Hello, hello! I’m super excited to be writing our first blog post for 2017! We’ve been back on deck since early January and have been powering through plenty of features and bug fixes. What have we got for you this month? Read on…
Update on Event Registration
We are so close to releasing the final stable version of event registration! We’ve had a number of delays due to some issues revolving around tickets being saved correctly. We want to make sure these are ironed out beforehand. We are working with a few customers that have experienced issues to ensure these are resolved. We’d love to have this finalised early next week. Thanks for your patience! I’ll keep you posted.
We are excited to release our group messages feature in the web app! Group members can now communicate with each other in a private area.
Group messages can be enabled on a per group category basis when you show the group in the Member Area. You can tweak who can post and also whether you want a message board or chat style (the above screenshot is the chat style). Here’s a screenshot of editing a group category.
Messages can be pinned and deleted by leaders. Users posting messages have 10 minutes to edit their message if they made a typo or wanted to add something. Individual members can set their notification preferences to suit their preference.
Group Messaging can be accessed from the ‘Groups’ link within users profiles. Once you select the group, the messaging page will display. Enjoy!
Service Song Search
We have totally overhauled adding songs to services. We’ve had a number of customers giving us feedback on how hard it was to find songs. Here are some features:
- We’ve improved searching so you can now search lyrics.
- You can also display when a song was last used and how many times it has been used. Change the ‘Last Used & Times Used’ drop down and you can narrow these statistics down to a specific service type or location.
- We’ve also added nifty features like pagination and sorting.
Let us know what you think!
We’ve had a lot of feedback that our current roster design could at times become a bit heavy with information when you had a lot of services. At the end of the day your volunteers need to quickly see when they are scheduled and any information about the service they need.
We’ve now tweaked the roster page to be a little more user-friendly and less chunky.
We’ve also split out the ‘My Schedule’ and ‘Upcoming Schedule’ sections so you can limit what info you see.
- Event registration forms now contain a logo, description, map and time above ticket selection
- Roster calendar subscriptions now show other times as their own entry, including those on different dates
- Added ‘Additional People Column’ options to the Check-in Room Attendance built-in report
- Added ability to only show people who haven’t checked out to the Check-in Room Attendance built-in report
- Added ability to hide the ‘Checked-in’ and ‘Checked-out’ detail columns in the Check-in Room Attendance built-in report
- Improved the admin area menu on smaller resolution screens
- A bunch of fixes as per usual 😜
Now that our developer team has grown we’ll be working hard to continue to improve what already exists along with new features. Our goal this year is to provide better time estimates on our roadmap now that we have more team and can estimate tasks better.
This year we’ll be spending a lot of time improving what we already have in place. There will be a lot of behind the scenes changes you won’t even notice but these will enable us to create and maintain features faster, allow us to better test our code and make it faster to release features to our API and mobile app.
We are really excited for what’s ahead. Keep an eye on the roadmap and we’ll continue to update it.
Enjoy the new features and be sure to give us your feedback!
A lot has been happening behind the scenes here at Elvanto. Let’s get into it!
Our commitment to our customers has always been to provide an amazing product that continues to evolve and grow. We now have two additional developers onboard (Alan and Raymond) allowing us to really start to get some more momentum and continue to release major updates in a quicker timeframe. We are committed as ever to build and listen to the valuable feedback our customers provide!
We’ve got a big one this month!
Event Registration with Payments BETA
It’s here! We’ve been working hard for a number of months and we are excited to announce the launch of event registration with payments! It comes fully stocked with tickets, discount codes, multi-currency support, custom tax settings and the list goes on.
This is our very first release so we are excited to hear feedback from our customers so that we can continue to add to it and improve it in the coming weeks. Our initial release will be in BETA.
Why BETA and for how long?
We’ve been testing rigorously but we have decided to put it into BETA until late January so that we can ensure every little bug is ironed out. Accepting payments is a big deal so we want to make sure we’ve got it right!
Even though in BETA, everything works so you’re ready to start accepting registrations and payments from today.
If you are wanting to do some testing before you go live (which I highly recommend), both Stripe and PayPal offer test credentials so you can go ahead and make test payments. More on payment methods below.
What payment methods do you accept?
We’ll be looking at adding additional payment providers but for the time being both Stripe and PayPal have great fee structures and have a very global reach allowing the majority of our customers to get off the ground quickly.
