Best practices when creating events in dotCMS

Learn about the best practices for creating an event in dotCMS.

Units should have a dedicated events feed for events happening within their unit. Units can also create supplemental event feeds for more specific listings. Signature college events might also appear on any events feed within the CANR web system.

For any event, there should be a specific Event entry tied to a specific date (event entries can be multiple consecutive days for events like conferences).

WHY: Having a specific Event entries for a specific date enables events to be shared more broadly across the canr.msu.edu ecosystem. It also helps with event-specific search engine optimization.

Additional event promotion:

  • Depending on the event, there may be a news release (Article content type) promoting the event.
  • For large, signature events, there may be web page/landing page (Page content type) talking about general event background, value, contact information.
  • There may be a follow-up article (Article content type) after the event recapping an event, speaker content, attendee quotes, etc.

NOTE: Events are automatically archived 30 days after the event date has passed.

Title (required)

This is the event title. This should be title case. In a series, you can add context by providing name of overarching series (eg., seminar series) or location specific info (ServSafe - Oakland County).

WHY: Having a more descriptive title helps the event be found via internal and external search.

Summary (required)

This is a required field. It is a brief description of the event and is limited to 256 characters. This should be at least one sentence, with a period at the end.

WHY: The summary appears in event listings and when shared on social media and within web searches. The summary does not appear on the event entry landing page.

Event Dates (required)

Events should be a single day or possibly multiple, sequential days. Events should not cover a month or more. If events occur regularly over several weeks or months, individual event entries should be added for best user experience.

If a series, individual event entries can be linked within a created event series. That way the individual event show up in events listing tied to a specific date. When set up this way, upcoming dates in the series will be related and past events in the series will not show since they already occured.

WHY: Events that span weeks or months retain the start date in an event listing. It’s not obvious to an event participant that they should click on what looks to be an event that has already occurred to find future dates.

Event Location

The Location field should include the full address of the location of the event, including street address, city, state and zip code. It is also helpful to include the name of building or place, as well as the room number where the event is taking place.

WHY: This is the only place on the event posting where the location details will appear on the page.

The Geolocation field should be used for all in-person events.

WHY: A “Get Directions” button will appear on the event web page that will allow attendees to navigate to the location via Google Maps.

Description (required)

The description should contain specific information related to the event.

WHY: It’s helpful to have more context and information in an event post because people could find the event in lots of different ways, and some like social media don’t necessarily provide the context of a program or department landing page.

Some things to include in a description:

  • Who are the types of people who would be most interested in this event?
  • Is there a cost?
  • Are there registration details?
  • What’s on the agenda or what information will be covered?
  • Who are the speaker(s)?
  • Why people should attend?
  • What are they going to get from participating?

Relationships (topics)

Using the Relationships tab, create relationships to the relevant places (location if in the system), organizations, people and datasets (topics). If you do not have access to potentially relevant relationships, please reach out to that unit’s communicator.

WHY: Relating broad events can help other units “share” an event with broad appeal vs. creating the same event in a different place on canr.msu.edu.

Event Tags

Under the Categories, this is where you add any relevant event tags. Start typing a word and if a tag already exists, it will populate. If you would like to create a new tag, be sure to spell it correctly and use spaces (not commas) to separate words.

WHY: Tag usage can inadvertently contribute to different listings. Examples:

  • Tag: featured events (shows up on CANR home page: canr.msu.edu)
  • Tag: diversity (shows up on Diversity, Equity and Inclusion home page: canr.msu.edu/diversity)

NOTE: When you click on a tag on the website, you will see a page with items all associated with that tag. When you create a tag, it automatically creates a tag index web page.

WHY: Be as specific and relevant as possible when using event tags.


Michigan State University Michigan State University Close Menu button Menu and Search button Open Close