This Getting Started guide will show you the necessary steps needed to set up a Conference in Preseria and how to invite Presenters to upload their presentation files for their designated time slots, according to your conference programme.
- Creating your first conference
- Enter Conference Details
- Add Sessions
- Add Presenters
- Add Breaks
- Customize 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.
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", having multiple tracks/sessions and possibly lasting several days. You can skip to the "Adding Presenters" section if you selected "Day Conference".
Enter Conference Details¶
The "Conferences view" shows a list of future and current conferences that you have created, or that has been shared with you by other members in your organization. Click on the "New Conference" button and enter the conference details. All fields are mandatory.
- 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).
Once you've entered the conference details and clicked "Create Conference", you will be taken to the overview of the conference sessions, which initially will be empty.
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).
Click the "Add Session" button and enter the session details. Repeat for each of your conference's sessions.
Hint: Mass create Sessions (and, optionally, presentation slots) by importing a CSV file
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 a CSV file and import it. See Importing a CSV for detailed information.
– As mentioned in "Add Sessions", you can also add a session's presentations via CSV Import.
Open a Session by clicking on its row in the session overview of the Conference.
Sessions will initially be empty. Click "Add Presenters" to start scheduling presentations according to programme/agenda of this session.
Clicking "Add Presenters" will open up a page where you are presented with two steps. The first step has two tabs, offering different ways to add presenters to your current session; "One by one" or "Bulk add Presenters".
Step 1-A: 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).
Step 1-B: Bulk add Presenters¶
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.
Step 2: Confirm Changes¶
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 presenters to a session does not trigger any emails to be sent from the system. Presenters are merely "scheduled"/"planned".
Step 3: Repeat Step 1 & 2¶
After adding presenters 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 steps one and two for each Session in your conference, and insert breaks where appropriate, before continuing to customize your 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. The "Break"-item 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.
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). On the right side, there will be a card that shows fields for "Background Image" and "Email Banner Image". Click the line that says "Default email banner" to bring up the dialog that lets you upload your custom email banner.
After you've successfully uploaded your custom email banner for your Conference, it will be used as the new default for all your conference 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.
Modify Email Sender and Text¶
Still on the Conference view, click the "Manage Emails" button to bring up the Email Template editor.
Unless you've created and saved a custom email template for your Conference, the email editor will load your organization's default email template. You should change the "Sender Name", "Reply-to Email", "Email Subject" and edit the email body (text) to fit your conference. Then save it by clicking the "Save template" button.
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.
Short Codes in Email Templates
Email templates (Subject and Body) may contain "short codes" such as [conference] and [session], which will automatically insert the current session and/or conference title into the email. For example; an email template may have the email subject "[conference]: Invitation to upload presentation for [session]", which would then be sent as "TechExpo 2020: Invitation to upload presentation for Opening Plenary"
Using short codes in templates, like in this example, you can have a default email template for a Conference that can be applied to all sessions of a conference but still contain session specific titles.
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 "Test Email Recipient" 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.
After adding presenters, the status of their presentation slot will be "Added & Empty", represented by an open envelope icon with a grey color. This means that those presentations are "planned" and that the presenters haven't been invited (received any email) yet.
To send email invitations to presenters you must check the box next to their email address. If you are sending email for a Conference (and not an individual Session) you will have the option to "Remove duplicates". By default, presenters will receive one email for each Session they are presenting in. Toggling "Remove duplicates" will make sure that only one email goes out to presenters that have presentation slots in multiple sessions.
When you are ready to send, click the large "Send Email" button, confirm your choice to send to X recipients, lean back and wait for the presentations to come rolling in.
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.