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Gradual 2024 Q1 Product Update

Posted Apr 09, 2024 | Views 614
# About Gradual
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SPEAKER
Kyle Sutton
Kyle Sutton
Kyle Sutton
Head of Strategy & Operations @ Gradual

I am an avid learner and driven to help others succeed.

I pride myself on being able to pick things up quickly and translate between the technical and the high level.

I love any outdoor activity that involves learning something to be successful!

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I am an avid learner and driven to help others succeed.

I pride myself on being able to pick things up quickly and translate between the technical and the high level.

I love any outdoor activity that involves learning something to be successful!

+ Read More
SUMMARY

Check out the newest features from 2024 Q1 including photo albums, customizable onboarding forms, Q&A module, and a number of dashboard, API resource and webhook updates.

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TRANSCRIPT

Welcome, everyone, to another exciting episode of the Gradual Product update.

I'm Kyle Sutton, and I'm looking forward to sharing a ton of new product updates with you. But before we jump in a couple, just a couple reminders we say hi in the chat place, complete your profile, say hello where you're joining from, and and maybe what you're most excited to to learn about today in our in our product update seconds right after we wrap up kind of the demo presentation part of this role are walk us through our features.

We're going to jump into a meeting room which you can find in the agenda. There will be a link to join them. Also post the notifications that you can join that way and we can answer any questions. You can meet some other community leaders and or just say hi. We always, always love to see your your smiling faces.

So feel feel free to swing by and say hello and meet some some fellow community builders and gradual fans. And last but not least, as I mentioned, we'll send out this recording afterwards. You'll find all and you can find all the features summarized in our product update collection in the content section of the platform, and that's broken up by month with links to all of the support resources on how to use all these features.

And we'll share share the links for that as we get towards the end and as we go here. But without further ado, let's jump in. We have three big categories to cover today. The first is going to be event related features. That includes dynamic registration questions, updates to the Agenda builder and how that structured to allow more flexibility, moderated Q&A for virtual events and community and event photo albums.

The second item is going to be member management updates. That includes new member status and updates to our API and Web hopes to build automations and workflows. And last but not least, is what's coming soon. Some updates on a couple of features we've teased and are going to launch soon. So want to reiterate those and talk a bit about what those are going to look like as we go.

Please drop your questions in the chat. Either I'll answer them as we as we talk through these, or Laura is in the chat and she'll chime in and share some resources. Or if you're here and somebody has a question and you have a great resource or a use case or an idea, share that to the the Cross Cross collaboration is is really the exciting part about getting all of our our wonderful granule friends together.

So let's let's get started and we're going to start with those event related features right now you can and the first one is going to be dynamic, what I'm calling dynamic registration questions, but it's really registration questions specific to a ticket type. You've been able to add registration questions in gradually for a while now, asking things that are important to know for the event.

But now you can ask those by ticket type. For example, I can have multiple ticket types and each one can have its own set of questions. Maybe I want to use this for different audiences where the options for their registration are different, like the sessions they can attend and choose from. Or perhaps it's for different classes of tickets, or I need additional information.

Maybe I'm doing, you know, I've got my general conference attendance, but I have a conference plus gala so I can ask for meal dietary restrictions and things like that. That's only relevant to that other ticket type. Regardless, easy to set up and manage and built to allow for flexibility. And we're going to look at an example of what that looks like right now.

We're going to check that out and we're going to use the same event for our next couple of next couple of examples. We're going to use this strategy retreat event here in our in our demo environment. What I've done is I've built two ticket types. I've got a we're we're going to pretend that we're going on a corporate strategy retreat.

We're going to Chicago and we've got a ticket type for our general staff. And then we're also doing a separate track for our executives. And this is going to come into play later when we talk about the agenda. And you'll see I can have different options. So if I'm general staff, I can ask the same question to both, but maybe they're breakout sessions are different.

So I ask different options here than I have for my executive track. You'll also see the subtle, subtle reminder that we have these invite only ticket types too. So if I do have this scenario where only certain people should be allowed to register for that other ticket type, you can do that. And it's all really easily built in the gradual dashboard.

So if I go into the dashboard, I go to my events and I go to that strategy retreat. Here you can see I've I've got ways to build this in the event set up. I can go to registration form and now I can have multiple registration forms and I'll show me to which ticket type is that mapped. Same is same as before.

Super easy to modify. I can add questions, toggle it on and off and and build those out here. You'll also notice that there are a bunch of new question types and it kind of got a facelift for the flexibility and the options that you have in here. And then if I want to link it to a ticket type, I simply go to my ticket setup ticket types.

