Learn how the best event profs communities build successful groups worth joining.
Communities for professionals are booming. Joining them has made it easier to stay on top of industry news, gather valuable recommendations, and network with peers.
In the events industry, groups have sprung up in dozens, ranging from the overall events sector to more niche and specialized groups.
Now, it’s worth asking ourselves, what has made these communities active, engaging, and successful?
Next, we identify the best practices implemented in major event profs communities.
Although we analyze and take examples from event profs communities, the following practices could be generalized and implemented in all types of professional groups to achieve successful community building.
Being consistent, proactive, and responsive
Firstly, great communities are consistent in their engagement and content. If you create a community, promote it, and invite lots of people but hardly post anything, people will quickly forget it.
Therefore, the best communities for event profs are places where you can find relevant content daily or weekly. Content can range from tips and tricks to technology recommendations to resources for event planning.
Then, communities that stand out from the crowd are proactive. Most new members are not likely to start posting right after joining, so community ambassadors introduce them and proactively engage them in conversations.
Alongside that, thriving communities are highly responsive. Indeed, many professionals get into them seeking help or suggestions from peers. If they don’t find it or are left hanging, they won’t be likely to return.
No one likes spam.
Recognizing this, most communities for event profs restrict or completely ban any self-promotion. Usually, this includes product or company promotions and links to an organization’s website.
Some communities go a step further, prohibiting any gated content. For instance, EventProfs Mastermind for Event Planners does not permit any events, surveys, webinars requiring payment or sign up.
Most importantly, good communities communicate clear guidelines, especially for people that have just joined them. Commonly, these guidelines are located in the “about” section of the groups, detailing bullet points of what is acceptable and what isn’t.
Making valuable connections with peers is at the heart of event profs’ communities. Consequently, the best of them are those that are successful in creating and sustaining relationships among members.
Notably, event profs communities on Slack have distinct channels to promote networking and encourage personal introductions.
Besides those channels, an increasingly popular networking tool on Slack is the Donut app integration. For instance, the Event Profs Unite community uses this automated bot to pair community members each Monday and encourage them to meet.
Also, polls are a great way to involve members and take the pulse of the overall community. One of their unique benefits is identifying what type of content members are interested in and the main reasons for joining the group.
For instance, the reason could be networking or content, which would gear the groups towards supporting connections or sharing great articles and eBooks. Crucially, by asking directly, community creators and moderators can work with data rather than assumptions.
Additionally, polls can spark debates and conversations around the main concerns, and challenges members are facing. And they signal that community organizers value the opinions of their members.
Setting up contests
Who doesn’t like a contest? Most people are competitive and want to participate in contests, especially when there is something at play.
Contests don’t have to be intricate or complex to attract participation. For instance, Eventland offered tickets to South by Southwest (SXSW) for members who were quickest to comment “I’m In” on a social media post. That way, community organizers reward active members who frequently keep up with the LinkedIn group.
Alternatively, other contests challenge members on creativity. A popular competition is a selfie challenge, whereby the most original selfie from a community member gets a prize.
Offering exclusive perks
As added incentives, giving out perks is a sure-fire way of attracting and building loyal community members.
For example, Eventland gives members early registration to events and direct access to usually gated content.
Alternatively, gifting swag bags or merchandising boxes can impress community members and turn them into ambassadors in the long term.
Hosting community events
Finally, events can bring together the community in a shared experience. Importantly, they can kickstart networking and strengthen relationships between members.
Above other types of events, community events place attendees at the heart of the planning, devising content and activities according to their wants and needs.
An excellent showcase of this is the Eventland launch, where a community of global event professionals came together to have fun and share thoughts, insights, and ideas.
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