syndication

The Benefits of Using the Hidden Category Filter

What is a "hidden" event category type? When adding or editing an event category type the administrator has the option to "hide", via a checkbox, that category type from the public. The hidden category type…

What is a “hidden” event category type?

When adding or editing an event category type the administrator has the option to “hide”, via a checkbox, that category type from the public. The hidden category type is then suppressed from the front end event submission form. At that point only the administrator can associate the hidden event type with an event. There are several reasons why an administrator might want to hide an event category type. Two of these reasons are explained below. 

What’s new with hidden types?

To date a hidden category type has traditionally been suppressed on both the public event submission form and the event search widget’s category type drop menu. Now with our latest system release hidden category types are also suppressed on event search result pages.

Cleaning up the clutter.

One way we’ve seen this feature put to good use is through NowPlayingUtah.com‘s choice to remove canceled events from their category pages and search results. They recognized that canceled events were cluttering up the end user experience and instead chose to direct users to one page in order to check on canceled events. This streamlined their homepage, category pages, and search results to only display current and upcoming events.

In this case they made sure to remove any additional category selections from the listing so that only the hidden “canceled” event type was selected as its primary type. Now it is much easier for users to scroll through the list of events without having to navigate all of the events that have been canceled.

Building strong partnerships through hidden category syndication.

Another powerful use of the hidden category type feature is how it can be used in Syndication feeds. Sacramento365.com has developed a number of strategic relationships using the Syndication module to feed both visible and hidden event category types. One such relationship is with the City of Sacramento where Sacramento365.com has become the centralized database for many of the City’s government event listings. These are events that the public would not normally attend and would not typically be found on the main Sacramento365.com website. However, the Sacramento365 team has been entrusted by the City to manage its event listings and to provide those events via Syndication feed to the City’s calendars. 

The event category types specific to the City are hidden on the standard submission form from the general public, but are made available through a special filter that allows a small group of authorized user IDs to view and select these category types. Sacramento365’s content team can review and approve the City’s event submissions and then provide them via the Syndication feeds to the City’s calendars. This adds tangible value to Sacramento365’s partnership with the City and allows it to leverage the platform and their existing content management team for a broader purpose.

The power of this approach is that Sacramento365.com is not only the calendar for “what’s happening” around the Sacramento region, but that is is also positioned to be the centralized database for the entire community, whether those events appear on Sacramento365.com or not.

How to hide a category…

Hiding categories is easy! Just go to Events > Categories > Click on the category you want to hide > Select the Hidden check box (as illustrated in the image below) >. Click Update at the bottom of the page.