There are events calendars all over the internet, perhaps you’ve seen so many that you’ve become somewhat blind to them. Or maybe you religiously use a calendar for your local community or business. But have you ever stopped to think about why your calendar is important, what it is that it brings to your community, your business, and your online presence? A calendar is more than just a list of dates and events, it tells a story of you or your community, it provides information for interested persons, and it creates a social hub and web presence. Depending on who you are, and what you do, a calendar will have different types of use and significance. Let’s take a look at some of the types of people and groups who use calendars and what makes their calendar so important .
For a Community
An online calendar can provide a social hub for a community and also shows off that community to the world. Recently, we did a feature on Jacksonopolis, an online source for community news and events for Jackson, Michigan. The creator of the website, David Buchanan, was concern that his town was being misrepresented and he wanted to turn that perception around. “We came to life because of a dire need for our community to build pride, focus creativity and grow new economic sectors.” An online calendar is a great way to demonstrate the vibrancy of a community to the world.
There are some things that are essential for a community calendar. For one thing, social integration. Many people and places have Facebook accounts and these need to be tightly integrated with the website calendar. That way people can confirm attendance to events from their Facebook accounts. It also needs to be easy for people to share those events on Twitter and Facebook.
Another important factor for a community is to be able to share and link calendars. This is easy with Timely’s All-in-One Events Calendar. At Jacksonopolis, for example, David has linked calendars for the Arts Council and the Young Professionals network, which share a unified data structure. This makes it easy for calendars to share information.
Another important aspect is calendar curation. This means curating event content so that is relevant to your community, incorporating the .ics feed of other calendars. You can check out our tips for creating a curated events calendar.
For a truly social calendar, you may want to think about user submitted events. These are events that are submitted by the users from the front end of the website, then posted to the calendar. This functionality is available in the Pro version of our calendar, which was launched last month.
For a Company
It’s not just communities that need calendars. They’re a great way for companies to publicize their events, whether that’s internally or externally. You may even want to have both!
The calendar on the front of your site shows that your business is more than just a website. It’s a map of all of the realtime events that take place within yourcompany. You may want to tell the world about your AGM, the events or shows that you will be attending, seminars or lectures that your company is holding. This type of content on your calendar showcases your company’s activities to the world.
You may also want to have an internal calendar for your business community. This could share the diary of your CEO or anyone else much in demand. Or you could look on this as a way as team building and encouraging collegiality within your company. You could, for example, have a calendar with all of the training sessions available for staff. You could also list fitness classes in your area that your employees might be interested in. And, of course, you can list those all-important social events. You could even enable user-generated content to allow your employees to create events and invite colleagues. There are plenty of ways in which your calendar can help to strengthen your community at work.
For an Individual
There are a number ways that you as an individual may want to incorporate a calendar into your website. Your blog may be the record of what you have done, but your calendar is a record of what you are going to do. Some things you could use your individual calendar for:
- If you’re involved with public speaking or go to a lot of conferences, your calendar will tell the world where they can hear and meet you. This is particularly important if you are a person with a public profiles.
- Your calendar can tell people about all of the forthcoming events in your area that you are planning to attend. Every calendar is different, and a calendar curated by you will tell your individual story of the events that you like to go to.
- If you’re a freelancer or contractor, you could use a calendar on your website to show off your availability. You may even want to use your website calendar to enable people to make bookings with you.
- If you have a website for your family, you could use your calendar as a way of recording birthdays and important events. This will mean no one will have an excuse for forgetting again!
Calendars aren’t just lists of events. They are the gathering point for a community or a company, demonstrate the tastes or activities of an individual. But most of all they are filled with possibility and excitement for what is coming in the future, of stories yet to be told. Don’t underestimate the importance of the calendar on your website.