A few months ago Damian Hoskin mentioned, on Google+, the only reason he still used Facebook was for the events feature. I had some type of idea that Google would quickly integrate events into Google+ once all the bells and whistles were clean. Damian was excited to hear about my predictions because he, like many Facebook users, didn’t want to use “the social network” for simply one feature. I have a very good friend that actually calls Facebook his online birthday calendar.
Well, on June 27th, 2012 Google changed social again. Most knew that events was going to come out in the near future but I am not certain we had any idea how valuable this tool was going to be. I am going to explain Events simply from a search perspective. I am a guy who loves finding new and interesting events in my local area. That being said, I am not a huge fan of Meetup as 45 people will sign up for a Meetup group and about 7 will participate. As most of you know, I will not get on Facebook so that is out of the question.
What I tend to do is search Google for upcoming events going on. Most of the time this will take you to an About.com page or a Visitors Bureau page. There is absolutely nothing wrong with this but it does not show how many people will be at this event. I do not solely go to events with hundreds of people but I would like to know that there will be at least a dozen participants. I usually do not enjoy driving to a specified location only to find the two hosts standing around saying “I don’t know why no one showed up.” This is a different discussion for a different time.
Google+ events will not only let you see the activity related to the event through comments and committed attendees but it will also be indexed in search! When I search Raleigh Social Media seminar in the near future the Google Plus events will likely show up towards the top of the results. I would imagine the events with the most interest and interaction will show up closer to the top. This is an extremely valuable tool for planners. If anyone lives in a tourist town you can imagine that Google Plus Events is going to explode.
This puts a smile on my face as it is another reason people will be able to leave Facebook forever. It will be very interesting to see how Facebook adjusts to all the great features Google+ is throwing at them. In the meantime I will be on Google+ discussing this topic.