Are you considering an event as part of your community engagement or marketing plan?

In this article, two local event gurus, Jenny Bevis from Jenny Bevis Events and Denis Ginnivan from Events That Matter remind us events should be seen as unique moments to make an effective connection, for both the organiser and the guest.

Denis says an important community event is one which makes that connection by “touching the head and the heart”.

“The intellect – what you and the community know; the heart – how you and the community feel about the particular issue. Bringing these elements to a single event or a longer-term roll-out of a project is essential for effective engagement and development of a common purpose,” Denis said.

His advice is to use this as a guiding philosophy during the planning and the actual event and then it will more likely have a continuing effect afterwards.

Jenny Bevis supports this principle and encourages people to make personal connections at events.

“Connecting with others is the least recognised benefit of an event. We go online for everything which has the long-term effect of enabling our social laziness.

“Social etiquette, human connection will never be replaced by the gig economy and it’s important we continue to show up and be present in conversation for others,” Jenny said.

“Where most people go wrong when attending events is that they pinch themselves the following day for not grabbing hold of the opportunity.

“Events provide you with a ‘unique moment’ that you are meant to take advantage of.”

Jenny recommends you don’t hold back but rather, introduce yourself and expand your associations at events.

She says that as the provider of these opportunities, the event organiser should also reflect on what went well and what they would rather not do again.

“I suggest event organisers photograph and record details as they go, otherwise by the time the event rolls around again the following year or month, they have already forgotten the lessons they were meant to apply.”

Jenny has been the powerhouse delivering a series of events for Albury Wodonga’s Young Business Edge and consults with professionals and businesses on how to run their own events. You can find video tips on her website.

Denis was the key organiser of the Yackandandah Festival of Dangerous Ideas, working with a local reference group and Melbourne-based representatives of Ausnet Services. He is now working with a local planning group and a number of professional networks to deliver the Beechworth Festival of Change (coming up in April 2019).