What are Scheduling Windows?
Scheduling Windows are a way to specify that a session, or group of sessions, must take place within a particular set of times. They are a great way to help you plan your agenda when you have sessions that can be planned during some times and not others.
When you plan your agenda our algorithm checks that sessions have been planned into a valid Window, and can use your Windows to auto schedule your event.
Some common uses for Scheduling Windows are:
- Requiring sponsored sessions take place in the early afternoon.
- Allowing submitters to request a morning, lunch time, or afternoon session when they submit their content.
- Ensuring that a particular session takes place at noon, but on any day and in any location.
- Keeping workshops scheduled into the breakout room, and only after lunch
- Preventing ‘sales pitch’ sessions from being scheduled during the peak morning and afternoon periods.
What types of Window are there?
Scheduling Windows can be applied to either a specific session, or to a label.
For example for these Scheduling Windows:
- Monday 09:00 -> 10:00 in ‘Main Hall’
- Tuesday 11:00 -> 12:00 in any location
If you assign these Windows to an individual session, then the session can either be planned on the Monday between 09:00 and 10:00 in the ‘Main Hall’ OR on Tuesday between 11:00 and 12:00 in any location that has a space.
If you assign these Windows to a label then you can choose how the Windows are applied. You can either:
- Require all sessions with the label to be scheduled in one of the Windows. For example if 3 sessions have a label with these Windows, then one might be planned at 09:00 in the ‘Main Hall’ and the other two at 11:00 in two different locations.
- Or you can block sessions that do NOT have the label from being scheduled in this time. For example creating a label with these Windows will prevent all sessions that don’t have this label from being scheduled between 09:00 and 10:00 in the ‘Main Hall’ AND prevent them from being scheduled between 11:00 and 12:00 in any location.
How do I create a Window?
To add a Window to a label or session click into the detail of the label or session by clicking on it’s name. Then scroll down to ‘Scheduling Windows’.
Click the blue ‘+’ icon to add a new Window and fill out the form.
- Date - Choose the date you want the Window to appear in. Windows cannot span multiple dates.
- Start Time - What time during the date should the window start.
- End Time - This is an optional field. If you leave it blank the Window will automatically fit the length of the session, for example if the Window starts at 09:00 and has no end time, then any session can be scheduled at 09:00 regardless of how long it is, but no later than 09:00. If you configure a value, then that restricts the size of the window to the time you have requested.
- Location - You can restrict a Window to a particular location, or leave it open for the Window to apply to all locations.
Once complete click save and then you can edit and delete the Window in the same way as any other data in the platform.
Can a Window span multiple locations?
If you don’t specify a location for a Window then it will automatically span all location. If you want a Window that spans a few locations then add multiple Windows, one for each location. The session will then be scheduled in one of those windows.
How do I use Scheduling Windows to reserve 'VIP' or 'Premium' slots?
To reserve your best times for your best sessions you can create a label called ‘Premium’, then add Scheduling Windows that describe your best slots.
Then toggle on the option to require all ‘Premium’ sessions to be scheduled in the Window and also toggle on the option to block sessions that are not ‘Premium’ from being scheduled in this Window.
Now add the ‘Premium’ label to your best sessions, and the agenda will ensure your best sessions are scheduled in your best times.
How do I use Scheduling Windows to allow my submitters to request a particular time of day?
If you have speakers that are attending virtually they may be in a different time zone than your event. To help them out you might want to offer them the opportunity to request their session to be held early or late in the day.
You can offer them this option during a Submission Flow by doing the following
- Create a label for each time period you want to offer. Eg you could create an ‘Early’ label that contains Scheduling Windows for 09:00 to 11:00 on each day of the event. If you want speakers to be able to choose the entire day, then also create a label that represents the entire day.
- Add the ‘labels’ question to a ‘Session Details’ section on your Submission Flow, set it to ‘Choose One’ and toggle the visibility of the labels to show your new labels. It is important to select ‘Choose One’, because a session with multiple labels is required to fit a Window for each label, and if you have a ‘Morning’ and ‘Afternoon’ label there may be no overlap between the two.
That’s it. The sessions will automatically get the new labels when you create the sessions from the submissions and the label will ensure the session gets scheduled in a time that suits the speaker.