Custom Fields for Sessions

Using custom fields, you can give your event participants richer session info and better discoverability

Custom fields are very powerful when attached to Profiles but they can also be used for Sessions. Leveraging custom fields within your event agenda helps your attendees learn more at a glance about your Sessions, along with providing handy access to links and other additional information that you might want to include.

For more information about how Custom Fields work and how to manage them, see our main article here. In this article we’ll cover scenarios unique to Sessions and any differences as compared to their usage on Profiles.

What can I use Session custom fields for?

At this point, custom fields for Sessions can be used for the following:

  • Displaying data in a variety of formats on a Session - like web links, topics, or simple lines of text.
  • Making search results more accurate for your participants.

More functionality will soon be available, making them more comparable to Profile custom fields, at which point this article will be updated.

 


In this article we will cover the following:

How to manage Session custom fields

First in the Grip dashboard, pick an event, and then go to Event Details > Custom Fields. On the first tab you'll see your Profile custom fields, so you'll need to click on the second tab to manage Session fields.

In this table you will be able to see any fields that are available for the current event. This includes all multi-event fields from the current Grip Application, along with any single-event fields that have been created within this event.

The information displayed here is the same as for the custom profile fields tab, featuring the name and some basic details about each field. There are two new columns here however:

Active in event Choose whether you can use this field in the current event (see the section below)
Visible Indicates whether any information in this field will be visible within sessions for your event attendees.

Active in event

Session custom fields can be created as multi- or single-event fields and are managed in the same way as profile custom fields. Permissions for session fields are very similar to profile field permissions, but with one difference - Session custom fields have a simple 'Active' control, so that you can choose which of your fields are available to all of the sessions within the current event, or none of them.

If a field is active it will appear within the sessions in the Grip dashboard for you to add data to it. If a field is inactive, you cannot use it for sessions in the current event.

This is different to the 'Visible' control, as shown in the table above.

You'll need to be an App Admin to make changes to a multi-event field as you will be making changes that could affect other events. If you do not have App Admin privileges, you can still make multi-event fields active within the current event, directly from this page.

Custom field settings

Clicking on the Settings cog will take you to the custom field options page.

Again, this is extremely similar to the profile custom field page, but with fewer options - we recommend that you read the main custom fields article for in-depth details about the options shown on this page. If you can't see an option you're expecting to, it's because it's not appropriate for Session custom fields.

How to create Session custom fields

As before, this process is effectively identical to the process to create a profile custom field. You can create a Session custom field from two places in the dashboard:

  1. From the Session custom fields tab:
  2. While editing a session in Event Agenda, from the custom fields tab:

Both places will take you to the same creation page, although once finished you will be taken back to the page that you started at.

If you are an App Admin or above, you will be prompted about whether you want to create a multi-event field, or just a single-event field. Again, multi-event fields are recommended unless you don't plan on using this field again in future events.

Fill in the options on the page just as you would a profile custom field. Once saved, you'll either be taken to the second tab for entering pre-defined values, or back to the page you came from.

While the options on this page allow you to specify AI matching types and connect Session fields to Profile fields with a supply/demand relationship, this currently does not affect recommendations. This functionality will be released in the coming months.

How to add data to Session custom fields

Once your fields are created and active in your event, you can add data to them that will display in your sessions to your attendees. The simplest way is through the dashboard, through editing a session. Alternatively, for large amounts of data, it's better for this data to come in to Grip via a custom integration.

Via the dashboard

Go to Event DetailsEvent Agenda. On this page you can see a list of your sessions, and you can use the column selector to show any existing custom field data that's been created.

  1. Click on the Settings cog to edit a Session, or you can create a new session.
    1. If you're editing a Session, you can click on the Custom fields tab at the top.
    2. If you're creating a new Session, you'll need to add some basic details first, and click Save and continue.
  2. On the Custom fields tab you'll see sections for each type of custom field that can be used. These contain all of the fields that are current Active in the current event - controlled from the main Session Custom Fields page. If there are no active fields available, you'll be shown a link to that custom fields page in order to make at least one active.
    You can always create a brand new custom field from here too, if you need to - once created you'll be returned to this same session so that you can carry on editing.

  3. You can expand each section to see a list of fields, and directly edit the information for each field that will be used in this session. For pre-defined fields, you can choose from a list of values that have already been created for that field. To modify these or add more, you'll need to edit the field itself and go to the 'values' tab.
  4. In multi-language events, you can use the language selectors to view and edit data in other languages:
    1. For pre-defined fields, we tie translations for individual values together so as to keep them in sync. This means that you can only edit while viewing in English. Changes are then saved automatically in other languages.
    2. For freeform fields, you must edit in all languages available. For any languages that are left blank, we fall back to the default English data. 
    3. For link fields, you can edit in all languages, for each individual link's field. For any languages that are left blank, we fall back to the default English data.
  5. If you want to empty a field, click the Clear button next to it.
  6. Once you're happy with the changes, click Save changes.

Via a custom integration

Custom integrations are managed by our Solutions team, and allow us to pull in information from almost any source via a public API. Speak to your Grip contact if you need more information on integrations.

Just like for custom profile fields, you should first create or activate the fields that you want to pull data into. Once done, the system will have created a 'back-end' system name for each field, which is what we need to use for an integration (because you might change its name later).

You can see this system name in a few places:

  1. While hovering your cursor over the field name on the Session custom fields page:
  2. On the field's settings page:
  3. When editing a Session, you can hover over a custom field name:

Once you know these field system names you can pass them to your Grip contact for use in your integrations.

FAQ

I have attached Session and Profile fields together in a supply/demand relationship. Will this be used in Session Recommendations?

Not yet. But watch this space...