Both online communities and events (irrespective of whether they are online or offline) have common elements of networking, ideation, knowledge-sharing, and discussions. Especially, if we look at the online or virtual events space, many of the real-world events have been transformed into the digital format. This makes it highly useful to leverage a community platform for online events to get the best of both worlds.
We have everything from virtual conferences and live streaming to courses, trade fairs, and webinars. Considering the similarities between community building and organizing events, it would be highly valuable to connect both of them.
Although it is true that a company can plan and organize an online event without building a community, the community-driven approach enables you to engage your audience and create stronger networks not only during the event but also before and after the event.
With a community platform for online events, you can build your tribe around to increase the awareness of your events, attract new people, and retain the attendees for future events by delivering incredible value in terms of networking.
Leveraging a community platform for online events
In this post, we’ll discuss how companies can create communities around their events and how the Bettermode Platform helps with engagement and retention.
Step 1: Events that truly justify community building
Ensure that the events you are planning to organize can potentially congregate people around a shared passion to build a community. When conceptualizing an event, think of a bigger theme that would thrill the audiences and invoke their sense of belonging to become a part of something bigger.
Step 2: Building an integrated community for your online event
Now for the community, you must select a platform that integrates well with event management or conferencing software. For example, you should be able to automatically create community accounts for those who register for your event and deliver powerful social touchpoints inside the event software by embedding the community components such as discussions, feeds.
Step 3: Keeping the audience invested in the event and community designing
Gather feedback from the audiences from the beginning to ensure that they are actually co-creating the whole experience with you. That way, the audiences are fully invested in the event as well as the community since their feedback and ideas would get implemented.
Step 4: Promoting community engagement
With a host of notification tools, engaging content, and gamification techniques, you can improve community engagement. Empower the members to post questions, initiate discussions, participate in polls, react to content, win badges, increase their reputation score, and more to create thriving online communities for events.
Step 5: Boost networking for the entire event lifecycle
With the community, you can enable the members to connect with each other before, during, and after the event. This enables them to candidly share their experiences and build long-lasting networks. Ultimately, this increases the member stickiness which leads to the recurring subscriptions for your events.
How Bettermode helps in engagement and retention
With tools such as Zoom, Cisco WebEx, or even Facebook Live, you can facilitate an online event. However, these tools dedicated to hosting an event are just one component of the equation. Although you can connect the event organizers, speakers with the audiences, it is impossible to open up a channel to a network that can be achieved in a real-world setting.
With Bettermode Platform’s community platform you can re-create the magic of networking, audience engagement, and collaboration in your online event.
Here are some of the ideas to get started with implementing a social network or community engagement in the virtual event:
- Create topics around the theme of your events to enable peer-to-peer discussions. For example, if your event is around “Big Data”, you can create topics around ‘Data Science’, ‘AI/ML’, ‘Data Lakes’, etc.
- Create groups or channels to congregate members with shared interests or geo-location closer. For instance, you can create groups for attendees from the UK, US, France, Japan, China, and more. You can also, create groups based on the type of subscription members have purchased.
- Record the event and directly upload to Bettermode or use the embeddable videos (e.g., YouTube, Facebook) to share with the members. This way you can allow your members to watch the sessions based on their convenience. You can also initiate discussions under the video to collect feedback, ideas, and allow the members to share knowledge.
- Leverage Q&A for AMA - Co-ordinate with the speakers of the event to allocate a specific time to remain online on the community and allow the members to ask questions. This format of live questions and answers can be used to conduct “ask me anything”.
- Share resources by creating a dedicated section in the community to upload files, presentations, questionnaires, and notes.
- Run competitions using virtual currencies to promote your content, improve participation, and incentivize certain user actions. Allow members to redeem the currencies to win your event swags.
Now, it's time for you to create an engaging community for your online events with a community platform.