Event Series 2: Preparing and Planning

Events are a driving source for your coworking space whether it’s providing professional networking events or hosting educational courses – events will help bring in customers, new connections, and lasting friendships. Here are some key aspects of planning and preparing for your next event!

Understanding your communities needs: 
Regardless of whether you are planning a large or small event, you should always begin with what topic the event will be centered around. Surveying your community, research trending topics, inviting local organizations or businesses, key movers and shakers in your community, and at all times you can search Google. You can also find inspiration from other coworking spaces and ask their community managers/owners for insight about their favorite/best events. 

If you do decide to conduct a survey there are a few key things that you should include to get the most accurate results and to understand what your members are interested in. This allows members and the community to feel heard, by having space for them to write their own ideas.  

Here are a few key aspects to creating a kickass survey to help the planning process go smoothly:

  • Start by creating your survey by using a free survey creator like TypeForm.
    • Find information and gather key aspects of your target audience such as their name, company, and location
    • Ask for feedback and ratings of previous events
    • How did you hear about events? (Social Media, Newsletter, Word of Mouth)
    • What type of event is most beneficial?
      • Professional Development
      • Networking/Resources
      • Cross-Pollination
      • Inspirational
    • Allow members and the community to feel heard, by having space for them to write their own ideas.  

Tip: You can incentivize your members and the community by offering them a free day of coworking if they complete the survey! Make sure to collect their email to send them a coupon code and gain a new subscriber for your newsletter. This is an easy way to retain and gain new members for your coworking space. Check out our survey to help shape and gear your future events!

Important event questions: 
One of the most important steps in planning an event is thinking about key aspects that you want to provide for your community. You need the topic of discussion to spark an interest, to actually get them to come to the event. Some events may be more popular than others, but it’s still important to cater to niche topics as well – everyone should feel heard and welcome.

  • Who is this event for?
  • What are we going to be doing for this event and what is needed to pull it off?
  • When do I plan on having this event?
  • Where do I plan on having the event?
  • What do you need to pull off the event?
  • What value will be brought to this event?

These are just a few questions to ask yourself while planning events!

Choosing your speakers:
Once you have a specific topic that you have asked your community about and your survey results are completed, you can determine how to cater your event around what was requested. Following that, you should then start thinking about the experts in that field within the community – you can do this by creating partnerships for the events, and even reach out to local companies who could sponsor the event. For example, if your topic of discussion is Winery’s in the Grand Valley then contacting those who own winery’s in the community would be a good starting point. 

Reach out to these potential speakers and give them some background information about the event you are hosting. This will help them determine if they would like to participate. If they seem like they are interested in participating, confirm that they do. Sending them a Google Calendar invite will allow them to accept the invitation and sync it to their schedule.  Follow up with them a few weeks in advance to inform them of the specific steps they need to take to prepare for their portion of the event, give them a run-down of what the day’s itinerary will look like.  A week before, depending on the event – share potential questions and topics of conversation that will be discussed during the event. Don’t forget to remind your speakers and your network about the event a couple of days before and also the day of. Once the event is completed you should always follow-up with a gracious thank you note!

Now that you have gauged your community’s needs, answered the appropriate questions needed, and chose who will be featured at the event it’s time to prepare for marketing and promoting the event. Keep an eye out for the next blog in the event series!