The Importance of Community for Event Managers
How community can help support the wellbeing of event managers in a remote-first new normal
What is community? It’s a word that is hard to define but fundamental to the human experience. Being part of a community helps creates a sense of belonging along and a way to connect with other people. It’s connections that create change – connections between people, and connections between people and ideas.
In the events industry, the recent COVID-19 pandemic caused a huge shift in the way we worked, with all events turning virtual. Communities helped to keep the industry alive and played an important role in knowledge sharing, providing support, networking and with personal and professional development over this period.
Communities can be formed in many different ways, whether it be at work, at an event or through social media. They can be professional or personal or linked to hobbies. They can come in all different sizes, from small-scale with only a handful of people to large online communities with thousands of members. Either way, there are benefits to both with a personal community helping to provide support and guidance outside the workplace and a professional one helping more with development within the industry.
So what’s the benefit of community for Event Managers? Below are some key points on the importance of community for event managers.
1. Advice, Guidance & Support
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, in-person events were halted, and the industry pivoted to the virtual world as a way to keep in touch and keep the industry alive. During this period, there was an emergence of new event communities which helped provide advice, guidance and support to event managers in a time of uncertainty.
Event Grads is a great example of an event community and support network for event students and graduates that was created during this time. The community shares resources, jobs, events, networking opportunities and is a platform that provides advice, guidance and support to those in the industry, with their Facebook community currently at 1.6k members and 5.2k followers on LinkedIn. At a time where the industry had to adapt and learn a new way of working, these communities were and still are an invaluable resource for event managers and they can help shape the future of the industry.
Event management is consistently named amongst the top five most stressful jobs in the world, more stressful than being a firefighter or airline pilot. Having a community to unload and discuss the stresses of the job with like minded industry professionals is vital for wellbeing.
Whilst we are now recovering and coming out the other side, the COVID-19 pandemic caused isolation and loneliness, with over half of UK adults reporting that the pandemic affected their wellbeing. More than 1 in 3 event planners reporting that their wellbeing was affected, with them feeling either burnt out or anxious.
At Legacy, we are a remote-first company, so it is imperative that we consider the community we are creating amongst our employees. Working remotely can have its challenges, it can be harder to build friendships within the workplace, and you can feel more isolated and lonely. Fostering a sense of community and shared goals in the workplace has been shown to improve happiness, productivity and creativity, benefitting both employer and employee.
As Event Managers, being part of a community can provide opportunities for collaborations with other industry professionals. Examples can include collaborating on industry reports, research and events. These can then produce valuable information that can help shape the industry. These collaborations raise your profile to become an ‘industry thought leader’ and give you the opportunity to learn from others, come up with fresh, innovative ideas and helps boost productivity.
Networking is an important part of building/becoming part of a community. In person events give you the chance to network and meet new people. This can be supplemented by being active on social media networks such as LinkedIn, Twitter and Instagram. Take the example of Julius Solaris of Bold Push, a master of using his professional network to boost. He recently wrote a guide to the Metaverse that is free, you just need to message him on Twitter to be sent a copy. In this way, he is adding value whilst growing his network and professional contacts
As the professional relationship develops and you become more established within the community, collaboration opportunities are more likely to present themselves.
4. Professional and personal development
Being part of a community helps to build your professional and personal profile, enabling you to learn from others, hone on your skills and build confidence. There are a number of different ways to build your professional and personal development, whether it's watching educational videos, taking courses or through conversations with others. All of these can often be sourced through your communities.
Communities can also help you to keep up to date with industry trends and reports which can assist you with your professional development. Online communities often share resources such as industry trends and reports which can help you gain a competitive edge as you are up to date with any new information which can help inform decisions on your future events. For example, being part of the Eventbrite community means you are given early access to their annual Event Trends report, positioning you to serve those creative event ideas that match your attendees’ hopes and expectations.
At Legacy we understand how important having a good community around you is to find new suppliers for your event, even more if you are trying to understand their sustainability policies. That is why we launched Legacy Marketplace, a marketplace that aggregates sustainable suppliers for events, a platform for event planners created by event planners. A way of bringing collaboration to another level.
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