Remember when you had to go to your local bookstore or newsstand to find out what was going on in town? Those days might seem like ancient history now that entertainment guides have moved online.
Entertainment guides are close to our hearts here at Localist—we started as an entertainment guide for Baltimore city. Now that we’re offering our software to schools, media companies, non-profits, and more, we thought we’d circle back to our philosophy about what makes a good entertainment guide.
Our media clients like TBD and What Weekly use Localist’s calendar software to keep their users updated about concerts, art, and other events in the city. But what makes an entertainment guide stand out and have a better chance of being an integral part of helping people decide what to do and where to go? Read on for 6 indicators of a strong entertainment guide.
1. It’s easy to update
Maintaining an entertainment guide shouldn’t require a major investment of resources, which is why a good guide interface should be easy to update. With an intuitive interface, plus the ability to upload in bulk and pull in feeds from other sources, a good calendar will help you stay updated without headaches.
2. It’s easy to use
If your calendar isn’t easy to use, then no one will use it. A good entertainment guide will allow users to sign in through Facebook and won’t make you scroll through every day of the month to find interesting events. A user-friendly calendar will feature certain events and display images to go with them, so you know right away if you want to investigate further. Want to know where the event is? Google Maps will show you the location right on the page.
3. It connects with social networks
Social media is one of the best ways to get the word out about what’s going on, which is why your entertainment guide should be integrated with popular social media platforms. If your calendar can connect through Facebook, Twitter, and Foursquare, users can let friends know about the latest events. And seeing friends using the calendar will drive many more to start.
4. It highlights the most interesting events
Is there an important speaker coming to town? Is a popular singer having a concert somewhere downtown? Your entertainment guide should use trending algorithms to identify popular events and highlight them for your users. Your calendar can work as a promoter in addition to an organizer, helping to point users toward big events happening all around the city.
5. It lets you follow events
Odds are good that your organization publicizes more events than your users could possibly remember. That’s why the best entertainment guides let users choose which events they want to subscribe to for reminders and updates. Each user can tailor the entertainment guide to remind them about the events they really want to attend, making it more likely that they’ll actually engage with your content.
6. You can monetize it easily
An entertainment guide will drive a lot of traffic to your website. And if you know how to use it, that traffic can be turned into profit. By incorporating sponsored widgets, featured events, ads, and more, you can make your calendar part of your revenue. For more information, check out our blog post about how to monetize your online events calendar.
Ultimately, an entertainment guide should make it easy for users to learn about and share events so that the entire community can benefit.
Interested in learning more about entertainment guide best practices? Check out our eBook, “Why Your Online Calendar Should Be Social.”