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Streamlining Your Organization's Calendars

Streamlining Your Organization’s Event Calendars

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When working with non-profits and event management companies, one of the most common challenges we see is in managing the organization’s event calendars. Many times, fast-growing organizations have evolved around separate solutions for their internal calendars (e.g. Outlook), attendee calendar subscriptions (e.g. iCal or Google Calendar), and their website’s calendar (managed independently, through their CMS). If you’re one of those organizations, let’s take a step back and look at an easy way to streamline them.

For starters, if you’re still using locally-deployed legacy apps like Outlook and MS-Office, we highly recommend switching to Google’s cloud-based suite. It costs only $5/month per user, and provides benefits like:

  • Automatically updated cloud-based apps, compatible with whatever you’re using now.
  • Cloud-based storage that alleviates availability & backup concerns.
  • Gmail, Calendar, Drive, Hangouts and other apps that you’re probably already using on your phone.

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But of course, Google also provides its Calendar app to users of its free services, and the free version will provide the features and flexibility we’re discussing here.

Next, take advantage of Google Calendar’s ability to set up different calendars. Don’t worry, they’ll all be part of your main calendar; just think of them as calendar categories. This is a key feature that is often overlooked. You can set up different calendars for yourself, your employees, your website, your sponsors, your attendees, and more. Then these different calendars can be color-coded on your own master calendar, and shared independently (via URL) with your co-workers, attendees, and others.

Finally, if your website is on WordPress, you can easily add a plugin like The Events Calendar by Modern Tribe, which will allow you to import any of those individual Google Calendars via URL, and schedule regular, automated imports in the future, to ensure that your website stays up-to-date. This particular plugin provides multiple end-user views, responsive to any screen size. And while the plugin offers many premium add-ons to expand its functionality, the free version will suffice for the purposes described in this post.

The solutions suggested above are all free and relatively easy to set up yourself. But, of course, if you have additional questions or would prefer to get help streamlining and integrating your organization’s calendars, PixelPeople is a Google partner and provides expert WordPress customization services–we’d love to hear from you.

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