PLANNING A GREAT FUNDRAISER but worried about accidentally scheduling it on top of another great fundraiser? Trying to schedule a community event and want to avoid a conflict? Looking for something to do?
Meet iList Paducah (ilistpaducah.com), a Web site created by writer Mary Thorsby and designer Nikki May—Lower Town newcomers who are now entrenched entrepreneurs among the inspired of the inner city.
This infant site (now a full year old) and its accompanying blog (ilistpaducah.blogspot.com) and free weekly email help eliminate unintended scheduling conflicts—and offer a great way to promote and learn about events as well.
The site features all the main local events in the area, as well as fundraisers, concerts, festivals, exhibits, special church services, club meetings and classes. Each Wednesday, an iList Paducah email highlights the hot events of the coming week. The site, though, is updated daily and lists events for the entire year.
“Paducah is such a vibrant city with so many exciting events going on,” Thorsby says. “With iList Paducah, we can combine all those events into one site that everyone can check on a daily basis. So if you’re planning an event in, say, October, you can go to our October calendar and see what’s already on the schedule.”
Once you’ve picked a date, submit your event details directly on the site using the Submit an Event button at the top. “From there, we’ll promote the event—which should help protect your date,” May notes. “We’ve also had a lot of success raising awareness around brand-new groups. Our site offers a free extra publicity push, with lots of links out to other sites, and links back to us.”
Along with its central community calendar, iList Paducah includes features such as the iLove it section, highlighting special groups, products and services; an iList PlayList music review, complete with audio samples by DJ Urban Kobbb (businessman by day; aspiring DJ when the mood hits him); and an iDine column, featuring local chefs.
The site’s most popular feature is the iDate of the Week section. The column, the happily married Thorsby hopes, shows that you don’t have to be married or part of a couple to have an exciting life in Paducah. “And if it facilitates a love connection every now and again,” she says, “well, that’s pretty exciting, too!”
May created and maintains iList Paducah’s fun and funky look and feel. The right-hand side of the site features logos and links to advertisers’ own Web sites, as well as special banner ads mixed in with the calendar listings. May and Thorsby formed iList Media LLC, with plans to franchise the concept to other cities in the near future.
Before launching iList Paducah, Thorsby showed the prototype to numerous community leaders for feedback. “I kept expecting someone to say, ‘Yeah, we tried this, and here’s why this idea just can’t work,’” she says. “But that never happened. I was thrilled that everyone reacted so positively to it.”
“Our ultimate goal is to promote and celebrate all the great people, events and services in our community,” May adds. “From Carson Center and Market House performances to art openings to fundraisers that support the work of our many wonderful non-profit organizations—iList Paducah is here to spread the word.”