As West Palm Beach’s self-proclaimed “blogger-in-chief,” I get asked a lot of questions each day. The most popular of them is, “So, anything good going on this weekend?”
My answer is almost always a resounding “Yes.” Then I try to remember each event I heard about that week and made a mental note to remember.
I have been blogging at aGuyonClematis.com for almost eight years now, and over time I’ve put together a list of resources that I rely on heavily so that I can stay informed about what’s going on in our wonderful city.
With the season now upon us, the event scene is heating up, so I’ve put together my favorite sources so that everyone can keep up with all the exciting events.
Start by reading your favorite local paper. This is my number one tip, and since you’re reading my column in Palms West Monthly, you’ve got a head start. Make a list of your favorite TV, radio stations and newspapers and bookmark the events section on their websites. You’ll be surprised at how many events you’ll discover.
Next, check out the West Palm Beach city calendar. This resource is located on the city website at wpb.org/citycalendar and is a great way to find events that are organized by each of the city’s departments.
The Parks and Recreation department is great about listing all the Waterfront events and the West Palm Beach Public Library and Sustainability department also list their events.
If you prefer to get information sent to your inbox, check out the Mayor’s Insider Newsletter, which you can subscribe to at wpb.org. This email newsletter provides important city news, event information, updates on city infrastructure, road closures and more.
In the run-up to Hurricane Matthew, the city used this newsletter to get out important storm preparedness information to West Palm Beach residents.
The Downtown Development Authority also publishes a newsletter that highlights local businesses and focuses on downtown events. This email is published every Thursday and is a must-read. Subscribe to it at downtownwpb.com.
Facebook is another great way to discover events. I have my circle of friends and each time they publicly RSVP or show interest in an event, it pops up in my news feed. I can also check the Events link in the sidebar, which helps me discover local events.
If you’re interested in events on the Waterfront, the West Palm Beach Visitor’s Center pushes out a nice little weekly update with upcoming events.
If you know that a certain venue or person is involved in your type of events, you can subscribe to events that they create, and Facebook will be sure you don’t miss them.
In Florida, where the weather has a habit of changing by the hour, having a way to get up-to-the minute information is very important. This is where Twitter comes in, as this is the first place that real-time news is posted.
If you’re new to Twitter, it can be a bit overwhelming, but here is a list of just a few Twitter accounts to follow:
• The City of West Palm Beach: @westpalmbch;
• aGuyonClematis: @aguyonclematis;
• Palms West Monthly: @PWMonthly;
• Kravis Center: @kravis;
• Downtown Development Authority: @downtownwpb.
Another good use for Twitter – and social media in general – is finding out about events as they are happening. Whether it’s the GreenMarket, the Palm Beach Boat Show, SunFest, Moonfest or Clematis by Night, keeping up on Twitter and seeing what your friends are talking about will keep you up to date and help you get a whole lot more out of the event.
Try following a hashtag like #ilovewpb and you’ll find a lot of great content shared by people who are out and about in the city. Once you get to the event you can use social media to share your own pictures with friends and family and let them know what a great time you’re having.
The funny thing is that no matter how many websites I check or how many emails I receive, someone I run into will inform me about an event I hadn’t heard about. So, a lot can be said for human interaction: talk to people and find out what they are doing.
You might be surprised at the number of events that are not advertised and rely on word of mouth.
So what do I do with all this information? I take it every Friday morning and put it into my newsletter which can be subscribed to at aGuyonClematis.com.
I put in events that are happening that week, as well as all upcoming events that I can find, and send them out to my list.
I hope that helps, and I look forward to seeing you at some of the events around town!