How Comcast Engages the Community with Events – by Chris Baeckstrom

People can’t get enough of events. There are millions of events in the US and Canada each year with tremendous growth.

For example, Meetup now has 30 million members and 4 million monthly RSVP’s in events from tech to fun.  Leading event registration site EventBrite reported that millennials drove a one year increase of 47% in Food, Wine and Beer events. And don’t forget about business networking, entertainment, civic, and continuing education.

Comcast, which is now a leader in media and technology, took an innovative approach to reach their communities through events. They knew that events are an integral part of the community. So Comcast began the Local Media Development team (LMD) to create digital products and platforms that help people discover and share information with communities they care about. 

Comcast had found that news stories were passive but events encouraged engagement and action within the community and on the website which makes them premium content! The LMD platform EveryBlock organizes local news, community info, and most importantly events at the neighborhood level.

Event information or data must be managed or you’ll have bad data that is wrong or incomplete or worse. Data must be checked for quality and completeness. Event information is frequently updated or even deleted so an event can not just be pulled and forgotten about. It should also be checked for inappropriate content and categorized. 

Comcast chose EventUpon to provide event data to Comcast beginning in 2013 to allow LMD to focus on the community. Internal stakeholders led Comcast’s need for additional event sources, custom categorization and responsive support which EventUpon has successfully delivered.

As the number of events have grown Comcast has needed more events which EventUpon has handled by expanding the sources of events for Comcast to include Meetup, EventBrite, Facebook, Google calendars, and more. All without any effort by Comcast.

EventUpon then provides data to Comcast via an Application Programming Interface or API, recently written up in Programmable Web. This eliminates the need for manual effort and resulting mistakes.

EventUpon is now working on what may be the next big thing: Event Reviews. Today 91% of consumers regularly or occasionally read online reviews for travel, restaurants and more. Event reviews will help people find the best events with ratings and information. Event reviews will be valuable to organizations too with their two big goals: differentiate their event and get feedback on their events in an easy way. 

Events are content that helps Comcast connect with the community in ways they never could before, today and in the future.

Chris Baeckstrom