How to address IT concerns when switching calendars

By Emily Haigis

When looking for new products, other departments may raise some issues that we don’t always think of. Here are some answers to the most common concerns that have been raised by IT departments.

1. “We don’t want to switch to an out-of-house system”

All Localist customers own their content. A powerful API is available to access this content and present it in new an exciting way. Gathering your data can be done in a simple URL call. 

2. “We could just build our own calendar”

It would take an entire team several years to build any robust calendar system, let alone one that is as powerful as Localist. Building an in-house calendar would not only just scratch the surface of what Localist is capable of, but also raise many roadblocks. How would you maintain the platform? How would you go about developing new features? How would you train and provide support to users? 

3. “We already have existing infrastructure in place”

Localist’s team has yet to find a system it can’t integrate with. As long as there is a consistent structure behind the system, Localist can integrate with it. Right out of the box Localist can connect with EMS, R25, OrgSync, Eventbrite, Cvent, RSS or ICS feeds and the most popular single-sign on systems, such as LDAP, CAS, Shibboleth and OpenID. 

 “From the start, I was impressed with the simple interface. The transition proved as smooth as the user experience, and we had great support and a good process during the transition.” – Information Technology Team, DePaul

4. “An out-of-house system won’t fit our needs” 

Although Localist is a turn-key solution, the platform offers a wide range of customizations beyond branding. The calendar’s taxonomy, or filters, are 100% dependent on the needs of your admins and audience, wether you are featuring event types, creating target audiences or segmenting your platform by location. Localist also allows for custom fields to be added to the event submission form so that no details go unnoticed. On the admin side, administrators can restrict permissions on various levels, send custom event submission rejection message and create unique newsletter themes. 

 “Localist is straightforward yet flexible, which we all like.” – Courtney Lowry, IT Project Manager

“An uncluttered visual design is critically important and the Localist platform provides that. However, RISD was most attracted by the ability to emphasize the great variety of events on our campus. We love that users can filter these events by key categories—namely academic events, gallery exhibitions, and RISD Museum events—right on the calendar homepage.” -Brian Clark, RISD 

5. “We don’t have time to implement a new system”

The Localist approach is to do all the heavy lifting for you when it comes to getting your platform implemented. On average, only two hours of IT time are needed on your end. With this approach, you are not alone in implementing your platform as every new customer will have a personal calendar consultant to help drive the process. 

 “The Localist team has been great at listening to our goals and helping us figure out how to achieve them.” -Matt Wynd 

6. “We don’t want to have to train users on how to use a new platform”

Managing and exploring Localist is as easy as browsing a website, which is why first time users can navigate the platform just as well as seasoned administrators. Localist is built so that no training is necessary, but if anyone on your team needs a walkthrough or guidance, our support team is happy to take care of it for you. Of all our customers, nobody has needed a training session before jumping into Localist. We also provide a knowledge base to answer common questions, a resource library for admins to learn about best practices and tutorial videos that outline major features of the platform. 

 “We did no training or public announcements of any kind. We just flipped the switch from our old system and trusted that our users would be able to figure out how to use it, because it was so intuitive.” -Mike Horn

“For MICA a well-designed interface is highly important.  Our users range from savvy tech/design focused students to painting faculty who may not use a computer as often in their day-to-day life.  For both of these reasons a clean, well-designed interface is important.” -Greg Rago, MICA

7. “Building our brand on a new platform will be too much work”

Here at Localist, we understand the importance of brand awareness and ensuring that your user’s experience on your website is seamless, which is why we have developed our SILK wrapper for custom branding. This means your audience won’t feel like they’re being taken to another site when they want to learn about events because your website’s look and feel is Localist’s look and feel. An added advantage to using SILK is that if a link changes in your header and footer, you won’t need to mirror those changes in Localist because they’ll just happen. 

8. “We don’t have enough man-power to maintain a robust calendar like Localist”

Unlike a CMS plug-in or in-house solution, any issues that arise are not exclusively your responsibility. Since Localist is cloud-hosted, all security updates are handled for you. Localist is also constantly monitoring site performance, deploying usability updates and introducing new features that require no extra work from your team. 

When it comes to maintaining platform content, Localist has a number of automated processes and features that take the headache out of event management. Your Localist platform will automatically update newsletter and widget content, pull in feeds, gather trending events, send out email reminders to users and create RSVP lists for each event, just to name a few. 

 “Localist has made our online event calendar ultra-usable, and relevant to our users – members of the URI community and our neighbors. It has definitely saved staff time and resources. Now, we can focus on the content, and not the tools, while enjoying state-of-the-art features. And most importantly, students love the social connectivity, and we are seeing adoption like never before.” – Kerri Hicks, Manager, Web Communications, URI

9. “We are skeptical about the SEO benefits that you say Localist provides”

Event calendar content is a search engine optimizer’s dream – it’s frequently updated, rich with keywords and details and there’s simply a ton of it. Localist is strategically structured to take maximum advantage of these properties. 

The University of Louisville has seen traffic to their events calendar increase by 800% overall. A combination of a frequently updated platform, widgets, and newsletters have made Louisville’s events appear in the top search results, even when keywords like “Louisville” and “events” aren’t included. 

If you’d like to learn more about Localist or would like to schedule a consultation so we can address your IT department’s concerns,  you can visit our website and one of our consultants will be reaching out to you.

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