Every reservation you build on an event in your VolunteerHub site can be set to expire a certain amount of time before the event starts. This option has many uses, most notably as:
- A back-up plan if the reservation doesn’t fill
- A priority system for first access to an event
- A timer to allow registration on an event as of a particular date
This quick tip will show you how to set up each of the above expiration types on any event.
To learn the basics of creating group reservations, please see section 5 of the Getting Started Guide.
When you reserve slots on an event for a group of users, there’s no way to guarantee that group will fill the slots you’ve reserved. However, VolunteerHub does provide a back-up plan via the Expiration field to ensure group events are not understaffed and that the registration process remains fair.
You can let your group reservations expire a number of hours, days, weeks or months prior to the start time of the event, which opens any unused slots to other users outside of the reserved group once that expiration time has been reached. To apply an expiration to your group reservations, navigate to the Registered Users page of the event and, to the right of the user group, select a time frame from the Expiration field. For example, select "4 days" to let the reservation expire four days before the event, at which point the unused slots of the reservation will open up to allow general volunteers ("unaffiliated users") to register for those slots.
Use the Expiration file to reopen unused slots automatically when groups don't fill reservations.
You can very easily allow a special group of volunteers “first dibs” at an event. For example, ABC Company has a user group called “VIP Volunteers,” to which the coordinator adds users once they’ve volunteered 80 hours. The coordinator can then give the VIP Volunteers group exclusive but temporary access to an upcoming special event by reserving all slots for the group and setting an expiration of two or three weeks. This way, members of your VIP Volunteers user group are the only ones with access until a few weeks before the event starts, meaning it’s hidden from regular volunteers until the VIPs have had a chance to solidify the slots they’re interested in.
Apply an Expiration to a reservation for all slots to give the group exclusive access temporarily.
Do you want to build your recurring events ahead of time but keep some of them invisible until one or two months before the date of each instance? You can set timers on specific instances to have them appear automatically to volunteers once it’s closer to the event date.
To do this, be sure you’ve checked the Event Visibility field in the event’s Edit page. Then, simply add a reservation for all slots of the event for the Superusers group with an expiration of one or two months (or any other preferred time frame). Once that expiration is reached, the event will become visible to your volunteers.
You can do this for group events as well by following the steps above while also unchecking Reservation Overflow for Unaffiliated Users and reserving 0 slots for the desired user group with the Reservation Overflow option checked.
Add a reservation for Superusers with an expiration of one month to block users from registering more than a month before the event.