Event Tagging Discussion Re-cap

On July 21st, 2010 we gathered around 13 of our dedicated event providers to start the discussion on how the event tagging structure of UBCevents could change to better reflect Place and Promise, UBC’s strategic plan. For those of you unfamiliar with Place and Promise, I highly recommend that you take a look at the link. It’s an easy read and it’s even easier to see direct connections into the great work happening across UBC.

You might be wondering what “Event Tags” are and why we would need to have users give their input on them, fortunately both answers are simple. Event Tags are common descriptive pieces of text that a calendar administrator can assign to any event that they create. This allows visitors to the website to find events based on subject or type by running a search for these commonly used tags. Tags are directly connected to the top row of drop-down menus on the events.ubc.ca homepage and the center column of event types. See picture below:

As for why we need event-provider input? Well, that’s to ensure that UBCevents is meeting their practical needs, in terms of event promotion, while balancing the need to make tangible connections to Place and Promise. And, simply put, we like connecting with them face to face (they’re a fun bunch) and leveraging their collective brain power.

So, what did we learn from our get-together?

  • Organizing tags is not a trivial task. Many different units, projects, and views need to be represented under a succinct set of discriptors
  • Should we separate events by audience? (students, faculty + staff, public, etc…) Early on, we were determined not to pigeon-hole people into thinking that there was a limited number of events available to them…perhaps this should change?
  • Some of the current tags are too vague (ie. Community Engagement, Media, Social, and International) and need to be expanded upon
  • Addition of new categories of their own (Aboriginal Engagement, Sustainability, etc…) are required to better reflect the priorities outlined in Place and Promise.

And what are the next steps?

  • I’d really like to get some comments on this post in regards to the current tag structure – please leave your thoughts!
  • An attendee suggested that we have a card-sorting exercise, we will explore this in following sessions…keep an eye out for posts/emails about them.

Do you have any thoughts on how Place and Promise  could be better reflected on UBCevents, or on some good next steps? Please leave a comment on this post (we’ll answer it!) or email us at info.events@ubc.ca.

I’d like to thank our event providers for coming out and helping us start this discussion and I hope to continue it here and in future brainstorming sessions.


Jamil Rhajiak
UBCevents Communications Coordinator