For as much as people like to complain that there's nothing to do in their city, the reality is there are often many events happening that the public just haven't heard of. Spreading the word about local events to people who might be interested can be a challenge online marketers, despite the large number of apps and services designed to promote events. Google is hoping to help business owners and consumes by adding new functions to it's event search feature.
Google announced their new plans for updated calendar and event search features in a blog post at the end of July. The features should be active sometime in August, which is a somewhat strange maneuver, since that means it's too late to be used to help parents, teens and college students find things to do during summer vacation.
"If you're on the hunt for activities to fill your summer calendar, we're making it even easier to find events in Search," explained Emily Fifer, a Product Manager at Google. "Last year we introduced a new way to look for events near you, and over the next few days we'll be adding new features to give you personal recommendations, along with more information about events that interest you."
One of the main improvements is that when consumers search on their phone for things like "events near me" or "free concert" in the U.S., they'll get a list of events using information from a variety of sites. Addiotionally, they will now get key information about the event, right on Search.
When Google users tap on an event they're interested in, they'll get an overview of the event details such as time, location, ticketing providers and other information that will help searcher decide whether to attend. The search card will contain the external links to follow the links to buy tickets from the provider of your choice (if multiple ticket purchase outlets are available).
While much of this information will answer many of the main questions users have about the event, Google will still make it easy to go straight to the event's webpage for more information. Similarly, they've tried to make it easy to save events and share them with others.
Another useful new feature, though some might find it a bit unsettling, involves personalized recommendation. Google will help users discover events based on your interests (i.e. browsing data). While browsing the events, users will be able to tap the "For You" tab to get personalized ideas for things to do near them. They'll also see trending and popular events in your area to keep you in the loop on the hottest happenings. It will be interesting to see how Google handles the suggested events. Though Google has probably thought of this, it might be a problem if the suggests events that reveal more about the person's interests and hobbies than they expected.
One of the benefits of these new event search features is that they can be easily integrated into a larger event marketing campaign. So long as the information for the event you wish to market is hosted on a platform that Google scans for local events, then Google's new tool will automatically increase the reach of your event because it will be easier to stumble onto for consumers looking for local events. So it's a win-win for event marketers.
Though it can be used in tandem with other event marketing tools, Google's improved event search tool will be a legitimate challenger to the event marketing tools on other platforms. By providing as much information as possible on the search card for the event, consumers may be less likely to visit the Facebook event page or EventBrite listing. But so long as it increases the number of event attendees and ticket sales, marketers shouldn't be too concerned about shifting traffic from one platform to another.
While it's a little late to expect much help from the feature during the remaining of summer 2018, now is the time to become familiar with the new tools so marketers can get the most of the event search tool in time for the holiday season.
For more marketing news and information that can help business owners, read this article on some recent changes at YouTube that will platform users.