Ashley Smith-Hammond

The new year is the time when we all sit down to forward plan. To help you with your thinking ahead we’ve created a bespoke content planning calendar focused on the Scottish cultural and creative sectors. Get yours below - it's free!

Like all good communications pros you’ve got one eye on what’s happening today while the other one is planning for events three to six months down the road. To help you make sure you don’t miss an opportunity to connect with audiences we’re sharing our own content planning calendar.

It’s a practical tool. Use it to make sure you have plenty of time to find just the right message for an important hashtag, that you don’t miss an opportunity raised by awareness days or as the first stop in your clash diary before you schedule in your next event.

Other tools are available, sure. But we’d found other planning calendars didn’t have the cultural focus we needed and often missed out events or holidays that matter in Scotland. We’ve tried to remedy that.

This has become an annual tradition for us, so habitual users will recognise that the categories remain the same. If you’re ready to go, download it below.

The words 2018 content calendar against a pale blue background.

Download your free calendar

2018 Content Planning Calendar

Our latest calendar, populated with holidays, events, festivals and other dates that matter most to the Scottish cultural sector.

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User’s guide to the planning calendar

  • Awareness days (blue) – you can use these to link in with your programming, draw on your collection or as part of your fundraising campaign. You’ll find fun ones like National Old Stuff Day (surely a no-brainer for museums), audience development opportunities from things like Disabled Access Day and links to giving from Giving Tuesday.
  • Scottish Public and Other Holidays (yellow) – use these to tie in with community events. It’s also good for special offers for gifts, vouchers or the classics (Valentines Day date night offers and the like). Plus, walk the diversity walk by planning for significant holidays like Eid, Diwali or Passover.
  • Other important dates (light blue) – think things like major international sporting events or significant deadlines (GDPR compliance in May for instance).
  • Scottish cultural festivals (red) – Its easy to get tunnel vision planning your own event programme but look across the country to find festivals in your local area to find tie in or cross promotion opportunities.
  • Culture Republic events (orange) – our events programme is created especially for Scottish cultural organisations. Subscribe to our newsletter to stay in the loop, as we will be adding more events and workshops throughout the year.

the zeitgeist

2018 is looking like it will be a big year for sport. Outside of Scotland, we’ve got the Winter Olympics in South Korea next month, the Winter Paralympics in March, the first Commonwealth Games since Glasgow hosted are coming up in Australia in April, and then the World Cup in Russian in June. In Scotland, the Open and European Championships are taking place in July and August respectively.  In the UK, we’re expecting a Royal Wedding and baby in the spring, so expect the internet to collectively swoon. Politically, Brexit will continue to dominate the news narrative and especially in October when a preliminary deal will be agreed at the European Council Summit. At the end of the year, we’ll mark the centenary of the end of WWI. Plan now for what you can do to mark this very special Armistice Day. Such international events are a significant opportunity to hook your organisation and content into a global conversation that will be taking place on social media.

There’s a mix of opportunities as part of Scotland’s Year of Young People running throughout the whole of 2018. Get social with it using #YOYP2018.

School holidays are not included, as these have slight variations in each of Scotland’s 32 local authority areas. You should check in on your authority’s holiday and inservice dates to make sure you’re supporting families and young people when they’re looking for something to do. Use this list from the Scottish Government to find yours.

We’ve carefully curated the mix of events but our downloadable content calendar can’t include everything. We worked hard, though, to get a good mix of events (cultural, heritage, geographic and art form). Towards the end of the year, you’ll see fewer or ‘TBC’ listings – as many organisations are still to confirm their 2018 dates. Things are as up to date as possible. If something’s missing, it’s because we couldn’t find a solid confirmation of dates.

SHARE Share Alike

If there’s someone out there you know that would appreciate our planner, don’t hesitate to spread it around. It’s published under a Creative Commons License, which means you can use and share it for non-commercial purposes. If you use it yourself we’d love to hear about it. Tweet us or tag us on Facebook. We’d love to know if it’s working for you and how we can make it better in 2019.

WE WANT IT TO WORK FOR YOU

As with all of our resources, if you need an accessible version with larger print – let us know. We’ll happily supply it.

Main image credit: Fama by Manuel Jara (CC BY-SA 2.0)