How do I add my own information to the conference invitation email?

Q: Can I add my own information to the conference invitation email?
A: Yes! You can use the “Custom Footer” feature to add notes to the conference invitation email that gets send to all invited participants. The following is a blog post that describes the process in detail.

When participants are explicitly invited to a ZipDX conference the system sends them an email invitation. This message, which was recently reworked to be more straightforward, contains all of the various details about the conference.

Outlook Invitation No Footer 670px

Each invitation (shown above – as viewed in MS Outlook) is personalized, unique to each participant. It includes their PIN and the most appropriate dial-in number based upon what the system knows about their location. Thus, when viewing the invitation they see everything required to join the conference.

Yet Something Was Missing

There are times when it would be useful to be able to include some additional information relevant to a specific conference. For example, an organizer may wish to distribute the conference agenda, or links to access shared documents. To address this requirement we have recently implemented a “custom footer” feature.

Invite Email Custom Footer

In the process of creating a new conference using the ZipDX web portal you find a section entitled Invite Email Custom Footer below the existing Audio Features settings.

Invite Email Custom Footer Bar

Shown collapsed by default, clicking on the gold Show button reveals a simple text entry area that will accept up to 1024 characters.

Invite Email Custom Footer Shown

Any text added to this box will be presented in a section added to the bottom of the standard conference invitation email. The custom footer tool is Unicode enabled, allowing text to be entered in almost any language.

A Simple Example

As an initial example let us consider that a meeting organizer might want to distribute a reminder about some keypad functions available during the course of a conference. Such notes might appear as follows:

*1 – Raise your hand
*2X – Cast a vote, where X is a number between 1 and 9
*3 – Hear the number of participants in the conference
*6  – Mute or un-mute yourself

When entered into the customer footer tool they appear as shown below.

Custom Footer Notes Example

They result in email invitations with the notes included as shown in the following image:

Custom Footer Message Example #1 short

The image above is a screen shot of a web mail client showing only the Organizer Notes section. Click on the image to see a larger view of the entire email invitation.

There are a handful of characters that are not permitted in a custom footer. If any of these characters (<, >, “, &, $, \, or `) appear in the text the system will insist that the text be revised.

Localization

The email invitations to all ZipDX conferences are now localized into a number of different languages. This currently includes; English, Japanese, Korean, Chinese, and French.

Each participant’s profile has a preferred language setting (pictured below.) If possible, the system will send them conference invitations in their preferred language.

Profile Preferred Language Banner

A conference organizer may provide language specific versions of the custom footer content. In this way the invitation can be presented entirely in a participant’s preferred language.

Within the customer footer text each language is indicated using an ISO standard 2-digit language code contained in curly brackets. For example, {FR} indicates that the following text should be included when a participant prefers French.

A Localized Example

Extending the earlier example, let us presume that we have participants who prefer English and French involved in a conference. The notes provided in the custom footer would be as follows:

{XX}
*1 – Raise your hand
*2X – Cast a vote, where X is a number between 1 and 9
*3 – Hear the number of participants in the conference
*6  – Mute or un-mute yourself
{FR}
*1 – Lever la main
*2X – Voter, où X est un nombre compris entre 1 et 9
*3 – Entendre le nombre de participants à la conférence
*6  – Vous mettre en sourdine ou l’enlever

The instruction {XX} tells the system to use a block of text for any case where there is no localized version available. In this example, the English version is shown to any conference participant who prefers any language other than French.

Customer Footer ML Example XXFRES

The above customer footer instructions results in participants who prefer French receiving an invitation that is entirely in French, including the notes on voting, muting, etc..

Custom Footer Message Example #2 short

The image above shows the custom footer section of an invitation to a participant who prefers French. Click to see an image of the entire invitation.

Where To Use the Custom Footer

There are two possible opportunities to use the custom footer:

1. While Creating a Conference

If you add a custom footer in the process of creating a conference it will be used just once, for that conference. This is appropriate when the materials included are applicable to one specific call. For example, the agenda or links to shared files.

2. A Conference Template

If you add a custom footer to a conference template it will be used repeatedly. It will be included any time that template is used to create a new conference. This approach is most applicable when the information included is broadly applicable to a series of calls.

For example, when hosting a multilingual conference series you may elect to include dial-in instructions for connecting directly to the various language channels available.

Experiment!

The two examples presented serve to illustrate how the custom footer feature works. We’ve included the text used in creating these examples so that you have a basis for experimentation. Setup a test meeting for yourself, including some notes in the custom footer.

You can adjust your preferred language, then have the system send you a reminder email so you see exactly how the information is presented. There’s no better way to become familiar with the use of a new feature than by a little experimentation.

Summary

The Custom Footer function provides a convenient way for conference organizers to include additional information in the meeting invitation. Whether for distributing an agenda, links to shared files, or tips on using the conference service, it helps to consolidate all the information a participant needs in one, convenient place.

In addition, support for localized messaging allows participants to receive conference invitations in their preferred language. We are continuing to extend our library of localizations, and hope to add Spanish in the near future.