BEST PRACTICE: Increasing Calendar Engagement

In our experience, communication with your audience (or lack thereof) has one of the largest influences on engagement.

Switching to, implementing, and launching a new interactive calendar is a big deal, so most often the first wave of communication and promotion is a no-brainer. However, don’t fall victim to the “build it and they will come” mindset after your initial launch. Instead, follow our mantra, “build it, promote it, and they will continue to come back.”

Don’t worry about reminding people who already know about your calendar, your audience is constantly expanding and changing. There will never be a shortage of people who don’t know your calendar exists or, let alone, that your calendar is interactive.

Here are some ways to increase engagement with your calendar:

Basic promotion

  • Send out an events newsletter, including a subscribe box, on relevant pages for users to enter their email addresses.
  • Include an announcement with a call-to-action to visit the calendar or specific events in other channels such as:
    • Non-event centric newsletters
    • Social media
    • Publications / brochures
    • Press releases
    • Blog / newsreel
  • Embed event content on as many pages of your website as possible, especially your homepage.
  • Include a call-to-action to visit the calendar on specific event promotional materials.

Actively encourage event submissions

Just promoting your calendar in general and having your public submission form open isn’t always enough when it comes to actually getting users to take advantage of this feature.

{If you aren’t currently allowing public event submissions, we’ve got Five Reasons Why You Should Allow Event Submissions, but in a nutshell allowing event submissions saves you time, makes your event listings more comprehensive, and boosts SEO–so it’s definitely not a feature to just shrug off!}

You should be highlighting the “what’s in it for them” for those who would be submitting events. It’s really a win-win:  you get more events posted to your calendar and they get more eyes on their events!

1. What’s in it for them?

  • Highlight that using Localist is like getting their very own place landing page. This one is one part visibility booster, one part time saving. These profiles give organizations and/or venues their own corner of your event calendar where they can add photos, a description, list upcoming & past events, and social media links. Once a landing page is created, going forward the submitter will just need to select the landing page instead of repeatedly entering address details.
  • Highlight your website metrics and audience demographics. Let them know the numbers (such as how many unique or returning visitors), page views, or conversions (such as tickets sold).
  • Highlight how events submitted to your calendar can potentially be included in your promotions. If their event matches criteria you set in your event newsletters or widgets, they will automatically be included in the listings. It could appear on the homepage since the trending algorithm does the curating!
    RELATED ARTICLE: Intro: Widgets
  • Link back to their website. The event landing pages or place landing pages are filled areas to include backlinks. Whether links are added to descriptions, custom fields, or website buttons, users won’t be cut off from continuing their online hunt.
  • Incentivize event submissions. Give all of these benefits a little more push by offering prizes or monetary incentives (such as monthly drawings) for those who submit events.
  • Create an event listing or place landing page for them. At the end of the day, most of us are visual learners. Give them a bit of a head start and really bring all of these points to life by presenting a live example of their content or landing page.
  • Localist never purges calendar content. This means that even after an event is over it will still be discoverable, which is extremely helpful for users to see a track record of the great events they have already hosted or may be hosting again in the future.
    RELATED ARTICLE: BEST PRACTICE: Why Localist Doesn’t Purge Data

2. Highlight how submitting an event is an easy, time efficient process.

  • Adding an event takes less than two minutes. Once it’s submitted, the original creator can always access an edit form directly from the event page.
  • Add in bulk, not just individually. If a venue, group, or organization has several events, share your Bulk Event template with them so that they can submit all of their events at once.
  • Get a better sense of awareness. Event organizers can gauge audience interest without taking any extra steps beyond submission with Localist’s built-in I’m Interested feature and trending algorithm.
  • Remind potential attendees. What’s better than reminding forgetful RSVPs or gathering feedback? Doing it without any extra work, of course! Any users who use the I’m Interested feature will receive automatic event reminders before and review requests after.

Highlight your calendar’s features and benefits, and not just the actual events

When promoting your calendar, don’t just stop at letting your audience know you have a new calendar. Take it one step further and promote the actual features within your calendar, then take it another step further by promoting the benefits your audience will receive from using your calendar.

Here’s some noteworthy features + their benefits:

Feature Benefit
Trending algorithm No more guesswork in figuring out which events are popular, interesting, and worth attending.
Custom filtering Everything you want to find is only two to three clicks away.
Social features backed in See how many people plan on attending an event as well as comments and reviews directly from the community.
Place + group profiles Get the entire contextual picture of an event or follow a favorite place or group so you never miss out on future events.
Feed exports Add events directly to your personal calendar so that details and updates are right at your fingertips.

 

Example: Our friends over at University of Colorado: Colorado Springs applied this strategy to their announcement blog.


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