A Tale of Four Events

As webmaster for three guilds, event organizers often ask me to spread the word.

I usually agree. Advertising other groups and events, and linking to their websites (as long as they’re of interest to our audience) helps everyone. People search for them and find us. When visitors then click from our site to the event site, rather than immediately closing our site, Google learns that we provide useful links, and also that people want to see the other site. Win for the other site, for us, and for the audience who easily found the information.

Sometimes, though, it just doesn’t seem worth the effort.

Event 1

Hi Site Owner. Here’s a five-page letter describing our event. Date and location are buried in it somewhere, maybe. Please let your members know. We don’t have a website, or if we do it’s impossible to find event information on it.

My reaction: Is it worth my time to find where and when, only to learn it’s a call for entries to an international juried show, well beyond the talents of our members? Or to reduce your letter to fit our calendar format? And what about the information that cannot be squeezed into our format? That should be on their site, not ours.

Event 2

Hi Site Owner. Here is a poster for our great event. You can read the details on it, unless you have senior eyes.

My reaction: Is it worth my time to open the image to see if the event would interest our members? And then to type that information so it fits our calendar format?

(Side Note: Search engines cannot, yet, reliably read images. Posters grab the eye, but text is still needed.)

Event 3

Hi Site Owner, Please let your members know of our event at Local Venue on Date.

My reaction: What city? Is it close enough to interest our members? Many people send word of these events to all their friends, regardless of country.

Event 4

Hi Site Owner, Please let your members know of our event. A poster is attached.

The Wonderful Event will be at 6pm on July 3, at The Beautiful Venue, 123 Main Street, Nearby City.
email@email.com, phone number, www.example.com

Another hundred words describing it.

And another three hundred words if you have room.

My reaction: Yes, the event will be of interest to our members. Five minutes to forward to my guild’s email list, move things around to fit our format, put it on our calendar, and copy over as much extra text as fits. If the event is as well-organized and respectful of my time as the ad, I know our members will enjoy it.

I mentioned calendar format several times. Look at several community calendars, online and on paper. Most list time and date, informative event title, cost, age range if unclear, host group, venue title and location, and links to the event, host group, and venue. Plus a few words to flesh it out. Spend the time to write your request properly. Every calendar editor will thank you for saving them time.