Looking for an interesting new event to attend? Having trouble finding events, other than the ones you and your immediate friends or colleagues already know about? Going the “old-fashioned” route of finding new events by doing a Google (s goog) search? If so, you may benefit from social event discovery.
What’s social event discovery, you ask? Chances are good that you’ve attended an event in the recent past that used an event registration system called Eventbrite. Eventbrite provides an easy-to-use event registration system for organizers that handles both paid and free events. Eventbrite also provides social media integration tools to allow attendees to quickly broadcast their event plans to their friends, fans and followers as soon as they’ve registered for an event.
Because Eventbrite has been providing event-booking services with social media integration for several years, it can now add new features to help attendees who have previously registered for an event through the system find new, relevant events to attend. If you have bought a ticket or registered for an event using Eventbrite and linked the site with Facebook through Facebook Connect, Eventbrite canl now give event recommendations pulled together from data about your Facebook friends and the events they’re attending. When you click on the “Facebook Recommendations” tab, you are experiencing the power of social event discovery. If you are looking for new events that you can attend, where better to look for information than those with whom you’re connected on the social graph? Eventbrite also hopes to add more recommendation streams from other popular social networks such as LinkedIn sometime in the future.
Another tool that is gaining popularity is Plancast, a site entirely based on the act of sharing the events you are planning on attending. You can follow others to see what plans they broadcast, and others can follow you. You can add yourself to an informal attendee list for an event by clicking the “count me in” button, which all help to create an engine for social event discovery. While the travel site Tripit also has a similar plan-sharing aspect to it, it doesn’t get as granular as identifying the specific events you’re attending; it only shares planned trips based on cities where you’re traveling.
On Plancast, conversations ensue once people start connecting to event plans and posting messages about the upcoming event and related activities. For example, right now there is a great deal of chatter around Blogworld and New Media Expo happening in Las Vegas later this week. You can discover new events by seeing announcements of the plans of people you follow, and also through a list of related events on every event page. For example, from the Blogworld plan page you can link to Scott Stratten’s pre-Blogworld Tweetup.
I’m finding social event discovery to be useful to tool learn about new events that I may not hear about otherwise, particularly regional events and events in industries different from my own. And I appreciate the intelligent recommendations that come from mashing up event attendance and event plans with one’s social graph.
Disclosure: Plancast is backed by True Ventures, a venture capital firm that is an investor in the parent company of this blog, Giga Omni Media. Om Malik, founder of Giga Omni Media, is also a venture partner at True.