Web tools enhance promotions for in-person campaign

The Web may have changed the way we interact with one another, but it hasn't yet alleviated the need to interact face-to-face.

The Web may have changed the way we interact with one another, but it hasn't yet alleviated the need to interact face-to-face. So - in the business world, at least - real-life events of every type remain crucial to various corporations and organizations.

What the Internet has changed, however, are the ways in which these groups can promote and market their events. The ability to target specific audiences is now greater than ever before. Among the new tools available expressly for this purpose is Zvents, which features a database and search tool for events around the country.

"Events allow those businesses to draw folks off the Internet," says Paul O'Brien, director of marketing for Zvents. "So what we're doing makes local search a viable ad medium for businesses offline. It invents a new way you can effectively advertise your store."

Zvents started several years ago as a technology platform without any focus on events. But O'Brien says six months ago the company began to harness the event angle when it realized the technology could be used to localize and organize a vast wealth of information that was already online.

Not only does the company now have major newspapers as clients, but it has encouraged companies to use the technology as a way to improve search results online.

O'Brien gives the example of REI's Saratoga, CA, store. A Google search for that store now turns up four event announcements in the first five results.

Sandra Alan, a board member for the Association for Women in Communications, points out that new tools allow promoters to not only be more targeted in terms of audience, but also to ultimately have more control over how the event is promoted.

The association has used an e-mail platform for several years that allows flexibility in communications. "If you want to send something out to members whose membership has lapsed, you can do that," she says.

With technology allowing more flexibility and greater ability to reach your targeted audience, Alan says that the success of events can only improve, which just might mean we'll all be meeting face-to-face a little longer.

Key points:

A new search tool, Zvents, organizes and localizes an event's information

Search tools can also improve links on search engines like Google

As technology continues to improve, it increases an organization's ability to find niche target audiences

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