Ever organised a series of events like meetups and the results were not exactly what you had dreamed of? Did your attendees give you the feeling that the meetups did not surpass their expectations?
Well, every event or meeting planner wants to deliver real value to his audience. So, if you have ever felt any of the emotions described above, you may need to pay more attention to these five elements:
Know your attendees
Make sure you are familiar with your attendees needs and interests. In most of the cases and especially when we are talking about professionals, your audience will want to address a very specific need and this is the reason why they are participating in your series of events. Your duty is to discover it. You should even consider asking your attendees directly or through questionnaires. The knowledge of your customer's needs is the number one factor and the basis for your meetups' success.
Set clear goals
Now you know your customer. Perfect! Next step is to set up clear goals. What do you want your attendees to gain when this series of meetups will be over? Based on what your customers have answered you and of course on your personal opinion (after all these events are a result of your initiative) make a list of goals. This will also help you define the most appropriate content and book speakers with the right skills and expertise. So, keep it relevant.
Respect your attendees time
I am sure that most of you have been in an event or a meetup that has gone far beyond the program. This simply sucks! Okay, it is something very common to be ten or fifteen minutes out of schedule, after all we are all humans. But it is something completely different to keep your attendees one hour or more. Respect your customer's time and try to keep your promises to them.
Did I mention networking?
As always a meetup never ends with the end of a presentation. Networking is a key element of an event's success and it is almost as important as your meetups's content (if not more important in some cases). By keeping your meetups' quality at a high level, it is likely that your audience's quality will be high too. As a result you will be able to offer a much more valuable networking session to your attendees, which is a key factor in a meetup's success and reputation. By the way, a beer during networking has never hurt anyone. Think about it! ;)
Build your own community
Last but not least, make sure that you have made it easy for your attendees to communicate your event via word of mouth. Create a twitter account for your events and also choose a unique twitter hashtag. This way you will be able to have all the content related with your events in one place, on a social network. It will also make it easier to create a social media buzz. I would also strongly recommend to register your meetups on a platform like meetup.com, so that your event's content will be gathered and accessible for your audience in one place at any time. That can help you create a community around your events and enhance that community's bonding. As a result, you increase your attendees' loyalty and help your events grow faster.
Author: Manolis Kyriakakis