Are you frustrated with lift-off on different aspects of your Salesforce community group? Lost on where to begin and end? Let’s jump into Monique’s perspective and organization about running a community group, specifically Salesforce Saturday, with less stress. Many of these tips can also apply to User Groups and Community conferences too.
Blasovia Monique Erinna co-organizes Salesforce Saturday in Utrecht Netherlands (and previously did the same for Amsterdam), and shares her tips for success.
Before you decide to have your events you must start out with the initial steps to begin your process. The first moving part is the dates and time for your location. Decide if it will be monthly, bi-monthly, or weekly. For the Utrecht Salesforce Saturday it always lands on the last Saturday of the month. Work with what you can give. It is a volunteer role and you should be able to give it your all during the time of the event. Work around your obligations such as work, family, and leisure time. When you do decide your dates, you need to stick to them. Try to also remember holidays and vacations. Once you have your dates be sure to post online the time, location and date. I like to send a reminder message one week prior. And sometimes a post the day before. Boost it!!!!
Location, Location, Location
Establish how many people show up to your event and work from there. The size of the location must accommodate plus or minus visitors. Other things to consider and mention to visitors are the accommodations such as free wifi, outlets for laptops, menu showing drink/food selections, local public transport, and the vibe. People like a welcoming place to go to. It needs to be clean, have nice staff, and space for laptops, bags, and ample seating.
Representing Salesforce whether you are a volunteer or not requires a safe space. A safe space is an idea of belonging despite your background or experiences. A safe space is free from thoughts like negative opinions, fear, violence, gender priority, or sexual harrassment. We are in the group to encourage and uplift each other. To manage your safe space and attendees, you can use a LinkedIn business page or group (or both!), Meetup, Trailblazer Community or Eventbrite.We personally use Meetup.com and changed the admin settings to help smooth out the process. Under group settings then new member settings, we ask questions if you are local, require first and last name, a photo (not an avatar) and where you are with Salesforce whether you are beginning or right in the thick of your career. Do not feel bad to decline a member. Let them know the reason why and they can re-apply again. People will understand about keeping our Ohana family members safe.
Event Description…Spill your Guts
You can go all in or you can keep it brief. But it’s best to tell your attendees what to expect. Such as a topic, if they should bring their laptop, special guest speakers. I like to send a welcome email to new members when I approve them to join in Meetup. It describes the venue, what Salesforce Saturday is about, Salesforce resources, and of course cheer! When sending reminders about the event be sure to give your CTA (call to action). Don’t leave them hanging.
Tell everyone the time, place and location. Another thing is to ask people to share. Doesn’t hurt to try. I use colorful images in my social media using Canva Pro. It isn’t required but I have been using it for many years and am quite proficient.
I prefer video posts like GIFs because it’s eye candy. Make it as engaging as you can. Emojis also elevate posts as well. A great website is https://emojipedia.org/. You can post instantly or you can schedule the posts. I like to make the posts ahead of time and batch them out. Girl needs her beauty rest.
The last bonus I do after I post is I like my own post. Sounds weird? Well it is, but it isn’t. When I like a post, Linkedin tells my followers and connections that I liked a post. People get curious and look to see what I liked and aha! My post has some impressions. Yaayyy!
Day of Event
Salesforce Saturday is a drop in event. Most people come for the whole slotted time. When the session starts I check my phone for messages from attendees i.e. if they are lost or coming late. I answer any last minute questions and reach out to those who missed the event.
In groups I have run its best practice to have attendees honor their RSVP. Alert user If you cannot come please un-rsvp. Though Salesforce Saturday group is volunteer based, I still feel that honoring your RSVP goes without saying. Breaking your rsvp is poor etiquette. Salesforce Saturday also serves as a networking event. Your presence gives the impression of effort and respect of the event. The accurate headcount helps with determining as well if you should pick a smaller or larger venue.
Say Cheese and Connect
We take photos of our events for people who are not sure what goes on to come on by the next time. Our happy faces also can relieve anxiety of meeting strangers. We share on social media like Linkedin and Twitter. Common hashtags I use are #Salesforce, #SalesforceSaturday, #Netherlands, #Developers, #CRM, #AlwaysBeLearning.
The next step is to tag visitors in our posts. The hashtags are collated and shared to people outside of your network that make searches. The tags are to open up our event to people within their network. Free advertising in my eyes. So you had your fun and met so many people. Connect with those on Linkedin or other social media. Salesforce Saturday is the component for networking, making friends, and connections. You never know, maybe you will go to another event and just need to hang with a familiar face.
I hope all these tips help to fire at all cylinders. Use humor! Use excitement! Be authentic! Explain why you want people to join and your group will come together in the best way.
If you want to learn more about setting up your own Salesforce Saturday, you can also check out an oldie but goodie, the Salesforce Saturday Cookbook, which still has some great hints and tips.
Follow and connect with me on Linkedin at https://www.linkedin.com/in/blasoviaerinna/ and see how I market myself and events or on Twitter at @Monique_Erinna where I talk more about Salesforce, general life, and more. I am always up for a quick chat.
YeurLeadin shares best practice and inspiration for Salesforce Community Leaders. Whether you’re on the organising team of a Community Group, Salesforce Saturday, Community Conference, or a Product Champion; or you’re otherwise deeply involved in the community, the aim is that we can all learn from each other. Have some epiphanies you wish to share? Let us know!