Site Of the Day: Trumba
|Trumba Calendar is a web-based calendar solution that encourages customers to interact with your events. Trumba can help you improve event promotion, increase event attendance, and engage website visitors. Unlike typical passive calendars, Trumba calendars are interactive, easy to create and update, professionally designed, and support RSS and iCal feeds as well as the ability to subscribe to email updates.
It's immensely simple to add events along with notes about the event, web links, start/end times and maps (which is always a helpful feature). It's an event manager's dream. Trumba actually enables the calendar creator to choose between MSN Maps, Windows Live Local, Google Local, MapQuest and Yahoo Local. Another feature I like very much is the ability to assign settings for each event such as personal email reminders.
Webmasters can publish their Trumba calendar to their website in minutes (you can see WSM's calendar in the right panel on the blog or here). Users can choose between a wide variety of templates, colors schemes and fonts so it can match pretty much any site rather seamlessly. There are five "calendar spuds" which can be added to a site; a crawler spud (scrolling), an upcoming events spud (more detailed), a template chooser spud (which is great if you're working with limited space), a date finder spud (very traditional look) and a complete calendar spud which displays full event information.
Users opting in to the free service can also choose a unique website address for their calendar, limit access via password protection, and get ready for this, make the calendar searchable by search engines (you can even add in a few keywords for good measure). Probably not the best idea if you are creating a private calendar but an awesome idea if you're taking a promotional route. I think one of the more interesting features is that calendar visitors can subscribe to RSS feeds of the events or add it to their own calendar. One thing I would like to see are statistics on the number of those subscribing to the RSS feed and what emails have been sent reminders to - if it were available it would be a great lead generation tool.
One thing I did not like about the free version of the system was that links to events were opened in the same window. As someone that never likes anyone to navigate away from their site, I would like to see links open in a new window. I know it is very minor but it could really make a big difference to some website owners.
Overall, it's a very robust and flexible tool. I really like the collaboration and coordination features and think Trumba has really got something going for them. I would not be surprised if it were not ripe for acquisition.
(EDITORS ADDITION: After a helpful email from a member of their support staff, a quick adjustment in the script will keep users on the site - the hack works in Firefox but not in IE. You can see what I mean here.)