And in here I can edit this and say, Hey, I want to use this registration form for this ticket type, or maybe I don't want to use any and I can remove that once I update. These multiple ticket types can share the same form. They don't have to have a form at all if you don't want it. And regardless of your specific use case or configuration in, it's a really powerful way to to customize the event registration experience.

We've a couple of customers leveraging this already for events where I've got maybe a kind of just an audience member versus a presenter type of registration flow where I need specific information for that other tickertape. It just gets all this information into one place. So it's it's super easy for you to manage that is the event registration kind of dynamic ticket type specific questions.

Another update to the event experience is going to be our agenda builder structure and this one is a is a big, big update. So previously if you if you've built an agenda, you know that I have to link what we refer to as stages and tracks 1 to 1. So a track had to belong to a specific stage and I couldn't, couldn't separate those.

But now a few things have changed. One, I can align tracks to different stages or locations on an individual agenda session level. So this means if session one from track one is in one place, but session two from that track is in another, I can customize my agenda to show that it really matches kind of the standard use case of how people would approach this.

The second is I can modify and default the view that I want to show to attendees to make it clear how I how I want them to navigate and follow the agenda. I can choose to default it to track versus stage or a list view versus a grid view really just allows it to easily be easier to comprehend.

And I as the user or the attendee, can can choose what I want to see as well. And then the last is tracks or as you'll see here, completely optional. You don't have to use tracks before. If you were doing a live stream event, let's say I just had two stages. There weren't different tracks. I would have to make my tracks match the stage and all this kind of stuff.

You can just turn tracks off if you if you don't need it. The goal with all these updates is to provide more flexibility and customize action so gradual can meet meet your needs. I, I know I've been I've been producing events for the better part of 15 years and no two events are the same. And every every little difference is important to be able to highlight and leverage and showcase appropriately.

So that's really what we're trying to do with the agenda updates is gives you that flexibility so it can meet your your needs. So let's let's dig into the strategy retreat example here. You'll see I've got we're going to look at the front end first because I think it's a little bit we can see how it's impacting the the back end or impacted by the back end.

So I've got my agenda here and day one is for everyone. So I'm not seeing any different tracks I have. I'm defaulting this to track view because that's important for day two. And I can see, you know, when we show up, I'm we're going to do the welcome it's going to be a reception at at the restaurant. The second one is going to be in our flex space and those are breakouts.

Then if I go to day two, you'll see I see my different agenda tracks. I've got things for all our kickoff breakfast and closing dinner. My staff track where it's going to take place and the type that it is. And then my executive track here again with the location and things. And if I want to look at the agenda at a macro level, I can switch to my grid view and I can see all of the concurrent tracks for for this day, or maybe, I don't know, maybe I'm in charge of of Lilac and I want to see it.

I see it by stage or room. I can see everything happening in lilac, so I know. Okay, cool. I've got a session there, in session there and in a session at the end. It's all super easy to build on the dashboard but is a little bit different than we've seen it before. So I do want to dig into what that looks like.

So we'll go back to our agenda here and you'll see I've got my same kind of structure here. I've got day one, day two, all staff, etc., etc. But now within an individual agenda item, I have options I didn't have before, so I can assign this session to a stage and I can assign it to a track independently.

So if I had things shifting between two locations, I can do that. I can do that here and facilitate that. I manage all of my days and tracks in those settings in our stage settings, which is now its own tab. This is the same place that you'll see before I can view livestream information in my URLs and keys in that agenda info.

It's also where I can put my stages or or location is another word to use for four stages here. So these are rooms inside of a hotel. I can add my days and then I can add my tracks here and there's no link between the stages and the tracks anymore. And it gives you the the flexibility to build them as needed.

And then I can default my view. I can say, Hey, I want it to be a list or track. The last thing that you'll notice is as I change these views, let's say I want to I am sending a specific I want to send my executives a list of their day to agenda. I can create this. I can navigate to this view here.

So I'm on day two and I'm on. Exactly. And you'll notice in the URL, I have these URL parameters now that have been appended. I've got my agenda, track, stage review, etc. So if I send this exact URL to my audience, they're going to see this tab. So it's an easy way to direct people to specific views or versions of the agenda.

That was a deep dive into this, but this is a big change from a flexibility perspective. So want to make sure that that you can see it and it's super easy to use. And then last but not least, for this particular event is we're going to talk about the albums and we'll use this same strategy retreat. So we met.

It was awesome. We got to got to see everybody wants this events over. I want to share that excitement and highlights with a photo album that is now attached to this event and will show up in the community. So we wrap this up. I can go in here and see all of the photos from my events. I can download them, I can see what's what's going on.

And in the community level, I can see all of the albums that I have turned on for my different events here. Super easy to manage in the dashboard. If I go back here to my event, I'll see my photos tab. Now I can find a specific okay, I can order these. Let's say I want to I want to put this one up front and I want it to be featured.

