Who to Target First for Your Community Calendar

November 27, 2019 — Calendars, LocalHop Adminstrators

You did it! You committed to adopting a community calendar, now you are ready to recruit everyone in your community to share their events. But how do you go about doing this without creating more work for yourself? And what organizations do you reach out to first? There are several things to consider when answering these questions.

Who will draw the most viewers to your website?
Start with the most popular or well-known organizations in town. This can include groups that host many events throughout the month or are very good about marketing their events to the public. These are the organizations that you know will continuously contribute to the quality and quantity of events that will show up on your calendar.

Are you sharing the cost of your calendar with other groups?
If so, think about who will decide what organizations belong on the community calendar and when to veto others. Control of a community calendar must be done by a single organization, even if you plan to share the cost.

What guidelines will you use to explain what groups are allowed to post and which ones are not to organizations and businesses in your community?
As you let the community know that you would like to share their events, it is very important to create a list of groups that you may want to leave off of your calendar. These might include groups that are exclusive, political, religious/non-religious, adult only, or do not align with the beliefs and values of your organization. Discuss internally how you will handle these requests and craft responses ahead of time with your management team.

 How will you promote the community calendar, both to other organizations and to members of the community looking for things to do?
Share the effort in promoting the community calendar. Ask other organizations and businesses that join your calendar to help promote it. You know your community best, so think about the places that best reach your target audience, keeping in mind that certain methods may work best to reach people searching for events and others for recruiting groups to post their events.

What are some ways you can promote your calendar?

Here are some ways to reach out to community organizations and residents that have worked well for other community calendar users.

  • Personalized emails – A well-crafted personalized email to organizations and businesses in the community is THE best way to recruit new organizations and events to your calendar. It will also open the door to email introductions to other organizations in the community you may not have spoken with before (if you are willing to ask).
  • Facebook posts boosted in the community – To reach patrons and other residents in your community, create a Facebook post announcing the calendar and the organizations that will be posting to it. Spend $5 – $50 to boost the post in your community to make sure as many people see it as possible.
  • Word of mouth – Whether it’s at your local Chamber of Commerce meeting, town hall, yearly fundraiser, conference, or work event you might attend, let others know about the community calendar. If they aren’t part of an organization or business that can contribute events, you can almost be sure that they fall into the other category of someone that might be looking for events.
  • Phone calls – Personally call people you know in the community. Sometimes a 5-minute call to explain to them what you are doing is better than a back-and-forth, two-day email chain trying to explain and answer questions.

Every community and organization have their own set of rules, bylaws, beliefs, and values. We know that not everyone will want to recruit the same organizations on their community calendar, but we thought we might give you a starting point of who you might want to contact first. These tiers represent the organizations by size, budget, or number of events they host which might appeal best to patrons in your communities.

1st tier

  • Museums
  • DDA/ Main Street
  • Libraries
  • Art Centers
  • Theatres
  • Sports/Athletic Groups

2nd tier

  • Parks & Recreation
  • Schools
  • Non-profits
  • Hotels
  • Nature Centers
  • Camps
  • City/Government
  • Zoo

3rd tier

  • For-profit businesses
  • Chamber of Commerce
  • Churches

This is just a getting started guide. There may be great organizations in your community that should be on your calendar that we might have missed on our list. When it comes to recruiting organizations for your calendar, above all else, quality over quantity. Find the organizations that you know will do a great job of posting events with great descriptions and on a consistent basis. If you need any help along the way, reach out to the LocalHop team and we will be happy to help get you started or connect you with other community calendar users.