This Getting Started guide will show you the necessary steps needed to set up an event in Preseria and how to invite presenters to upload their presentation files for their scheduled time slots.
- Creating your first event
- Enter event details
- Add sessions
- Add presenters
- Add breaks
- Customize an email template
- Send email invitations
Creating your first conference¶
After successfully logging in, you will be greeted by your personal Dashboard, showing an overview of upcoming and recent conferences created by you or members in your organization. It will usually be empty if you log into a fresh account.
To create your first conference, click on Conferences or Day Conferences in the menu bar and then click the New.. button.
Should I choose Conference or Day Conference?
Choose "Conference" if your event lasts for more than one day and/or contains multiple tracks (in different rooms). "Day Conferences" are suitable if you plan a one-day, single-track event, like a seminar, meeting or a breakout session to a larger conference.
For the rest of this Getting Started tutorial we will assume you want to create a Conference with multiple tracks/sessions and possibly lasting several days. You can skip to the Add Presentations section if you selected Day Conference.
Enter conference details¶
The "Conferences view" shows a list of future and current conferences that you've created, or been shared with you by other organizers. Click the New Conference button and enter the following conference details:
- Title: The title of your conference (or congress, seminar, meeting, etc.).
- Location: The conference venue (name of hotel, convention centre or building).
- Timezone: The timezone where your conference takes place geographically.
- Start Date: The starting date of your conference (the first day of presentations).
- End Date: The end date of your conference (the last day of presentations).
All fields are mandatory.
Once you've entered the conference details, you'll' be redirected to the conference's session overview. A newly created conference starts out as empty. The next step is to add sessions and presentations according to your event's schedule.
Terminology: What's a "Session" ?
A Session in Preseria is a chronologically ordered collection of presentations. A Session has a start time and an end time (within the same day) and is limited to a specific location (typically a room). Sessions are also often referred to as "Streams", "Tracks" or "Parallels" (indicating concurrency).
You now have two choices:
- Manually create each session using the Add Session button.
- Import the sessions and the presentation schedule from an Excel spreadsheet using the Import Schedule button.
If you want to build the schedule using an Excel spreadsheet (choice #2), skip the next part and jump directly to Excel Import.
Hint: Use "Import Schedule" to mass create sessions and presentations
Re-creating a large conference programme, one session at a time, will require a lot of mouse clicks and can quickly become tedious. A faster way to set up the sessions and presentation slots is to add all the details to an Excel spreadsheet and import it. See Excel Import for detailed information.
Now that you've created one or more Sessions, open one by clicking on its row in the overview of the Conference.
Sessions will initially be empty. Either click the Add Presentation button to add a single presentation (and it's presenter), or click the Add Presentations button to add multiple presentations to this session.
Clicking Add Presentations will open up a page where you are presented with two steps:
- Input Data
- Confirm New Presentations
The first step, Input Data, has two tabs; ONE BY ONE and BULK ADD. They offer two different way of manually adding presentations to the session:
Input Data - ONE BY ONE¶
You can add one presentation at a time by entering the presenter's email and the presentation's duration in minutes. You may also enter the name of the presenter and the title of the presentation. If you don't enter a name or presentation title, the presenter will be asked to provide these details when they log in.
Hint: Use keyboard shortcuts for faster data entry
The TAB key will jump to the next input field and the ENTER key will submit the row (add a Presenter).
Input Data - BULK ADD¶
To add multiple presenters in one go you must enter their email addresses separated by a comma or new line. All presenters added in bulk will have the default duration and their names and presentation titles will be empty. You can edit these details in the "Confirm New Presentations" step.
Confirm New Presentations¶
After entering the presentation and presenter details in the first step, you can do some modifications before confirming to add these presentation slots to the session. You may edit each row separately by clicking the pencil icon and you may re-order the rows by clicking and dragging the arrow icon on each row. Once you are happy, click Confirm Changes. Don't worry if the times do not 100% correspond to your conference programme. You can insert breaks, modify the duration of each presentation and re-order presenters at any time.
Adding presentations to a session does not trigger any email invitations to be sent from the system. That happens in the last part; "Send email invitations".
After adding presentations to a Session, you will see that each presentation is represented as a row and that the presentations are ordered chronologically from top to bottom. You can now add breaks (as described in Add Breaks) and re-order presentations to correspond with your event schedule. Repeat the previous steps for each Session in your conference, and insert breaks where appropriate, before continuing to Customize email template.
"Breaks" inside a Session are simple time separators you can add to indicate that there's a pause between presenters, and to properly align the times in Preseria with the times in your conference programme.
Click the Add Break button and enter the break duration in minutes. A "Break" row will be added to the bottom of your Session. Click, drag and release the Break into its correct position, then click "Save" to confirm the changes. The start and end times will automatically be re-calculated.
You can mass create Sessions and Presentations in Preseria by importing a correctly formatted Excel file containing the Session, Presentation and Presenter details.
