Events 101. How do we find out about events? What do we do when we receive comments on our website? And can you rely 100 percent on the information in the paper to plan your daily schedule?
This little primer is prompted by two recent inquiries. The first came from a reader who was hoping to attend a Wednesday evening carillon concert at the Princeton University Graduate School. “Four of us, trusting U.S. 1, went to the advertised concert last week and found no evidence that one had been scheduled,” he wrote. “We met several others there who also had seen the U.S. 1 events calendar notice.”
How could this have happened? Every November we create listings for the following year for use on our annual wall calendar. That’s how the concerts were entered for 2011. But thanks to the report from our aforementioned reader, we learned that the Wednesday concerts had been canceled. Robin Austin, the university “carillonneur,” explained that there are no longer Tuesday or Wednesday concerts because students requested time to do their studies without having to rush over to the Graduate School campus.
Another recent event glitch: A reader wrote that the T’ai Chi Ch’uan class at Plainsboro Public Library did not take place and the library staff knew nothing about it. We discovered the original press release sent to us last September telling us about the free classes that had been held at the library for more than a year. We had entered it for every Saturday in 2011.
The instructor, Todd Tieger, E-mailed us back. “The library asked us (and other groups) to move offsite for the month of July while they take vacations/do inventory, etc. We will be back at the same time and place beginning Saturday, August 6, through the end of the year. Meanwhile we are holding the Saturday morning classes 10 a.m. to noon in Marquand Park in Princeton.”
What are the lessons learned? One of the ways we find out about events is through a daily influx of 200 plus E-mails a day. Some are new events, some are updates, some are too far away, and some are save the date for events in the future. On most days there are 100 plus events entered and/or updated in our database. At the end of the day a fresh copy of the database is uploaded to www.princetoninfo.com.
We do suggest checking out events at princetoninfo.com daily to see events that are newer than our print issue. In fact, not every event in the database appears in our print edition due to space issues.
We also discover new events through daily activities, friends, and advertisers. The deliverers also bring us news of the outside world. We are finding that many venues put notices about upcoming events on Facebook, in blogs, and through Twitter and Linked In.
We try to keep up with the social media but we do ask for help from our readers. Please remember to send listing information to firstname.lastname@example.org. It is helpful to list the date, time, place, phone, website, ticket price, and a few words about the event. It is also important to let us know of any changes. Put “update” or “date change” or “cancelation” in the subject line. As the readers above will tell you, no one wants to attend an event that has turned into a non-event.