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Channels

Channels are a Curation tool that pulls your events based on already existing Classifications (or date ranges) to showcase them in one place. Channels were designed for short-term events like festivals or topics that have many different components but one theme. Channels are highly customizable with drag and drop components so you can make them have a different look and feel than the rest of your platform. Your homepage is a Channel so it can be customized in the same way as any other Channel.

In this article you’ll find:

  • When to use Channels
  • Channel Ideas
  • Adding Channels
  • Channel Layout
  • Specifying Channel Events

When to use Channels

– Background –

In order to give context to a group of events, it makes sense to give those events a dedicated page for users to land on. This might lead you toward Localist’s Landing Pages (Places, Groups and Departments). These do a great job when it comes to showcasing event hosts and their events, while contributing to your platform’s overall taxonomy. This means that while these should always be your default option, there are a few occasions where it may make sense to build a Channel for instead of/in addition to your Landing Pages – after all Channels don’t contribute to your platform’s taxonomy.

When you should use Channels:

To display a custom layout

If you want a page that showcases your events while providing more than just the default Landing Page options, you can add these extra elements if you create a Channel. These extra elements can include Featured Carousels, HTML elements, flipped displays, mini calendars, website links, and more.

Ex. A branch library location homepage with its own Featured Events Carousel and CTAs back to their main website 

 

Umbrella pages with several event lists

For example, a College within a University might want to collect the events for all its Departments on one page. So long as these Departments are set up as their own individual landing pages, a Channel can curate event lists for each Department.

Ex. An athletics page with lists of events for each sport

 

Short-term event series

Do you have an annual festival that only has events for one week a year? If so, you can always create a Channel based on a Tag or Keyword. The Channel allows you to add the context your users crave using an HTML component and you can then easily turn this Channel’s visibility to hidden once the series ends.

Ex. Fall Festival, Alumni Weekend, Family Weekend, Black History Month

 

Topical Themes

Does a certain topic matter to your community? Or does it apply to a subset of users, so it should not be a Filter? No problem! You can set up a Channel to pull in those events through a Tag or Keyword and showcase them all in one place with any other relevant info!

Ex. Events friendly for children with special needs, volunteer opportunities, Alumni Channel

When you should not use a Channel

When you need to build a Widget

Since Channels do not contribute to your calendar’s taxonomy, you cannot build Widgets around a Channel.

– Note –

Both Channels and Widgets are Curation tools used to pull and display events. If you already built a Channel around a specific set of Classifications or date ranges, you can absolutely use that same criteria to curate a Widget!

 

To trigger fallback images

At this time, the Photo Fallback Chain only applies to Landing Pages and Event Types. As a result, you must create a Landing Page in order to add a fallback image to the chain.

Channel Ideas

With this increased flexibility, you may not know where to start. Here is a list of a few types of content that can benefit from a Channel:

  • Overarching topics, like Sustainability
  • Festivals
  • Seasons
  • Regions/Neighborhoods
  • Conferences
  • Colleges or Schools
  • Holidays
  • Tours
  • Festivals
  • Organizations
  • Semesters or an Academic Calendar
  • Athletics

Adding Channels

1. From your Admin Dashboard, navigate to Content > Channels

2. Select + Add Channel

3. Add relevant Settings

  • Copy Layout From:  You can create your Channel using your homepage or another Channel as a base for the layout. You also have the option to start with a blank layout.
  • Page Title:  This will appear in the browser tab.
  • Header Text:  This will appear at the top of the page (This Summer’s Hottest Events).
  • Custom URL: This is the URL suffix for your Channel (ex. yourcustomdomain.com/summer_events)
  • Visibility: Your options are:
    • Visible: Seen by all users, default setting.
    • Hidden: Only those with the link will be able to see the Channel.
    • Disabled: Only visible to Channel Admins via the Admin Dashboard.
  • Cover Photo: Localist automatically detects if the image is light or dark, which controls whether the header text appears as black or white.
    • Desktop Default:  1140 pixels wide x 200 pixels tall
    • Smartphones Default:  420 pixels wide by 200 pixels tall
    • File size:  Cover Photos load fastest if they are an sRGB JPG file at least 1140 pixels wide and 200 pixels tall and less than 100 kilobytes.

– Suggestion –

For profile pictures and cover photos with your logo or text, you may get a better result by using a PNG file.

 

– Note –

Cover photos do not display on feature phones.

