Events concierge site goes national

Now a coast-to-coast calendar listing events in 110 Canadian communities, enables advertisers to have a national footprint.

First launched in Toronto in 2006, the revamped now offers events listings in 110 Canadian communities with new Web 2.0 technology that allows for more personalization, targeting and ad-integration experiences.

The continuously updated site connects tens of thousands of people to thousands of events across Canada, website founder Rob Imrie tells MiC. ‘In the past, the average person had to rely on random online searches, emails and word of mouth to find out what was happening in their city or other ones. Now there’s a way to access comprehensive event content. 49st’s personal event calendar is a powerful tool to manage information, seek out new events and plan your social life.’

As well, adds Imrie, after creating their own ‘My Street’ pages, users can connect with each other via interactive profiles, and even submit their own events and reviews. ‘The magic really happens when users create a ‘My Street’ page where they can save their interests and personalize their content. The system then monitors and delivers events and content based on this information.’

Another new development for 49st is a Facebook application, where users can download and install the ‘My Local Events’ application on their profiles.

Built from an original base of 30,000 young Torontonian adults, Imrie says 49st is now experiencing significant growth in major markets across the country. Content and distribution partners such as Facebook are driving traffic to the site, and his goal is to have 750,000 unique visitors per month by the end of the year.

Imrie says his online portal offers a number of options for marketers. ‘There’s category sponsorship – for example, Lavalife can own a category like ‘singles’ and ‘dating,’ or a company like Heineken can own ‘beer’ or ‘party’ by associating their brands with keywords or tags on the site.’

National marketers may find exposure on 49st especially advantageous, according to Imrie, because ‘they can have a national footprint.’ So far, he says, he has worked with ‘leading liquor brands with innovative (and measurable) campaigns involving targeting the right people, event support, post-event measurement and research.

‘Other sectors that would find us most effective,’ he adds, ‘are those related to event marketing activities such as alcohol, gaming and fashion. And by leveraging our comprehensive national database, 49st also works with brands to identify sponsorship opportunities.’

As well, says Imrie, the website provides advertisers with data on traffic to their own websites. ‘A brand and the brand’s content is delivered to a highly targeted audience – not only building the brand, but the increased page views mean more banners are being displayed, resulting in more ad revenue.

‘What makes 49st successful,’ Imrie concludes, ‘is the fact that we are offering a valuable service. We take the fragmented searching time out of the hands of our users by offering them a comprehensive destination featuring rich, dynamic content with all the tools to make it collaborative, interactive and useful.’

49st is currently in the process of developing an online marketing/advertising and PR campaign.