A real-world meeting bonds a group better than years of online interactions.
Big events (conferences, festivals, meet-ups) are dropping the ball. Registering for a big event should enrol you in it’s online community. You should be able to talk to others going to the event, plan after-parties and side-meets and build relationships before you arrive.
It’s easier to introduce yourself to people in person when you’ve spoken online. By creating the online community for the event, you will make your event more sociable. More so, the online community sustains the relationships and mood (spirit) that was created during the event. Members can plan smaller meets, follow up on discussion points, give easy feedback.
After an event, the community manager should follow up ruthlessly. There are many ways to do this…
- Start threads on topics of debate and ask members to comment on them.
- Open suggestions/recommendations for future events.
- Ask attendees when the next event should be scheduled.
- Write a brief editorial of the event (mention lots of people by name).
- Have a vote on a topical issue.
- Suggest a future activity or topic to discuss
- Highlight other events that members might like to attend (negotiate for bulk-discounts!).
If you’re relying on a hashtag to do all this, you’re really missing out.