Cities, communities, and businesses are finally getting back to doing all the in-person things they’ve been wanting to get back to.
But given the changes to how we meet now, how can organizers make sure that their events fit seamlessly into a city’s reopening? Also, how can events help businesses collaborate and boost the local economy like they used to? Big questions today, but we’re on it. This is how and why to partner with the local community for your event. Spoiler: It’s easy, and a win-win!
Partnering with the local community is as easy as picking up the phone.
Ring up local officials and business owners and tell them why your event is important. Ask if they want to work together to make the event even better. It’s as simple as that.
Even if you are familiar with your event’s host city, reaching out will give you tons of on-the-ground info. This could include local health and safety guidelines, how recent events went, what businesses recommend, and probably a handful of things you might not have thought about.
Make sure to ask about their recommendations for food, lodging, entertainment, fitness classes, and nightlife opportunities. Sometimes just finding out where the best coffee and bagels are is what can make your attendee’s day. Hint: It’s not always what Yelp says!
Reaching out locally is all about making connections with people that can actually help your event, and can make attendees more comfortable, or happier, or more intrigued. This is what events are all about!
Local partnerships will increase event safety.
ComicCon NYC was a huge success this year largely because the event partnered with New York City officials to make health and safety a top priority.
Showrunner Kristina Rogers of ReedPOP Events told Forbes, “Her team worked with local officials to enforce strict standards, including mandatory verification of full vaccination status for every attendee over age 12, and proof of recent negative test for all kids 11 and under. Masks are mandatory inside the event, and compliance appeared to be well above 90%.”
It’s one thing to have a safety plan, but sticking to that plan can require many specialized officials and dedicated health screeners. This is especially true with a big event such as Comic-Con, where 150,000 attendees, in full costume, made their way into the Javits Center.
Press for Comic-Con NYC was also positive. The NYTimes noted that the incorporation of masks simply made attendees get even more creative with costumes. Bottom line — the more people you have on board with your safety plan, the more of a success it will be.
Working with local vendors creates a unique experience.
Local food, drinks, entertainment, and vendors of all kinds will set your event apart from the competition, and create a unique experience.
Attendees want to try new things when they go to events. Don’t settle for the same old food and leisure options they have at home, give people something that they can’t get anywhere else — just like you already do with every other aspect of your event!
Use your new citywide connections to partner with local breweries, distilleries, bakeries, coffee shops, or even nightclubs. Wherever there is good food and good entertainment, there is an opportunity to collaborate and build your event around the local community.
Thinking locally is good for the economy.
No matter how you organize — virtual, hybrid, or in-person — events bring together a diverse group of businesses in a way that no other industry can match.
Use this potential to partner with businesses that might still be recovering. Encourage attendees to visit the event vendors in their brick-and-mortar shops. Maybe even partner with a nightlife venue offsite for an afterparty, or a yoga studio for a morning fitness meetup.
Also, don’t forget to promote local vendors on social media. This is most likely how attendees will find them (and it’s also a great way to build your own following). It’s all about creating simple ways for attendees to support local businesses and for those local businesses to do the same for your event.
Community buy-in will boost attendance.
Having local partners means easy, organic marketing. The more your event is discussed and amplified in the community, the more people will want to attend.
There is a chance people in the area will want to attend your event even if it is for a niche industry. Chances are they feel like they might learn something interesting. Or maybe they are even thinking about expanding their own business or switching careers.
With the right local partners, your event will generate organic marketing that connects with all people on a human level. There will be a genuine interest in what you are bringing to the community. As there should be!
Partnering with the local community is always a good plan.
No matter what kind of event you are organizing, partnering with local businesses and city officials will help you make a better experience for attendees.
City leaders can help you implement health and safety guidelines in your event space. Throwing in some local food and dining will give attendees new things to try, and you’ll be boosting local businesses (as well as your own). It’s a win-win all around!