Socialized Event Planning: Google Rolls out Google+ Events
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Since launching Google+ last year, Google has introduced a slew of new products and developments aiming to take its highly-debated social network to the top. Most recently, Google revealed what is essentially a socialized event planning product called Google+ Events.
At first glance, the offering seems like a mix of the popular online invitation website, Evite and Facebook Events; it lets users create invitations for birthday parties, weekend getaways, anniversary celebrations and more. However, unlike the others, Google+ Events goes beyond the invitation phase of party planning as it is designed to help you manage an event before, during and after it occurs.
Before the Event:
When you set up an event on Google+, you can choose from a number of custom options, including themes and animations. Once you send out your invites (guests do not have to be a member of Google+ to be invited) the event automatically syncs up to you and your guests’ Google Calendars. This is a unique feature, especially since a major drawback of Facebook Events is that you have to actively log in to Facebook to seek out event reminders.
During the Event:
This is where Google really differentiates itself from other similar services. During an event, guests can turn on “Party Mode” which automatically adds any photos and videos taken by guests at the event. Everyone who attends has access to the content added. There is also an “Events Highlights” section that features the most popular photos and comments from the event.
After the Event:
Once an event is over, Google sends notifications to attendees asking them to share their photos and videos from the event.
It’s easy to see how this offering can take off for individuals looking to add some flair to their birthday parties and summer picnics, but it will be more interesting to see how, and if, brands embrace the tool. It is likely that brands will experiment with Google+ Events as a platform for conferences, tradeshows and even internal corporate gatherings. For companies already socializing their events through Twitter, Facebook and Tumblr, Google+ Events should be a natural extension of their efforts.
As this offering is so new, we’ve yet to see how brands can measure the success of an event, but we can start with the results from Google’s initial demo of the service. As part of its launch, Google hosted the first official Google+ Event: Google’s Day 1 Party at the Google I/O Developer Conference. Here, success was based on the high volume (more than 13k) of photos added during the event. Other potential opportunities for measurement lie in the sentiment of comments added, as well as the traffic generated to a specific website or landing page.
Despite user criticism that Google+ is a bit of a ghost town, with this rollout it’s clear that Google+ has no plans of stopping any time soon. Google+ will continue to evolve and look to build itself up as a multi-purpose network for both individuals and brands. What remains to be seen now, is whether Google+ Events, which naturally rolled out with a few public glitches, will hold any longevity in Google’s wide range of product offerings – or if it might be the saving grace of the network.