An email arrived last week to the EventCheck Knox account from Friends of the Smokies that sought to add some detail to the calendar entry for the Evergreen Ball, scheduled for next January.
As expected when someone contacts a website, the email was pretty straightforward in tone and content: We at Friends are very excited about this new website. We definitely understand the importance of a comprehensive event calendar! I was wondering if you would be able to update our listing.
I answered back from my Moxley Carmichael email address, so that Friends of the Smokies would know there was a human behind EventCheck Knox that would respond to requests. Whenever I send an email to a website or entity, I always wonder who is reading it and how it will be handled.
The immediate reply from Grace Loy, the coordinator for Office/Special Projects for Friends of the Smokies, was precisely the desired response: Great! Thank you so much. It is wonderful to know the direct contact!
EventCheck Knox depends on two-way communication between planners and Moxley Carmichael. While you can email the site or use the event submission form, a staff member always will be on the other end. I handle the majority of the daily email, but EventCheck Knox is a team effort.
Lauren Miller, director of Client Services for Moxley Carmichael, is very involved in the site and assists with monitoring the email inbox and submission forms. Miller is a seasoned planner who has coordinated events from small gatherings of selected fundraisers to elaborate celebrations attended by hundreds of people. She knows firsthand how beneficial EventCheck Knox will be for a planner.
“We maintain a thorough events calendar for reference, as well as check other online community calendars, when helping a client select a date for an upcoming event,” Miller said. “What we found, however, was that some event planners were zeroing in on the same ‘open dates’ as we were, and conflicts were being created in the early planning stages. The calendars and resources available to us were meant to promote an event once the details had been set, to encourage attendance or sell tickets.
“There wasn’t a resource to see what dates other event planners in town were ‘claiming’ weeks and months ahead of time, and we were sometimes picking the same ones.”
Cynthia Moxley, the CEO of Moxley Carmichael, guided the site from idea to inception and continues to be involved as EventCheck Knox evolves. She credits community leader Natalie Haslam for the idea, and Pilot Flying J is a major sponsor. Moxley Carmichael’s Charley Sexton, the creative director, and John McCulley, the digital media manager, are enmeshed in design and the nuts and bolts that make the site function.
Interns Savanna Howie and Martha Ashe are helping to write blogs – Ashe’s first entry was about the necessary contents of an event planner’s toolbox and Howie will write next week about design of invitations with input from Moxley Carmichael’s Erica Beck and Michelle Henry. Howie and Ashe also are calling nonprofits to make contact, tell them about the website and ask about upcoming events.
Launching a new website is exciting, especially one like EventCheck Knox. A detailed explanation of the site was posted on the Moxley Carmichael website last month as part of The Winning Streak, a regular feature by our staff members to offer tips and insight about the work we do.
The primary purpose of the site is to get confirmed event dates on the calendar so that planners can try to avoid overlap. While the event submission form asks for specific details such as ticket prices and a website link for your event, we don’t need all of that information at once. We can place your entry on the calendar with a confirmed date and update it later.
“What EventCheck Knox does is allow event planners to see what other galas, fundraisers and major events are planned as soon as the date is available, so we can better plan around any conflicts,” Miller said. “And it allows you to submit your major events so other planners around town will avoid scheduling an event the same day, if it’s trying to reach the same audience and could be a conflict. It’s a win-win to help everyone’s events be better attended and more successful.”
The EventCheck Knox calendar has events as far ahead as June 2015 with Zoofari and the Clarence Brown Theatre Gala already entered because the dates are confirmed. Planners can email us later with additional details. We will be responsive. Just ask Grace Loy.
Maria Cornelius, a writer/editor for Moxley Carmichael, populates the EventCheck calendar. Her email is [email protected]. She is more likely to attend your event if animals are present. Or Miller Lite.