Though Google+ is still a fledgling in the social media world, it has made significant strides in building its user base and popularity with the general public and marketers. Over 40% of marketers report that Google+ is "useful to critical" for their business (HubSpot 2012 State of Inbound Marketing Report). If women are the ruling demographic on Facebook, it is men who are reigning in Google+ with 63% of Google+ users being male (Remcolandia).
Google+ Events is another attempt by Google in its competition against other social networking giants. Events have come to occupy a very important place in today’s world. Given the fast paced lives we lead, events help us keep a tab on the pulse of the outside world.
But in today’s time strapped world, it is difficult to keep track of and attend the many events that are happening. With events going on in your personal and professional life, the situation only becomes more difficult to manage. Never fear!
Google+ Events is here!
Google+ Events covers event-related actions before, during and after the event. It aims to reduce the distance between online and offline events. This latest brain child of the Google+ team helps you in managing your events with a host of great, helpful features:
- Integration with Google Maps – Google+ Events is integrated with Google Maps, which prevents any sort of confusion about the event location. As you start typing in the location name, you get a drop-down prompt with likely location names. There is also a “Get directions” button that when clicked on, will show you the exact map to the event’s location.
- Integration with Google Calendar – This integration of Google+ Events lets users view and respond to your events on Google Calendar by clicking on “Check Availability” in the event invite. While scheduling events, you can also check if all the people you want to invite are available at your event time.
- Event On Air – This option lets your event to go public. Any person can find the event page of a public event, view photos and also upload their own photos of the event. They can also share the event with their friends and comment.
- Invite creation with themes – The creation of the invite for an event is very easy. You can also choose a suitable theme for your event from various themes such as beach, dinner, party etc.
- Real-time streaming of event photos – Everyone who is invited to the event can upload their photos to one shared compilation of photos. After the event, all invitees get an email reminder asking them to upload the photos of the event.
- Image sorting – Google+ Events sorts through images chronologically and even facetags people who were a part of that event.
- Integration of Hangouts – You can easily schedule and host meetings and events online which can be accessed through a laptop or a smartphone by up to 10 visitors.
- Party mode – You can enter “Party mode” in an event you are attending and take pictures which directly get uploaded to the event page in real time. And what’s more, this mode also has a slideshow feature.
- Mobile integration – In the “Party mode”, you can click pictures and upload them in real time from your mobile phones. Currently, you can do this only on your Android phone.
Seeing this whole gamut of features, you may be asking the question, “Pray tell, of what use are all these features for my business?” Without further ado, here are the different types of events available and the best time to use them:
- On location basic non-public event – A perfect option if you are hosting any closed event (like an employee party) with an actual event location. You can just use the “Create Event” option and fill out all the necessary details such as the location, date, time and invitees of the event. You can invite entire circles in your account, individual friends or followers or you can add email addresses of people you want to invite.You can also let people invite their friends and share photos of the event. These options are checked by default, so you need to uncheck them if you do not want people to invite their friends and share pictures of the event. If some invitees cannot come to the physical location of the event, you can let them participate online through a Google+ Hangout.
- Advanced Google+ Hangout – A Google+ Hangout is the best option if you want to organize an online meeting or hangout for up to 10 employees. This type of Google+ Event does not have an actual physical location. In its absence, Google+ creates a hangout or online meeting space when your meeting is going to begin.When the meeting is scheduled to begin, all invitees will get a reminder email and a Google+ notification equipped with a “Join Now” button that makes joining the meeting fairly easy. These hangouts can be joined even from your smartphone.
- On location Public Event – You can use this option to promote public events with an actual location like a sports or charity event you are supporting. You can also use the “event on air” option and make your non-virtual event accessible to the public. In an “event on air”, anyone can see and share the invite of the event and upload pictures.
- Promotion of Hangout On Air and broadcasting an online event – You can use a combination of Google+ Hangouts and Google+ Events to host a hangout and broadcast an online event. To do so, you need to first set up your Google+ Event using the “event on air” option. Click on “Show Additional Fields” which will let you add a link to sell tickets, a YouTube and a website link. Let your invitees know that the event will be broadcasted live through a Hangout On Air and the link to watch it will be made available a few minutes before the event.The next step will be to set up your Hangout On Air or the live broadcast of your event letting your event be broadcasted live on Google+ and recorded on YouTube for future viewing. The last step would be to copy and paste the embed link back into your Google+ Event invite after your broadcast has begun and you are getting ready to go live from your Google+ Hangout. This will let people who have responded to your public invite have the details to watch the online broadcast of your event.
- Turn Google+ Newsfeed into a newsroom with Hangouts On Air – Many companies have discovered the significance of broadcasting their events live on Google+. Such live broadcasts make the Google+ newsfeed a virtual newsroom.
How deep has your company gone in Google+? Have you used great features like Hangouts On Air and Google+ Events to build your presence on the site? Tell us in your comments below!