Nature inspires imagination. We see it in paintings, movies, novels and even online calendars. At least, that’s the case with Pursuit Adventures. The outdoor recreation company takes people on all kinds of outdoor excursions, from hiking and rafting to skiing and ice walks — and they use a calendar on their website to promote them.
There’s a lot to like about the calendar Pursuit Adventures put together. There are three key takeaways, however, that can help take any calendar to new heights.
Use the entire calendar page
One of the first things you may notice about the Pursuit Adventures calendar is that it’s more than just a calendar. Take the evocative hero image, for example. It greets you with a gorgeous mountain scene that sets the vibe for events.
Scrolling past that brings us to the calendar itself, but it’s below the calendar where things get more interesting. They’ve used the space to provide more information for visitors, including what to expect, directions, and a newsletter signup form. These additional elements elevate the content from a mere calendar to an informational hub. Now visitors can and will return to the calendar again as a reference. This is excellent for encouraging repeat visits. And repeat visits to the calendar mean more visibility for the events!
The Events Calendar makes it easy to build a complete calendar page. In fact, there are several ways to go about it:
- Use the calendar settings. The Events Calendar provides places in the settings that allow you to add content above and below the calendar. Log into WordPress and head over to the Events → Settings → Display screen. There are options to add content to the header and footer. Either type straight into these fields or use custom HTML to create something even more interesting!
- Try a custom page. The Events Calendar provides you with a calendar page right out of the box, located at [your-domain]/events. But, if you are using Events Calendar Pro, then you get a handful of shortcodes that allow you to embed the calendar on any WordPress page or post. Create a new page in WordPress, drop in the shortcode, and design around the calendar for a custom display.
- Create a custom template. For those unafraid to touch code, it’s possible to completely override the default calendar template with one of your own. This is the most technical method of the bunch, but the possibilities are pretty endless. Check out our entire guide to calendar themes for detailed instructions.
Tell a story with strong visuals
We’ve seen how Pursuit Adventures uses a mountain scape to welcome visitors to the calendar. Well, that same things carries into events as well. Look at how striking the title is for this event when it’s set against a backdrop of a majestic hiking trail along a lake.
It’s hard not to look at the event title when it’s displayed like that. Plus, there’s a nifty call to action right there below the title that encourages visitors to book a tour on the spot while admiring the gorgeous view. Consider how much more compelling this page is than if the background image hadn’t been used. We’d be missing a core visual that draws attention to the event itself while showing visitors what they can expect on the adventure.
Things don’t stop there! See the way images are used to complement the event details?
Nature is vast and expansive, but so is the internet. Pursuit Adventures shows us how breaking out of the box can open up new possibilities for conveying information to visitors.
Set expectations early and often
Booking a hike or an ice walk might cause a bit of apprehension because it isn’t something you can physically hold. You’re buying an experience and that comes with some unknown unknowns. Thankfully, that’s something Pursuit Adventures also considered when setting up their event pages.
Scrolling past the initial event information introduces another section that helps visitors know what to expect when booking a trip. All of the information is contained in large folding panels, so they can provide a ton of information without cluttering up the page.
The takeaway is that we can (and should) anticipate a visitor’s questions before they even reach the page. You can see how this technique accomplishes several things at once such as:
- Providing details that help visitors know what to expect upon arrival.
- Allowing visitors to plan ahead for the trip, which helps ensure they have a good time.
- Serving as another opportunity to show visitors the value they get for the price of the trip.
All in all, visitors gain a better idea of what they’re booking and sets good expectations — all by showing and telling.
How high will you take your events?
That’s the question you can ask yourself each time you enter a new event to your online calendar. Sure, it’s easy to work inside the box, especially when that box is The Events Calendar and it does a lot of the work for you. But working outside the box can lead to taking your events—and your entire calendar—to new heights.