We’re very pleased to announce that the Business Calendar Network now includes business events pulled from the API feeds of Meetup and Eventbrite.
It was important to add these API feeds because:
- Many business-oriented groups use Meetup and Eventbrite as the way to announce and manage their events and signups. Using the API enables us to provide integrated access to all these events from within the Business Calendar Network
- With our new iPhone and Android apps, we are now seeing subscribers from all across the country. These feeds enable us to provide a substantial number of relevant events to subscribers, no matter where they are in the U.S.
Both Eventbrite and Meetup believe in the power of community and the power of connections, a belief we share.
Meetup is the world's largest network of local groups. With Meetup, anyone can organize a local group or find one of the thousands already meeting up face-to-face. More than 2,000 groups get together in local communities each day, each one with the goal of improving themselves or their communities. We’ve noticed that many of today’s most important and vibrant business communities got started using Meetup. They may eventually evolve into having a more formal website and registration system, but Meetup is the place to find emerging business communities and business leaders.
The groups using Eventbrite are, perhaps, a little more formal than the folks using Meetup. I say that even though Eventbrite says it is for “anyone planning or attending an event.”
We believe that anyone can be an event organizer. That's why we've created tools that make it easy to sell tickets to all kinds of events - whether it's a photography class or a sold-out concert, an inspiring conference or an air-guitar competition. With Eventbrite, organizers can create a customizable event page; spread the word with social media; collect money; and gain visibility into attendees and sales.
We, of course, are more interested in knowing about the inspiring conference than the air-guitar competition. You may notice that Meetup and Eventbrite are both a little less rigorous than we are in what constitutes a “business event,” so their feeds may include the occasional wine tour or MS walk. We felt that the benefits of including the great events coming from Meetup and Eventbrite outweighed the drawbacks of having a few events that weren’t quite focused on business.
All events are parsed and tagged as they are added to the Calendar, so you should still be able to Find the Events that Matter™.
We plan to add some additional API feeds in the near future, and we also continue to track organizations with events that aren’t available via some new-fangled feed. Our goal is to create the largest and most complete database of business events available on the Web and smartphone.
Brad Feld of the Foundry Group, one of the founders of TechStars in Boulder, Colorado, posted on peHUB last week on How to Create a Sustainable Entrepreneurial Community. To begin:
- It’s a 20-year journey, with a half-dozen leaders committed to providing leadership over that entire 20-year span
- You shouldn’t try to be Silicon Valley, but look to how Silicon Valley played to its own strengths in building its startup community, and do the same.
Feld says that this is just table stakes. You need more. The first thing, he says, is to do things that engage the entire entrepreneurial community:
You need to… create real events that have entrepreneurs work together on a regular basis. Meetups and Open Coffee Club type events that occur on a regular basis are a great start. Hackathons, Startup Weekend, and Open Angel Forum events are the next level. Events at the local university, such as CU Boulder’s Silicon Flatirons programs, including Entrepreneurs Unplugged and Entrepreneurial Roundtables, involve the entrepreneurial community with students who are the future entrepreneurs in the community. And programs like TechStars — which engage the entire entrepreneurial community for 90 days a year — are the icing on the cake.
We couldn’t agree more. Events are the key to a connected and sustainable entrepreneurial community. Not only do you need to create these events, but you have to get the word out about the events entire entrepreneurial ecosystem. This is the idea behind the Business Calendar Network – get all the different organizations and groups in the region working collaboratively and transparently to build a stronger startup scene.