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SceneSquid: Post Once, Publish Everywhere [Review]

By Becki Cross

SceneSquid automates event promotion. Event planners can post an event once and SceneSquid posts it everywhere else on your behalf. Here is our review.

SceneSquid: Post Once, Publish Everywhere [Review]

SceneSquid: What Is It?

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As an event planner or event marketer you probably spend hours posting and sharing your event to relevant publications, calendars and listings sites in the hope that it will be seen by the right people. Researching the best sources, sending emails, submitting online forms, uploading pictures; this is always a boring and time sucking process and people will still always say “I never knew about the event” and “if only I had heard about it I would have been there.”

Enter SceneSquid.

SceneSquid cuts down the data-entry process time for your event, matches relevant publications for your approval and then submits the details on your behalf. You submit once and then it can be issued to multiple places, saving you time. The platform automatically fills out event submission forms and sends digital event digests containing your event details in the correct format. Publishers are naturally more likely to list information if it is targeted to their audience, provided by the preferred method and with all the details they require.

Intrigued? Here is what you need to know.

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The Main Categories of Features Are:

Automatic Event Submission. Fill out the form once manually or pull details from the event URL on Facebook or your registration provider and then edit to save even more time.

Automated Targeting. Get recommendations for the publications, blogs and calendars where your event fits their criteria  and approve submission to all or select those of interest. Details are then submitted in the preferred way.

Reporting and Listening. See where your event has been submitted to and receive updates and notifications when information is published.

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Review

Time is the one thing event planners never have enough of, particularly with event lead times being short and reduced and pressured deadlines to market your event as a result. SceneSquid makes event promotion easy and fast - which is music to any event planners ears!

This idea developed at college between two friends who played rugby together. It grew from a different original business concept when they received overwhelming feedback from event planners that promoting your event and posting to so many different sites was a nightmare. There will never be a single universal calendar for all events to be listed as there are so many niche interests and preferences, even within one city, so SceneSquid decided to tackle this pain point head on.

EventMB originally featured them in a startup review back in January 2014 and it is great to see them going from strength to strength. 

Targeted Promotion

Have you ever stopped to think about your audience, how they like to find out about events and what their decision to attend or not is based on? SceneSquid have some interesting insights based on their research. For example mode of transport has a massive influence on the events you are more disposed to attend, as well as how they find out about events. SceneSquid reaches the publications that your event attendees actually read; local papers, niche event calendars, local blogs and curators. They have done the hard work for you developing relationships with the people that want to share your event details.

SceneSquid is really cost effective at $8 per event currently. It is best for social events and happenings. It isn’t optimized for tech events or expensive conferences or well-suited for niche ethnic and demographic marketing. Events are not promoted on social media - SceneSquid knows its strengths and are 100% focused on helping to reach event calendars, publications, newspapers and blogs.

Lots of planners will be disappointed to learn that currently it is only available in limited cities in the US. The reach is expanding all the time but a lot of research goes into each city so it can help surface blogs and calendars that you may not have been aware of and develop relationships with them. It will have a gradual roll out to other US cities and eventually globally. The 11 US cities SceneSquid is currently available in are: DC, Philadelphia, Denver, Seattle, San Francisco/Bay Area, Austin, San Diego, Miami, New Orleans, Atlanta and New York.

Data Entry

The form is simple to complete, focusing on the main information publications need. It focuses on the lowest common denominator of information needed across sources, rather than asking for niche information which is only relevant to a couple of publishers and demanding extra time completing miniscule details. For example the Doors Open time is specifically of interest to gigs but not relevant to many other events so this isn’t a specific question on the form. You can of course add these details in the event information free text box if you wish. Likewise some publishers request or prefer one or more pictures so this is required to submit the form. You set a default picture but can add numerous other pictures (15 plus if you wish) for those sites that accept multiple pictures.  

If you are completing the form manually from scratch it could take around 10 to 15 minutes. Pulling the data from a Facebook, Eventbrite or Brown Paper Tickets URL makes the process super quick, allowing you just to check and update or add information and submit in less than 5 minutes.

It is possible to set multiple dates and times and options for events which repeat weekly or monthly. You specify up to a maximum of 10 tags to determine the genre, vibe, format and type of event. This then brings up the list of suggested outlets for you to choose and approve.

