Turning the Page On the Calendar

Seeing a long-time project finally come in for a landing always feels good. Today, I sat in a room at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts with more than 100 representatives from area cultural and media organizations to celebrate the launch of #RVA's first collaborative, regional calendaring system.

A result of the 2008 Cultural Action Plan for the region, the calendaring system is not a public events calendar. Rather, it is a behind-the-scenes repository of regional events and activities -- a one-stop database for organizations holding events, and a one-stop resource for media looking for a comprehensive list of regional events. The new system was designed by a small team at the Richmond Metropolitan Convention and Visitors Bureau (RMCVB) over the past two years.

Their first brainstorming session in May of 2009 pulled together dozens of stakeholders from the cultural, media and technology communities. It was among my first paid gigs as Floricane started to gain momentum. One of the nice things about the process is that the result is far better than we could have imagined two years ago.

The results of the work done by Katherine O'Donnell, Stephanie Kenney and the RMCVB team was in evidence at today's calendar system rollout. And while it should change the way hundreds of organizations share their event information, and give local media a great tool to curate their own unique calendars, it will be almost entirely invisible to local residents -- who will ultimately benefit most from the new system.