  • Column Layout: You have three options:
    • Wide/Narrow: Your Channel will have a grid_8/grid_4 layout
    • Even: Your Channel will have a grid_6/grid_6 layout
    • Narrow/Wide: Your Channel will have a grid_4/grid_8 layout
  • Lock Navigation to Channel: By default, navigation is locked, which means selecting All Events, Filters, or Mini Cal dates will update the ChannelIf unchecked, these links will take the user out of the Channel and to the results pages containing all events.
  • Custom CSS: This is open to all standard CSS for display changes, such as size and color tweaks.

4. Save Changes

Channel Layout

After saving your new Channel, you’ll automatically be redirected to the Channel Layout page. In the future, you can access this page by selecting the Edit Layout button for the Channel you wish to edit on the Channels page.

Channel Components

By default the base of each Channel is a left column and right column, just like the rest of the calendar pages. To re-order the components, just simply click and drag throughout the list to appear in the order you prefer. To add a new one, click Add Component above the relevant column. All components have a corresponding Container CSS Classes field that allows you to designate a specific class for targeting. For example, if you enter xyzsubmitbutton then you can target .xyzsubmitbutton {background-color: red; } and only have the rule apply to the submit button on that specific Channel.

The available components are listed below:

  • Add Event Block: The default Share Events and Widget Builder box
  • App Store Button: Allows you to link directly to any apps you have in the App Store
  • Calendar Nav: The Mini-Calendar
  • Channel List: A list of some or all of the Channels on your platform. You are able to select which ones you want to appear
  • Community List: A list of the Communities on your platform
  • Description: Add a description to your Channel
  • Event List: Add a list of events (each list will have its own label to toggle between lists)
  • Event Tabs: Each section where the event list appear
  • Event Spotlight: Showcase a specific event
  • Featured Tabs: Add a Featured Events Carousel(s) to your Channel
  • Filter List: Your platform’s Filter list (you cannot have a Channel specific filter list)
  • Group List: A list of the Group Pages on your platform (with links)
  • Department List: A list of the Department Pages on your platform (with links)
  • Hero Image: Add an image that can link to a website (great for advertisements)
  • HTML: Add any HTML embed you would like (i.e. a weather bot for a festival)
  • Map: Add a map of all your events in the Channels with pins at each event location with a list of events happening there
  • Place List: A list of the Place Pages on your platform (with links)
  • Platform Nav: The navigation buttons to help your users find events (All Events, Places to Go, Groups, Departments)
  • Social Links: Add a Facebook, Twitter, and/or Instagram button linking to your respective account(s)
  • Submit Event Button: Takes users to the Public Event Submission Form
  • Website Link: Add a link to an external website, like a festival page or registration form

Specifying Channel Events

By default, a Channel includes one Event Tabs: Group component that displays a Trending Event List and an Upcoming Event List as well as one Featured Tabs: Group with one Featured Slider assigned to it.

To modify the content of your Event Tabs, select an Event List. The following options will appear in an Edit Component list on the right side:

  • Title:  Text that appears on the left as the header of the list tab (“Trending Events”)
  • Label:  Text that a user selects to switch event lists (“Trending” below)
  • Container CSS Classes:  Enter a unique selector to target only this Channel’s component with custom CSS
  • Sort Events:  You can sort events By EventScore (trending) or By Date (chronologically)
  • Number of Events:  Choose from 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 10, 25, or 50 events
  • Time Period:  Keeping “Today” selected ensures that the Channel will include content within a rolling time period starting from today and ending a maximum of 366 days in the future. To create a non-rolling time period, select “Custom” to specify a different start date, then continue by number of days past the start date that the period should include
  • Include in Trending:  By selecting this option, Localist will create a Trending Event List that only includes events from all current Event Lists that also have this option selected.
    • For example, if you have Event Lists for “Athletics” (Include in Trending), “Workshops” (Include in Trending) and “Tours” (not in trending) – the Trending list that Localist creates will only include Athletics and Workshops events.

– Note –

The Trending Events list created by selecting Include in Trending will be the default list view on your Homepage or Channel.

  • Show Link to All Events:  If selected, a “view more events” link will be displayed at the bottom of the Event List that will link users to the regular, unfiltered All Events page
  • Included:  You can specify to include events related to all available Classifications (Filters, Places, Groups, Departments, Tags, and Keywords)
  • Excluded:  You can specify to exclude events related to all available Classifications (Filters, Places, Groups, Departments, Tags, and Keywords)