Event Key brings Roswell events into the 21st century; Local businessman, organizer creates app that tracks what’s going on in town
This screenshot is of the home page for Event Key. Event Key is a new app that lets people from Roswell and Chaves County stay up to date on what’s going on in town. The app is free and is available for Android and Apple phones. (Submitted Image)
There’s a new app in town.
For those who aren’t as technologically up to date as they might be, “app” is short for application. An app is nothing more than what used to be called a program.
One big difference between apps and programs is that often the software that runs the app is in the cloud, rather than on your machine, but that isn’t always the case.
Enrique Moreno, local organizer and businessman, decided that the time had come for Roswell’s people to have one place to go to find out what’s going on in town.
“They say there’s an app for everything,” Moreno said. “I found out that there really isn’t. So I decided to jump on this before somebody else did. I’ve had some people on Facebook calling me a dream crusher because they wanted to do an app like this.”
Part of his motivation was that he needed help in his profession.
“The event calendar helps me as an organizer,” he said. “People throw away flyers, but they won’t throw away their cellphones.”
He said he tried to make the app as useful as possible to as many people as possible.
“I went to Parks and Recreation Department and they sent me to the city,” Moreno said. “I spoke with them and they have a website where they list calendars. Parks and Rec has one, and the Civic Center. The city has one, too. I got permission to list their information as long as I don’t make a profit off of them.”
He said he will draw clear lines where money is concerned.
“I’m not profiting to list information,” he said. “You can download from iTunes and Google Play for free. The only charges for the app are business listings. Nonprofit events are listed free. For-profit events have a way to get listed for free, too, since we’re not trying to make a profit off of the listings. If they promote the app at their event or provide tickets that we can give away to the public, their listing is free.”
Moreno said that the app has already made a difference and that he expects it to continue to grow.
“If you have the app and you’re looking for something to do on the weekend, it’s right there,” he said. “We’re already using it to promote the next community yard sale. And we’ve had two people already sign up for the yard sale in September, so it’s already having an effect.”
He is prepared to list anyone with an event to share, he said.
“If anybody sends me a message, we’ll put their events on as long as they are family-friendly,” Moreno said. “The app is certified as ‘E’ for Everyone.”
Moreno surprised himself with this project.
“I never pictured myself starting an app,” he said. “I hired a company to write the code, to get the event calendar to work, so that you can save an event into your phone’s calendar so it can alert you the day of the event. I did the graphics myself, punched them in and they made it work. I have 24/7 support.”
He said the cost was surprising.
“It’s a pretty affordable service,” he said. “I’m wanting to see if anybody’s interested in the app process and wants to jump on board and work as a street team. There are a lot of good ideas out there that haven’t been found.”
It’s been a growing experience for him.
“I learned a lot of things while developing this app,” Moreno said. “Some apps are plug and play, like video games. You have somebody monitor them every so often to make sure there are no glitches. Event Key is not plug and play. I’m monitoring it every day to make sure it’s working as it’s supposed to. I’m reaching out to businesses. If a new event comes and someone doesn’t know about the app, I have to reach out to them and let them know it’s available.”
There are two features that make Event Key particularly attractive, he said.
“One of the features is if it’s a benefit-type event,” Moreno said, “a nonprofit, it has the ability to push an alert to anybody who has the app. One thing that hasn’t pushed yet but we will be pushing is, yard sales. The yard sale calendar has a feature where, at the bottom, it has a map button and you can use it to plan your route for going to yard sales.”
He’s hoping to serve all of Chaves County.
“I’m hoping that the people on the outskirts of Roswell, Hagerman and Dexter would download it,” he said, “and see what’s happening in the area, too.”
While businesses do pay for advertisements, Moreno stresses that users never pay for any information.
“Even though there are business listings,” he said, “this is a free app. All the contents are free to view. The only way this app will work is if people use it. We need people to download and use the app now. I’m not going to push advertising sales. I’m going to push downloads. User downloads are the main thing we’re wanting to push. I monitor it every day. Downloads are constantly going up.”
He’s also using lower-tech ways to reach people.
“I’m definitely still going old school,” Moreno said. “We’re doing flyers and banners at events. We’re going in person to events and pushing our app. We’ve got event collaborations to push the app and the events together.”
Moreno is working to better optimize the app for search engines.
“It’s a smaller app,” Moreno said, “being only local and not international, so it goes to the bottom of search engines. We’ll be focusing on Twitter and Instagram soon. Right now, we offer links for businesses that list to send us their Twitter link, so we can push it that way.”
Android users can find Event Key on Google Play with a basic search for Event Key, but it requires some scrolling. The easiest way to find the app on iTunes is to Google “event key Roswell app iTunes.”
Features reporter Curtis M. Michaels can be reached at 575-622-7710, ext. 205, or at firstname.lastname@example.org.