Have you ever truly thought about what it means to be a member of the community? Communities can be physical (neighborhoods, business districts), organizational (such as the Chamber of Commerce), or industry focused (for example, the financing industry).
Your active involvement in these communities benefits not only the community as a whole, but also you and your business. Attending events hosted by other community organizations allows more than just an opportunity for you to participate, learn and network. Additionally, it provides you with a venue to learn how those organizations are branding themselves, who they are partnering with, and how they are contributing back to the community. Conversely, hosting your own event allows you to showcase your business, network with other like-minded folks, and provide beneficial information to your community.
At Far West Capital, we like to keep our events interactive with knowledgeable speakers. At our recent joint event with Capital One Bank, Rich Russakoff shared his wealth of experience and provided participants with fundamental “how to” steps for establishing and maintaining relationships critical to funding business growth. It was a great chance for entrepreneurs to learn, network and enjoy a tasty lunch. It’s no secret we’re passionate about helping entrepreneurs grow their business – whether we work with them to provide financing and/or we’re able to provide them with other beneficial resources from our network that they can use. It’s just one of the ways we enjoy giving back to the Austin community.
The reason we love hosting interactive events is because we constantly get feedback from attendees about the value. Interaction allows members of the community to engage with one another during the process of learning more about the main topic of an event.
If your organization decides to use its expertise to improve your community, we have a few things to consider before you begin planning your next event:
- Will this event benefit the community as a whole?
- Is the topic of this event timely? Relevant? Interesting? Beneficial? Entertaining?
- What is the structure of this event? Panel? Guest speaker?
- When is the best month/week/day/time for this event?
- What is the best setting for this event? Breakfast? Lunch? Dinner? After Hours?
When planning a community event, leverage your expertise. For example, if your company has positioned itself as the foodie of the community, use this forum to share your knowledge about up-and-coming restaurants. This raises awareness about your brand and positions you as an expert on the topic. You can also consider involving a local charity, giving them a forum for highlighting their work and perhaps a portion of the proceeds from the registration fee.
Plan on hosting a community event? We’d love to hear about it.