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.

Tips for Integrating TikTok Into Your Conference or Event

What is TikTok?

TikTok logoIn 2014, a company called Musical.ly released an app designed to make it easy for anyone with a smartphone to upload short-looping videos of themselves lip-syncing songs. In 2018, Musical.ly merged with TikTok, another video-sharing service. Content generated with the app has quickly evolved beyond simple lip-sync videos to include just about any type of brief, viral content imaginable, including memes, pranks, and challenges. As of late 2019, the app has reportedly been downloaded 1.5 billion times and has an astounding 700 million active daily users.

From celebrities to college students, the platform has become a prime option for reaching new audiences and ensuring a brand is part of relevant trends and cultural movements. So if you want your conference or event to be at the forefront of social-media marketing and engagement, check out our tips for integrating TikTok.

Marketing Your Event

TikTok’s users tend to skew young compared to most other social-media platforms. According to TikTok itself, 41 percent of its users are between 16 and 24. So while you might not get an immediate return on investment, you can begin building interest and excitement in a younger audience segment that will begin filling your member/attendee pipeline.

With TikTok’s huge (and growing) userbase, many content creators have already accumulated large followings that interact with the videos they post. Similar to how you might work with a blogger or Instagram influencer, you can look for a creator on TikTok that has a connection to your industry. Just search one of your popular industry hashtags and look through the results for a creator with a large following and branded content in their profile.

Another option is to create ads directly through TikTok similar to companies like Pepsi, H&M, and BRITA. These and other companies sponsor hashtag challenges that motivate users to utilize their products or marketing campaign themes in their video content. More about TikTok ads.

Engaging Attendees

Consider these ways you might integrate TikTok videos into your event to update or modernize conference/meeting staples:

  • Create a “TikTok corner” or photo booth, complete with your event marketing and association logo. This is really a two-for-one as attendees may also use the space to take a selfie or video and post it to other social-media platforms!
  • Use TikTok as an icebreaker in a group setting by challenging attendees to work with the person next to them to film their elevator pitch or what they’re hoping to get out of the event. This is also something that could easily be done on an attendee’s other social-media accounts if they don’t have TikTok.
  • Highlight TikTok videos that include your event hashtag just as you might do on a social-media wall or projection of tagged content on Twitter or Instagram.

Whether you’re utilizing TikTok as a marketing tool or way to engage attendees, it is all about making and sharing fun video content. You might even choose to use TikTok lip-sync videos as a way to lighten up and reenergize a room after a lunch break or longer session breakout. The possibilities are as endless as your creativity. Let us know in the comments or on the ProposalSpace Twitter if you end up integrating TikTok into your conference or event and have ideas to share!


It’s worth noting that some government agencies, like the U.S. Army and Navy, ban TikTok on employees’ devices due to security concerns regarding the company’s ownership and perceived ties to the Chinese government. So if your conference or meeting has a significant number of attendees who work for the government, your TikTok user base might not be as extensive.

New Feature: Proposal Histories

At the heart of ProposalSpace is the ability for teams to work on proposals and to manage calls. That collaborative environment, however, has sometimes made it difficult to track down exactly who made a change or took a particular action.

So we added proposal histories.

Now, every change to a proposal is logged. Log entries include the action taken, who took it, when it was taken, and if applicable, what the value was before the change.

history screenshotIf you’re an author, you’ll see a History link under the proposal’s Table of Contents, directly above the Print link (see screenshot, left). If you’re an admin or review chair, you can access a proposal’s history via the Tracker. In either case, clicking the link will pop up a window with actions listed in chronological order. (Note that the actions displayed are based on a user’s role: authors see all changes to a proposal’s content along with key admin actions, while admins and review chairs see all changes and all admin actions.)

We hope you’ll find this new feature useful. If you have any ideas for improvement, we’d love to hear them!

New Feature: Deadline Countdown

While we would all like to imagine a world where authors submit their proposals well before the submission deadline, the harsh reality is that a good number of them wait until the very last minute to click the Submit button.

Of course, ProposalSpace displays the submission deadline prominently at the top of every proposal and, if the deadline is less than a week away, also displays a notice with the time remaining:

Countdown Timer

While this is helpful, we’ve had a few authors mention that they felt cheated out of a few minutes because their computer’s clock wasn’t in sync with the "official" clock on the server, leading them to believe they had more time than they actually did.

