How Louisville Implemented Localist

The Louisville team needed a way to rejuvenate their online presence, boost engagement on campus, and manage their events more efficiently.

Louisville Screenshot

Background

With over 15,000 students, 370 student groups and 140 event locations, there was no shortage of student activity on The University of Louisville campus.

Before switching to Localist, Louisville's online events calendar just couldn't keep up. It was running on open source software, launched back in 2002. For eleven long years, it had effectively been frozen in time. The clunky interface, lack of search capabilities, and missing social network integration left the calendar as an unused resource in the community.

Louisville implemented Localist in October 2013 and immediately the benefits became apparent. Traffic to the calendar skyrocketed, event attendance went up, and managing events was no longer a headache. Using Localist, the university lived up to its slogan: "It's Happening Here."

Where Rubber Meets Road

After coming on board, the team at Louisville was introduced to Emily Hite, a personal calendar consultant at Localist. Emily is available as a part of the support team to help drive the implementation process.

Emily Hite

Customer Liaison

The Louisville team began by organizing the calendar content they already had, like events, venues and groups. They also made decisions on how users would sign into the calendar, and how they would structure content taxonomy, like event categories and target audiences. Thorough resources and support documentation were made available for exploration.

Step 1: Import Branding

Louisville's web team converted their current brand to a Localist SILK wrapper in just a few minutes. SILK is a slick tool that allows Localist to automatically sync the look and feel of a customer's brand. This means the audience won't feel like they're being taken to another site when they want to learn about events.

Louisville Homepage

Louisville Homepage
Default Localist Style

Localist Default Calendar Style
Louisville Branded Calendar

Louisville Calendar Homepage

Step 2: Add Content

Louisville created a Filter called Event Types, and added various categories like Arts, Exhibit, Dance, Film, and Music. They also created three Communities for each UofL campus: Belknap, Health Sciences Center, and Shelby. Communities allow Events, Places and Groups to be segmented by different geographical locations.

They also added Custom Fields that optionally appear on any events: Contact Name, Phone Number and Email. This is so users know who the point person is for the event being shown.

Louisville Event Categories
Louisville Custom Fields
Louisville Landing Pages

Filters and Custom Fields are a way to attach more information to Events, Places and Groups to ensure audience always have all the details about any one event.

Then the team added all the campus venues that would potentially host events, called Places in Localist.

List of Places
Louisville Venue Listing

Next, Louisville used Localist's Group pages to showcase the events of their 370 student groups.

Public Group Landing Page
Louisville Group Landing Page

After the basic structure of the content was in place, it was finally time to upload the events!

Luckily, what is typically the most time consuming step 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.

Admin Bulk Event Upload Screen
Calendar Bulk Uploading

Step 3: Integration

Louisville's team started to test integrations with systems they already used, like single sign-on, other departmental calendars, room schedulers, and group management systems. Localist is compatible with virtually every external system under the sun.

Louisville Connecting Their OrgSync Event Feed to Localist
Louisville OrgSync Localist Connection

Step 4: Launch

The Louisville team launched their calendar with their own custom domain, events.louisville.edu.

Before

Louisville Calendar Before
After

Louisville Calendar After

To keep their students, faculty, alumnae and community up-to-date with what's important, popular and new, Louisville uses Localist's automated newsletter feature.

Louisville Weekly Events Newsletter

Louisville Events Newsletter

Louisville also used Localist's widget builder to embed events across their entire website, such as The College of Arts and Science's homepage.

Louisville Homepage With a Widget

Louisville Calendar Widget

After launching, Louisville event administrators continued to manage events while Localist automates the rest, such as pulling in feeds, gathering trending events, creating RSVP lists and sending reminders to users.

Finally, every Enterprise version of Localist comes with Tailgate, a native mobile events app, which allowed Louisville to publish their very own app in the App Store! Like Localist, Tailgate adopted Louisville's brand to compliment their online calendar. All events on Louisville's calendar automatically appear in their Tailgate app, called UofL Events.

Louisville Events Mobile App splash screen
Louisville Events Mobile App event list
Louisville Events Mobile App event details

The Results

Traffic timeline

Overall Calendar Traffic, 2013 through 2014: The Transition to Localist

Increases across the board

Event and brand discovery

Searches for events hosted by Louisville, previously completely invisible to search engines, now appear in the top results. Even if the user isn't searching for keywords like "louisville" or "events," Louisville-hosted events appear at the top.

Just scratching the surface

Any one event can have dozens of pages associated with it, all indexed by every search engine. Each new page is a new opportunity for discovery, and it's no extra work for the Louisville team.

The top two links are running on Louisville's Localist calendar

What Louisville Had to Say

Our new event calendar will be the central website for discovering what to do and where to go at UofL. Whether you're out and about or at your desk, you're only a click away from getting involved.