A beginner’s guide to Google+ Events - PriceNFees
- On June 29, 2012
At Google IO 2012 the company announced major changes and updates to their social networking site Google+ with the intent of gathering more user engagement and end results. Google+ currently has over 250 Million Users out of which 150 million sign in daily spending an average of 12 minutes on the site. While there are lots to talk about these changes today’s post is particularly focus on Google+ Events where I am going to cover each and every step you need to know in order to use events and also present you with some possibilities of using this new feature for your online marketing. So let’s get started.
What is Google+ Events?
Google+ Events allows any user to start an online event and share moments with others like never before. What makes this so different from other typical event providers out there is its intuitive workflow of alerting users, sharing event updates and then storing the event as a pleasant memory so that you can view them later.
Other competitors like Facebook Events does not offer such intimate experience with their user interface. And not to mention the famous party mode that turns the occasion into a virtual livestream of photos and updates. Please note that you need to have the latest version of Android and iPhone Apps in order to use them. As for the web version you will find the new events icon on the Google+ Menu Bar.
How do I start an event?
Starting an event is fairly simple. All you need to do is go to the new Events tab on the left hand side of Google+ and from there click on the red button that says “Create an Event”. Once you do that a new window will popup where you can set some of the options as follows:
Select a Theme – You can choose from lots of different images that act as the main theme banner for the event just like the banner image for your normal Google+ Page. There are several animated GIF landscape images to choose from, all of which looks really great. You can even choose a stationary image or something totally customized from your Photos Folder. There is also an option for uploading a custom GIF for your theme. Note: Resolution for banner is 940px-180px.
Event Title – Right below the event theme selection you have a text box where you can set the Title for your occasion.
Event Options – Just beside the Title you will see a box that allows you to configure various event options which is broadly categorized as basic and advanced. In Basic Mode, you get the option of selecting whether Guests (whom you will be inviting) can send invites to other people and if they are allowed to upload photos or not.
In the Advanced tab, you can really customize whether the event is a Google Hangout only which means that it is a live event and offline submission is not allowed. Selecting the “Make Event on Air” means that the occasion is public and anyone can join your event. Lastly, you can also configure various other fields like a website URL, Ticket Seller URL, YouTube Video Links and Other parking information for the event by selecting Show Additional Information. The Image above illustrates the workflow of the entire process of event options pretty clearly.
Event Time – You can choose a time for your event to start and then select an end time by clicking the “Select End Time” Option.
Location – After deciding your time, you can add a location for your event which will show up on the Google+ Stream to those invited as a nice fold card animation along with an embedded maps image for that particular location.
Details – Add any other notes or details that you want your attendees to be informed about in this area.
Invites – The Last tab allows you to choose those whom you would like to invite from your circle. You can either start typing any name and related search results will show up below the box. You can even invite someone by simply typing their Email Address whether or not they are in Google+. All Invitations sent to others will show up in their notifications area. If someone uses Google+ from Android then their phone will actually vibrate when prompted with an event invite.
Once you are done setting up all the various fields, make sure you recheck them and then click on the green Invite Button to start the event.
The Events Page
The Events Page consist of a number of elements that focuses on segmenting and improving the before, present and after event functionalities. On Top the first thing you will notice is the cover image that looks absolutely gorgeous especially if you are using an animated one. Just below the cover you have the main event information where it shows the name and a blue arrow that can be clicked to open other vital info already mentioned on the event options section.
Here Google+ did something pretty sweet. You can directly click on the embedded maps image to get directions for that particular place on your Google Maps. On top you have the option of choosing whether you are going, maybe going or not going for the event. If you are the creator and also in the case of a public event the right hand bar allows you to invite others and see others who responded for the event. The entire layout is pretty neat and very easy to navigate.
In case you want to change certain details for the event then all you need to is select Actions then Edit Event from the top panel. Status Updates and Photos appear exactly like your Stream in real time and obviously you have the default options of commenting, reshare and +1 for any update.
Events on Android
Now that you know how to start an Event and share it with others on Chrome I thought I would give you guys a demo for all those features running on Android. Instead of writing I made a video on my SGS2 allowing you to understand it quickly and easily. With the android app you have one very special feature called Party Mode that shows all photos and updates into a live cover flow like interface.
Ending you Google+ Event
Once you are done enjoying and sharing your event it will automatically end after the timeframe is over. You can view the entire event in its own page and the photos, updates etc. looks gorgeous. Google+ also gives you a list of all photographers who contributed photos for the event. In case you want to delete a particular event select Action > Delete This Event. If you wanna avoid comments cause there are lots of them then you can even select Disable Comments from the same Action tab.
Event Sync with Google Calendar
Google+ also allows you to sync Events with your Google calendar. On any event tab hover on the top right hand side and right below the Going/Not Going Button there is a blue link that shows Check Availability. Click on that and you will be presented with all your meetings for the event time. Once you do confirm that you are going a new calendar entry will automatically be created for that particular event.
Browsing Other Events
Any event that you are sent an invitation for will automatically appear on the Events panel. However, you can also browse for additional parties, conference etc. matching your interest and location using the Find More Events Option on the right hand side of the Events tab. Here it shows you a list of all public events matching your interest. Keep Exploring.
How to Use Google+ Events for Marketing
I am in the final part of my Google+ Events guide and by now I hope that you understood all the options required to create and execute a successful event. Over the last couple of hours I am getting a lot of questions where people are asking how they can use this new Google+ feature for Marketing their sites or small business. Well, here are a few tips that I think will help you understand the concept:
- Think of a catchy event name
- Share Event with Like Minded People
- Add a Custom Event Banner showing your brand rather than the default ones out there.
- Add Links to your website and relevant YouTube Videos.
- Keep the conversation hot with questions and ask opinions from others related to your topic.
- Work on a Conversion Plan for turning interested attendees into customers.
- Keep Experimenting
This concludes my short guide on the new Google+ Events and I hope this article is useful to all of you trying to experiment with the new service. If you have any questions, doubts etc. then feel free to comment below and I will surely get back to you. As a sign of appreciation for my post you can share this with your friends in Facebook, Twitter or Google+ .
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