To make sure everyone is on the same page (er, clock), we’re making some adjustments to the time-remaining notice and adding a countdown timer so everyone knows exactly how much time is left for them to submit their proposal.

Here’s how it works:

If the submission deadline is more than a week away, nothing changes. In other words, the deadline is displayed but no notice indicating how much time is left is displayed.

Starting one week before the deadline, a notice is displayed at the top of every proposal showing how much time remains—in days, hours, or minutes. This is the same behavior as before, but the notice has been styled differently to make it a little more prominent:

Countdown Timer

If under 30 minutes remains, the notice changes to a countdown timer that indicates the official time remaining (based on the server’s time, not the time on the user’s computer). The style of the notice also changes to draw attention to it:

Countdown Timer

When the submission deadline passes (i.e. the countdown timer reaches 0:00), one of two things happens:

If late submissions are not allowed, the Submit button is removed and the message indicates that submissions are no longer being accepted:

Countdown Timer

If late submission are allowed, the Submit button remains and the message changes to indicate the new deadline for late submissions:

Countdown Timer

We’re not making any wagers that this new feature will result in authors submitting their proposals early, but at least now they’ll know precisely how much time they have left to work with. 🙂

Autocomplete & Form Fields

Most current web browsers have a helpful feature called “autocomplete” that fills in form fields for you based on information you’ve entered into similar fields in the past. You’ve probably seen this if you’ve started to fill out a form asking for something like your mailing address… You start to type something in the first field (usually your first name) and the browser displays a drop-down list with suggestions for autofilling the form. If you select one of the suggestions, the browser magically fills in all the other fields in the form (address, city, state, etc.) without you having to type anything in.

The autocomplete feature can save a lot of time and effort when you’re filling out forms… but not in all cases. Take ProposalSpace for example. If you have a proposal and add yourself to it, autocomplete can be a huge timesaver. If you add someone else, however, autocomplete will try to use your information to fill in the fields meant for them. If you catch what happened, you can go back and correct the entries. If you don’t catch what happened, you could end up submitting a proposal with the wrong information for that user.

One option for getting around this issue was to disable the autocomplete feature altogether. That seemed a little extreme, however, so we decided instead to enable autocomplete only for your own information.

Hopefully this makes the autocomplete feature less of an annoyance and more of a useful feature. If you come across any problems with our solution, or have any suggestions for improvement, please let us know, either in the comments below or by contacting us directly.

Dashboard Updates

Dashboard ScreenshotJust a quick note to announce some improvements to the Dashboard:

  • Smart Archiving: If you don’t manually archive a call, proposal, or administrative session, the system will automatically archive it for you. (You can still access archived items, they’re just on a separate archive page.) Calls are automatically archived one year after being activated, while proposals and administrative sessions are automatically archived when the call is archived.
  • Additional Details: The call, proposal, and review listings now display the organization(s) responsible for the call, while call and proposal listings now display when they were last edited and by whom.
  • Direct Actions: Select actions for calls and proposals are now available directly from the Dashboard. Key actions, like viewing reviewer comments and managing session materials, are always visible. Secondary actions, like delete and archive, are hidden by default but can be made visible by clicking on a toggle.
  • Call Logos: We’re expanding our branding efforts for calls once again, this time by displaying call logos along with each listing.

We hope everyone likes the changes. If you have any feedback, be sure to let us know!

Proposal-Form Improvements

We are really excited to announce a major redesign of the proposal form!

  • All proposal components (instructions, contents, persons, and terms) are now on a single page, with a navigation bar for jumping between sections.
  • Answers are now saved individually. (No more scrolling to the bottom of the page and clicking the Save Changes button.) For text fields, changes are saved as soon as the user exits the field or clicks the field’s save button. For all other field types (radio buttons, checkboxes, etc.), changes are saved immediately.
  • The proposal header is now “sticky” and displays the last date and time changes were made to the proposal. It also displays how complete the proposal is.
  • Incomplete / missing answers can now be easily identified with a handy new tool that highlights exactly which answers need attention.
  • Authors can now rearrange persons in the proposal (e.g. speakers, authors) and save them in the desired order.

We know change can be disorienting, so to make the transition to the new features as painless as possible, we’ve created a tour that walks users through the new design. A link to the tour will be at the top of every proposal for the next three months. There is also a permanent link to the tour in the Menu drop-down in the top, right-hand corner of the page.

