Need some background on public submissions? Start with our introductory guide: Pending Queue
During the implementation process a decision that admins tend to debate is to let end users submit events or to not let end users submit events. Our answer is simple: always let users submit content.
The most common opposition is that submitted content won’t be appropriate for an organization’s calendar, but the key word is ‘submitted’. All submissions are sent directly to a pending queue where they will await an administrators approval. Beyond that layer, many organizations add custom guidelines to the form to guide their users when inputting information and the pending queue even allows admins to send a custom rejection message to users. Now of course this doesn’t always make sense, say you’re a private venue, but if your calendar is serving a city or a campus-wide community then your organization can stand to enjoy several benefits of having the submission form open:
- Save Time. Rather than relying on colleagues to supply you with information about upcoming events, or trying to research them yourself, skip those unnecessary steps and simply allow your users to add events. You just have to approve events once they’re already submitted. It’s an easy and efficient pathway to increasing the number of quality events on your online calendar.
- Grow your website and brand visibility. You should already be getting the sense that allowing users to submit events to your online event calendar increases their participation and interest in your organization while increasing traffic to your organization’s website. An added benefit of that increase in traffic and engagement with your website is the ability to grow its content and reach. Plus, additional fresh pages will help with SEO.
- Engage community leaders. Community leaders offer access to engaged groups of people. You’ll want to tap into their vast social capital. Since they are more likely to be well connected with other members of the community, and vocal about participating in events and online discussions, you can think of them as people and idea movers. Give them the ability to add events, and they’ll be more likely to engage with the calendar, invite others, and share the opportunity or event across multiple social media sites. Plus, they’ll experience the added bonus of feeling like a top contributor.
- Showcase a thriving community. User-submitted events on the online event calendar will show anyone who visits your website that your community is thriving. Your website is often the first contact someone will have with your business or organization. Leave them with a positive first impression by showcasing an online event calendar filled with a large number and wide variety of events.
- Increase revenue. As those of you with advertising on your websites know, traffic is a revenue generator. If users are submitting their own events to your online event calendar, they are more likely to feel invested in the event, and will therefore visit more often and encourage others to check out the calendar as well. Engaged users equals higher traffic, and higher revenue. Even if you don’t feature advertisements, you can grow your revenue by giving users the option to pay to have their events show as featured on the online calendar website. For example, event promoters pay for local newspapers’ websites to prominently feature their upcoming events. The papers get a revenue boost, and promoters get more event attendees. It’s a win-win situation. Why not replicate that for your organization?