We also allow you to add offline payment methods so you can accept payments such as cash or bank transfer.
Are there any fees we have to pay Elvanto?
No! We do not charge any add-on or transaction fees for event registration payments. All you pay are per transaction fees directly to Stripe and PayPal.
What features come with the new event registration system?
We’ve tried to add as much value to this release as possible. Here’s what to expect:
- Payments can be processed through registration forms
- Multiple ticket options with different price points
- Tickets can be limited in number and also have availability dates
- Ability to add a price per occurrence for repeating events (e.g: if a conference runs from Monday to Wednesday, you can charge for people to attend just Monday and Tuesday)
- Discount codes can be applied to specific tickets and can have limits and also availability dates
- Multi-currency support (both Stripe and PayPal accept a large number of currencies)
- Configure tax to suit your country and state
- Pass on fees to the customer when they choose specific payment methods
- Partial payment support
- Customize invoice logo and text
- View a list of tickets & invoices
- Guest list has been switched to a more familiar table view and can be mass managed
- Events can be duplicated
- Choose for forms to display a custom success message or redirect to another website
- Choose to disable form pre-fill when a user is logged in and viewing a form
How does it work?
There have been several big changes from the old event registrations forms and the new updates.
You’ll now notice two new tabs when editing an event. One for ‘Registration’ and another for ‘Invoices & Tickets’. The first tab is where you enable registration and add things like tickets, discount codes and set the currency. The second tab is where generated invoices and tickets will end up when individuals register.
When you add a form you will now be presented with two options. The ability to create a ‘Standard’ or ‘Registration’ form. The only difference between the two is that the latter will allow you to use the new event registration version within your form. Once you have linked an event to your registration form, you can begin accepting registrations.
The form itself has some major changes. First of all when someone views the form, they will be first presented with a list of ticket options. You might have ‘Adult’ tickets and ‘Children’ tickets as an example. Each ticket is linked to a person. If someone were to choose 2 ‘Adult’ tickets and 2 ‘Children’ tickets, the form will automatically ask to provide information for those 2 adults and 2 children. You can choose what information is to be provided.
After the person fills in the details for each person, they will then be taken to the payment screen where they can enter billing contact details and choose a payment method.
Differences from the Old Version
The old version of event registration allowed you to add multiple events to a single form. This is no longer possible with the new event registration forms. You can only add one event per form.
The older version also allowed you to add a single occurrence of a repeating event. The new version only allows you to add an entire event which means all its repeating occurrences will be displayed. You can choose for individuals to have the ability to choose what occurrences they wish to attend. As an example if you have an event that ran for 5 consecutive days, you can choose to sell tickets for individual days.
What happens to my existing event registration forms?
Old event registration forms will function as per usual. We’ll also support these old forms when the new event registration comes out of BETA so that your old forms will continue to function as they were originally designed.
You will not be able to add the old version of event registration to any new forms once we come out of BETA as we plan to phase this out eventually. We don’t have a set date for this so don’t worry about your old forms not working all of a sudden. We’ll give plenty of notice.
How do I get started?
What else have we been working on?
In addition to a bunch of fixes, here are some other features we’ve released.
