Online Calendar of Events
While event calendars could easily be mentioned when discussing chambers of commerce or destination management organizations (DMOs), they are important enough to highlight on their own.
The number and types of event calendars range from basic listings to detailed. Some allow events to include a logo and/or photos. It is a tedious process to add content to listings on various websites, as the photo dimensions and descriptions usually vary on each. To minimize your time and maximize exposure, draft copy that is timeless so the listing will not be out of date the moment the event ends. Use references, such as “Past entertainers have included A, B and C.” Rather than stating the Xth Annual event, instead write as “Since 19XX, the annual event…”
Maintain a master list of all calendars of events, logins, passwords and who uploaded the information. You may think you’ll never need to update the file again and it’s the next person’s problem, but it is highly likely you will need it for one reason or another. Send the master list to several people and document who should have a copy.
When possible include the actual listing – cut and paste your draft copy and/or content – into your master list. For a complicated listing, print screen shots* of the information and insert it into your master list. In that way you won’t have to rethink the entire process later.
While it may take some time, also document the dimensions of the logos or images uploaded. Quite often these websites do not display the required dimensions (X pixels wide by X pixels high) until you try to upload them and then an unsuccessful message displays.
Some state tourism agencies require the local DMOs to upload the content. A junior level employee or intern is often tasked with keeping the state calendars and listings current. You’ll most likely need to smooze their boss. Do your homework and make everything as easy as possible. If the state listing requires only 25 words or characters for a description, don’t send a 500-word listing. If you can give them exactly what they need on a silver platter, it’s more likely they will stay in touch. The end result is they will make you look good, if you make their job easier.
So you can have a realistic idea of what they actually need, always take the time to view any organization’s calendar of events to see how the listings displays beforehand.
If you are unfamiliar with what type of event calendars exists in your community, find them using an online search engine. Type in your city name and the words calendar of events or things to do and the results will be revealed.
Calendars are often maintained on radio, newspaper, cable and television websites as a community service.
*Not sure how to print a screen shot – do an online search for “print screen shot on a PC or on a MAC” and search results will explain further.
To learn more about event and festival management, check out “Secrets to Successful Events: How to Organize, Promote and Manage Exceptional Events and Festivals.” For those with event planning experience, consider, “Secrets to Successful Events Resource Guide: 42+ Easy-to-Use Tools and Resources.” Both are written by internationally known author and speaker Lynn Fuhler and are available on Amazon and at major booksellers.