Remote events calendar software describes a server-hosted application that provides calendar-based event management services to clients via the internet. It is unlikely that any two events or indeed any two events-organising users would have identical requirements, and yet all clients will rely on the same system to manage their diverse events. It therefore goes without saying that the design and implementation of such software will of necessity proffer enough capabilities and capacity to accommodate most requirements. Calendars are all around us in the office and at home. For any events calendar software to worth the effort, it should not only offer enough incentives to divert the attention of potential users from that beautifully pictured calendar hanging on the wall across the room, but also provide each client with adequate and robust capabilities to facilitate their events. It should also offer virtual ownership of their calendar, events, and account, as well as friendly user interface, and affordability.
Each user organization’s events calendar should be accessible from their website, retaining the brand image of the organisation in their events calendar page so that visitors will not feel diverted to an alien website. The implication of this is that they should have the choice to use their logo, name of their organisation and retain some colours of their website.
Each client organisation should have a full ownership of their account, and be in control of every text and image that is visible to their web visitors. They should be able to specify the dimensions of the images they display, change their passwords and create new users. There should also be a link back to the user’s home page which is a form of reciprocal link between service provider and client.
Event Delegate Registration
The amount of event-related information associated with each calendar date is user-dependent, and may range from mere event title and date to a gamut of details associated with the event such as event description, pictures and video clips, delegates registration form, payments and contact. Remote events calendar software should be able to capture all such information but leaving it open to each user to take the decision on how much information to put out to visitors or request from them.
Use of online registration forms as a tool to gather information is a very important part of most events and should be available. Where this is needed, the form should be simple and event-specific – displaying the title and brief description of event, venue, contact person, joining instructions, (pictures/video clips associated with the event). It may also provide facility for registered delegates to update their details. Registration should be automatically acknowledged. Closing date for registration and the maximum expected delegate number must be enforced by the system.
Communication with Delegates
Each client event organiser should have full access to their delegates’ registration details. In the event of changes in programme, date or even cancellation, event organiser should be able to send message to all registered delegates with minimum effort. Events calendar software should therefore, provide this capability by accessing delegates’ email addresses from the data storage backend system.
There is no hard-fixed price for any events calendar software but in general may depend on a combination of factors – capabilities provided, online traffic attracted by event, number of registration recorded, services provided, software licence, market forces etc.
The generally accepted basic structure of a calendar needs no further improvements. Trying to alter this will only put off potential users who already have a pre-conceived notion of what they are looking for. This basic structure however, may be embellished with pictures of events for the date for easy location and nifty presentation, in addition to event title. The details of the event(s) on any day can be revealed by a click on the date. This ensures that the calendar structure is not burdened with information clutter.
This write-up is expected to help both events organisers and software developers venturing into this area. There exists a number of events management software that offer far more capabilities than mentioned here, but this is expected to highlight the minimum requirements needed to run an event effectively.
I am a software developer and information management consultant. I have worked for Cancer Research UK, University of Oxford, both in England, and a number of other charities. I have implemented online information management systems including multi-user online events calendar software, as well as involved in real events management using online systems. Visit my website at http://www.customqsoftware.com/events/