By Don Nicholas • 03/17/2014
10 event websites that can get you listed in Google and extend your reach to the conference-going community
In-person, live events are a preferred platform in a multiplatform publishing company. When a passionate user is committed to a topic, they want to go to the source; the author, the guru, the expert who really knows the content. They want an interactive presentation. They want to be able to ask questions, see facial expressions and body language. They want to connect with the expert about what they know.
Publishers have grown into this niche rapidly, providing all of the above for their loyal readers.
- Beadwork magazine hosts Bead Fest.
- Folio hosts Media Next and Media Mashup.
- Forbes hosts the CMO Summit.
- HOW hosts the How Design Conference.
- Dwell hosts Dwell on Design.
- Farm Progress hosts the Farm Progress Show.
- Lucky hosts Luckyfabb.
- WineMaker hosts the WineMaker Magazine Conference.
- Entrepreneur hosts GrowthCon.
- Wired hosts Wired BizCon.
- … you get the idea.
Of course, the event platform can vary, in terms of the actual experience to include everything from a one-to-one conversation, that we might call consulting or mentoring, to something one-to-many that’s still interactive; a small workshop, like the live events we present at Mequoda Group, or a large conference, like Beadwork’s Bead Fest.
Similarly, there’s a remarkable willingness to attend concerts, even though for little more than nothing the music can be downloaded. Music lovers want the live experience.
While press releases are still recommended for your events, we’re finding that dedicated event websites are showing up more prominently in Google. When we spend the time to add the Mequoda Intensive to event listing websites, we can conquer the entire first page of Google for our targeted keywords because our page and all of the event listing pages show up.
This isn’t to say that press releases are not effective for events—they are. Some event websites want to be the resource for all events and will list your event on their own, once they’ve found your press release online. For example, MyEventGuru.com is an example of a site that will pull content from press releases and add you to their site automatically. The perk is that this is actually a paid events site. The last time we posted an event press release, the event showed up in dozens of locations on the site and even landed on their front page. And thanks to our press release, we didn’t pay a dime.
If you’ve been here before, you know that we’ve been updating this article since 2009 to keep it current. In terms of updates in this round, we are excited to add Lanyrd and see great updates to Facebook events. Sadly, LinkedIn no longer supports event listings; they suggest promoting your events through posts to your profile. Another old site on this list was Confabb which appears to be too unreliable to keep on the list. AllConferences.com used to be our top runner, but they now charge $9.99 for a basic listing.
B2B Event Listing Websites
If your event is focused toward professionals, consider using some of the event listing websites that are used more by this target audience.
Lanyrd is a hip new addition to the free event listings crowd. You’re able to create an event quickly and make it as detailed as you want. You can add speakers by searching their profiles on Twitter or LinkedIn, you can add descriptions for each of your sessions and your venue location. It’s definitely one of the best-looking sites on this list and extremely easy to use.
Eventbrite is more of a ticketing website than a listing website, but one does follow the other. They allow you to register users and collect money for your tickets using their system. If the event is free, they don’t charge you a dime. Additionally, they have an app that allows you to check people in at the door. Once your event is in the system you’re automatically listed in their directory. Eventbrite is hugely popular in the tech event community. Picatic is a competitor.
On some event sites, you can submit your event information and it will be listed on the site as well as anywhere else that syndicates content from the site. The best example of this type of website is Zvents. When you list your site on Zvents, popular sites that use Zvents as their event listing engine pick it up. When we submitted a Mequoda Event to Zvents, sites like Boston.com among tons of local newspaper sites picked it up. Zvents is a good option for both B2B and B2C events even though it’s a fairly basic listing. You can add more features (like a photo) if you pay.
B2C Event Listing Websites
If you cater to a more consumer audience, these sites work better for general audiences. Meetup.com is another type of event site, although we didn’t see it as a good professional fit, so we left it out of the review below.
This venue and restaurant review community has an event section that lists local events that get listed in the community calendar. Members can also say whether or not they’re attending the event and review the event when it’s ended. As a (free) member of Yelp, you can list events in the closest big city to the event.
Eventful is owned by MTV and is very popular for music, community and educational events. This site has an email newsletter that reminds users of upcoming events in their area. This is definitely more of a consumer-based website and would be recommended for charity, free promotional events or even a booth promotion at large events. They do, however also have a “conference” section where you can list professional events. So far it seems underutilized, however it offer more free features (photos, social media links, etc.) than many competitors.
Facebook Pages can now create events, and these events even get their own pages. Naturally, they are set up to be promoted quickly and easily with an ad budget, but they’re also free to set up and promote yourself. Like pages, you can choose a featured image.
One other bit of advice is to look for local enthusiasts in your niche. In Boston, we have BostonTweetup, hosted by Joselin Mane, who curates an ongoing listing of Tweetups in the Boston and New England area. He keeps an ongoing calendar listing of upcoming events and sends event shout-outs and updates to his list of over 16K followers. Try to find people like this in your area.
Other sites you might find helpful:
DevTownStation – A tech conference and webinar listing site. Low traffic but lots of opportunity.
Gary’s Guide – A NYC tech events calendar that’s a bit legendary.
EventSetter.com – Another location to publicize your events.
Eventyard – Helps people find events they’ll like based on their profile and preferences.
Also please read some of the helpful comments below; there are lots of other good sites that didn’t make the list but might work well for your specific list.
You may also find opportunities to list events in your local newspaper websites. Many business and community newspapers like Crain’s Detroit Business accept event listings online.
Try using the search term “submit your event” to find even more links.
Originally written January 2009 and updated every year. Amanda MacArthur contributed to this article.
Posted in Multiplatform Publishing Strategy