- Added the ability to set a form to not pre-fill with the logged in users details
- Added the ability to set a form to not remove data from existing people’s profiles if left blank in a form submission
- Giving statements can now be filtered by people category
- Added the ability to publish giving statements for people with pledges that haven’t yet given
- Added an option to show or hide the volunteers status (Confirmed/Declined) in the Volunteer Positions report
- Added an option to change the department position name format in the Volunteer Positions Report
- Added an option to hide the ‘Times Attended’ or ‘Times Absent’ columns in Groups and Service Individual Attendance reports
- Added the ability to duplicate giving statement templates
- Improved column widths in service/group attendance reports
- Service Individual Attendance reports now show the year of the service when on the ‘Each Service’ frequency if the report spans multiple years
- Added the ability to insert ‘Page Break’ items into Comprehensive reports. When exported to PDF, these will force a page break
- Notes can now be scheduled for anyone, not just people users can see
- Added an access permission option to change a person’s people category
- Removed the family members relationship information from the Family Members (names only) display field
- Added a new ‘Family Members (names and relationship)’ display field with the functionality of the old ‘Family Members (names only)’ field
- Added the ability to set a personalized signature in emails. This is found under My Profile > Preferences for those with access to sending emails
- Added the ability to set double opt-in as required for MailChimp subscriptions
- Added descriptions to groups and group categories
- Improved the layout of the ‘Reporting’ tab within services
- Removed the ‘Add’ button when adding individuals via service reporting. You can now click on the individual directly from the search results
- Long service plan item descriptions are now shown in a way to take up less room when editing multiple services
- Increased the size of the plan item description text box when editing or adding the descriptions
- Added the option to save new services and exit back without having to edit the services straight away
- Added media player to the ‘Plan’ tab of the roster
- Added an option to display the ‘Plan’ tab by default when viewing the roster
- Calendar & Events
- Added a new field for events called ‘Admin Notes’ which is hidden from members but can be used to store information about the event
- Added ‘Check All’ and ‘Uncheck All’ options when selecting which calendar to view
- Added the ability to duplicate events
- Mobile App
- Member Directory has been added into the Mobile App
- Added the group picture to the groups/getAll and groups/getInfo api calls
- Added the service logo as an optional field in the services/getAll and services/getInfo api calls
We are as focused as ever. With our growing team and continued desire to improve we’ll be tackling more updates before the end of the year and into 2017. Some features we are not too far off for release…
- Member Area group message boards
- Ability to print out chords and lyrics for an entire service in one go
- Ability to send out occasion messages for birthday and anniversary
- Improved song searching when adding to a service
- Ability to have rehearsal times on a separate day to a service
- Better filtering for check-in
Watch this space!
We want to be really transparent as to what our roadmap looks like and in the new year we will do our best to keep you in the loop of what we’re working on. We’ve updated out roadmap page for which outlines more information on how we prioritize feature requests. Check it out!
Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!
I wish you all an amazing Christmas period and believing for countless salvations in your church!
Update: Database upgrade was a complete success! Enjoy more power!
We’ve been having some major US growth recently so we’re upgrading again to keep things running quickly and smoothly!
We will be performing a database upgrade on Tuesday, October 25 at 11:30pm PDT, to improve performance and stability for our US customers.
We have scheduled a 1 hour window to perform the upgrade and test. We don’t expect it to take that whole time, but follow our Status Twitter for updates.
Have a sensational week 🙂
It’s been another busy month here at Elvanto. We’ve been refining and testing the new event registration feature. We’ve also managed to push a number of other improvements to volunteers and services. Let’s check it out.
Volunteer Scheduling Preferences
We’ve added a new feature allowing volunteers to set their scheduling preferences. They can specify their overall serving capacity (e.g: x times a per month or per day) and even specify how often they can serve on specific departments and sub-departments.
Similar to unavailabilities and conflicts, it will show a little badge when scheduling a volunteer on a service if they’ve hit their limit.
Auto-schedule will simply ignore them if they have hit their defined limit.
We have in the plans to allow positions to not trigger a conflict and also allow couples to be scheduled on together.
My Schedule in Roster
We’ve added a ‘My Schedule’ section to the roster within our Web App and Mobile App. This gives a nice overview of what services and positions a volunteer is assigned to without looking into each service.
And in the mobile app…
Clock View for LIVE
We’ve added a new clock view within LIVE so that you can now share a countdown timer on a screen to say your speaker. Simply choose the view…
And your screen will show a nice big countdown timer along with the current time.
Event Registration Sneak Peak
We’ve been talking about the event registration feature for a while now. Like we’ve said before we are working really hard to make it robust and powerful. Here’s a few pics of how it’s looking.
New Registration Tab in Events
There’s been plenty of smaller additions and bug fixes. Here are some of the things we’ve added…
- A people setting to hide completed people flows from a person’s profile
- Built-in options for ‘My Groups’ and ‘My Giving’ for layout menus
- A ‘Times Attended’ and ‘Times Absent’ column to the Service and Group Individual Attendance reports
- Nashville Numbering System option to chord charts
- A built-in field for ‘Middle Name’
- A ‘Full Legal Name’ display field for reports, people views and emails
- More song arrangement details to Elvanto LIVE
- Russian language (Мы любим наших переводчиков)
- An ‘Average’ row for Service and Group Attendance (Statistics) reports, when viewing a table
- A ‘Print’ option for people flows
- A dropdown within people flows to let you change quickly between steps in a people flow
More coming so watch this space!
