What is an Event and How To Publish The Best Event Content

September 30 2015

Everyone hopes to attract more people to their site by owning the best content. The better the content, the more people will come to your site to view it. But what does ‘best’ mean in terms of content, and how can having the best content help your website grow? The best content means relevant, timely, and consistent content. In order to improve the value of your site, you have to post content that resonates with your readers. 
That’s why event calendars can be such a great tool for attracting viewers to your website because event content is fresh, meaning that it is curated every day, relevant because it helps people find things to do as they are searching for them, and is consistent because new events are always around the corner. Event calendars help drive traffic to your website, but even then, you only want the best events listed on your site so that your viewers find your calendar helpful. So what makes some event content better than others and what types of events should be included in a community event calendar?
An Event Is:
Event Definition
In general terms, an event is a public gathering for a specific purpose. This broad definition gathers in most things we include as events, but at the same time, is too generic and must be refined down to ensure the best content is making it onto your website. 
When determining if something is an event or not, there are three general principles to look at:
Time Clock
Time - An event has a specific date and time scheduled for its duration. Events can be spontaneous, spur of the moment happenings or planned out far in advance. As long as there is a specific date and time scheduled, it is considered an event. Some events are recurring, and that is just fine. If you host a concert every Tuesday night, that still counts as an event. 
Open To the Public - An event is noteworthy and is open to the general public. If an event is closed to the general public, there is no reason to list it on a community calendar. This type of content turns away readers, or leaves them feeling discouraged or excluded. The goal of any event should be to welcome and invite others to come and attend, even if there is a price tag involved. 
Location - An event takes place at a specific, physical location. While many things from webinars to gaming forums happen online, these would not be considered events. An event is meant to get you out of the house and into a public and social setting to at least some degree. Locations are necessary for approving any event onto an event calendar.
In other words, you should be able to schedule an event on a calendar, pinpoint it on a map, and anybody should be able to attend it. 
Here are a few examples of activities that would be considered an event:
• Concerts
• Sports (High School – Professional)
• Fairs/Festivals/Carnivals
• Theatre Shows
• Parades
• Celebrity/Author Signings
• Farmers’ or Flea Markets
• Community Swap Meets
• Town Hall Meetings
• Charity & Fundraising Galas
• Exhibits (Nationally Touring or Specific End Dates)
• Movies at a Non-Movie Location (Premieres and Film Festivals)
If tournaments, parties, celebrations, and conventions are open to the public, it is also considered an event ready for the calendar. Remember, everybody should be included in order to make your calendar great. A dinner party for a couple friends is not an activity that will draw attention to your calendar, and will, in fact, hurt it. We try and do away with those submissions whenever we stumble upon them.
An Event Is Not: 
To bring a little bit more clarity on what an event truly is, it is important to understand that attractions do not equal events. Attractions such as monuments, state parks, hiking trails, ski resorts, amusement parks, and more are not considered events. Attractions are usually year round or seasonal places you can visit that appeal to tourists and and visitors. These attractions can be found on many places throughout the web, and maybe you want to include a separate page on your site for them, but they would fill up the events calendar daily if they were always included into the community calendar, making people sift through too much information of things they aren’t looking for.
Google Attractions
However, many of these places such as national parks, zoos, and theme parks can be turned into venues for events if they host a gala, dinner, or fair at these locations. 
Here are a list of attractions for more clarification, that are not considered events:
• Monuments, Structures and Edifices
• Boats/Cruise Ships/Ferries 
• Theme and Amusement Parks
• Activity Locations (Hikes, Ski Resorts, Swimming Holes)
• Booths within Carnivals/Fairs/Festivals
• City/State/National Parks
• Movies in Movie Theaters
• Private Clubs (AA Meetings)
• Permanent Exhibits
• Tours
• Landmarks and Sightseeing Areas
An event is not a promotion or a sale. Sometimes companies will call their sales “year end events” or something similar, however, these types of promotions are not put onto event calendars. Yes, they provide value, but when people are searching community calendars for something fun to do, they usually aren’t looking for sales. Promotions can come across as spammy, and people are already overloaded with spam as it is. An event calendar should be a place where people find exactly what they are looking for without being blasted by marketing messages. We try and remove the clutter so people can sort through their interests quickly and easily find what they are looking for. 
Year End Event - Not and Event
Here are a list of promotions that are not considered events. Events are not:
• % or $ off a product or service
• Fundraisers (Such as Girl Scouts selling Girl Scout Cookies)
• Forms of Coupons
• Donations
• Going Out of Business Sale
• BOGOs (Buy One, Get One)
• Free Products or Services
• Exchanges (Bring This, Get This)
To sum this all up, an event has a time, location, and is open to the general public. When you think of an event, think of things you like to do on the weekend, such as go to a play or concert, attend the fair, go to an arts festival, and more. It’s quite simple, but following these guidelines will help improve the quality of your calendar immensely. 
Now that we know what is or is not an event, let’s take a look at the three different types of events that will draw new and returning audiences to your site:
Tier 1 Events
Tier 1 Event - Taylor Swift
Tier 1 Events are nationally or internationally known events. We are talking about large scale events such as U2 or Taylor Swift concert tours, Apple’s or Google’s annual products convention, Oktoberfest, professional sports, and more. These are the big events you probably already know about, but maybe you are missing a few of the details. These types of events should always be included on a calendar, as they have big names that draw in big attention.  
Tier 2 Events
Days of '47 Parade - Tier 2 Event
Tier 2 Events are state or regionally known. These events are usually statewide, regionally touring, or you’d know about them being here domestically, but not necessarily overseas. These are events like smaller touring bands, a touring museum exhibit, the 30th Annual Sportsman Expo, and collegiate sports. These events are fun and carry a lot of excitement with them, and many people keep an eye on these events and look forward to them coming to their area. 
Tier 3 Events
Tier 3 Events - Porch Fest
Tier 3 Events are the community, town and neighborhood events that people go to and attend all the time. These are the events that happen at fairgrounds, county fairs, city days, car shows, high school sports, town commemoration days, and other hyper local events. These are the types of events that locals really love to attend. Tier 3 Events may not be known outside of a city or community, but they draw out the local crowd and bring them together. These events happen very frequently and are what locals are looking for almost every night of the week. 
The three different tiers don’t correlate into different levels of importance. Each tier has significant value for the community you serve, and most people attend all three types of events. These are the events that should be included in your community calendar to fill people's lives with activities and memories. Remember, the point of serving people good event content is to improve the quality of their lives. The easier the calendar is to navigate and find the right event, the more people will return to use it time and time again.