Event Publications

Events received via SceneSquid are relevant to the publisher. The system will only suggest the outlets that seem to be the best fit and that most likely to cover the event based on their criteria. Publishers have the reassurance that the events received are targeted to their specific readership and curatorial interests. Events are received in their preferred way (email digest, web submission form, CMS plug in, etc) and meet their editorial requirements such as advance notice deadlines, pricing cutoffs, geographical area, etc. The information is supplied to them free of charge, so it offers a perfect solution to publishers and makes their job easier.

Overall your event details received via SceneSquid are likely to be viewed more favourably than if you adopt a blanket approach or “spray and pray” for your event marketing. Naturally the platform cannot give any guarantees that your event will be published but it is likely to give it the best chance of success.

Reporting and Listening

After submitting there is a publishing summary which shows below your submission details. This shows icons of where it has been sent to, with coloured boxes to signify when it has been published. Some publishers receive the details instantly. Others have opted to receive a daily digest, so it can take up to 24 hours for this submission process to be completed.

SceneSquid strongly recommend using the tool at least three to six weeks before your event. Some publications are only monthly or quarterly and have set print deadlines so the more time in advance the better, as this will increase the number of matches.

SceneSquid have an event listening tool that ‘listens’ or ‘looks’ for instances of event coverage. If they find your event somewhere, they email you a link to it. They are constantly tweaking their listening tool. Currently they estimate it has a 60-70% success rate, so there is still room for improvement, however this is still preferable to visiting each site yourself to check manually if your event has been posted.

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Features

Automatic Event Submission

  • Fill out the form once with your event details
  • Pull event information from EventBrite, Facebook or Brown Paper Tickets URL if relevant
  • Select up to 10 tags to identify your event focus and audience
  • Upload primary picture
  • Submit as many additional pictures as you want

Automated Targeting

  • SceneSquid only suggest the media outlets where your event meets their criteria
  • Well researched sources and opportunities specific to that city/area
  • Approve all of the suggestions or select the publications you want details to be issued to
  • Details are submitted in the preferred format of that publication
  • Advanced notification of events
  • Week-of reminders issued

Reporting and Listening

  • When an event is submitted through a submission form a screenshot is sent to you.
  • Web crawling tool is constantly searching for coverage or listings of your event
  • Notifications when coverage is found

Who Is It For?

SceneSquid is for anyone who hosts events or experiences that are open to the general public. The tool especially excels with events in the arts sector, culture, music, nightlife, and other social outings.

As well as event planners, galleries, venues, promoters, bands, community groups, nightclubs, farmers markets, classes and anyone wanting to promote a happening to a wider audience can use the platform.

It is less suitable for conferences and high end or highly specialized and niche events.

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Pros and Cons

Pros

  • Saves time - quick process to set up and submit to multiple places
  • Well researched network of outlets, including ones you may not have been aware of
  • Better chance of success as the events are matched to suitable publications and submitted how the site wants to receive the information
  • Cost effective

Cons

  • Only available in selected cities in the US
  • Listening tool isn’t always accurate
  • Not optimized for technology events, high priced conferences and niche areas and demographics
  • Not for social marketing

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Pricing and Plans

Currently, anyone can reach up to 3 publications for free.

To reach an unlimited number of publications, it costs $8 per event.

If you have frequent events, there are monthly subscriptions that cost between $25 and $50 per month to reach up to 30 and 75 publications per event, respectively.

In Conclusion

SceneSquid have tackled one of the biggest frustrations event planners have. They save hours of time researching, sharing and promoting your event on your behalf. At an affordable price it seems a no brainer to use this tool if you have an event coming up in one of the 11 US cities currently serviced. In the meantime the rest of the US and the world wait impatiently for it to be rolled out more widely until they can use it too.

Disclaimer: Reviews are paid for placements. While Event Manager Blog receives a fee to extensively look at the tool and review it in detail, the content of the review is independent and by no means influenced by the company. If you have any questions please use the contact us section.

about the author

Becki Cross
Becki Cross is Managing Director of Events Northern Ltd, a UK event and conference management company established in 2004. Becki set up the business in her early twenties and is particularly passionate about conferences, innovation, entrepreneurship and the legacy of events. Becki is also the Deputy Editor, Community Manager and Contributor to EventMB, her dream job alongside event planning! Follow Becki via @beckitrain.
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