Google Introduces New Schema Properties for Events

Kelcie Rivera - March 19, 2020

Around the world, gatherings of large groups (anything over 10 people) have been strongly advised against. This is impacting the status of many major events. Businesses and organizations are tasked with quickly deciding whether events should be moved online, canceled or postponed.

To help support the speed and ease in which businesses provide the latest updates to event registrants, Google has introduced new schema.org properties. Website publishers can now implement the eventStatus property to inform users of cancellation, rescheduling, or change of format, like online-only events.

In lieu of an in-person event, some companies are moving to virtual events. This shift may seem overwhelming at first, however, there are many technical solutions for delivering an engaging, successful event. Hosting online also allows for a larger registrant capacity; adjusting your digital marketing strategy is necessary to generate additional leads. Be sure to refine your marketing message and advertising channels to properly communicate the goal of your event.

Reflecting this message and change of format on your website is important as well.  If an event is happening online, use the following properties:

Should you choose to cancel or reschedule an event entirely, here are the necessary changes required from Google:

  • “If the event has been canceled: Set the eventStatus property to EventCancelled and keep the original date in the startDate of the event.
  • If the event has been postponed (but the date isn’t known yet): Keep the original date in the startDate of the event until you know when the event will take place and update the eventStatus to EventPostponed. The startDate property is required to help identify the unique event, and we need the date original startDate until you know the new date. Once you know the new date information, change the eventStatus to EventRescheduled and update the startDate and endDate with the new date information.
  • If the event has been rescheduled to a later date: Update the startDate and endDate with the relevant new dates. Optionally, you can also mark the eventStatus field as EventRescheduled and add the previousStartDate.”

In such a fast-paced media environment, users’ expectations for updates have amplified. Alerting Google after any changes have been made, via your sitemap, will allow the Search Engine to serve users new, accurate content as quickly as possible.

For more information on marketing for a virtual event or implementing Google’s new properties, email us at [email protected]

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