So it shows up as the event cover. I can add photos, I can turn it on and off as as needed. And these albums will adhere to the events permission settings. So what that means is if this event was private, so it was space restricted, only members who have access to that space would be able to to see that album and then back in.

And then the other thing I can do is at the community level, I can reorder my albums. So we just did that strategy retreat. I want that to be front and center, top of top for everyone. And I can change my settings to I can change the name of it. Maybe I want to call it photo library or something like that, and then whether or not I want it turned on.

And then in the community, I can see all my albums with how I've ordered them. And I can, as a as a community member, can download those photos and see them. We already have a customer who who put this who got early access to this feature to to do some testing for us. And they just wrapped up a huge conference and they already loaded all 400 plus of their photos when I was building this obvious demo folder today of photos.

It was neat. I've got 19 photos in there. I just selected them all and dropped them right in and they uploaded super, super simple, all rights albums, registration questions and the new agenda building structure cover both in-person and virtual events. Our last event specific feature is our Q and A module which the keen eyed among you you may have noticed into our live stream that we're in right now.

So the Q&A module is a recently added feature that sits alongside the event chat. And if you're you're watching the livestream right now on the right hand side of your screen, you've got your chat, but now you'll see a new tab for Q&A. And in there attendees can drop specific questions. And what this is intended to do is make the flow of managing Q&A more efficient and give you some additional functionality here.

So the Q&A feature sits next to the chat and allows you to capture questions and other attendees can upvote or downvote or remove their vote from questions that that they are also interested in. This means that it's easy for you to triage and say, Hey, what are the most important questions or the most pressing ones? And what are the most lower priority ones that I can get to later for our event today?

You'll notice on the right hand side, please, you can pause and you can go go add a question that maybe you have in there. It's unmoderated, which means that any questions submitted will show up in the Q&A queue. You can also, however, add moderated questions so you as the host or the chat moderator can see and review those questions before they're visible.

And so we'll take a look at what that looks like in the demo that I have pulled up here. So you can see I've got my chat and I've got my Q&A co-mingled with my chat here. That makes it easy for people to see. yeah, questions have been asked or answered, but to answer, ask a question. I'll go to the Q&A tab.

I can ask a question. I'll type in my question text if I want to. I can ask it anonymously as well, because it's, you know, maybe sensitive or something like that. And then it'll go into this queue that I can see. And so I'm a chat moderator, so I'm seeing questions that are in review, meaning that if you logged in as a, as a user, you wouldn't see those or as an attendee, you wouldn't see those until I decide that, yes, I want this question to be approved.

So now it's in Q&A. I can delete a question as well to remove it from the queue and it'll it'll go away. I can see all of my questions. I can say, hey, only questions that I've asked answered or unanswered or even deleted questions. And if I wanted to, I could restore restore that question. The other nice part about this is I can sort so I want to be I'm hosting the event.

I want to more easily manage and facilitate Q&A. I can sort by most popular I can see. wow. Okay. This this question is top priority. I want to answer that one. And then once I'm done, I can mark the question as answered. So I know how to how to move on to the next one. This is a super powerful way to enhance your virtual events and a handful of customers have already been using this.

Be the early access. If you are interested in Q&A, let us know and we can turn that turn that feature on for you and do a little better, do a little bit of training. So those are all of our event specific features. Please don't forget to drop your questions in the chat. You can use that Q&A tab, but let's take a look at some of the updates to member management and then we'll wrap up chatting about what's what's coming up soon.

And I promise we're we're almost done.

So to get talking about member management, we're going to go back to the member list in gradual to date, all of your members were either approved or pending. The issue with that pending status, however, suggests that there's an action yet to be taking. So if I'm never going to approve them, they just sit in that pending list and it becomes a little cumbersome and a little cluttered.

So we added a new feature or a new status of unapproved. This is a status for those members who you've already made a determination that they won't be approved or admitted to the community. The unapproved status doesn't delete anything and is really just a different view of status to keep list clean and make it easier to to manage.

But the idea is that that it just helps you keep things tidy. So in the member dashboard. I see. I'll see. Here I have this new tab of unapproved and in there I can export this view. I can still take action on these users if I want to. I could restore them or move them to pending. And the real beauty of this is I can also update these statuses with APIs or web hooks, which is what we'll talk about next.

So we've updated the status update web hooks to incorporate this new member status as well, in addition to some other updates to public APIs, webhook events, etc. I won't go into the gory details here. I promise we're just going to do a high level thing, but you can always consult our technical documentation to see all the updates and and all of the specifics, but some highlights.

First is our API and Zapier app updates. I can update member space assignment now via API and our Zapier app. This is a great for automating ticket purchase or membership purchase workflows in program enrollment, etc.. Maybe when someone becomes a customer I want to automatically update them to the customer space inside of graduate without having to do it manually.