You may also append new presentations to sessions after an initial import, but updating existing presentations (changing the order, title or move presentations between sessions) has to be done from within the web application.
A detailed tutorial on how to use the Excel template can be found here
Customize Email Template¶
For presenters to be able to upload files to their presentation slots in your conference's sessions, you will have to invite them to the system. This invitation is sent to the email address you added for each presenter in the Add Presenters step. To customize the email template sent to presenters, the first thing you want to do is to add an Email Banner Image
Upload an Email Banner Image¶
The default Email Banner is the Preseria logo on a grey background. Unless you upload a custom Email Banner, this is what presenters will see at the top of their invitation email:
To override this default, you must create a .png or .jpg image that is exactly 1200px wide and somewhere between 200px and 600px high. Feel free to use the default as a starting point. You can download it here:
Once you have your banner ready, you should navigate to your Conference (where you now see a list of all the conference sessions you've previously created). In the top right, you'll see a gear icon () which will lead you to the Settings page for your Conference.
Under Settings there will be a section for Email Banner. Click Browse to bring up the dialog that lets you upload your custom email banner.
After you've successfully uploaded a custom email banner for your Conference, it will be used as the new default for all your conference's Sessions. If you want to add a custom banner to one or more sessions, overriding the conference banner, you can do that by opening the session and following the same procedure.
The next step is to customize the email subject, sender name and content.
Edit email invitation¶
Go back to the conference overview (showing the list of sessions for your event) and click the Manage Emails button to bring up the Email editor.
You'll see two tabs:
- COMPOSE EMAIL: This is where you load your email template, make adjustments and send yourself a test email.
- SEND EMAIL: This is where you select the recipients (presenters) who will receive the email invitation.
Your account will always have at least two templates: The "Default Invitation" and "Default Reminder" templates. You will probably have to adjust a couple of things after loading one of the default templates, such as the "Sender Name", and "Email Subject" to fit your conference.
If you make modifications, and want to save your changes, you can both save it as a new email template (for use in other events or by other organizers in your organization) or just save it as the standard template for THIS conference.
Email template fields¶
- Sender Name: The "From" field of the email, typically your name, the name of your organization or just "TechConf 2020 organizers". We will always append "- Preseria" to the Sender Name, which will make the "From" field appear as "Tech Expo 2020 - Preseria" for the recipients.
- Reply-to Email : Replies will be sent to this email address when recipients click "Reply" in their email clients. Can be changed to the email address of any member in your organization.
- Email Subject : The subject (title) of the email. May contain "short codes".
- Email Body : The actual email content, based on your selected Email Template. May contain "short codes". A "Register / Login" button will always be inserted at the top of the email, between the email banner and the email content.
Email templates (Subject and Body) may contain "short codes", which will automatically be replaced with the correct text. These short codes are available:
- [conference]: Will be replaced with the conference name.
- [firstname]: Will be replaced with the first name of the recipient.
- [lastname]: Will be replaced with the last name of the recipient.
Send a Test Email¶
To see how the email template actually will look like for the recipients, with "Register / Login" button and email banner added, enter an email that you can access in the "Send a test email" field and click on "Send Test". Check your email and verify that it looks right. Now is a good time to check your email template for spelling errors.
Send Email Invitations¶
You may send the email invitations to the presenters in a conference
- all at once, (click "Manage Email" from the conference)
- one session at a time (click "Manage Email" from the session)
- or to individual recipients, one by one.
Using a different template for a specific Session in a Conference
If you want to send a customized email to presenters in a particular session, one that differs from the conference's email template, you must open that session, click the "Manage Emails" button, modify the session email template and then send it from there.
Newly added presenters will show up as having zero "Sent" and zero "Opened" emails. They will have zero presentations that are "Ready" (at least one file uploaded) and your next step is to invite these presenters by making preseria send them an email with the contents of your email template.
Check the box of the individual presenters you want to invite in this batch, or click the topmost checkbox to select all. You may also filter out presenters that you've previously invited (if you chose not to send all invitations at once) or only send to those that haven't uploaded files yet. The most common filtering options are:
- ALL - All Presenters
- NEW - New Presenters (no invitation email sent)
- REMIND - Invited Presenters with empty presentations (missing files)
- DONE - Presenters with files in all their presentations
From the SEND EMAIL tab you can also see who has opened your emails ("Opened" column) and see the email history by clicking on the number in the "Sent" column.
When you are ready to send, click the Send Email button, confirm your choice to send to X recipients, lean back and wait for the speakers to upload their presentations. If you need to send a reminder, follow the same process, but optionally modify the email template a bit to emphasize the urgency (if the deadline is closing in) or use the "Default Reminder" template.
Download & Install Desktop App¶
Once you've sent your first batch of email invitations, you should let the recipients get some time to check their email inboxes before sending any reminders. Meanwhile you wait for the presentations to be uploaded, you may want to install and familiarize yourself with the Preseria desktop app, that lets you download and synchronize uploaded presentations.