At The Home Depot Supply, the wholesale distribution division of The Home Depot, the lengthy calendar of trade shows, road shows, grand openings, customer appreciation events, open houses, and other meetings is about to get a new online home.
Tricia V. Stamper, event manager, marketing & communications for HD Supply, used to keep track of all these events on a spreadsheet, but it was tedious to keep up-to-date and wasn't even posted on the company's Intranet. HD Supply didn't have an efficient way to communicate about the timing of events among its several divisions across North America, nor did it have an online event calendar for its 26,000 associates.
Stamper is hoping to bring efficiencies to the system when it launches a Web calendar tool this month created by Trumba Corp., Seattle. The technology has been adopted by a number of universities, convention bureaus, and newspapers since its first version launched a year and a half ago. With upgrades, the product is “moving upstream to regional and national organizations,” says CEO Jeremy Jaech. Among its high-profile clients is The New York Times, which signed on last November and now runs the NYTimes.com automotive and career event calendars on the Trumba platform.
A Trumba Web calendar is searchable by date, event type, or other criteria, and users can click on an event to get more information or to have it added to their personal calendars (Outlook, Apple iCal, and others). Users can have the system send them a reminder about an event, or forward information to others. Administrators can customize the look of the calendar, set up e-mail distribution lists to push event information out to employees or members, and control who is allowed to submit an event.
“This calendar tool will help our divisions make better event-marketing plans, because our marketing leaders will be able to submit as well as view event plans from other divisions and gauge whether they have aligned interest in those events,” says Stamper, who predicts it will also help to reduce the chance of event-date conflicts and save her department time. After the marketing execs submit their information, “the events team simply has to review the information and then press a button to post it online,” she says.
A single-user license costs $100 per month, with additional “editors” costing $30 each per month. The serviceis extra. “Most customers spend hundreds of dollars a month,” Jaech says.