Subscription calendar details

Overview

AddEvent makes it easy to share multiple events with your users using a subscription calendar. Subscription calendars synchronize changes from your AddEvent calendar (like updated event details or newly created events) to your users' calendars which is a great way to build engagement with your users and to keep them updated about all of your upcoming events. You can also collect information from your subscribers when they subscribe to your calendar. This page outlines how to create a calendar, how each sharing method works, and technical details about subscription calendars in AddEvent.

How to create a calendar

Before sharing your subscription calendar with your users, you must first create a calendar in AddEvent. There are two ways to create a calendar:

  1. Create a calendar in the dashboard
  2. Create a calendar using the API.

Once your calendar is created, the next step is to create events in the calendar. This can be done in a several ways, including in the dashboard, via the API or Zapier integration, or by synchronizing with an external calendar.

Synchronizing with an external calendar

Synchronizing with an external calendar allows you to import your events from a 3rd party calendar service to AddEvent in order to share them with your users through AddEvent. This is convenient if your events already exist on another service and you don’t want to manually copy the events. You will need a calendar feed in a valid iCalendar (.ics) format in order to import the events into AddEvent, which is supported by most major calendar services. Events that are created in an external calendar and synchronized to your AddEvent calendar can’t be edited in AddEvent, but they can be shared in all the same ways as any other event or as part of a calendar. You can edit these events in your external calendar and the changes that you make will be synchronized to AddEvent.

Collecting subscriber information

There are two options for collecting information from your users when they subscribe to your calendar:

  1. Allow users to subscribe anonymously
  2. Collect user data when they subscribe

If you choose to “allow users to subscribe anonymously”, the user will be able to subscribe to the calendar without inputting any of their personal information. AddEvent will still collect some general information about each subscriber, including IP address, location, calendar service, and synchronization data. If the user is inside the EEA (European Economic Area), the IP address is automatically anonymized to comply with GDPR. You can also choose to anonymize this data for all users.

Choosing to “collect user data when they subscribe” allows you to add custom fields which the user must fill out before subscribing to the calendar. By default, the user is required to enter their name and email address, but you can add additional fields to collect any other information that you want. Supported field types include text, number, marketing consent checkboxes, multiple options (radio buttons and checkboxes), email, date, country, state, and query strings. If you choose to collect user data, all users will be redirected to the calendar landing page to fill out this information before they can subscribe to the calendar.

How to share a calendar

Once you have created your calendar and added events to it, the next step is to share the calendar with your users. Read each section below to learn more about each sharing method and which situations they are best suited for.

Add-to-calendar button

An add-to-calendar button is a great way to share a subscription calendar on your website or landing page. AddEvent’s add-to-calendar button works perfectly with most website and landing page builders, as well as with custom-built websites.

When an end-user clicks an add-to-calendar button, they are presented with a drop-down list of our supported calendar services. The user can select the calendar service they use, and they will then be redirected to their calendar service and given the option to save/subscribe/follow the calendar. The exact process for subscribing to a subscription calendar will depend on the device used and the calendar service the user chooses. Once the user subscribes, the subscription calendar will appear in their list of calendars, and all of the events on your AddEvent calendar will appear on the user’s calendar.

If you choose to allow users to subscribe anonymously they will be sent directly to their chosen calendar service to add the calendar to their own personal or work calendar. However, if you choose to collect user data when they subscribe, the user will be first redirected to the calendar landing page (see below) where they will be prompted to enter the information you wish to collect before they can subscribe to the calendar.

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How to use it?

To install an add-to-calendar button on your website, simply copy the code snippet from a calendar page in the AddEvent app. Then paste this code into your website where you want the add-to-calendar button to appear. If you are using a website or landing page builder, you will probably need to use the “Custom embed”, ”HTML embed”, or similar option to allow you to paste the code into that section of the website.

Customization

Our add-to-calendar button is fully customizable, including the text and icon that is displayed, language, calendar services that are included on the pop-up, etc. For more information about customization, as well as several default templates that you can use, go to our add-to-calendar button documentation page.

Add-to-calendar links

Add-to-calendar links use simple image or text links to offer the same functionality as our add-to-calendar button. The add-to-calendar button uses JavaScript which is not permitted in certain media like emails for security reasons, but our add-to-calendar links work perfectly instead.

When an end-user sees a set of add-to-calendar links, they can click on the link corresponding to the calendar service that they use. They will then be redirected to their calendar service and given the option to save/subscribe/follow the calendar. The exact process for subscribing to a subscription calendar will depend on the device used and the calendar service the user chooses. Once the user subscribes, the subscription calendar will appear in their list of calendars, and all of the events on your AddEvent calendar will appear on the user’s calendar.

If you choose to allow users to subscribe anonymously they will be sent directly to their chosen calendar service to add the calendar to their own personal or work calendar. However, if you choose to collect user data when they subscribe, the user will be first redirected to the calendar landing page (see below) where they will be prompted to enter the information you wish to collect before they can subscribe to the calendar.

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How to use it?

To use add-to-calendar links in an email or another place, simply click the “Copy” button next to the add-to-calendar links on a calendar page in the AddEvent app. Then paste the links in your email editor or wherever you want the add-to-calendar links to appear. In some email campaign tools, the image-based add-to-calendar links will not work, and you will need to use the text-based add-to-calendar links instead. There is also an option to view the HTML code for the add-to-calendar links and copy and paste this into your email which is useful if you are using an HTML email template.

Customization

The add-to-calendar links have 2 default templates: image-based add-to-calendar links which display the logo of each calendar service, and text-based add-to-calendar links which display the name of the calendar service as a clickable link.

