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Jenny Levine (staff)'s picture

Upcoming Features (Conference Scheduler)

We have big plans for the Conference Scheduler going forward - really big plans. There are still a few things we'll be adding during this round for Midwinter 2011, but this spring we'll be concentrating on new stuff. Here's a mini roadmap of where we're headed with the CS.

Features that will be added in December 2010

  • Download an iCal file you can import into Outlook/Google Calendar (Done)
  • Add your own personal sessions (dinner with friends, meeting with a vendor, etc.) (Done)
  • A setting you can toggle to share your schedule publicly (it will be all or nothing at this point but will be more granular for Annual 2011) (Done - located in your Connect profile when you edit it)
  • View a list of sessions you attended (for easy reporting to your supervisor or remembering what you attended two years ago) (Done)
  • Floor map locations for exhibitors (Generic floor map done)
  • Analytics tools on the backend so we can see which sessions are added to schedules the most, which have the most comments, etc. (Done)
  • More print-friendly version of "my schedule" (Done)
  • Accessible, text-based version of "my schedule" (Mostly done but will improve for Annual)

Features we'll do our best to add for Annual 2011 and after

  • Welcome message when you log in to a conference for the first time (we're in the process of implementing this for general logins to the site)
  • Day/week calendar view of your schedule (working on it)
  • Share your schedule only with specific networks you've created on Connect (just your friends and co-workers but not your contacts) (postponed until Midwinter 2012)
  • "Add" button on sessions listed on the conference home page (done)
  • Direct links to speaker profiles (when we know their Connect ID) (postponed until Midwinter 2012 when we have the profile IDs)
  • Show who has indicated they're attending a specific session (done)
  • Provide a way to hide your planned attendance at a session to protect privacy (done)
  • Display your travel data (just to you) when ALA knows your hotel reservation, etc. (will try for Midwinter 2012; need web service from Experient)
  • Add a section where you can enter your transportation information, etc., so that it's all in one place (postponed until Midwinter 2012)
  • Compare your reservation data with your network's data (see when your friends are registered to be at conference; this will be an opt-in feature) (will try for Midwinter 2012; need web service from Experient)
  • User-generated tags on sessions (done)
  • Collaborative pages for "local information" (will replace the conference wiki) (done)
  • A separate page listing canceled sessions (postponed until Midwinter 2012)
  • Email/SMS notifications when a session on your schedule has been canceled or moved (working on email notifications)
  • Request notifications of follow-up comments on sessions (working on it)
  • Batch select sessions based on sponsor (e.g., add all Council sessions to my schedule with one click) (on hold)
  • List sessions a member is presenting at conference directly on their profile and link to session records (postponed until Midwinter 2012 when we have profile IDs)
  • Populate group calendars automatically with conference sessions (done)
  • Provide an iCal file groups can use to import session data into their Facebook pages (and to other sites) - thanks to David Vess for this idea! (done)
  • Provide bus route information and other transportation options directly on session records (bus route info done)
  • "Find sessions like this one" (done)
  • Add personal notes on sessions (done)
  • "Favorite/Like" specific sessions (done)
  • Integrated file repository for permanent archive of handouts and other session materials (phase one done as attachments on comments; will expand when we have profile IDs)
  • Suggest a session to another Connect user (phase one done - "suggest to anyone" using email addresses)
  • Make column headings on session listings clickable so you can sort by time, title, or location (on hold)
  • Reduce the width of the pages (on hold)

Now it's your turn - dream big. What else should we add in the future?

Megan Hodge's picture

Would it also be possible to add integration with division/RT events that aren't officially in the planner? LITA Happy Hour, for example, is never listed as an official conference event, yet it happens every year. It would be nice to have a way to add that to my schedule as a non-personal session, so I could see who else was going.

Also, being able to prioritize personally-added sessions (the way you can with official conference sessions) and have their location info show up in the same column as the official conference sessions' would be nice.

Jenny Levine (staff)'s picture

Thanks for the feeback, Megan!

Right now, I can add unofficial events to the Scheduler if you can send me all of the information that should be included. In the future, I'm hoping we can leave the submission form open right up to Midwinter so that unofficial events can be added at anytime. We'll see what we can do for Annual.

We won't be able to add priority for personal sessions for Midwinter, but we should be able to do that for Annual, as well. We'll also try to work it out so that there are location fields on personal sessions that display the actual location on your schedule. That extra click to get to the information is definitely annoying - we just ran out of time to change that before Midwinter.

Keep the ideas coming!

Beth Camden's picture


What about the UNO events that were included in the old tool, such as the PCC Participants meeting? 



Beth Camden's picture

OK I found it--it didn't come up in the search I did earlier

Diane Baden's picture

It would be helpful to have a Location box for personal meetings in addition to Title, Dates, and Times.

Diane Baden
Head of Monographic Services
O'Neill Library
Boston College

Jenny Levine (staff)'s picture

Thanks, Diane - we agree! We think we can implement this for Annual so that everything displays in your schedule view in one place.

Let us know if you have additional suggestions as you use the Scheduler.

Christopher Cronin's picture

Hi Jenny,

Really great job with the conference scheduler. I agree with previous posts that having the ability to set a priority level for personal sessions would the really helpful. Also, is there a reason why the location of personal sessions do not map over through iCal? The meeting name and time seem to import successfully into Outlook, but the location does not. Is there a setting somewhere I need to tweak?

Chris Cronin
University of Chicago

Jenny Levine (staff)'s picture

Thanks for your kind words about the Scheduler, Chris.

I'll add priority level for personal sessions to the list of future enhancements (probably starting with Midwinter 2012), but we did fix the location of these sessions in the iCal file. Can you please test to confirm that it's working for you now?

Thanks again,

Christopher Cronin's picture

Works perfectly! Thanks for doing that so fast! --Chris.

David Vess's picture

I see this above: "Populate group calendars automatically with conference sessions (done)."  I'm sure this was working for Annual 2011.  I recall leveraging the rss feed from the glbtrt connect calendar to auto-populate our facebook calendar.  Very handy.

Have you turned off auto-popluating events in group calendar spaces now?  I'm not seeing MW events for the GLBTRT.  I understand if you did, I'm sure that the main lita space calendar was absurdly complex, but this worked great for the rt calendar.

Thank you as always for connect!

Jenny Levine (staff)'s picture

David, you're correct that starting with Annual 2011, we auto-populated group calendars with conference sessions, and we plan to do that again for Midwinter 2012. Because we moved the Scheduler from the Drupal 6 Connect installation to its own Drupal 7 site, we've lost the direct link we'd built between the sessions and the group calendars.

We'll be working on a new solution this week, though, so you'll have that same functionality for the Midwinter 2012 sessions soon. :)


Sandra Levy's picture

I'd like to print out a list of my exhibtors. In the past I could be the information into an excel file and then sort it as I like. So I gave myself two lists, one in alpha order and the other in booth number.


Now it seems no can do. Both the print option and pdf choices look terrible and are unhelpful.

Jenny Levine (staff)'s picture

Hi, Sandra --

The headings at the top of the "booth number" and "title" columns are clickable for sorting. You can sort your list by booth number and then click on the "PDF" link to get a printable version by booth number. You can then click on the "title" heading to sort your list of exhibitors alphabetically and then click on the "PDF" link to get a printable version of that list.

I've verified this on my own list of exhibitors, but please let me know if this doesn't work for you.