We’ve been working hard over the last few weeks to continue to push out fixes and improvements. This month, we’ve released some much requested enhancements to the Member Area and also a few other cool updates! Let’s get into it!
The groups an individual is a part of can now be displayed in the Member Area. This can be accessed from their My Profile sidebar.
You can enable this on a group category level so that you can choose what types of groups display in the Member Area. To respect people’s privacy, members are hidden from groups by default, although you can choose to set everyone to display if desired.
We’ve added a new ‘Privacy Settings’ link to the sidebar of My Profile where an individual can choose to show or hide themselves or specific contact details from other group members of specific groups, and we’ve also moved the member directory privacy settings into this area. Group leaders can always see their group members though.
This is just the beginning! We’re planing to add individual group message boards so that members can interact, group search tool so people can find and join groups and more mass manage type features for managing the visibility of members in groups. Stay tuned!
You can now also enable pledges and transactions to show in the Member Area. This is also accessed from their My Profile sidebar.
This can be enabled from Settings > Financial. You can also opt to show family giving as well which will be displayed to the same family members who have the ability to edit other family, if you have this enabled.
The giving page will only show the latest information. So published giving statements will now only show the latest and there is a nice little ‘View All’ button so that members can view past statements.
‘Did Not Meet’ for Groups
Group attendance reports can now be submitted as ‘Did/Will Not Meet’. We’ve added this so that group leaders can submit reports for meetings that did not take place without skewing reporting statistics.
Meetings marked with the option will be removed from the calendar and leaders won’t continue to receive reminders. We’ve also added this to attendance reminders sent to leaders.
Lyrics & Chords
We’ve totally reworked our lyrics and chord charts. They have been given a design overhaul and now only use monospace fonts for more consistent output. We’ve added ‘Unifont’ in place of ‘Arial Unicode’ for better language support. They can now also be displayed in landscape which will display in 2 columns (let’s save some paper where we can!).
Chord charts now also support the Nashville Number System, which means less time on transposing keys and downloading different charts. We’re supporting both standard numbers and Roman numerals too, so you can access charts in whichever system you prefer!
And to top that all off, we’ve added a nice little preview window to the right of your lyrics & chords when editing in the Admin Area.
In addition to that you can now download chord charts using numbers (Nashville Numbering System) or roman numerals.
Scheduling Email Improvements
Scheduling emails now contain one-click buttons to allow people to quickly accept or decline roster requests directly from the email without needing to open the roster. You can also view a specific service in the roster by simply clicking the date of the service.
Reports To Service Types
As well as locations, the ‘Reports To’ person within departments can now be assigned service types. This gives you greater flexibility over who people are reporting to.
Service Statistic Line Charts & Pie Graphs
You can now see pretty line charts and pie graphs when adding service attendance statistics to your dashboard! We also offer a number of comparison options too. More dashboard widgets coming 🙂
- You can now set a minimum amount of notice volunteers must give when submitting unavailability.
- You can now set a time limit for volunteers declining a service they’ve already confirmed their request. This is only if you allow volunteers to decline after confirming.
- Group attendance report can now be filtered to exclude attendance that’s linked to a service.
- Added ‘Meter’ (AKA Time Signature) to song arrangements.
- The self check-in window can now be customized to include your own graphics, logos and color schemes.
- Added a new ‘Full Contact Details’ display and placeholder.
- Added extra filter options for the calendar and events list, including the ability to filter based on booked assets.
- Added a ‘Moderator’ access permission for songs which allows people which allows people to see all songs regardless of lockdowns. Good if you share songs across multuple locations but have lockdowns in place.
- Services and service types can now have a description which appears in the calendar.
- Updated the layout of a number of settings pages and added tabs for a number of areas.
- Moved any song related settings from Settings -> Services to Settings -> Songs.
Event Registration Update
We’re still chipping away and we’ll hopefully have a post out in the next couple of weeks with a few sneak peaks of how it’s looking. I’ll keep you posted.
That’s not all!
To help out our newer customers we’ve updated the Getting Started section of our help site and added in a number of new articles that will help you get the most out of your trial and tips on how to implement Elvanto into your church. Feel free to check it out!
We’ve also got our Demo site live along with a guided tour which can give you a quick look at the different features in Elvanto. We’re going to expand on this more in the future to give an even more in-depth look at the different features.
That’s all for now! We’re releasing something almost every day at the moment so much more to come 🙂 Full release notes can be found here.