Events allow you to amplify your brand, organize your user base, and impact real people offline. One must know that community building starts much before the event begins and continues well after that. More intimate events make meeting new people with shared interests less daunting. It gives attendees the chance to connect more effectively. People come to events to gain knowledge, share, and network. Tap that energy which flows through the crowd. Convert it to build and nurture a community. Community building exercise in events has the potential to give you sweet fruits – which in this case are your brand advocates.
The community that gets together grows together. Supporting a setting which can get people talking and spend time together will empower community building. This will make it easier for those people to stay in touch and work together online after the event comes to an end. Such an opportunity aids to get to know people better and opens the door to the chance of working with them at some point in future.
1. Focus on the right thing
It isn’t necessary that all your events should focus on sales and marketing. To build the community for your brand or to nurture brand advocates one needs to have the event focused on content and value. Not to mention that sales and expansion will be the automatic result of creating an event with great content and great customer value.
A thriving event sets up a mobile friendly multi-platform environment for registered delegates, speakers, and stakeholders. These people make use of this platform to communicate and share ideas before, during and after your event. This platform will be a place for conversation around core event topics that will encourage audience engagement with your key messages and increase the longevity of the event. It should be a centralized go-to place to know anything and everything about your event. The page should have program information, schedules, speaker listings and profiles, sponsor/exhibitor information, searchable attendee directory, private messaging and public discussion forums and social media integrations like Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.
You don’t need to spend your time working with a web developer to deliver a top notch page for your event, you can simply register your event with Explara’s . Event Connect is a mobile friendly platform which has features like Event Schedules, Discover people, Chat & Discuss, Networking, Event updates and more.
Make sure only registered members have access to this page and brand advocates have a different landing page. They should be treated in the vein of VIPs. Special treatment will raise your image in their eyes.
3. Be committed to stay connected
Leverage technology to enable and support events as communities. Strategize your every move creatively to engage your communities and brand advocates. Offer gamification components on your platform. There is a wide range of engagement tools to keep the relationship with your community evergreen and interesting. Allow the members of your community network to engage with you, as well as with each other.
Let them have a free hand to own some pieces of content that mirror what they are. Use the platform to reach out and say thank you. Share the content they are creating around your brand, give their content a boost and recognition by featuring it on your online portals.
4. Treat brand advocates as your VIPs.
Treating your brand advocates with respect and appreciation is essential to your brand’s reputation. They do high impact advertising at a low cost. So,you pamper them by creating an environment of exclusivity which makes your event even more appealing. It is extremely appealing to them when you shower with passes to share a table with your sponsors, high-profile speakers, or get an exclusive peek behind the curtain or passes to an after event party with other brand advocates.
5. Give food for thought
Offering free food is a good incentive to make people stay at the venue and have a chitchat with people who share the table with them. This will improve your chances of community building. Else they will go out to have food in small groups which more often consists of already acquainted people.
6. Arrange group transportation
If the budget permits you and the logistical arrangements can be done, then arrange group transportation. This will persuade people to face each other and maybe start a conversation. In the age of traffic snarls and road rage, this will also encourage people to attend the conference.
7. Push for mixing
People tend to be in their comfort zone and take seats next to their friends/colleagues/ conference-friends. You will have to nudge a change by making them play games which will encourage them to swap seats with people in another table or some activities that will require them to move around and dividing people into random groups to play a game. This will surely give power to community building.
8. Goodies for Goodwill
Do not cut corners when it comes to giving goodies to your loyal community. Remember they are your best ambassadors to the outside world. They would love to sport your gear. Send them stickers, coffee mugs, t-shirts, hand-written notes, recognizing their contributions inside and outside the community. It doesn’t have to cost much but little things like this lead to better kinship for the community.
9. Celebrate your community
Hatch a plan to share simple success stories of your current customers. People can resonate better when they know that others faced similar problems as theirs and they got over it. When your marketing team converts a customer to consumer, your customer success teams should ensure that a customer becomes a brand advocate with unmatched quality of products and service.