In this article, we explain how the Grip Matchmaking Solution deals with timezones as part of its calendar integration.
One of the great features of the Grip Matchmaking Solution is the integration with 'native calendars' such as Google Calendar, Microsoft Outlook, Apple iCal and any other ICS based emailing client.
However, timezones can cause a slight confusion for people taking advantage of the calendar integration.
Event Timezone and Local Timezone
The most important thing to understand is the difference between your own current timezone and the timezone the event is taking place in. Take for example an event that is taking place in New York but you are currently in London.
If you look at the Event Agenda and add a 3pm session to your schedule, you expect this 3pm time to be the time the session is taking place in New York even though you yourself might be in London.
The same goes for meetings, when you request a meeting for 4pm at the event, you expect this to be 4pm in New York not 4pm in London.
This means we can specify the following rule: Regardless of your local timezone when using the Grip Matchmaking Solution the times displayed are in the Event Timezone.
Event Timezones and your Personal Calendar
The above "rule" does, however, cause a problem when syncing meetings with your personal calendar. Everyone has probably had the experience of traveling to a different timezone and all of a sudden all your meetings being at strange times. This is because your calendar is smart enough that it always shows your meetings in your local timezone.
So when you're having a meeting in a couple of weeks at 3 pm in New York and you're currently in London the meeting in your personal calendar will be shown at 8 pm. Because there is a 5-hour time difference between London and New York.
This can result in the situation shown in the screenshot below for a meeting taking place in Las Vegas but someone currently being in London.
The top red box shows the 'timezone-adjusted' time if the person would stay in London for the meeting. The second red box shows the time of the meeting in Las Vegas.
This means we can create a second rule: The Grip Meetings in my Personal Calendar will be time-zone adjusted based on my current Local Timezone.
Event Timezones and Virtual Events
The above-mentioned rules needed to be further adjusted for the case of Virtual Events. Displaying the times in the event timezones could cause many problems for scheduling meetings and attending live-streaming sessions. This is because each attendee will run their meetings or join the sessions in their own Local Timezone.
This creates a third rule: For virtual events, the times across the Grip Matchmaking Solution will be time-zone adjusted based on my current Local Timezone.
We have implemented the following changes to support this rule:
- Time in Event Agenda and My Schedule pages are displayed in Local Timezone of the user. The timezone is indicated in the top right corner of the schedule list.
- On Schedule lists, it is possible to look up the session time in the timezone of the event by hovering the mouse over the hour display. Time displayed is based on session or meeting room location.
- Local timezones will be also displayed on the session and meeting details
- Same applies when requesting a meeting for yourself or for a colleague using Teams, also when you provide your availability for the event.
Thank you for reading! We hope that this article helps you understand how Grip deals with timezones and the difference between Event Timezones and Local Timezones. If you have any other questions please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org