The events calendar is central to the reason I started this site. I wanted a way to see what was going on around the country on any given day or weekend. A directory of everything that was happening in the larp world. More than that though, I wanted to see what was happening close to me. I wanted to see events that might be worth heading over to take photos, but not so far that I lost my entire weekend.
The Events Calendar Plugin
I decided to use The Events Calendar plugin from tri.be. At the moment it has basic functionality since I’m using just it’s core module with the Facebook module. This Facebook module allows Larp.Guide to constantly monitor known Facebook Pages that host events, allowing the site to pull the details from Facebook directly into the database. It’s a crude tool, but it’s better than inputting everything by hand.
In the future I’d like to add the following functionality:
- Events Calendar Pro. This module would allow users to search for events based on distance from a set location. It uses data from Google Maps in order to do this and it can also display events onto a map view. As well as that it also adds the ability to add details about venues and event organisers in more details, potentially (hopefully) leading to some kind of TripAdvisor type site for larp venues, organisers and games. It also adds the ability to have reoccurring events, helpful for those groups who run regularly, such as university larp systems.
- Community Events. Adding this module would let organisers (or keen players!) submit their own events for inclusion in the calendar. It means that those who do not use Facebook’s event system to plan and advertise their events add and manage their events here. At the moment events can be added by hand by staff who have administrator access to this website (i.e., myself and a small team of others) but right now it’s a long-winded process that I’d like to make simpler.
- Filter Bar. This one is pretty simple, it adds advanced search options to a filter bar, so that you can filter events in the calendar based on lots of different criteria. I consider this essential functionality.
There is also the opportunity in the future to add ticketing modules to the calendar, potentially allowing event organisers to simply and easily sell their tickets through this website. I don’t see this as a solution for large events, however for small player events or small local systems I believe it could be useful. Especially for those who have no technical or programming skills. Most importantly it would allow organisers to get on with what they really want to be doing – running their event and writing awesome plot.