply the tags to relevant events, which you can do by going to the main public view of the calendar (, while logged into commonspot. Simply browse through the events calendar to find events that you would like to tag. Click on the event to view it's details, and scroll to the bottom of the details window when it appears. There you will see a list of tags you have created, and you simply need to click on the name of the appropriate tag to add it. To remove a tag at any time, simply click the 'x' next to it. See editing calendars for instructions on how to then configure your custom calendar to select events that you have tagged.

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