Five ideas to help make your next community group event an awesome thriving success

Five ideas to help make your next community group event an awesome thriving success
Recently I hosted a community campfire session at a Salesforce Work Tour in Sydney. Here is the presentation and following along are the talking notes.
Have you ever been there? ... the guest speakers, pizza and drinks are all ready. In the next 15-minutes everyone that has RSVPed should be flooding in through the door.
The event is about to start ... but right now you are looking at an empty room.
In that 15-minutes before the event starts and you find yourself asking - what more could I have done? when that happens it is best to rephrase the question and ask - what more could we ALL have done?

The five ideas to help make your next community group event an awesome thriving success simply are:

  1. Start with listening to and involving the team.
  2. Make it about making a difference together.
  3. Always be ready for everyone to share.
  4. Always be smiling.
  5. Share the plan.

Thoughts and key takeaways to help make your next community group event an awesome thriving success follow.

Idea one - start with listening to and involving the team

Be prepared to be flexible, because it is about listening to and involving people.

KEY TAKEAWAY - you are not going to want any surprises, so make sure people are engaged right from the beginning.


  1. Before you start, have a rough idea about why - you should have an idea about the purpose of your event and how you are going to make it happen.
  2. Put together a very high level plan - but don’t overthink what others might be thinking, this is important because when people share and discuss the plan they work out how they can contribute.
  3. Share your thoughts and ideas, and then move on - ask for feedback, adjust and be prepared to bring people’s ideas into the plan because this will encourage involvement.

Idea two - make it about making a difference together

Remember that as more people become involved they start owning the project and this is good because their early involvement will inspire others.

KEY TAKEAWAY - make sure everyone is committed to the same outcome.


  1. When getting started a shared purpose is important - don’t rush it, get collaborative input from everyone.
  2. Be ready for a couple of false starts - to help with this initial discussion ask people to share what they want and don’t get put off with a couple of false starts.

Idea three - always be ready for everyone to share

Promoting is about involving others.

KEY TAKEAWAY - always be looking for opportunities to ask people to opt-in to this and other similar events that you are hosting.


  1. Promoting is how people get involved - promoting is how events get shared. The best sharing is word of mouth and through social media. Use personalised emails to share content that is easy for everyone to share.
  2. Personal one-on-one makes a difference - ask everyone involved to reach out to their networks and make personalised one-on-one direct messages about the event.
  3. Look for influencing opportunities - be an influencer and look for every opportunity to encourage the team to be asking others to become involved to help share the event.

Idea four -  always be smiling

About smiling, it is obvious about how you feel when you are smiling.

KEY TAKEAWAY - smile because opportunities are just waiting to happen.


  1. Don't worry - don’t go through the entire process worried about something going wrong because most likely something will.
  2. Be happy - if you are unable to smile throughout the process then it will show and you will find that nobody wants to be associated with something that is obviously unpleasant and painful.
  3. Apply to 80/20 rule - 80% of what happens is before the event, so make sure you have a plan.
  4. Stuff happens - having a well thought out plan that is going to minimise surprises gives you the time to work through things as they arise.
  5. Be ready to try new things - remember that nothing great will happen overnight, and that trying new things is about how you find your way to success.

Idea five - share the plan

When people are involved, then the event will be a success.

KEY TAKEAWAY -  delegation can only happen when you have people interested and invested in the outcome, if you are finding that you cannot delegate involvement then revisit the purpose and make sure everyone is on the same page.


  1. Get everyone involved - there is always something in the event planner that everyone can help with including organising content, promoting, venue/refreshment sponsors, coordination of agendas, audio-visuals, financials, RSVP management and all the other stuff that needs to be done to make a great event work.
  2. Have an agenda or run sheet - make sure that everyone knows what they need to do.
  3. Don't try and do it all yourself - have someone MCing, another person organised to ensure that people are greeted/seated, someone else watching the online recording and managing online realtime chat and social shares as required, etc.


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