We had our very first Community Manager Breakfast of the new season last week, on the topic of event management. It was a great discussion and a fantastic group of people – thank you to everyone who came out!
Many thanks to Kat Otto of Galvanize for taking notes (and a big thank-you to Galvanize for hosting the event)! These represent only part of what we spoke about – you’ll have to attend for the full shebang. Interested in joining us next time? If you’re a community manager, sign up here. If you’re not a community manager, I’m so, so sorry.
Have clear goals for your event
- Go to other events, and note what you like…but more importantly, what you hate.
- The very smallest things are the things that people remember the most; attention to detail is key
- No-brainer: create really relevant content that focuses on helping people do their job better
- Make sure human connections are happening – giving people an experience that they remember
- Don’t forget the fun factor!
Drawing an audience/scaling future audience:
- Make sure relevant & key people are there – give out free tickets! (and ask them to tweet about it)
- Show who else is going to be there – “if they’re going, I have to go”
- Take the star of the conference/event & follow through with more content, events
- Lean on real-time social data from the event
Struggle: online events/forums/platforms – not as interactive as hoped
How do you pose questions/give instructions in a way that guests/attendees feel that their input & participation is needed & valued?
- Need first followers/active participants to start the conversation
- Pathable – interact with other attendees, articles by speakers, discussion boards, etc. – pre & post event – a private community – added an additional layer of community
- Take interesting content & push it out to social media
- Get speakers to seed content – other topics surrounding the topic they are planning to speak on (you don’t want to ruin the talk)
- CMX Summit does this really well
- Logistical discussions may not be sexy, but can get people interacting prior
How do you keep people coming back?
- Ask what they want to see, why they’re not coming back (though probably ask more than once to get an honest answer)
- Reach outside & beyond the pool/database of people that you’re given. What adjacent events/communities can you promote to?
- Relevant recurring content vs diversity of content
- Find your focus. Parisoma has been successful in bringing their own members to events – specialize in business content, which is hyper-relevant to their members
Revitalizing a stale event
- Try new locations
- Consider hosting less frequently
- Make it more exclusive
- Re-brand – new name, new tone, etc.
- Take a break – 6 months – make people miss it!
- Be strategic about messaging, though. You haven’t failing, you’re “taking a break to plan exciting new things”.
Structuring an event team
- Content managers: background in the arts & design can be good
- Do you separate logistics and content?
Looking forward to seeing folks at the next breakfast!