You’ve successfully planned and executed your event and now you can’t wait to see what new and exciting opportunities come your way. However, it’s not a matter of sitting back and waiting for your community to grow. Community is something you need to nurture because it is based off of relationships, not brochures.
A similar way to think about growing your community is in the hypothetical scenario where you get a check from your grandparents every year for Christmas. As you grow up, you see nana and pops less and less, but you still are hopeful that your check will show up by Christmas morn. So you have two options for your relationship: do you a) cross your fingers and send up a silent prayer, or do you b) call nana and pops to wish them a Happy Thanksgiving and send them cards for their birthdays?
The answer is pretty clear and the same thought process works with building your community after an event. Don’t be afraid to take the first step and contact the people you would like to have do business with you. Some easy ways to interact are through the channels you’ve already created prior and during your event.
During your event, (and hopefully before too!) you’ve been tweeting with your designated hashtag and interacting with people. These are your community members. Your hashtag is still valid; you can use it after the event to share a link to a short post-event feedback survey. Feedback about your event is very important. This allows you to learn what was, or wasn’t, effective and helps you to know what you need to do in the future.
You spent a large majority of your time talking with people; did you supply them with an exclusive event-only coupon to convert them from attendees to customers? If not, contact them through the email addresses you collected either by talking in person or through a drawing collection box.
Chances are you won’t see an immediate return on your investment from hosting your event. That is okay! Most individuals are not early-adopters and like to take a long time before moving forward with a project. But you can remain front of mind by sending thank you cards. Let them know they weren’t just one face in a thousand, they are someone you can’t wait to help! Newsletters are another excellent way to stick with them.
These are only a few suggestions of ways to effectively nurture your growing community. What other ideas have you tried within your community?