To create and sustain an authentic community, event planners are said to need a place where they have a voice and can be heard, and where all opinions are considered.
To illustrate one example of an authentic community, Gregory Crandall, Director of Brand Engagement at Pico+ Hong Kong, recalled when he headed a society magazine in Hong Kong. The high-end readership included a database of several hundred top executives, with the main asset being the bond between readers, the editorial voice, and the advertisers, which created a distinct community.
‘Our priority was to create a platform where these executives could share their experiences and ideas and interact with the editors, the brand, and its advertisers,’ Crandall said. ‘Using the platform, we could invite the resulting community to events. It was about engaging with them all for long-term “stickiness”.’
The same principle, he said, applies to how event planners need to build communities, adding that planners should engage with conference delegates or event attendees and understand their preferred mode of communication.
‘Create platforms for engagement before and during the event, and ensure you have a long-lasting multi-platform relationship with your attendees after the event,’ Crandall added. ‘Done well, you will have created a business community with strong personal “buy in” with your brand.’