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SMART: Planning Events

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In this video, we're going to be demonstrating SMART's in-built event planner. The event planner allows you to monitor, manage and send to a list of event invitees. The first step is to create a list of stakeholders to whom the event invitation will be sent. For more information on creating a stakeholder list, click here.

Video transcript

The next step will be creating a new event within SMART. To begin, click on the event planner tab. You will initially be presented with the event calendar. To create a new event, click on the Add event tab. In the event details section, mandatory fields are outlined with an asterisk. Enter a relevant name for your event. The event details section is used for personal reference only as this is the only place that these notes will be viewable. The event lead should be the name of the individual who is organising the event. Enter the event lead's email address in the Event lead email field. Select which business area is associated with the event as well as the event type using the dropdown menus. You may select to input a location for this event, however this is not a mandatory field. Clicking in the start and end date fields will open up a separate calendar which you can use to select the date the event will begin and finish on. Both the start and end dates must be in the future. Select a time for the event to begin and end using the dropdown menus.

Clicking the plus icon in the stakeholders and invitations section will extend the section and display the available stakeholder lists. Select which stakeholders you would like to invite to the event by using the tick-box to select the stakeholder list. You can include multiple lists by ticking multiple boxes. If you are sending an invitation email to the invited stakeholders, tick the invitations will be sent for this event tick-box. You'll be prompted to input some invitation text. This text will be automatically added to the invitation email after the salutations line. A good example of invitation text might be: Please come to our event. Below this text in the communication email will be two buttons to accept or decline the invitation. You can view an example invitation by clicking on the link below the text box. You can select a date on which the invitation will expire by clicking within the Invitation expires on field. You'll be prompted to select a date from the pop up calendar. Any responses made to the invitation after the expiry date will be met with a response email explaining to the stakeholder that the invitation has expired.

A requirements form can also be sent with the invitation email. The invitee will be prompted to fill out the requirements form upon accepting the invitation to the event. When they accept, the stakeholder will be taken to a separate form online that will allow for a stakeholder to [highlight] any special requirements. A few examples of these requirements might be disabled access or any food allergies or dietary requirements if the event is catered. You can view the forms by clicking on the View the form link beside the tick-box.

You may also choose to include an attendee nomination form by selecting one from the dropdown menu. New forms can be created using the form builder tool. When you are satisfied with your entries, click the Save event button.

The next step involves creating a new communication to send to the invited stakeholders. To begin, click on the communicate tab. You will initially be presented with the overview page. To create a new communication, click the Create tab. Select email using the tick-box and input a relevant communication name. This would be your initials, followed by the event name, with invite1 or something similar appended to the end and the month and year the event is taking place. For example, CD underscore Manager meeting invite one underscore Aug 2015. When you're satisfied with your selections, click the Next button.

On the following page select a communication template for the communication from the dropdown menu. When you've made your selection, click the select button. On the following page, input a communication subject which, in this case, will be the name of the event. In the Communication from field, put in the Event lead's name. In the email field, select the email address that'll be displayed as the address the communication will be sent from. This is not the email address the replies will be sent to. This will be input when setting up the communication to send. In the test email address, input an email address that a test version of the invite communication will be sent to in order to verify that the communication looks as it should.

You're now ready to compose the content for the invitation email. It's a good idea to use replace fields in the salutation line of any communication composed in SMART. You may choose to begin a communication with 'Dear [FORENAME] [SURNAME]'. Below the salutation line, be sure to input the replace field [INVITE]. This ensures that when the communication is sent to the recipient stakeholders, buttons to accept or decline the invitation are included in the content. When you're satisfied with your entries, click the Save button.

The final step involves setting up the communication to be sent to the stakeholders. To begin this process, click the Send tab. Sending a communication is a three-step process. The first step involves selecting the created communication to be sent. In the Step 1 section use the radio buttons to select the communication you wish to send. It's important to verify that the communication is correct by clicking the preview icon. The second step involves selecting the list of stakeholders that the communication will be sent to. In the Step 2 section, use the radio buttons to select the list you wish to send a communication to. You can view the maximum deliverability for the list by clicking on the deliverability report icon. The last step involves selecting a day, month, year and time for the communication to be sent. The date must be set in the future as any communication set to send in the past will not be sent.

From the Select invite text dropdown menu, select your created event within the list. This will replace the [INVITE] replace field in the communication with the text that we entered in the invitation text field when setting up the event. In the response email field input an email address for all replies to the communication to be sent to. You can also choose to input an email address which will receive a notification once the communication has been sent. Once you're satisfied with your entries, click the Save button.

You can track who's opted to accept or decline the event invitations, as well as edit the existing event by navigating to the event planner tab. Locate your event within the calendar and click on it. The details of your event will appear in the event details section on the right side of the page. To see who has accepted or declined the event invitation, click the responses link. A separate window will open with a variety of tabs. The first tab in the window illustrates the total number of stakeholders that were invited as well as the option to select them and mark them as having attended the event.

The second tab illustrates the total number of stakeholders who have accepted the event invitation, along with the ability to append tags to them so that you can send them an event itinerary or time schedule.

The third tab illustrates how many stakeholders have declined the invitation. You also have the option of appending tags to these stakeholders as you may want to send a follow up communication to update them to other upcoming events.

The fourth tab illustrates all of the stakeholders who attended the event. Any stakeholders who were flagged as accepted will automatically move into this category once the date of the event has passed.

The final tab illustrates all the stakeholders who have yet to respond. Once again you have the option of appending tags to these stakeholders as you may wish to send them a follow-up email to remind them of the upcoming event. There is also the option to accept or decline the event invitation on the stakeholder's behalf by clicking on the accept or decline links.

To edit your event, click the coloured band at the bottom of the event details window. You will be taken to the event details page that was used to set up the event initially. From here, you can choose to remove the event from the planner by clicking the link at the top of the page, or make any necessary amendments to the event. You can also add additional stakeholder lists to the list of event invitees. Once you're satisfied with the changes, click the Save event button.