During summer 2020, a group of LR staff and faculty from Hickory, Asheville and Columbia reviewed and demoed three campus calendar platforms: Localist, LiveWhale and Trumba. Two calendars stood out: Localist and LiveWhale. Both platforms are used heavily by colleges and universities.
We are pleased to announce that Localist has been selected as LR’s new campus calendar. During December and January, Marketing and Communications will work to populate the calendar with content and switch over the calendar on the current website to Localist. As part of the redesign project, Localist will be integrated into the new website.
Sometime in January 2021, we will begin promoting the calendar within the university community. We will schedule a couple “tech talks” and walk event organizers through how to add events to the calendar. However, no training is needed to submit events to the calendar since it offers a simple, easy to use event submission form.
Localist Calendar Highlights
Localist is a robust event marketing platform that will greatly expand the visibility of university events at all LR campus locations. Included below is the listing of the calendar features that were identified at the start of our search for a new calendar. Localist supports all of these features and more.
Branded to LR
Calendar design matches with LR brand and follows LR branding guidelines (colors, typography, logo use and style). Events should look good and appear consistently from one event to the next. Initially, the new calendar will feature an “out-of-the-box” design, but will be redesigned to match the new, redesigned LR website when it launches in early August 2021.
Event SEO is a top priority. All events should be easily findable by internal and external search engines.
Event Submission Form and Publishing Approval Workflow
Anyone with an LR campus network ID is able to submit a university event to the campus calendar (after properly reserving space for their event). All events submitted to the calendar go through a publishing approval workflow to ensure compliance with calendar policies and guidelines.
Event Categories, Event Tags and Audiences
Ability to group events by event category, e.g., lecture, performance, and by audience, e.g., students, faculty/staff, alumni, public, etc.
Calendar offers a robust, easy to use event search.
Individual Event Landing Pages
Each event has its own short, unique URL so it can be easily shared via print, email or on social media.
Separate Calendars for Each Campus
Each LR campus has its own campus calendar so site visitors aren’t forced to look through events not offered on their specific campus. The new calendar should offer separate calendars for Hickory, Asheville, Columbia and LTSS.
Multi-Day Event Calendars
Offer the ability to group multiple events under separate, linkable calendars, e.g., Homecoming, Reunion, Family Weekend, Commencement, Visitor Writing Series, MLK Day Events, etc.
Public, Hidden and Private Calendars
Events can be displayed publicly, hidden and only accessible through a shared URL or posted privately (require authentication through a LR account).
Calendar can handle multiple-day events so they don’t overwhelm the calendar and inhibit calendar visitors from seeing single-day events.
Display Events from Other Calendars
Events from other calendars should also be displayed through the main university campus calendar. The new calendar should offer the ability to import events via RSS feeds to the campus calendar.
Calendar provides a Google map for each event location and driving directions.
Calendar visitors can create a calendar account so they can follow events of interest and be notified of event changes.
Separate Pages for University Groups
Each group on campus that organizes events should have their own unique group page that provides information about the group and lists out all upcoming and past events offered by the group.
Separate Pages for Each Event Location
Each location (building or room) should offer its own marketing page that provides information about the space and links to all current and past events scheduled in the space.
Online RSVP, Registration or Tickets
Calendar allows linking to other websites for event registration or offers ability to register or buy tickets through the calendar system.
Built-in email event marketing where calendar administrators can send a weekly email to campus groups and subscribers presenting a 30-day view of events approved to the calendar. Or offer calendar RSS feeds that allow for the use of a third-party email marketing service like Mailchimp.
An open API allows for events to be integrated within the new website’s content management system and through a separate intranet site.
LR faculty, staff and students should be able to easily login to the calendar with their campus network account (to submit events or create a calendar account for following events of interest).
Accessible to all Visitors
Calendar complies with federal website accessibility requirements and is accessible to all visitors—the visually and hearing impaired, those with mobility issues who don’t use a mouse, etc.