3 Min Read

Use your community to take events online

As almost all in-person events are cancelled in the wake of the Coronavirus (Covid-19), there has never been a more important time to stay connected. In these difficult times, online engagement is vital to keep people informed and help people stay connected with each other.

It can be very comforting to know that while your community stays at a distance, your online community has never been more bustling and eager to interact.

With that in mind, we’re happy to announce the launch of our new events feature, allowing you to use your online community to publish and promote an event to your user base, while keeping the conversation going long after the event is over. 

For those of us, (of which there are many!) seeking to mitigate from the impact of in-person event cancellations, running online events, such as webinars, can be just as effective.

The problem? Most online community software out there only treats events as something you need to announce, and members can sign up to. What a shame! The real value of an event doesn’t just come from the event itself—it’s also about the value your customers derive from it and their continued interest and engagement after it! That’s why using your community to generate content and encourage conversation before, and after, your event is a great way to interest and keep your users engaged. 

In this blog we will run through how some of our customers are already taking advantage of our new events feature and highlight exactly how you can get the most of it.

Here’s how online learning platform, Coursera, nicely published and promoted a recent webinar via their community: 

Coursera community events

People who are interested in the event can find out more details, find any relevant event links (in this case, directly to the Zoom link for the webinar) and click ‘attending’ directly from the events page.

Of course you can also see a neat list of all attendees too, as shown on this Gainsight event they created for their office hours session:

Using the ‘featured topics’ section of the event page, as shown above, is a great way to encourage continued conversation around your event both before (with pre-event reading materials, for example), and after, as people give their feedback and thoughts on the event. 

You can always easily access past events too, and check how many people attended, as you can see from the events page on the IFS community:

IFS community events

Using your community to publish and promote events not only keeps users engaged, it’s also a great way to boost SEO and drive traffic. You can highlight events on your community homepage too for maximum exposure, by placing them in regular widgets or in a specific event calendar widget like this:

Or, have them as a sidebar widget as shown here:

Events play a key role in many companies’ strategies and will continue to do so. By putting your online community at the centre of the event experience you facilitate knowledge sharing between community and ensure the conversation around your event goes on long after it’s finished.

Our aim is to make it as easy as possible to increase engagement among your customers and users, especially as events are moved online, while also helping you prove the value of your community to the rest of your organization.

We’ve prepared a whole new suite of documentation to help you navigate the new events feature—check it out here. If you have any questions around our events features, or you would like more practical advice on how to set up and promote an event on your community, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.