Virtual Convention Basics
A virtual convention is a convention conducted online rather than at a physical venue. The setup is very similar to an in-person event (see Convention Basics); however, there are some distinct changes that have been implemented to make things easier for attendees who are participating in your convention.
- Convention Geolocation Still Required
- Displayed Time Zones
- Convention Day and Day Part Names
- Room and Spaces Still Required
Convention Geolocation Still Required
Online conventions still require a geographical location - a city and state. This is also on the Edit Venue page. This geolocation is how your convention gets its "native" time zone. This time zone is used to express your convention times to your organizers in the Convention Tools, so choose a geolocation which will make it easiest for your organizers to understand your convention times. If we didn't use this geolocation time zone to display your convention times, your organizers would have to work with the times as we store them in the platform code, which is in Greenwich Time (UTC). Unless your organizers are in London, this is probably not what they want.
Displayed Time Zones
What Organizers See
In pages under "Convention Tools", times will display in the convention's time zone (see Convention Geolocation Still Required above). This is to keep all your organizers on the same page, schedule-wise.
What Attendees See
Since your convention will take place online, and not in a physical place where your attendees will congregate, it no longer makes sense to express your convention times in the convention's (geolocational) time zone. In attendee pages (which is to say, all TTE pages for your convention that aren't for organizational purposes), times will display using the time zone obtained from the attendee's browser. So if an attendee is looking at your convention from Chicago, they will see all your convention times expressed locally for Chicago, and not for the convention's geolocation.
What Helpers See
A helper is defined as a someone hosting an event or volunteering for your convention. Making a convention virtual will enable Helper Timezones. Helpers may set a timezone for themselves for your convention. This is intended as a scheduling convenience for your organizers. A helper's time zone will appear anywhere volunteer or event host information is displayed for you to reference in case that is helpful for scheduling or re-scheduling volunteer shifts or events.
If a helper sets their time zone for your convention, they will see all your convention times expressed in that time zone. So if your online convention is "located" in New York, and a helper is looking at TTE from Los Angeles, but the helper sets their time zone to Boise (because that is where they will be when your convention happens), the helper will see all your convention times as if they were in Boise -- their local time zone is no longer important for their views of your convention. A helper can set their time zone on their personal event schedule pages or on their volunteer shifts page.
Helpers are not required to add a time zone, and may change or delete it at any time. Organizers do not have the ability to set helper time zones. Attendees do not have any option to set a time zone.
Convention Day and Day Part Names
Convention Days require names when you create them, and normally these days, and the day parts generated for them, are referenced by name in attendee pages. This is no longer the case when you make your convention virtual. All times will be expressed to attendees in their local (browser-detected) time zones, and this can mean, for some conventions, that a time will be expressed on a different day. For example, if your online convention is geolocated in New York, and you have events around the clock, a 2am event will display to attendees from Los Angeles as 11pm on the previous day. Therefore the day referenced is based on the time as expressed to the attendee, and not on the name you chose for the day. This also applies to Day Part names (which are in format "[dayname] at [time]"). For online conventions, we replace your day names with the actual name of the day for the time. So, to return to the previous for-example, if your 2am event is scheduled on your convention day for a Saturday, an attendee will see that as 11pm for Friday.
Rooms and Spaces Still Required
Scheduling for events still requires at least one room and corresponding spaces to be created in the scheduling module. All events will be scheduled to Time Slots, which are a combination of Day Part and Room/Space meaning at least one Room and Space is needed to schedule events.
If you are planning to utilize a Discord server with multiple channels, you should first create rooms and spaces for your online event. Then you can use use TTE's Discord integration to map TTE rooms and spaces to Discord categories and channels.