New FASTbook Update – Version 5.5.18.1313

FASTbook Release Notes – Version 5.5.18.1313
Here is a list of NEW features in FASTbook

  • Mouse wheel now scrolls through the calendar in months, instead of years! Asking around the user base, we discovered virtually no one was using the mousewheel feature due to the fact that it scrolled between years instead of months. Well your requests have been answered. Scrolling the mousewheel on the main calendar will now move you forward and backward one month at a time, rather than one year at a tiime.
  • Employee Schedule Report is now available. A new report detailing the schedule for any given employee has been added to FASTbook. This is accessible from both the reports area and the employee’s setup screen. The report shows by date which event the employee is scheduled, what room its in and what position they are filling. This should make viewing scheduled labor a lot easier than it has been in the past.

 

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  • Replaced “T” and “F” fields in Setup with Check Boxes – previously we used “T” and “F” as marks to designated True or False on various setup fields. The “T” and “F” semmed vague and we felt check boxes would better illustrate enabling or disabling various options. (see image below)

 

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  • File Attachments have been changed to compressed (ZIP) format internally in the database. When attaching large contracts, documents and correspondence to the Attachments Tab in Event Detail, the size of the attached files would significantly grow the size of the FASTbook Database, so much so that when 3-10 years of attachments were in the database, the program speed could start to be effected. By saving the file to the database in a compressed (ZIP) form, this drastically reduces the database size.HIGHLY RECOMMENDED -Run the DataUtils.exe (see below) after you do the update. Compressing the attachments inflates file size until this is run. After the compact you’ll see a significantly smaller database size.
  • Removed “New Version of FASTbook Available” pop-up notifications with a less intrusive “Floating Alert” in the lower right screen of FASTbook. Previously the message box style pop became vary intrusive when an update could not be made immediately. With the new style, the reminder will be far less comandeering until you are able to complete the update.

 

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  • Added a quick calendar print from the calendar screen, right-click menu – There has never been a quick way to print a monthly calendar, now, instead of going into Reports, Selecting Calendar Reports, setting the dates, etc., you can just right mouse-click on the calendar and print the current month. This is not the same report, but a snapshot of what you are seeing on the screen meant only for quick reference.
  • Added warning message in FASTbooking to notify the user that all events did NOT book, in addition to the Booking Log. In the past, if users did not take the time to read every line of the Booking Log they may not have noticed that some items were unbookable. Now, when a conflict is found, user’s will definitely be aware.
  • Added ability to integrate Data Export Module. If you are currently using external signage, iCalendar Files, CSV files or trying to gather important FASTbook data for other programs, data mining or any type of exporting, FASTbook now has a new Add-On Module that will let you easily export any type of information into virtually type of file.
  • Fixed a minor bug in Setup with Contact Notes. When adding Notes to Client Contacts in setup, an invalid key error would pop-up, this has now been resolved.
  • Streamlined some of the functions of the new notes editing section. Removed some save popup dialogs in favor of the behind the scenes saving that it used to do. Added some other functions to restore more of the older functionality.
  • Redesigned the datasend program and added new functionality. DataUtils.
    • DataUtils (formerly datasend.exe) now operates both in FASTbook and externally.
    • When run on its own outside of FASTbook, it has an added feature to compact and reindex the database. Users must all be out for this to happen.
    • DataUtils will automate the following for you:
      1. Backup the chosen database to the Firebird data backup format (.fbk)
      2. Create a small text file with the facility name and when the backup was created and some miscellaneous information.
      3. Compress that backup file and the text file using zip compression.
      4. Send the file to Event Software FTP server so technical support can analyze it.

       

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For more information on the release or to schedule an update, please call us at (480) 517-9990 or email our technical support at support@eventsoft.com.

Distributing Event Listings

One of the ideas behind FASTbook is you put your event information in once and you can then use it every way you need to without having to re-enter it again. Talking to a few of our customers, I have been hearing how event information is being submitted to various online and offline directories. These are being submitted via various means none of which have sounded very efficient to me and I think FASTbook could help make it simpler.

I have heard of emailing lists, communicating them via voice over the phone, PDF reports of events, event information reports being sent, and a bunch of seemingly tedious means that will cause someone to re-enter data somewhere along the line. I think there is probably better means of exporting specific files formatted in a way that the recipient can just import into whatever software they are using. This would eliminate re-entry errors and the work of re-entry altogether; not to mention, save our users time from having to prepare these lists when they can just click on an export function to prepare it for them.

What directories, offline or online, do you submit your events to? And what means do you use to submit them? Are you calling on the phone and telling someone? Are you emailing some type of list? Where does that list come from? Is there a better way we could be helping you get lists of your events to those people? Perhaps some standard CSV file list or an iCal file? Any information on this would be helpful and we can probably implement something to make this a lot more efficient.

Social Media in the Event Industry

Social Media appears to be a buzz phrase that’s not going away anytime soon. With Facebook now claiming over 200 million users, and other sites like Twitter getting millions of hits per day, these new technologies seem here to stay. Many are using them to incorporate more of their social life into their Internet life. At the same time, businesses seem to be using them for social marketing campaigns and connecting to their end-users.

In the event industry I have seen people posting their event information to their Twitter and Facebook accounts, as well as talking to some “fans” about their industry or their venue. This seems more and more commonplace. I am wondering what are some ways to leverage these Internet technologies with software and what benefits it might give the users.

Do any of you use your event software to post information to these sites? Do you use these sites in some other manner, in regards to your business? Do you partake in social media as a conversational tool to build fans or culture around your venue? Do you only use it as a method of posting or “shouting” at the user base with regards to new information about your events or business? What other ways are you interacting with social media and are their ways we can assist with that using our FASTbook software?