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10 Tips to Audit Your Online Events Calendar
It’s audit season! Are there any two words, when strung together, that elicit such a strong groan from a crowd? Probably not, but let’s flip auditing on its head and have some fun while we review your online events calendar. Now is the perfect time of year to sit down and do a thorough review of what’s working, what’s not and how we can improve.
Your answers to these 10 questions will help determine if your online events calendar is a strong tool in your marketing stack. While you read this article, I recommend having your calendar pulled up. You can take a live look at your online events calendar and determine what’s working and what could be improved as we prepare for a busy spring!
- The first question: Do you have an online events calendar?
Let’s start at the very beginning. I take this as not only a great lyric, but it’s also some of the purest advice of all time. In order to audit your calendar, you must first have an online events calendar as a part of your website. Whether it’s the most trafficked page or simply an afterthought, you must start with an actual calendar on your site.
Once we’ve established there is a calendar, we’re ready to move onto the next steps! Let’s get this audit into gear!
- How many clicks does it take to get where you want to go?
First, can your audience find your calendar? We have to make sure your calendar isn’t hidden behind a 10-click process. If events are a part of your marketing plan, your calendar should be accessible from your homepage with a maximum of 2 clicks. You have to engage with your audience right away!
Once on your calendar, do the users have to keep clicking to find relevant information for each event? For the best possible experience, your calendar should have all the necessary information on the main page with a link to an official landing page if one exists.
- Is your calendar accessible?
Accessibility is mandatory. While on your calendar, you need to ensure it is up to the latest standards and meets the accessibility guidelines outlined by your governing organization. Your events and calendar must be accessible in every sense of the word.
- Do you consider the user experience while managing the calendar?
You have to think about your end users. You’re familiar with the audience coming your website. This is the same audience going to your events calendar. You know who they are. Cater to their needs and technical ability. Make sure fonts are legible, colors are clear and your overall design is easy to navigate.
Most of your users are on the go. Because of this, your design should be responsive. Starting with the desktop experience, you also need to be considerate of tablets and smartphones.
- Would you use your calendar?
Imagine you are the primary audience for your events calendar. Is this something you would find useful and actually utilize on a repeating basis? These are the questions you need to ask yourself. You have one chance to make a first impression, and that first impression might be your only impression. Your calendar should be something you would use on an ongoing basis.
- Are events organized in a way that makes sense to someone not familiar with your calendar?
We’ve established you have this online events calendar, but what about the actual setup of the platform? Your calendar must have a clear, simple classification system. This classification system can include filters, landing pages, tags and keywords. Your audience should have a direct way to find events that they’re interested in attending.
- Can you find the calendar on your website, Google or through other resources?
Discoverability is essential. If your calendar isn’t easily found, then your events are not reaching the desired audience (or any kind of audience at all). On your website, your calendar should be found on the homepage or with one click. I also recommend trying a Google search with your organization’s name and events or calendar. Your calendar should be one of the first results. Another resource that links back to your calendar is widgets. This can boost your audience reach in a seamless way.
- Does your calendar look like your brand?
Your calendar should reflect the same branding as the rest of your website. This is a strong way to build trust between your organization and end users. If your calendar looks like you, your audience will be more likely to spend time on the page.
- Is it interactive?
When someone comes to your calendar, does that person simply look at what’s going on, or does that person have an interactive, more immersive experience? You’re hoping for the latter. When someone is able to really engage with your content, they’re more likely to engage. With engagement comes more brand awareness and an overall better experience. Ways to make your calendar interactive are limitless, but a few ideas include a way to mark themselves as interested or a hashtag to click on to see social media posts. Make it interesting!
- Is it adding value to your vision and mission?
You have a vision and mission. We have a vision and mission. Ours centers on making events more discoverable and connecting communities. Online calendars are the resource we use to make our vision and mission a reality for customers. With your organization’s mission and vision, does the calendar add to the overall goals? Your content and the actual platform should be moving you toward the core of your vision and mission.
- How does the calendar fit into your event marketing plan?
Your organization has events and an online events marketing calendar. How does that calendar fit in with the overall marketing goals? Events are a fantastic way to strengthen brand awareness, and an easily discoverable calendar can easily help with that.
These questions are meant to help you take a closer look at your online events calendar. There might be other efforts to get your organization’s events out there, but your audience is generally online. This is where your content needs to be.
Clear, concise and interactive. These are the big takeaways from the calendar audit.
We hope you’re able to take a subjective look at your calendar and able make some changes if necessary. Your events matter! Make them accessible to the widest audience possible.
Want to know how your calendar stacks up? Check out our calendar grader!