Imagine the scene, you’re sitting down on your sofa, your event just finished, the last attendees leaving the room (or most likely video-call) and you let your mind stir away for a moment.
And then, it strikes you. This is not over. How do I get them back into my next event? How do I keep them engaged until then?
Well, do not worry more, stay comfortably on your sofa. In this article I will tell you everything you need to know about transforming your event(s) into a community that lasts!
But first, let’s see if your organization is event driven and what are the benefits of being one.
What is an Event-driven Organization?
An event-driven organization is one that sees events as opportunities for community building, brand awareness, and customer engagement. Event-driven organizations are able to create a sense of belonging among customers and employees by making them feel like they are part of something bigger.
Event-driven organizations can also use events to create an environment where people are more likely to share their ideas and opinions. The key is not just to have a quality event but also to have a quality experience for the attendees.
They have found that by hosting events, they can not only reach out to new customers but also keep current customers engaged. Events help them build relationships with their customers by providing them with valuable information about the company’s products or services.
The benefits of an event-driven organization are many:
– It creates a sense of community for the customers
This is the strong suit of Apple, aficionados of the brand are lining up to their keynote every year and the excitement doesn’t seem to be fading, year after year. They also have their own dedicated website, podcasts and forums all over the web to discuss what will be happening in Apple next events!
– It can be used for testing the water
Remember a dozen years ago? (I know it sounds old) but this is when Google introduced their Project “Glass”. Live from their Headquarter (this link will bring you back there if you don’t remember), you were able to share an interactive experience of their beta product at the time, Google glasses.
A great way to see if the consumers are ready for a brand new product (or not!).
– It helps the company to reach out to customers in a more personal way
See what Harley Davidson did with their Harley Owners Group, a way to bring fans together and organize events and meetups all over the globe. It is now one of the most popular motoring communities on the web, with over 1 million members!
– It increases customer retention rates.
Customer retention is paramount to companies. As a matter of fact, a recent research by Bain & Company shows that a 5% increase in customer retention can boost profits by 25% to 95%.
A good way to keep your customers yours is to provide them with value all year long. This is what events are here for and one of the reasons, any organization should have the means to create Virtual events in a minute. And if that’s not your case yet, check us out!
Why Events can be so Difficult to Scale?
Events can be difficult to scale because they are often planned and managed by a small team. The management is usually quite hands-on and the planning is very detailed. This makes it hard to delegate tasks, which in turn makes it hard to scale.
Here are some reasons why events can be difficult to scale:
– You need more people on the ground who can organize and manage the event
– You need more time and resources for event marketing and promotion
– The cost of hosting an event is usually high
– You need more space for events, which means higher rental costs
– There is a greater risk of things going wrong at an event than there would be otherwise.
Here are some tips on how you can scale your event and make it more manageable:
– Make sure you have a clear idea of what you want the event to achieve and who will be attending. This will help you determine the type of activities and topics that need to be covered at the event.
– Plan ahead of time by making a list of all the tasks that need to be completed for your event. This includes everything from venue booking, catering, equipment hire, etcetera.
– Avoid overbooking yourself with too many events at once as this will only lead to burnout and an inability to deliver quality work for all events
– Use Virtual or Hybrid events to limit the number of people physically attending your event. You’ll be surprised how many people love attending events from their sofa, especially introverts!
The Secret Weapon for Turning Events into Communities
We’ve established how important being an event-driven organization is and how to mitigate the scaling difficulties. Let’s see how to turn events into communities.
Events are a great way to attract new members to your community and keep them engaged. It is important to remember that the goal of an event is not just to build a community but also educate and inform people about your company and its offerings.
The first step in turning an event into a community is by creating a welcome process for new members.
This welcome process should include at least one email with information about the company, what they can expect from the event, and any other relevant information such as parking or directions.
The second step is having a meaningful experience at the event. This can include anything from providing good food or drinks, engaging speakers, or offering prizes for raffles or competitions.
The third step and our secret weapon is to use a platform that really translates your needs. On Lounjee, our data shows that more than “78% of attendees came back after the event to consume content, to network and to interact with sponsors and exhibitors”.
How do you manage such a feat, well, with a platform tailored for engaging members without or with little for you to do:
- Members have access to the event’s sessions, attendees, and more before, during and after the event
- Members have access to thematic channels and an activity feed where they can post and comment on each other’s activity
- Members can connect with rich profiles and an algorithm that suggest the best matches
This is your secret weapon that will keep people coming back for more.
What are the Best Practices for Creating Long-term Communities from Your Events?
Event organizers are always looking for ways to make their events more memorable. And one of the best ways to do that is to turn it into a community.
Events are a great way to build your community if you know what you are doing. But, there are some best practices to be followed so that it is easier for people to join your event and turn them into long-term communities.
The first thing you need to do is make sure that there is an incentive for people to attend your event. This can be done by providing them with freebies, discounts, or even prizes. The more valuable the incentives the more likely they are going to attend your event and stay in touch with you afterward.
The second thing you need to do is provide a clear goal of what people should expect at the event. This will help them decide if they want to attend or not because they will know what kind of experience they should expect from the event before attending.
Another way is to create a space for people to come together and share ideas before, during, or after the event. On Lounjee, this is generally where the channels will come into play, allowing your participants to provide feedback all year long about the events they’ve attended, the events they’re attending, and allowing you room to improve event after event.
In conclusion, transforming an event into a community that lasts is not a walk in the park, but with the right tool and the right mindset, it’s definitely something that can be achieved. And, if you have your own best practices, I’d love to hear more about it.
You can also find me in our Community builder group, where you can have a glimpse of the experience of turning events into a community, let me know what you think!