In McKinley Advisors’ 2023 survey of association executives determining an events strategy was found to be a focus for most associations. The events landscape has evolved significantly since COVID-19 and so when putting together an Events strategy, it feels like there are a lot more moving parts. Successful events are at the core of engaging your members and creating a strong community. Here are some steps to follow to create a successful events strategy.
- Analyze Past Events: Review the successes and challenges of past events, both pre-COVID and during the pandemic. Understand what worked well and what could be improved upon.
- Survey Your Audience: Gather feedback from your target audience to understand their preferences, comfort levels, and expectations regarding in-person, virtual, or hybrid events. This data will be invaluable in tailoring your strategy to meet their needs.
- Set Clear Objectives: Define the specific goals of each event you plan to host. Whether it’s community building, education, networking, or fundraising, having clear objectives will guide your event planning and execution.
- Consider Event Formats: Carefully evaluate the benefits and limitations of different event formats, such as in-person, virtual, or hybrid. Each format has its advantages, and choosing the right one, depends on the goals of your event and the preferences of your audience.
- Focus on Engagement: Regardless of the format, prioritize attendee engagement. Incorporate interactive elements, networking opportunities, and Q&A sessions to keep participants actively involved and connected.
- Safety First: If you’re considering in-person events, prioritize the safety and well-being of attendees, staff, and speakers. Implement health protocols, adhere to local guidelines, and communicate your safety measures transparently to build trust.
- Invest in Technology: For hybrid events, invest in high-quality technology to ensure a seamless experience for both in-person and virtual attendees. This includes reliable live streaming, interactive tools, and user-friendly platforms. Sengii can help you with this.
- Promote Inclusivity: Design events that cater to a diverse audience and consider accessibility for individuals with disabilities. Make sure your events are welcoming and inclusive for all participants.
- Create a Strong Online Community: This will help to foster connections between members before, during and after the events.
- Collaborate with Partners: Consider partnering with other organizations or sponsors to enhance the value and reach of your events. Collaboration can also bring fresh perspectives and resources to your events.
- Measure Success: Establish key performance indicators (KPIs) to measure the success of each event. Analyze data on attendee satisfaction, engagement levels, and other relevant metrics to continuously improve future events.
- Stay Adaptable: Remain flexible and open to adjusting your events strategy as the situation evolves. Monitor industry trends and be ready to pivot to new formats or event types if necessary.
By following these steps and continuously refining your events strategy based on feedback and data, you can create successful events that engage your members and build a strong and vibrant community.