Online Event Sites Proliferating

Online events as a category is literally and figuratively a microcosm of the local space itself. There’s now lots of fragmentation and no single comprehensive source of data (Ethan Stock of Zvents would probably argue that point).

Even two or three years ago, local events used to be entirely the realm of print newspapers with little competition from online. Now there are a host of competitors showing you local events. Here’s the very partial top-of-mind list (alpha order):

  • AOL City Guide
  • Attendio
  • Citysearch
  • DiscoverOurTown
  • Eventful
  • GoCityKids (Viacom-owned)
  • Going.com
  • Google Calendar (Public Events)
  • Meetup
  • Ticketmaster
  • Yahoo! Local/Upcoming
  • Yelp (just launched this week)
  • Zvents

And there are a host of events in the music space, including Oodle’s Bandtracker and the independent Jambase. Indeed, every ticket site is an events site. Speaking of which, UK-based ticket-search site Tickex recently launched in the US. CEO Richard Robinson recently told me that he’s aiming to be the “Kayak of ticket search.”

Beyond this partial list above, every local newspaper site and independent city guide or tourism site has events. And there are many niche event sites, such as LocalWineEvents.

Like the experience of online travel booking and trip planning, this is both good and bad. It gets into the “paradox of choice” discussion again. Where there was once little or no good information, now there’s arguably too much. In that context, sites that already have trust and brand momentum will likely do well in this segment.

3 Responses to “Online Event Sites Proliferating”

  1. DC1974 Says:

    I find this all bewildering as well. Especially as someone that is a grass roots organizer and is trying to promote events for my local group. I find it hard to gauge where people are finding their information. Especially in the LGBT space for which I’m volunteering. Facebook also has calendaring and events and have found this to be well organized as well — although I’ve never been able to promote them well BEYOND facebook — it doesn’t quite work as advertised. Actually, none of them do.

  2. AhmedF Says:

    We eventually killed our events section – we were getting traffic (upto 1000 visitors a day with zero promotion), we were getting events submitted – but the fragmentation is astounding (and I say this as someone who knows the world of business data).

    Niche business data is a hard sell – only a few niches work in a consumer-oriented situation (restaurants being the big one). Events on the other hand – niches can reign supreme (such as your LocalWineEvents link).

    Even though I guess you can argue that sites like Upcoming are for the ‘geek’-niche.

  3. Nancy Tubbs Says:

    Greg, in case you want a _real_ list: šŸ™‚

    http://sfbayarea.fullcalendar.com/ec/list_cal.cfm

    That’s just for SF bay area events, and we’re adding to the list all the time. There are plenty of offline publications there, including the local papers you mention, but most of those have their events online as well. Also, many of these event sites have been online for many years. It’s just the recent crop, that’s launched in the past couple years, that has been getting the attention.

    @DC1974: There are some LGBT-specific places to post events, in case you’re looking for more. These focus on SF bay area events:

    QueerCity.com
    Hillgirlz
    Bay Area Reporter (B.A.R.)
    Indybay.org (includes more than LGBT events)

    Hope that helps.

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