Really good use case for that. You can also change member type. You can flip it from standard, limited approval, unapproved, etc. This is great for sign up flows where people would buy default land in that pending approval. I can then decide via automation. Maybe I click a button in my CRM or an air table or something and it sets them to approved and does things or sets them to unapproved and sends them a note to say, Hey, sorry, you're you're not a member.

Yet. We also added a new webhook in HubSpot events, which you can always see what's going on with those in the integrations tab in the dashboard. And that new event is profile update. So now we've always had this user completes onboarding event. That's when they complete their profile the first time. And that's a great metric to measure engagement of how someone completed their profile.

But now I can also have an event or a HubSpot timeline event for any time a member updates their profile at all. This means that if they change their location, they update their job title, etc. etc. You can map that to to your CRM or database of record or at the very least be notified of of what that's doing.

The next is the event registered webhook so user I think we already have that one enabled in here. Yep. User registers for an event. The payload meaning the data included in that event now contains all of those custom event questions. So if you've asked specific event specific questions to a specific ticket type that will come through in that payload really makes that those WebEx and data flows even more useful.

If you have any questions about API webhook other integration updates, please don't hesitate to reach out. One really cool use case that we've seen from from the web folks is a really simple one. Or using the Zapier app is using an event registration or a new member sign up webhook so you no new new user logged in or new users created is to send a slack notification to your team to say hey, a new member logged into into gradual or joined to the community.

Great to be able to get real time signal for for what's happening. All right those are all of our new feature updates but and there's you know even a handful of things I didn't talk about that you can find in our our documentation like we recently changed the settings in the dashboard list so you can sort most lists now by different parameters or the fact that you can update and customize onboarding questions that users complete during signup self-service now in the dashboard as well.

But I'd encourage you to check out our collection of product updates from last few months that goes into detail and has all the support documentation on those. But I do. Before we wrap up and jump into that meeting room, I want to tease what's what's coming soon. So a couple couple of things. First is two new event types are going to get added to gradual and we're getting closer and closer to launching those later this month and into Q2.

The first is going to be a hybrid event type. We've seen an increase in the quantity of hybrid events that people are running. So I've got a, you know, part of it's in person or certain audiences in person, certain audience is virtual. Those will be supported in gradual. Right. Can tag those events as such and then have different agendas, communications locations and workflows to pass people to make sure that they end up in the right spot for those hybrid events.

Second is our webinar event type. This webinar event will sit in between our meeting room and live stream event types. It will support more than the 125 person limit on meeting rooms, but you won't need to use a third party streaming platform like we're doing right now to to host more people or have more of a kind of broadcast style.

It'll behave a lot like our meeting room. It'll have that same look and feel the only difference is attendees won't be on camera or audio, but you can, you know, promote them to be a panelist. If they raise their hands, they can come on and speak. Means you can run those larger sessions natively on gradual without the need for a third party tool.

This is great for simple webinars or events that don't need the the production value of a live stream. I don't need to do, you know, lower thirds that you can see on the screen and things like that. In fact, this product update event will likely become a webinar event once that's live in the future. And lastly, we'll talk about an update coming for the forum, and that is the introduction of boards for the forum.

The best way to think of this is like a bucket or a folder structure for, for your forum. It'll will allow you to categorize forum posts into those boards. So I could have one based on my interest area. Maybe I have ones based on specific role or vertical within the company or community. It'll just give you a little bit better organization and discoverability for for forum discussions as opposed to just a unified stream type of view.

Additionally, shortly after boards are launched, you'll have the ability to restrict access by board to specific spaces or to all members. That means that if I have a customer specific set of forum discussions, I can restrict that to a customer space and only those members can see it. Those the new to event types and those forum boards and and space restrictions are coming soon.

You'll you'll know as soon as those are launched. So so stay tuned for future updates on that. All right. We covered a lot of things. We went deep and into a lot of it. Thank you so much for tuning in to another one of our product updates. It's always fun for us to to showcase these new and exciting parts of of gradual.

And I think we really enjoy getting to connect this new functionality to your use cases. And a lot of it a lot of the new features that we launch are in response to two ideas or or feedback that you have provided. So please, please keep that stuff coming. As always, we'll share the recording. Please feel free to circulate that to anyone else on your team or anyone who might be interested.

And before I sign off, remember that will be jumping into a meeting room as soon as I'm done here. Feel free to pop in, say hi, ask questions, meet other community leaders. But I will. I will see you in there. And until next time, thank you again for joining and we'll talk to everybody again soon. Thanks so much.

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Posted May 01, 2023 | Views 613
# About Gradual
# Product Update