I've said this before... Events are a unique type of content: there is a financial incentive for the event producer to get an event published everywhere. Plus, it's like any other content: people want to find it and they seek it out. It's a unique kind of advertisement. Sorta like classifieds. But, a much broader appeal. You only buy a house, a car or seek a job once in a while. People look for events all the time. And events are stronger when people participate together as a community. Events lend themselves to voyeurism and browsing. Events create memories and photos. Events attract businesses as sponsors.
Zvents strategy has been to help media companies make money from events by offering an easy to launch full featured public calendar, search as well as event listings gathered from indexing and crawling. Right now, they are increasing page views for their partners. In so doing, increasing cpc and cpm revenue. They've connected half of the event value chain. Here's their latest big news. Congrats to Ethan and team.
Zvents is the only company in a crowded field of social event calendars that I think are growing as fast as the opportunity is big. Going.com, Eventful, Involver are all focussed on building their own communities. Whereas, Zvents is focussed on working with publishers. Upcoming.org, now that it is swallowed by Yahoo, is increasingly a search play. I wouldn't count them out at all, as Yahoo has more search traffic than Zvents partners combined (I presume). But, if Zvents can wrap up more partners, they'll have a solid position. (And actually a easily rationalized acquisition target for Yahoo, given their newspaper partnership.) Google, although bringing more capabilities to their calendars, won't figure out the community aspect. Nor do I see them building fancy applications for publishers. They aren't in the data syndication business (besides ads and maps) either, atleast not at this level.
None of these players are closing the event value chain loop, though. I'll have to define that chain at some point. For now, if anyone of these players wants to talk about how to make a lot of money from events, they can call me.