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updated: 3/20/2014 2:45 PM

2014 festival guide: How to get your free listings in the Daily Herald

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The snow is still four feet deep, but it's time to get our 2014 festival listings in order! While we will use your festival information all summer long, our first objective is the Summer Fest Guide. It publishes May 11 and covers all events between May 11 and Labor Day. However, our production schedule requires all the information to be in our hands by April 11. As always, these listings are free. All nonprofit community events are counted as "fests" for this -- including community bike rides, carnivals, outdoor arts festivals, summer concert series, etc.

Please follow the directions below, as our method for collecting festival information is different from in years' past. It will ensure your listing is printed, and printed accurately, as well as being published online.

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This year, you must post your festival listing in our online calendar, called SpinGo, INSTEAD OF SENDING US EMAIL. By using this calendar, you will have submitted your listing for both print and online. Moreover, you will be able to edit your listing, go back into it later and add new or updated information.

Questions or problems? Call Luke Zurawski at (847) 427-4484, who drew up this handy guide. Troubleshooting tip: This works best if you are on Google Chrome, Firefox or a newer version of Internet Explorer. Older versions of IE can get hung up, especially on the updating function.

If you are familiar with the SpinGo calendar, skip ahead in the directions to Number 9. After reading that, you can skip to the "Bare Bones" headline.

If you are not familiar with the calendar, read this carefully!

DIRECTIONS TO GET INTO THE SUMMER FESTIVAL GUIDE

1. Go to dailyherald.com/share. You'll find options allowing you to submit articles, photos, and calendar events. Clicking the "Event" link will take you to the SpinGo event submission page.

2. If you have a SpinGo account, log in using the link in the upper right. Or create an account (free). You can submit events without an account; if you do, you'll be asked to supply contact information so SpinGo can let you know when your submission is approved (if you're logged into an account, it will use the contact info for that account to let you know). After you log in or create an account, hit the "Add New" button to get back to the event submission screen.

3. "Venue" field. This is the location where the event is taking place (if, for example, a library is hosting an event at a local park, you would use the park as the location). As you type in your location, a list of matching venues will appear -- if you see your location, click on it; that means SpinGo has had an event at that location before. If you don't see your venue, finish typing in the name and click "Add New."

4. If you add a new venue, you'll be asked to enter an address and phone number for it. When you type in the city, a list of options will appear. When you see your town, click on it and SpinGo will supply the state and ZIP code (if there are multiple towns with the same name, make sure you click the one in Illinois!). Tip: It's better to click on the town from the list than finish typing it in yourself because that makes it easier for SpinGo to find it on its maps. When you enter the phone number, make sure it's the number for the location, not your personal phone, or else any time someone enters an event at that location in the future, it will attach your phone to it! (If you don't know the location's phone number, you can leave it blank.)

5. "Date" field: Click on it, and a calendar appears. Click the date of your event (for multiday events, click on the first day).

6. "Name of your event" field: As you type, SpinGo may suggest options -- which will make it easy for you to know if someone else has already submitted the same event. Click "Add New."

7. "Details" field: Enter the start time of the event (you'll get options as you type -- make sure you select the correct AM/PM option -- noon is 12 p.m.). Then change the end time to be correct.

8. If it's a multiday event, click the "Repeats" box, and a blank will appear. Enter the details of your event (e.g. "Every Thursday," or "April 10-15," etc.). This tells SpinGo when your event needs to reappear on the calendar.

9. The "description" field: Along with being online, this is the part that will appear in print, so make it complete. Dropping your entire news release in here is OK -- although for the Summer Fest Guide it will be reduced to a listing. Describe your festival, fair or concert series, give the date range, the daily hours, the Main Stage acts, the date and time of the parade, the fireworks and the 5K. Include contact information for the public -- either phone numbers, websites or email addresses, or all of the above. Is admission free or is there a charge? Put it ALL in here!

10. "Website" and "Admission" fields. The "website" field is optional, but you must fill in the Admission price. You can say "free," you can enter a range of prices or even say "donation" ... but don't leave it blank.

11. "Media/Links" are optional, but events with logos or photos get more attention online than events that do not have art.

12. "Event Contact" field. This is strictly for SpinGo use, to contact you. It's not required, but it's a good idea.

13. "Submitter": If you don't have a SpinGo account, enter your contact information here. (if you have an account, SpinGo already has this information). Again, this is strictly for SpinGo use, to contact you. Give SpinGo your own email address -- if you enter someone else's, they'll get an email from SpinGo and not know what it's for.

14. Review your entry so far. Everything look good? Click "Next." If you're unable to submit your event, it probably means you left a required field blank. Go back and look for a field outlined in red.

Once you've submitted your event, you'll be taken to a screen that gives you options to further promote your event, if you'd like more than just the free event listing. You should receive an email telling you that your event was submitted, and after a few minutes you should get another email telling you your event was approved.

HOW CAN I UPDATE MY LISTING LATER?

The Summer Festival Guide is kind of a "save the date" publication, with brief descriptions of the events taking place this summer in the suburbs and city. As you get more information in the coming months, you can get back into SpinGo and update your listing. Here's how:

• The email you receive when your event is approved will contain a link you can use if you need to edit/update your event later. The address will take you to the Event Details screen for that event. Click "Edit Event," then type the changes that need to be made into the box and click "Send Request." You should receive an email shortly telling you that the change was made.

If you've deleted the approval email with the editing link but you have a SpinGo account, log in and you'll see a list of the events you've entered on that account. Click on the one you'd like to update and it will take you to the Event Details screen.

Note: If there are changes to festival details, PLEASE make a point of updating your listing -- or we will continue to print incorrect information.

SEPARATE LISTINGS FOR FIREWORKS, PARADES, ETC.

In the Summer Fest Guide, we run individual listings for parades and fireworks shows, as well as including that info in your overall festival listing. To help us out, please do separate listings for those things as well. It helps you, too -- for people who are cruising online for fireworks shows and parades, your listing will pop right up.

Remember the April 11 deadline! Thank you, and happy festing!

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