LOCAL news is the top reason people subscribe to a community newspaper, according to an Ad Age/Ipsos Observer American Consumer survey. At the same time, a shift toward an experience economy shows no signs of slowing. In fact, a 2014 Harris Poll on behalf of Eventbrite reported that 78% of millennials preferred to spend money on an experience or event over a material purchase. The report also indicated this trend extends beyond millennials, with a 70% increase in the relative share of U.S. consumer spending on live experiences and events. Respondents reported that attending events made them feel “more connected to other people, the community, and the world.”
These consumer trends toward local engagement and experiences place community publications in a uniquely favorable position. Making your publication a lead voice in local events and entertainment is one way you can strengthen this position and solidify your role as a trusted and reliable local resource. Events like concerts and theater performances, fairs and festivals, classes and workshops, grand openings and open houses, fun runs and fundraisers, school and church events, and date night or midweek specials from local restaurants are the lifeblood of a vibrant and connected community. Making sure you’re the go-to connection between these events and your local community presents enormous potential for advertising revenue and sustained audience engagement.
While many publications recognize the value local event advertising presents, organizing, producing and generating revenue through event calendars has proved an ongoing challenge for most. A new automated online marketing platform by Evvnt and Metro Creative Graphics, Inc. has changed all of that for a number of local publications, including The Island Now of Nassau County, NY. The Island Now began using automated print and online calendars from Evvnt and Metro to monetize their event listings in January 2019. The program invites marketers to submit their own events to The Island Now’s online calendar free of charge. The publication can then offer marketers a variety of easy-to-implement print, digital and voice upsell opportunities. The ability to reverse-publish their online calendar to a ready-to-run print calendar provides a recurring revenue stream from premium event advertisers and a marketing tool for the online calendar, which features all events and links to each.
The Island Now’s reinvented role as the local go-to event resource is both a hit with local readers and a door to new sales opportunities. Steven Blank, President and Publisher of Blank Slate Media, operator of theislandnow.com, says, “Evvnt’s service fulfills a need in the marketplace that we didn’t even know was there. There are dozens and dozens of people who we’re speaking with now that we haven’t had the opportunity to meet before. We’re building relationships with new clients because we can offer a product our competitors don’t have, and we can sell it along with our packages like print products, email blasts and digital.”
In addition to providing publications with an online event calendar platform that reverse-publishes to print and voice, Evvnt provides a user-friendly CMS for both sales teams and editors, as well as automated email marketing. Participating event marketers receive free syndication to top event listing sites around the web, giving them added incentive to submit events, and giving publications an opportunity to provide them with valuable print upsell opportunities.
You can learn more about monetizing your event advertising and making your publication the epicenter of local experiences by emailing [email protected].