Over the past couple years, my whole thought process has been about making things easier for the market person in charge of managing something as complicated as a webinar. There are lots of moving parts, and dozens of small details to manage. It doesn’t matter if it’s a “big” webinar or small one – it takes times to bring it all together.
And one of those details is getting the webinar on someone’s calendar. In our technology driven age, you would think that small detail has been solved, but it hasn’t. It’s gotten better, but it’s not solved.
It should be as simple as sending an email. Or as simple as clicking on a single button on a webpage. Because we have very simple goal – to get OUR webinar on THEIR calendar. But that simple and easy goal is extremely difficult to achieve – in the world of technology, what seems simple, can sometimes be a monumental task.
From a technology standpoint, the primary hurdle we are dealing with a delivery service (email) that doesn’t exactly know what to do with a the specific “package” being delivered (calendar invite). Although they are connected, they are actually two different types of technologies, operating under a common umbrella.
Email can be seen as a generic text message (albeit a highly evolved text message), that actually has a very well defined format. On the other hand, a calendar invitation has a different defined format, which needs to be inside the email. And this format can be a bit tricky, and if it’s not “well formatted”, it will just not work. Which is why most people give up, and just send the invite as an “attachment” to the email – eliminating most of the complexity.
What that does is shift the responsibility of getting the invite on a calendar to the invitee. I’ve always thought that was the wrong way to do it. I’m asking them to attend, and ultimately asking them to buy something – therefore, I should make is as easy as possible to remember to attend my webinar. The less work I ask of them, the higher probability of them attending.
So, we go to work everyday on solving the easy problem. We believe it’s our responsibility to take on the hard technology challenges and make it as easy as possible to get an event (in this case a webinar) on someone’s calendar.
We have worked and reworked the solution hundreds of times. We are getting closer to solving it – not just for those using software we like, but across all calendar software. We are almost there in solving the first problem – making sure we send (email) a well formatted invitation (calendar invite), that just works when it shows up.
Stay tuned for more info – because in a few weeks, we will have a solution that can be put on any webpage, and just work. And we are going to make it simple to create and simple for someone to opt-in on your webpage. And when they do, they will get the calendar invite on their calendar without having to do anything else. Our beta site is called Calendarsnack is located here.