Happy New Year, and as ever, a big thank you to the growing number of you who are adding your events to the database. Our visitors appreciate your time and effort, as do we. And by the way, it's a growing number of visitors: we expect to pass the milestone of 20,000 unique visitors in January, and the figure is still growing rapidly.
Bachtrack Alerts We've just launched our new "Alerts" system, which allows registered users to specify a range of composers, works or performers that they would like to see in concert, and notifies them when events are listed which match what they were looking for. We believe that it's unique in the accuracy of its targeting, and a really exciting feature.
Here are some more of the new things going on with the site which particularly affect contributors (you can also read the Site Newsletter to see the material we send out to general visitors, or subscribe to it):
The Concert Banner If you haven't seen it yet, take a look at our new Concert Banner system (you can see the scrolling banner at the top of any of the Find a Concert pages). It provides a great way of prominently highlighting concerts that are coming up in the near future, and we have a very attractive introductory price of just £25 to advertise an event for a week.
Other improvements for advertisers Our page advertisements (the ones that appear in square blocks on the right hand side) can now be geolocated: in other words, you can decide the list of countries in which the ad is to be shown. Since we now have substantial numbers of users on both sides of the Atlantic, this should significantly improve response rates for advertisers targeting a domestic audience. We've also improved the way in which we detect search engines, which should again result in improved response rates by reducing the recording of page impressions which are being shown to a search engine robot rather than a real person. As with all Internet advertising, neither of these techniques are 100% accurate, but we've made big improvements.
Festivals For the many of you who run festivals, please take a look at the new concert finder home page: you'll see that there is now a large red button labelled "Festivals" which takes visitors straight to a clickable list of the Festivals that have listings in our database. Just to remind you, here are some things we offer you:
- You can get us to create a tag for your festival, and then use that tag to apply to all your events, no matter where they are. This means that when a visitor clicks on your festival tag, he or she will see a list of all your associated events.
- You can add a Festival Home Page to Bachtrack at no charge, containing information about your festival and a picture: we will link this to the concert finder so that if someone clicks on your Festival name in the concert finder results, they will see your home page. Go to "Create Content" to do this.
- When you input events, you can set an "embargo" date, before which they will not be shown. This means that you can input all your events whenever you like, and make the schedule public at a date that you choose.
Ballet and opera We've now made a distinction between "Staged" and concert performances of opera and ballet, so that visitors searching for these find only proper staged performances (as opposed to works being played as part of an orchestral or vocal concert), unless they specifically request otherwise. We've also added a Find a ballet button to the concert finder home page, which lists ballets by title without the need to specify the composer first. Both of these features should make it a lot easier for ballet lovers to find what they want. The flag for "staged performances" appears on the event input screen just before you save it: the system will usually guess correctly how to set the flag, but please do check it to make sure.
Improvements to the event input screen You can now change the order of works and performers using up and down arrows: the order will stay "sticky" in the event listings. Please let us know about any other changes to the input screen that you'd like to see: we try to be responsive and to make the process as easy as we possibly can.
Venue input There are now so many contributors playing at a large number of different venues that we've added a screen to let you input your own venues without the need to contact us. You can find it on the right-hand "Navigation" menu just below the "Input events" item. As long as the city in which the venue is located is in our database, you can add the venue. If the city (or even the country!) isn't in our database, please contact us and we'll put it in for you. We do encourage you to take the trouble to use the part of the input screen which lets you look up the venue in Google Maps: this is what makes the blue "Map it" button appear next to your listings.
Please keep inputting your events - they're reaching a larger audience than ever!