Events and activities are a great way to keep members of your online group coming back for more. The next time you are planning an event or face to face get together, encourage your members to get involved in shaping the event. This will not only help with attendance, but can help generate more activities and ideas to be developed online as well as at the face to face event.
Here are three ways you can use your online group to create a successful event:
1. Ask members for ideas and help
You know members of your group will want to come along to a well-planned and interesting event, and one that they can take something away from. Getting members involved and informing the direction of the event will ensure that it benefits them and their needs.
Harness their interest by inviting them to be part of the planning committee for the event. Your online group is an ideal space for event planning committees to convene for the easy exchange of ideas and discussions, all in one central location. This also allows other members to see what is going on and suggest ideas, or even volunteer to help too.
2. Promote it and get your members excited
Having a focused group of like-minded members provides a huge advantage when it comes to promoting and marketing relevant events. Now that members have been involved with planning the event from the start, they will be your evangelists – your event promoters. They will spread the word and promote the benefits of attending to others.
Members will spread the word about the event through their networks, highlighting what the event can offer and helping to build momentum through information about the guest speakers, workshops and takeaways. In addition, this might also attract new members.
Don’t forget to post regular reminders about the event so members can look forward to it, and keep the momentum going.
3. Encourage members to meet in person
“It was great to finally put a face to a name,” is something we hear a lot and your event can help to encourage this.
When members have been communicating and reading each other’s posts in an online group, they will welcome the opportunity to meet each other in person and build on the conversations in the group.
Through opportunities to meet in person, members can encourage greater online collaboration through more established and trusted connections. This can supercharge your online group after the event and members will be more likely to respond to questions and provide advice.
Remember, the conversations do not have to start and stop when the event begins and ends. The presentations, summaries and video interviews taken from the day can all be made available in the group afterwards. All questions that have been raised, issues discussed, and topics of importance can be explored further within your group after the event. Members that were unable to attend can also get involved in conversations and build on the knowledge gained.
So, ensure your event is a success by creating a buzz and involving your group members from the start. Help them understand what’s in it for them and the value of participating in the event; and encourage them to promote the event more widely.
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