In challenging times as we are living now, creative ideas to stay in touch with your audience are key to a consistent brand message. Many DMOs are doing a lot of work being reactive, but can you be ahead of the recovery period, keeping your brand message the most up to date?
Managing Your Events Calendar
Most DMOs event calendars are among the Top 5 Most Visited Pages and staying digitally connected with your audience is key.
We prepared a list of practical ideas and recommendations that you can start today to maintain and continue to promote your events throughout this period.
1. Update Canceled or Postponed Events, instead of deleting
Instead of deleting canceled events. Add "CANCELED" in the title. This way visitors and locals that often come to your website will still be informed about what's happening in your community.
If you are a user of our ImGoing SaaS Events calendar, you can easily edit the event information via the dashboard:
2. Categorize ONLINE Events
For visitors to easily find the Facebook Live or online classes, etc. type of events, your organization can custom categorize these particular events with a new "Online Events" tab.
If you are a user of the ImGoing SaaS Events Calendar, login to your Dashboard and add a Custom Event Category for "Online Events" following the steps below.
- Go to Marketing > Custom Categories
- Turn On the Event Categories feature
- Enter the new category, for example "Online Events"
- Go back to your "Approved Events" list
- Click on the STAR icon to categorize the event. The "Online Events" category will show as an option from the list.
- If you wish, your web development team can embed this calendar view, directly on a dedicated landing page of your site, if that's appropriate with your marketing strategy. Let us know and we will provide the integration code.
3. Suggest to Partners to Shift to Online Events
Engage your partners and suggest they create online events, as much as possible.
- Bars/Restaurants that had to close and cancel live performances, can host live music online using tools such as Zoom, Facebook Live or Instagram Live.
- Outdoor attractions such as State Parks, Yoga academies and sports venues can host online work-out classes.
- Arts & Culture establishments can host live and online art classes - painting, pottery, interview with the artists, live "walk" through a new exhibit.
- Arts & Culture partners can also work together to create "At Home" activities for kids and parents. Example: https://www.visithendrickscounty.com/community/home/
- Restaurants / Chefs could host online videos (using for example Instagram IGTV) of cooking classes/tips from their home, or sharing their favorite restaurant recipes. Example: https://www.instagram.com/bobbyflay/channel/
4. If Possible, Work Ahead to Approve Events for Summer / Fall
As much as possible, create or engage your partners to work on events for Summer and Fall ahead of time. As we know, many partners work on their daily events only a few weeks away from the date. Reach out to let them know these events - and their business - will be highlighted on your website now.
Creating events that are planned for later in the year will only help increase awareness and help your DMO maintain a positive and exciting message around your brand, in preparation for recovery time.
5. Prepare a Recovery "Events Calendar" Message
Is never too early to start preparing strategies of recovery.
- Prepare a message of recovery about the Events Calendar to let your partners know they can create events on Facebook, Eventbrite, Eventful or submit their events online through your calendar page.
- Include the How to Create Event Partner PDF that we prepared for your destination. If you need us to resend the Partner PDF, please submit a ticket to our support team.
Let us know how we can help. Our team is available to help you through this process, while updating the calendar, suggesting strategies or hopping on a call to further discuss. You can schedule a call with our Director of Digital Strategy, Aline Gill, clicking here.