New Feature: Display Proposal Labels to Authors

Call admins now have the option to display proposal labels to authors.

Previously, labels (tags) assigned to proposals were only visible to admins. Now there’s an option in the call settings that, when enabled, will also allow authors to see the labels.

The default setting, BTW, is not to display labels to authors, so if you’d like to change that just check the checkbox under the new "Visibility" section on the Labels settings page (under Settings -> General -> Labels).

Got questions or feedback? Please don’t hesitate to let me know!

Pricing Changes

Remember 2010? It was a time before Instagram, the iPad, and the Tesla Model S. The Space Shuttle was still flying.

It was also the last time ProposalSpace increased prices.

The site has continued to grow, however, adding a slew of valuable new features that come standard with every call activation:

  • Test Mode
  • submission-form word/character limits
  • labels
  • proposal histories
  • reviewer conflicts of interest
  • activity summaries for call admins
  • autosave for authors
  • locked questions for returned submissions
  • multiple file uploads per question
  • message delivery receipts
  • submission-deadline countdown
  • security upgrades

In order to better reflect the site’s value—and to ensure resources are available for continued improvements—I’m announcing the following changes to pricing effective 1 Jan 2021:

  • Activation Fee: $250
  • Submission Fee: $8.50
  • Publishing Module: $75
  • Custom submission receipt: $75
  • Maximum file-upload size: $50 for 100 MB and $75 for 250 MB

Pricing for all other features and modules (e.g. custom review form, Advanced Scheduling Module) will remain unchanged. In addition, none of the site’s core features will change, including:

  • Unlimited support
  • Free accounts
  • Free use for authors and reviewers
  • No obligation to start and test calls
  • Unlimited call admins, review chairs, and reviewers

😎 Pro Tip: The Activation Fee and Submission Fee are locked in when a call is created, not when it’s activated, so if you create or copy a call before the price changes go into effect you can take advantage of the old pricing regardless of when you plan on actually activating the call.

As always, if you have any questions or comments, please don’t hesitate to let me know by commenting below or by contacting me directly.

New Feature: Enhanced Activation

Quick update for call admins: Now, when you go to activate your call you have the option to activate optional modules too!

Previously, a call had to be activated first and then each optional module (Advanced Scheduling, Publishing, Custom Submission Receipt, etc.) would have to be activated individually. With this update, you can now choose which, if any, optional modules you want to include with the initial activation.

You can still activate optional modules individually like you could before; This just gives you the added convenience of including them with the initial activation.

Multilingual Support

I’m excited to announce the initial release of multilingual support in ProposalSpace!

So far the effort has centered on a handful of pages—sign-in, sign-up, Dashboard, and the Review Module—in French and Spanish, but that’s just the start. Soon, call admins will also be able to manage call settings—including forms—in multiple languages.

Want to view the site in another language? Switching couldn’t be easier:

screenshotIf you are not signed in, you’ll see a language selector in the top, right-hand corner of every page (screenshot, left). Select your preferred language from the drop-down and voilà… the site will appear in that language from then on.

screenshotIf you are signed in, you can set your language preference in your profile settings. To get to your profile settings, click your name in the top, right-hand corner of any page. Then click the Edit Profile link and select your preferred language in the Language section (screenshot, left).

As always, feedback is welcome! If you have additions, corrections, suggestions for improvement, or requests for additional languages, please don’t hesitate to send them to translations@proposalspace.com.

Revised Delivery Criteria for the Messaging Module

We’ve made a slight change to the way messages are sent with the Messaging Module.

Previously the module always sent one copy per user per proposal. Unfortunately that could be confusing if an individual had more than one proposal because someone could receive multiple copies of the same message and not understand why.

The module continues to send one copy per user per proposal, but only if the message contains proposal-specific merge fields, like the proposal ID or title. That way, if someone receives multiple copies it should be clear which proposal each copy is for. If, however, the message does not contain proposal-specific merge fields, then the module sends just one copy per user, regardless of how many proposals that user is associated with.

To help understand the change, here is an example: Mary is associated with two proposals. In one she is a speaker and in the other she is both a speaker and the primary contact. You set up a message to go to all speakers and primary contacts for all proposals. If the message includes proposal-specific merge fields (e.g. the proposal title) Mary will receive two copies (one copy per proposal). Otherwise, she will receive just one copy.

screenshotWe’ve also made a slight change to the module’s interface (right). When you are editing a message, the module still provides a count of how many messages will be sent but now that number is an active link to a popup that displays the full list of recipients. (BTW, the screenshot shows 19 copies for 21 draft proposals because the message does not contain proposal-specific merge fields. That means only one message is sent per user, regardless of how many proposals each user created. In other words, 19 users created 21 proposals. If one or more proposal-specific merge fields were added to the message body, the number would increase to 21, or one copy per proposal.)