The add-to-calendar links are simply images or text with hyperlinks to add the event to the user's calendar for the particular calendar service. This means that they are fully customizable by editing either the images or the text that is displayed. The HTML option also gives additional customization options if that is required.

Calendar landing page

A calendar landing page is an ideal way to share your calendar on social media and when you want to display additional information to your users about your calendar before they subscribe. Sharing a calendar landing page also allows you to display all of your upcoming events and offers extensive customization options, so you can make the landing page your own.

When an end-user clicks on a link to a calendar landing page, they are brought to the landing page which, by default, displays the calendar name, description, and a list of upcoming events. If you choose to let users subscribe anonymously, there will be an add-to-calendar button on the calendar landing page. When the user clicks an add-to-calendar button, they are presented with a drop-down list of our supported calendar services. The user can select the calendar service they use, and they will then be redirected to their calendar service and given the option to save/subscribe/follow the calendar. The exact process for subscribing to a subscription calendar will depend on the device used and the calendar service the user chooses. Once the user subscribes, the subscription calendar will appear in their list of calendars, and all of the events on your AddEvent calendar will appear on the user’s calendar.

If you choose to collect subscriber information before they can subscribe to the calendar, then the add-to-calendar button will be replaced by a “Follow calendar” button. When the user clicks that button, they will be prompted to enter the information that you have choosen to collect. Once they have entered the information required, they will then be shown an add-to-calendar button, and they can subscribe to the calendar following the same process as above.

How to use it?

Calendar landing pages are hosted by AddEvent and are automatically created for each calendar that you create in AddEvent. There are two unique links available for each calendar: a standard link, and a short link which is useful for social media, SMS text messages, or other places that you might need to share your calendar landing page with a character limit.

There is no configuration or set-up necessary to use a calendar landing page for your event. Simply copy the appropriate link to your calendar landing page and share it with your users however you want.

Customization

Calendar landing pages are fully customizable, with full access to the HTML and CSS for the page. This means that you can change everything on the page, from time and date format, to font, language, colors and more. You can include images such as logos or background images, and add additional elements that you want to display.

Embeddable events list

An embeddable events list is a great way to display your calendar on your website and increases the visibility of the events compared to an add-to-calendar button. The embeddable events list displays all of your upcoming events in a beautifully formatted list and includes a “Subscribe” button to allow users to subscribe directly to your calendar.

When an end-user sees an embeddable events list, they will see all of the upcoming events in your calendar on a tile. They can click on an individual event to see more information about that event and add that event to their calendar, or RSVP for an event with RSVP enabled.

If you choose to allow users to subscribe anonymously they will be sent directly to their chosen calendar service to add the calendar to their own personal or work calendar. However, if you choose to collect user data when they subscribe, the user will be first redirected to the calendar landing page (see below) where they will be prompted to enter the information you wish to collect before they can subscribe to the calendar.

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How to use it?

To install an embeddable events list on your website, simply copy the code snippet from a calendar page in the AddEvent app. Then paste this code into your website where you want the embeddable event to appear. If you are using a website or landing page builder, you will probably need to use the “Custom embed”, ”HTML embed”, or similar option to allow you to paste the code into that section of the website.

Customization

The embeddable events list is fully customizable from time and date format, to font, language, colors, size, and more. There are two customization options available for our embeddable events list: quick customize and customization using HTML and CSS. The quick customization option allows you to quickly and easily adjust several display options for your embeddable calendar including which features and functionality are displayed, default views, and event behavior.

Embeddable calendar

The embeddable calendar is also a part of AddEvent’s brilliant calendar functionality. This means that you can also embed a full calendar view of your subscription calendar on your website or landing page. To find out more information about the subscription calendar, go to the Embeddable Calendar solution page.

Technical details

Before creating or sharing your calendar, you may want to review the following sections for specific technical information about calendars and the various sharing methods. If you need help getting set up, or if you have any questions about the content on this page, please contact support@addevent.com and our wonderful support team will be happy to help you.

Calendar updates

The subscription calendar creates a dynamic connection between AddEvent and the user's calendar which means that your subscription calendar will synchronize with the user's calendar on an ongoing basis. Once a user is subscribed to your calendar, any changes you make to that calendar including updating event details, changing the event time or date, and adding or deleting events on the calendar will be reflected on the user's calendar.

Changes you make to your calendar in AddEvent do not update instantly in your user's calendar. Instead, the frequency with which they update is controlled by how often the particular calendar service that the user is using checks for updates in your subscription calendar. You can find more information about the approximate calendar update times for specific services that we support here, but this generally takes between 3 and 24 hours.

Calendar notifications

Events in AddEvent have an option to include a push notification from the user's calendar service to remind them of upcoming events. You can choose how long the notification is sent before the event takes place. There is only the option for a single calendar notification for each event on the calendar.

These calendar notifications are entirely controlled by the calendar services, and thus AddEvent cannot guarantee them. In the past, calendar services have even been known to disable these push notifications for calendars that their users subscribe to, to prevent a calendar from spamming their users with notifications (something AddEvent does not do). There is usually an option for your users to manually re-enable these notifications by adjusting the calendar settings.

Timezone support

The subscription calendar has timezone support, which means that it automatically converts all of the events on the calendar to the user's timezone. When a user subscribes to a calendar, all of the events will be converted to the user's timezone when they are displayed in the calendar.

When a user visits a calendar landing page, AddEvent predicts their location based on their IP address and chooses a timezone to display the events on the calendar landing page on the basis of that IP address. If the user wants to see the events in a different timezone, or if the timezone that we predict happens to be incorrect, the user can manually select a different timezone using the timezone select option below the embeddable calendar.

Daylight savings time support

The subscription calendar also has support for daylight savings time (DST) rules. We automatically convert all events to the correct time based on the 17+ different daylight savings time rules that exist worldwide.