Stuff goes on at your organization, and you need to tell people about it. That’s frequently the level of consideration people give their website calendar. That’s selling yourself short. Calendar tools, especially those that work on content management systems like Drupal, are full of features that can help you engage more people at your site and your events.
1. Automatically publish and expire events.
Sometimes you want to add events that don’t show up until they’re relevant. Maybe there’s a special launch you don’t want anyone to know about until a particular date, but you don’t want to have to remember to add it later. By scheduling your event to appear on a certain date, you don’t have to. You can also similarly set events to expire.
2. Subscribe to new events via RSS feeds.
If you have an RSS-using audience, they can subscribe to your calendar’s automatic RSS feed to find out what’s happening as soon as you add it.
3. Feature special events on your homepage.
Some events are really special, and you want them to show up on a particular page of your website, such as the homepage. You can have a Featured check box that lets you highlight events without having to redundantly enter them in two places.
4. Export events in iCalendar format.
ICalendar format allows you to share event information and display events in different programs, such as Microsoft Outlook or Google Calendar. You can have a tool that lets people automatically convert your website’s events in iCal format so they can easily add it to their personal calendars.
5. Add a date-picker to the homepage.
Rather than a plain link that says Calendar, add a little date-picker that lets people choose a date in the month and see what’s happening then.
6. Highlight what’s happening this hour, this day or this week.
Websites can look much more active if you can see what’s going on in the immediate future. Your website can automatically create lists to show what’s happening in set timeframes.
7. Set regular events to recur.
If you have a training session that happens every Tuesday of every month, you can add it once and have it appear on every Tuesday thereafter.
8. Create event categories.
Some of your events may appeal only to staff members, some may relate to holidays. You can create categories on each of your events to create classifications that show events that match only those categories.
If you have an event coming up that you need people to RSVP to, you can do it directly from your calendar.
Similarly, you might need people to register for an event. Why not include the sign-up form directly in the event itself?