Lately, we've been looking for places to get the word out about the Tri-Valley Jazz Trio event on January 5th, along with promotions for the PJS (Pleasanton Jazz Society).
Considering many of our subscribers and members are in close connection to jazz events, and many others have connection to other events, here are some places to get the word out. Starting off, we have the easiest-to-use websites, and last, the most complicated websites to list. If numerous sites are all easy to use, we'll go by price.
It only seems fair to give other Tri-Valley Jazz users an idea of event posting websites. We're also omitting social media sites like Twitter and Facebook, although Facebook can be used to promote events.
We have a forum where you can tell us about jazz events in the area. Only jazz events will be listed on Tri-Valley Jazz's events calendar.
We still hold to this one as the easiest to use and probably the best event promoter out there. It's a local website, and only operates for the Bay Area. Therefore, however, not so many people visit the website, and there is a small audience to capture. However, Fogster makes its events easier to find than Patch and other online event submission websites.
You can also sign up, although you don't need to sign up to post events.
How to Use Fogster
First, go to fogster.com. One you're there, find the yellowish-green menu bar on the left of the website. Click on the text "Place an Ad". Once it shows the categories for postings, enter "Bulletin Board" and "Announcements". From here, you'll have to enter the region and town of the event.
It then gives posters a space to add general information about the event. If you like, you can also add images. You will also have to enter your email.
You can pay about $15 more to have your event featured (it'll stay at the at the top of event listings), but our assumption is that this is not really worth the money when one can just scroll down and find the same information for several dollars less.
Finally, there is a somewhat annoying (or helpful if you're willing to pay!) section at the end. When you click "Preview Ad", it will ask you if want to put the ad in a local newspaper. Scroll to the bottom and click "No thanks. I don't want my ad to appear in the newspaper. It'll ask you once more, but click "Finalize my posting" to finish the post - that is, unless you want the ad to appear in a newspaper! If you do, obviously, click "Continue to Newspaper Ad and Costs".
Fogster will then send you an email with a link. Click the link, and your posting will be on Fogster.
Patch is one of America's main news sources. It is divided into numerous pages for each community - and for Tri-Valley residents, Dublin, Pleasanton, and Livermore all have these pages, which are known as "Patches". You can post upcoming events on Patch, along with other things.
How to Use Patch
First, sign up if you don't have an account. The usual email, name, and password are required, along with a few other fields. Account creation is free.
Once you're signed up or logged in, go to a website called My Patch. It gives you four actions you can do: write an article, post an event, make an announcement, or add a job listing. Those posting an event of course want to create an event. So click "post an event" to begin the posting.
Once again, name, date, time, and general description are necessary, along with an option to add an image if one prefers. And like Fogster, you can have the event featured, but this time for $20. This is a slightly better deal, as you get your event post on your local Patch home page rather than just having it on the events calendar, and you can get the word about your event to about twenty other local Patches.
If you don't want pay the $20, simply click "Post Now" below the general description. Then go back to your local town Patch, and click the button on the right that says "See More Events Near You". Click through until you find the date of your event in the calendar section, and . . . the event won't be there. You have to wait an hour or so before the listing loads onto the local Patch.
Eventbrite is really more of a ticket system than anything else. You can create an event and issue tickets for that event. Just remember, if you want to charge for your tickets, Eventbrite may end up with more money than you.
How to Use Eventbrite
Much like Patch, you'll first need an account. One you have an account, go to the Eventbrite home page, and the find the words "CREATE EVENT" in the top-right corner of the website. Click it, and the usual event options will show up, except for one thing: there are tickets.
Tickets were a problem when we and the PJS used this website for the Trio event posting on January 5th. One alternative is to select "Free Tickets", and then state below in the description that physical tickets won't actually be handed out. As we said earlier, you can charge for tickets, but remember that charging for tickets is how Eventbrite gets their money - in other words, charging for tickets will cost you money but hopefully make you money as well when the people turn up for the event.
When you're done posting the event, go to the bottom of the page and click "MAKE YOUR EVENT LIVE". Events are fairly easy to find on Eventbrite, so you won't have the same problems as you did with Patch. Otherwise, though, Eventbrite can be a little trickier to use, and, in some cases, more expensive.
The Pleasanton Jazz Society has a Meetup page, but the Tri-Valley Jazz Society doesn't. It's quite expensive to run a Meetup and you may find that you reach a lot of Meetup members but few of them actually come to the event.
For more information on the meetup, visit the PJS Meetup.
WIKIPEDIA and WIKIVOYAGE
These two names are probably a surprise to see here, and they certainly are the outliers, being run by the Wikimedia Foundation, a nonprofit. The Wikis don't have event submission systems, and often have fairly strict rules about "NPOV" - in other words, "Neutral Point of View". This means that can't put on them promotions in the sense used above - don't add, "There's a great event in Livermore tomorrow!" or the entry will probably be deleted.
Wikivoyage is the best of the two Wikis mentioned here for getting the name out about a local organizaton or event. They only require you to follow the principles of "No Promotion" and "Be Fair". Like Wikipedia, Wikivoyage is definitely more of a place to tell people about a reoccurring event in town than it is an advertising spot.
As this article is getting to be more like a novel, we'll discuss Wikipedia in a future post.
How to Use Wikivoyage
First go to their website (link is in the above paragraph). Search Wikivoyage in the main search box located in the top-right of the website for the town you're in - Sunol, Pleasanton, Dublin, and Livermore are all pages on Wikivoyage.
Once you search, the town should come up unless you're in Dublin. Obviously, it's a little more difficult for Dublin because the city in Ireland will come up unless California is added to the search box before entering.
Once you're on the local destination page, find the "Edit" option in the top-right. Then find the "Do" tab and click on the end of that word. Press enter.
Find the insert tab on the top of the options tab. Click on it and among some options, "Template" will show up. Click on "Template". A new tab will open, with a white, blue-outlined box on it. Type "Do" in the box. Several template options will show, one of which says the word "Do" and underneath, in gray text, "Listing template for things to do". Click on the gray text and click the "Add Template" button to the right.
Several options will come up, including the name of the event and its address. At the bottom of the entry form is a section called "Content", where one puts in the information about the place or reoccurring activity. Make sure it's fair - just say what the event is about, not how great it is!
When you're done with the form submission, click the blue "done" button. The tab should disappear and the listing should show on the page. To publish the changes, click "Publish Changes" button in the top-right.
RESTAURANTS ON WIKIVOYAGE - if the event you are promoting occurs in a restaurant, follow the instructions above except replace everywhere where "Do" is stated with "Eat". If the restaurant is already mentioned in the "Eat" listings, simply click twice on the name of the restaurant listing, and the tab for that specific location will show.
If that's confusing or you're having a problem with any of these sites, you can either go to the forum or one of the help pages on the website you're having trouble with. Wikivoyage, for example, has "Talk" pages.