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Case Study: Love Burlington

Discover how Timely helped Love Burlington empower the community to submit events to their destination events calendar, and, as a result, turned their online calendar into one of the most visited pages of their website.

“After checking other event calendars, Timely stood out higher. It had every feature we needed, the user experience was great, and the price was right. It was an easy pick!”

JULIA CHALMERS, MARKETING COORDINATOR AT THE CITY OF BURLINGTON

CLIENT PROFILE

Located on the easter shore of Lake Champlain, the City of Burlington, in the State of Vermont, has a population of almost 43,000 people. The city is home to a lively downtown area, a historic south, Church Street, and a vibrant and busy lifestyle.

Having a very touristic driven economy, the city was looking for way better way to support local businesses, and connect with the community and visitors.  With that in mind, the city created the destination website Love Burlington.

Since events are one of the biggest reasons people come to visit the town, they realized they could use some help promoting and managing events more efficiently. That’s where Timely comes in. 

For this case study, we talked to Julia Chalmers, Marketing Coordinator at the City of Burlington. Julia manages all local marketing initiatives and events. She explains how using Timely Event Calendar Software for Destination Marketing Organizations helped Love Burlington promote local businesses and events. As a result, it brought the community closer together.

love burlington destination calendar promoted event on church street

CHALLENGES

Burlington is very unique in this way, where around 80% of all businesses are locally owned. Thus, the city needed a simple and efficient way to connect the community with small businesses around the city.  

Prior to using Timely, the City of Burlington was relying on a PDF file posted online to share local information. Certainly, one of the biggest challenges the City of Burlington faced was having to regularly and manually update this PDF file every time a business, venue, or event holder changed information. 

Moreover, receiving event submissions from the community was a big issue for them. According to Julia, the system they used before was wonky and messy. There were lots of back and forth between the event submitters and the website management team. In essence, it was very time consuming and labour intensive.

It was obvious for Julia that the city needed an online events calendar to link everyone in town. In addition, they needed a software that could allow easy event updates, and users to post their own events with ease.

“We needed a way to showcase all events from our local businesses, and we were struggling with that. Not to the fault of our web developers, but we were struggling to create an effective and attractive page that showcased all these events”, said Julia. 

Event Management Goals

In short, the City of Burlington's goals included:
Centralizing all local events into one single online calendar;
Employing a system that updates events automatically;
Empowering the community to promote their own events;
Promoting local events and businesses with ease; 
Improving calendar and events management;
Expanding the audience and event reach.
Boosting community engagement; and
Increasing event attendance.

SOLUTION

Event Management Centralization.

By creating the website Love Burlington with a dedicated destination events calendar, the City of Burlington was able to showcase all events happening in the city, and surrounding areas. The new events calendar attracted more locals and visitors, and brought the community together.

Automatically Update Event Information.

With Timely event management tools, any updates on the event posts are shown automatically on the events calendar. Even for events imported from other sources. In addition, the system allows for automatic event change notification. Thus, ticket holders can know about changes in real time. 

More Community Event Submissions.

Most of the City of Burlington's events came, and continue to come, from local businesses and venues. Timely's event submission form feature enabled the city to easily receive event submissions from users. Importantly, events are submitted directly to the calendar, and the city retains total publishing control.

RESULTS

After adopting Timely Event Management Solutions, Love Burlington saw a huge increase on their website traffic. In fact, their events calendar page became one of the most visited pages on their website.

Having the possibility of connecting Timely Event Calendar with social media also had a powerful impact on their followers and interaction with the public. “Timely tools helped us gain more than 6,000 followers in less than a year”, commented Julia.

A nice and cute look with an easy to navigate interface was a very important factor for the city to choose Timely. According to Julia, the Event Submission tool is the one making the most difference for them. 

“The Event submission feature is my absolute favorite thing. It has a nice design and is so easy to use. We haven't had any questions or complaints from the public using it, which is great!”, Julia added.

Event Management Accomplishments

Overall, Timely helped the City of Burlington in all these areas:
Events SEO;
Website traffic;
Social media following;
Local events promotion;
Local businesses promotion;
Calendar management; and
Community engagement.

How Timely Helped the City of Burlington During the Covid-19 Pandemic?

During the COVID-19 pandemic, the City of Burlington created the destination website “Love Burlington” to connect local businesses with the community and visitors. 

Its main purpose was to be a place where the community could find information on which businesses were open during these challenging times. 

The website quickly became a helpful database and resource for the community to discover new businesses, and to see what was going on around the city. For a while, there were no events, but things changed and now it is full of events.
Because it’s so easy to manage and receive event submissions from the community with Timely software, the outreach was much more than expected. 

According to Julia, “it’s been really exciting to see how quickly people have adapted to technology using Timely event management tools”.

In fact, the results were so great that Love Burlington's events page started to stand out. Soon it became one of the most visited pages on their website! 

“We're definitely excited about this new destination event arm and building it up. We get calls to the city's office with people that want to plan their trips to Burlington, and we send them to Love Burlington's events calendar page. They love it!”

- Julia Chalmers, Marketing Coordinator at the City of Burlington, Vermont -

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