Pondering an Online Event Calendar? Best Make Time for It

It’s not often those working in higher education on the web get a huge vote of confidence for spending time and money on any one particular feature. For those committed to providing accurate calendar information, that time may be now.

More than 92 percent of colleges and university find an online event calendar helpful, according to a recent survey conducted by Localist. Those numbers echo the 2012 E-Expectations Report in which 90 percent of college-bound students said an online calendar was worthwhile.

If you’re making decisions based on the 80-20 rule, focusing time and attention on an online calendar becomes a no-brainer.

So it should come as no surprise that 68 percent of survey respondents said an online event calendar was the most useful feature of a school’s website — well ahead of academic information (53 percent); news (48 percent); student and faculty directory (45 percent); map (30 percent); and, athletics information (21 percent).

And while getting people to recognize the importance value of an online calendar may be easy, the true challenge lies in getting them to submit information for it. Only a quarter of survey respondents said they ever entered an event on their respective institution’s calendar.

In the end, the data suggests your audience is looking for three things from an institution’s online event calendar:

  1. Reminders about the events they want to attend. More than 80 percent indicated it was important to receive reminders about events in which they’re interested; 59 percent of respondents said they would like to hear about those events via an email newsletter.

  2. A central place they can rely on for event information. A majority of respondents (56 percent) said that seeing all events in one place was their favorite feature of an event calendar.

  3. More detail about the events already listed. Providing greater detail on events was the most popular response (61 percent) when survey respondents were asked what was the best way to improve an online calendar.

Looking to launch an online calendar of your own? Here are a few we’ve worked with in the past: