With over 22,000 students, 400 student groups and 140 event locations, there's always something happening at the University of Louisville.
However, you wouldn't have known this by looking at the University's event calendar before Localist.
The University was using a free, open source calendar that hadn't been updated since 2002, to promote its events. Because the software wasn't user friendly, departments started to use their own calendars, and had to post the same content six different times. Using the calendar was so tedious that not everyone posted their events.
One of our goals is to show the vibrant life on campus. An empty events calendar harmed the University's image. We needed a system that was more efficient, so people would use it.
The Louisville team synced their website's branding with their Localist calendar, so visitors wouldn't feel like they moved to a different website to view events. With Localist, customizing their calendar template took only a few minutes.
What was different? Uploading events, which is typically the most time-consuming step with most calendars, took no time at all. Along with feeds from other systems, Louisville used Localist's Bulk Event Uploader to add thousands of events in a single step.
"The process went much faster than we expected," said Brandy. "Within a couple of days, we were all in."
Brandy's team held a few training sessions for staff in communications, marketing, and event planning. However, she felt that the training wasn't necessary.
"Localist is very user friendly," said Brandy. "We told our people that if you pay a bill online or use Facebook, you won't have problems using Localist."
Prior to using Localist, the University's events didn't show up in Google's search results. Now, they appear at the top - even if users don't enter keywords like "Louisville" or "events."
Their old event calendar received about 25,000 views per year from the University's homepage. Now, it gets that many views during its Welcome Week. Outside of this event series, the calendar averages 13,000-14,000 views during a typical month.
The University used to upload about 1,000 events per year to the old calendar. Now, they post 2,600 unique events per year.
While the number of shared events is dramatically increasing, Brandy's workload isn't. She spends 30 minutes a day approving and copy editing events, as well as showcasing feature events.
Plus, Localist streamlined the University's event posting process - taking it from six steps to one.
"When you're at a university with daily events, you can't afford to spend 15-20 minutes putting each event in different calendars. Now, we just do it once."
Event attendance has increased since the University started using Localist. For example, their Summer Movie Series used to attract about 300 attendees. Now, it attracts about 1,000 attendees.
The calendar gives us a focal point for our event marketing. It helps us drive attendance at events by making a good first impression on visitors. It gives them all of the information they need - from maps to parking - in one place.
Using Localist's new Metrics features, the Louisville team can see how many times an event page was viewed, where their traffic comes from, and how many people RSVPed to an event.
When visitors look at the new events calendar, they see that the University is a vibrant center of activity for the entire community.
The calendar also helps smaller departments promote their events - even if they don't have big teams, large budgets, or robust web pages. Localist gives them event landing pages that are more professional than what they could build on their own.
Localist's interactive event calendar is such a success that the University plans to expand its use on other campuses.
The University also will use Localist's newsletter function this summer to keep students, faculty, alumni, and the Louisville community up to date with what's happening on campus.
Localist has been a very successful product for us. It creates a streamlined process that not only saves us time but also helps us get all of our event information correct. Before Localist, we had to enter event data across six different calendars, which always left room for error.
With Localist, you can spend fewer than 60 seconds publishing an event to your calendar. Sign up for your free 14-day trial of Localist to start boosting campus engagement today!