Community Building

3 sure shot ways to generate impressive online engagement for your offline events

generate impressive online engagement

We all know that building a community is not easy. The more difficult part though, is to keep its members from losing interest. Be it online or be it offline, it’s important that the conversations do not stop. While there are multiple ways of online community management, one of the very underutilized ways is having community events. And yes, we did tie-up Online Community Management and Offline Events here. Let’s see how that works.

Let’s look at why members join communities worldwide, first. According to the 2015 Membership Marketing Benchmarking Report by Marketing General, most people in any community (about 23%) join the community to network with others in the same field. And this brings us to some very crucial must-do.

a) A community must be focused towards one industry.

b) A community should certainly have credible Subject Matter Experts in them.

c) A community would need to have regular interaction sessions.

d) A community should promote knowledge sharing as the primary purpose.

e) Every activity should either advance to or resonate with the mission of our community.

Having said this, let’s look at the ways to make this an impressive and exciting journey. Today, we are considering the engagement we can create online for offline community events.

1 Define A Topic That Suits Your Purpose

Just because the topic is well used in the industry, coining a series of events or workshops around that will serve no value. The purpose of conducting the event should be targeted at bringing a brand new technology, addressing challenges, elaborating new reforms, etc. And this would need a bit of research. The best way to do it is run a short online survey of about 5-10 questions asking your members about:

i) The kinds of situations that have been bothering your members,

ii) The troubles with using a particular technology,

iii) The statutory hurdles their businesses are impacted by, etc.

2 Form A Focus Group

Of the many members in your community, there would be some who are very active and discuss relevant industry insights. There would be some more who you know have great knowledge, but are reserved or shy. The easiest way is to form a Focus Group and involve each of them in the discussion of how the event can be structured. Some suggestions might be workable, some might be too difficult to execute. Every perspective is important. Take them, analyze them and list out the reasons why each of them could be either dealt with immediately or need more work. Present this analysis in front of the focus group and note the reactions and points discussed again.

And while the first meeting could be in person, the rest of the discussion could be on a closed group or different threads on your forum. This could enable people to contribute their focused thought in their free time, thus not making it relaxed and voluntary an involvement.

3 Create Content Campaigns Highlighting The Pain Points

Once the challenges are identified, its time to build content around it. The way to do it is a series of articles, blogs and Q&A sessions that involve the Subject Matter Experts identified and the other members of the community. Most of these should happen on
public forums where your community members hang out. This would not only get more people interested; even the involvement of your other members will position.