Use These 10 Calendar Sites to Fill Seats at Your Live or Virtual Events
By Joan Stewart
The Publicity Hound
Promoting events or clients goes beyond the power of social media. In a PR climate saturated with ideas, a Facebook event or a few tweets will not accumulate the buzz you’re looking for. The new media landscape dictates other ways of attracting that crowd.
Take advantage of the many high-traffic sites that accept calendar listings, press releases, articles and photos. Don’t forget the thousands of smaller niche sites that can help you target people who are passionate about a particular topic.
Mix in social media sites where news about your event can really go viral, and you have a great chance to draw huge crowds.
Consider using these sites the next time you need to promote. I discussed them during the webinar I hosted on 50+ Places Online to Promote Your Live & Virtual Events to Reach Your Target Market & Pull Sell-out Crowds.
This is more than just a calendar site. It’s one of my favorite ways to promote my business events because of the liberal use of keywords you can use to tag an event.
How to create and event on LinkedIn? Log into your account; on the Menu bar, click on More, and Events. Fill in all the information.
Now, you can tag the event two ways. You can type up to 20 keywords that describe the event. You can also type up to 20 titles of the people you think should attend. It's worth taking the extra time to use up all those keywords because more than 70 million LinkedIn users could be searching for your event, and you want them to be able to find it.
After you've created your event, LinkedIn will ask you if you want to share it with several dozen of your connections. I love this feature because I can hand-pick people who I think might want to attend. They receive an email invitation.
I can also start a discussion in one or more of my groups, and tie it to the event.
Later, I can periodically revisit the event page and use the “Share” button to re-invite connections or invite additional connections who were not previously invited.
This is the Number One tech events calendar and one of the top business event calendars in the world, especially for geeks. It also covers media, finance, healthcare, legal, biotech, cleantech and other events like conferences, un-conferences, forums, workshops, seminars, Meetups, Tweetups, mixers, parties and more in 40 cities in the U.S. and more than 35 cities around the world.
The audience is a highly targeted mix of influencers and connectors including C-level executives, managers, entrepreneurs, venture capitalists, investors, marketing/PR pros, technologists, analysts, bloggers and others.
The site has been written up recently in the New York Times Fashion & Style Section, Forbes.com, Entrepreneur Magazine, Mashable and LifeHacker. Forbes calls it one of “8 Resources Entrepreneurs Should Know About.” It was created in 2008 by Gary Sharma, who emails lists of events to anyone who signs up – for free.
He lists at least 100 meetings every week, ranging from the Northern New Jersey Hackfest (a gathering of computer programmers) to the North American Chinese Entrepreneur Association.
Use the world’s largest network of local groups to draw people to a wide variety of offline events such as book signings and readings, Internet marketing classes, or the neighborhood coffee shop where a group of Web designers meet monthly.
It’s also a great place to find people in niche markets.
Let’s say you’ve written a book about pay-per-click strategies and you want to find PPC devotees in New York City. Type pay-per-click into the search box at the site – there are 10 PPC groups within a 25-mile radius of The Big Apple.
If you can’t find a MeetUp group devoted to your passion or interest, start one.
A Meetup can be a one-time-only event, or it can meet regularly. Be sure to upload photos of your Meetup to spark interest for the next event.
Don’t let the bad publicity about this site send you running. With more than 20 billion page views per month, it’s still a valuable resource for publicizing your events, looking for leads, and even searching out classes in your community.
The Community category includes several sub-categories to consider such as activities, events, classes, groups and local news. It also has more than 100 discussion forums devoted to niche topics. You can post only to the city closest to you, and only to one category or sub-category.
Don’t break the rules by cross-posting or posting more frequently than you are allowed! The Craigslist community doesn’t tolerate cheats. And Craigslist won’t hesitate to close your account.
This free classified ad site is very much like Craigslist but only for the U.S., Canada, the Caribbean and Mexico.
You can pay a fee to post in more than one city. You’ll find a community category that includes sub-categories for events and Classes/Workshops, and other categories like Jobs, and Buy/Sell/Trade.
BackPage also has an affiliate program where you can earn 10 percent commission on upgrades purchased by users. Upgrades include sponsor ads, paid postings and auto re-postings.
Find, share and promote events worldwide, from concerts and art gallery openings to food and wine festivals. Its 26 categories include Technology and Conferences.
This calendar site is part of Yahoo. To sign up for a new Upcoming account, you'll need to use your existing Yahoo account or register a new account.
Categories include Commercial, Education, Family, Festival, Music, Performing, Performing/Visual Arts, Politics and Sports
The site is reaching out to event promoters to let them know about a significant change on Yahoo that will directly influence their Upcoming events. Over the next few months, some events listed on Upcoming will be featured prominently on the Yahoo local homepage. This means that a whole new set of users will see your event listings as they find interesting things to do in their local areas.
Upcoming encourages you to provide rich and compelling content, including photos.
Doing last-minute publicity for an event this weekend? That’s OK. Events on Upcoming show up in search engines like Yahoo fast—sometimes within a few minutes.
I love this site because it has more than 30 categories, some devoted to niche topics. Authors, there’s a category for book launches, book signings and other reading events.
Entrepreneurs, are you looking for venture capital? There’s a category just for you.
You’ll also find seven separate categories for industry events pertaining to food, real estate, IT, entertainment, architecture and interior design, banking and finance, and a category for advertising, marketing and media.
Visitors to this site who are looking for particular types of events can sign up for email updates.
Post information about your teleseminars, conferences, workshops, teleclasses, webinars, virtual training, e-classes and live events—all for free.
SeminarAnnouncer will email people who want to be notified about certain types of events.
I found great testimonials at the website.
This fee-based site provides a way for members of the media or organizations interested in your area of expertise to find you. But anyone can post free listings to the event calendar.
Don’t Forget Google Calendars
Google Calendar makes it easy for you to share events, and publish events and calendars on your website. If your website mentions events—including reservations, appointments, conferences and shows—Google Calendar can help your users find this information and easily add it to their own calendars.
You can also invite other people to events on your calendar. Guests can RSVP to your events by email or via Google Calendar.
A few reminders before you start:
Always include a photo with your listing whenever possible because it will help attract attention for your event. If you don't have a photo of the actual event, buy a stock photo.
When people register for your event, ask them, "Where did you hear about us?" This will help you determine which calendar sites are working best for you.
See 7 Things That Can Kill Your Event Before It Begins and Make Event Promotion/PR
Easy: 27 Questions to spark Ideas.
If you have your own favorite site, I’d love to know about it. Email me at JStewart@PublicityHound.com.
Joan Stewart, aka The Publicity Hound, has the #1 ranking on Google for “publicity expert.” She shares publicity tips on Twitter at @PublicityHound and on Facebook at Facebook.com/publicitytips. Subscribe to her free weekly ezine at PublicityHound.com.