Pro tip: Always include proposal information (ID and/or title) in the message body. It really cuts down on confusion, especially when a recipient has more than one proposal in the system, which most do. Take for example someone with two proposals: one unsubmitted (draft) and the other submitted. If you were to send a message only to draft proposals but did not include proposal information in the message, the recipient would have no way of knowing which proposal the message was for and might think the proposal they submitted was not actually submitted.

Improved Layout for Review Scores

A quick note to let everyone know that we have changed the way scoring questions are displayed in review forms.

Score options (old)
Score options (after)

Previously, the scoring options were displayed as circles (right, top). Now they are squares (right, bottom). That’s it! Everything else remains the same: Clicking an option continues to select/deselect that option and the colors continue to be inverted for selected options. (Option "4" is selected in both of the examples.)

BTW, we had two goals for this redesign. First, we wanted to maximize the clickable area of each option without greatly increasing the overall area of the set. Second, we wanted to improve the way small sets are displayed. We think we ended up with a great solution. Whether you agree or not, we always welcome your feedback!

Archive Extension for Postponed Meetings

Normally in ProposalSpace calls are automatically archived by the system one year after activation. But things aren’t exactly normal right now, so we’ve decided to extend that period for a year.

The extension applies to calls activated January 1, 2019 through April 30, 2020 with a submission deadline on or after January 1, 2020.

For example, let’s say you activated your call January 1, 2020 and originally had a submission deadline of April 1, 2020, but you needed to extend the deadline a year to April 1, 2021. Normally the system would not allow you to accept submissions after December 31, 2020 because that’s when it would automatically archive the call. Now, however, the system won’t archive the call until December 31, 2021, giving you plenty of time (hopefully) to extend the deadline.

Hopefully this change will allow meetings that had to be postponed enough time to keep their calls open without having to pay for an extension. If you’ve had to extend your deadline by more than a year, please let us know and we’ll be happy to work something out.

Also, note that this change only affects calls that are automatically archived. You can still manually archive a call any time you like.

Stay safe and healthy.

New Feature: Publishing Module Customizations

Call admins can now select specific questions to use for session titles, role-user names, and role-user organizations in the Publishing Module.

Previously the system made its best guess which questions to use. (Basically it used the first question in the main submission form for the session’s title, the first question in each role form for an individual’s name, and the second question in each role form for that individual’s organization.)

screenshotNow you can select which field(s) to use for each value. Just click the Settings… link next to the field you want to change. (See screenshot to the left, which shows the Settings link for the Session Title field.)

screenshotFor session titles, you can select from any question in the main submission form that uses a text field. (See screenshot to the right, which shows an example of questions that can be selected from the call’s main submission form.)

For each role, you can select one or more questions from the role form to use for both the role-user’s name and organization.

For example, if your presenter form has a Full Name question, you can just select that question and nothing else. If, however, your form uses two questions (e.g. First Name and Last Name), you can select both fields. You can even sort the questions so that the last name comes first.

The same goes for the role-user’s organization: You can use a single field from the role form or multiple fields, sorted however you like.

If you select more than one question, there is even an option to separate the answers with commas, which comes in handy if you want to display the last name first (e.g. Smith, Jane) or the organization with the name (e.g. Jane Smith, ABC Co.).

One other thing to note: The question(s) you select for the role-user’s name field not only affect how the information is displayed in the session’s details, but also how each role-user’s name is displayed in the search form’s Person field.

Making Lemonade

We recently heard of a fantastic idea for making the best of a bad situation and wanted to pass it along!

It seems an organization was forced to cancel their annual conference at the last minute due to the novel coronavirus pandemic (like many these days). Attendees made it clear they expected full refunds and the organization felt it could not risk angering its members if it did not give them their money back. Giving every attendee a full refund, however, would have meant the organization would end up with no revenue to offset their own non-refundable expenses, causing a huge loss for the organization.

Instead, the organization decided to offer a "re-fund" option, which encouraged attendees to donate all or part of their registration fees back to the organization.

Although most attendees did not choose the option, there were enough who did. In the end, the organization was able to cover a good portion of the costs it was still on the hook for.

Do you have an idea like this for making the best of a bad situation? Please let us know, either in the comments below or by contacting us.

New Feature: Messaging Module Draft Recipient List

The Messaging Module now includes a feature that allows call admins to view the list of recipients for a message before the message is sent!

screenshot of linkJust create your message like you always have. When you go to preview the message, you’ll see a link at the end of the "To" header (right) indicating how many messages will be sent. Click that link and a window will open with a list of the recipients and how many copies each will receive. (Recipients receive one copy per proposal, so someone with multiple proposals would receive more than one copy of the message.)

The link is also displayed for draft messages on the main Messaging Module page.

After a message has been sent, the link is replaced with a list of actual recipients and the delivery status for each one.