New Feature: Add Yourself

We’ve been adding a lot of new features to the site recently, but haven’t been updating the blog to let everyone know about them. (Sorry!)

add yourself optionOne feature we’ve just added, though, is definitely worth mentioning: An “add yourself” option when adding users to a proposal.

Previously, if you wanted to add yourself to a proposal, you first had to search for your account in ProposalSpace, like you would when adding anyone else. It wasn’t much of an inconvenience (just one step), but why not streamline it? Now, when you want to add someone to a proposal, you’re given an option to add yourself or add someone else. If you want to add someone else, the process stays the same. If, however, you want to add yourself, just click that option and you’re done!

Session Titles That Shine

An abstract’s title, description, and learning objectives are the core of every presenter’s “sales pitch” to both reviewers and attendees. However, very few presenters have an understanding of how to sell their presentation using even the most basic marketing techniques. Perhaps as a result, 95% of meeting organizers report having to rewrite speakers’ submissions1.

ProposalSpace allows admins and review chairs to edit submissions directly or return them for editing and resubmission.

While organizers may have the best intentions when adding a little shine to a session, they also run the risk of overdoing it and promising more than a presenter can deliver, which in turn can disappoint the audience. So ideally, presenters would submit proposals that need little or no editing at all.

To help accomplish that, here are some tips for presenters (and organizers) when crafting session titles. (We’ve decided to focus on the title because it serves as the “hook” for drawing in a reader’s interest and leading them to the description and objectives.)

  • Keep it short. Attendees often skim over session titles to see if anything grabs their attention. A shorter title is simply more eye-catching. To check your title length, consider how easily you could use it to invite someone in passing to attend your session. If you cannot get it all out in a few seconds, then continue editing.
  • Target it to a specific audience. When writing your title, you should have a specific audience in mind. Craft your title in such a way as to convey what that group can expect to get from the session.
  • Employ intrigue. Spark the reader’s curiosity by teasing a short list, privileged knowledge, or a personal story.

Tell us what you think! If you ‘ve had particular success with title writing/editing, then share with us in the comment section below or on twitter (@proposalspace).

1Cobb, Jeff, Jeff Hurt, Dave Lutz, Sarah Michel, and Celisa Steele. “The Speaker Report: The Use of Professional and Industry Speakers in the Meetings Market.” Velvet Chainsaw. http://velvetchainsaw.com/pdf/Velvet-Chainsaw-Tagoras-2013-Speaker-Report_v2.pdf.

Snapchat Pro Tips

Snapchat has changed the way we think about video content on social media but has been challenging for many associations to understand and use for their audiences, while also being worth their time, energy, and resources invested into the app. Even still, it’s an important platform for associations to utilize as more people use Snapchat than Twitter, in terms of daily use. Disappearing content and unedited video are extremely popular with millennials, and Facebook, the most popular social media platform, predicts video content is the future of online engagement.

Here are the best practices we’ve found to work for associations:

  • Make A Story. While sending individual snaps would be an excellent way to engage users, creating snaps specifically for your story is a much more effective use of your time and energy. Your Snap story could feature a keynote speaker, poster presentations, networking event, or even lunch! Just make sure your story has an attention-grabbing start, solid narrative, and concise conclusion that drives your overall content strategy. In short, create a story with a beginning, middle, and end. It is also important to note that quality is more important than quantity.
  • Let Someone Else Take Over. A Snapchat takeover is when you give your account information to someone else and they promote your brand or product in a new, unique way. Oftentimes, you are able to reach a much larger audience than you might otherwise reach by having an “influencer” involved. If you can identify a popular social media influencer, with commonality to your brand/industry, then you should consider having them promote your conference or event. Many influencers will work in exchange for free conference registration or their annual membership. Of course, they are also willing to market your function for a paycheck! If unable to identify a popular media influencer or pay one, then consider having different association staff/interns, members, or volunteers do a platform take over. (And don’t forget to change your account password after each takeover is complete.)
  • Create Geofilters. Geofilters are an excellent way to get your business in front of people and create brand engagement on Snapchat. They allow a great opportunity for users to engage with your brand who would otherwise not do so!

ProposalSpace Snapchat GeofilterProposalSpace Snapchat GeofilterTo the left are examples of a Geofilter ProposalSpace created and ran during the 2016 ASAE Annual Conference in Salt Lake City.

Is your association on Snapchat? Comment with a great snap you’ve saved and any additional ideas you have!