The buzz of people’s voices under the glass roof of the Dome of Visions in Aarhus Ø was a good sign for an event organizer like myself. This buzz means interactivity, excitement and curiosity. This means that people are riding the bandwagon of #LinkedInLocal’s purpose – to go from online to offline, and of the Dome’s vision – putting action into words, diversity and culture. Needless to say, this event is a success.
This means that people are riding the bandwagon of #LinkedInLocal’s purpose – to go from online to offline, and of the Dome’s vision – putting action into words, diversity and culture.
This is #LinkedInLocal Aarhus’ 2nd event and more than 40 people are showing up, networking and getting to know each other, sharing stories and essentially connecting in an informal setting. For others, this may just be an ordinary event, but not so for me. This event teaches me many things, among others – to be confident and comfortable of my capacities, to strive for things that matters, to connect beyond names and titles, to never be afraid to try.
Before Aarhus, I lived in Aars in Nordjylland (40 kilometers from Aalborg). I have had struggles finding my tribe of like-minded people. I want to create events, create a community of people who love ideas and inspire others but finding these people were quite difficult in that part of Denmark.
But not so in Aarhus. A few days after moving to Aarhus in September 2017, I was at Vestas attending a networking event. I met amazing people who became my friends until this day. Then I tried attending other events until I decided to create my own.
From a hesitant person to a renewed one, I have to say that I have grown a lot since moving to Aarhus. There are events to participate and create, people to meet, help and get help from, people to learn from, activities to do, and a life to live here in this vibrant city.
There are events to participate and create, people to meet, help and get help from, people to learn from, activities to do, and a life to live here in this vibrant city.
Who you know in the area where you create your event is also very important. I’m lucky that I partnered with Kotryna Kurt for the first event. Kotryna is a networker and a LinkedIn influencer who knows a great deal of people in Aarhus, so her knowledge and connection helped a lot in the success of the first event on the 21st of February 2018.
Below are my 10 tips on creating events and specifically organizing #LinkedInLocal Aarhus. If you are thinking about organizing a #LinkedInLocal in your area, I hope these tips and tricks can help you.
1. Start with WHY – why are you organizing #LinkedInLocal, or any event for that matter? I get it, the #LinkedInLocal movement is very trendy as it’s everywhere on LinkedIn, it’s easy to join the bandwagon. But before deciding to organize, ask yourself why you are organizing it. You will most probably be asked why by others and by the #LinkedInLocal founder if you book a meeting with them to host an event. For me, organizing events has always been one of my passions. I love meeting people and seeing people interact. Besides this, I was looking for a community in Aarhus, one where I feel like I belong. From the first event, the #LinkedInLocal Aarhus event turns into not just a once-every-three-month event but also a community of people enjoying each other’s company. Your WHY is important because it is what keeps you going even when there can be possible glitches and problems along the way. Your WHY keeps you going.
Your WHY is important because it is what keeps you going even when there can be possible glitches and problems along the way. Your WHY keeps you going.
2. Identify your theme or topic. Think about what value you want your participants to have. For our first event, we talked about using LinkedIn to further one’s brand. It encourages people to use LinkedIn and to brand oneself well. For me, topic is important because it give the participants an idea about what they are going to get from the event, besides the cool networking part.
3. Find the venue first before announcing on LinkedIn or Eventbrite. Finding the venue has always been the most challenging part in creating #LinkedInLocal Aarhus events since we don’t have the finances to rent or pay for venue, and that the event has free entrance. Finding venues like bars, cafes or restaurants where participants themselves buy their own drinks and food is quite a challenge, especially in the beginning when an organizer like me did not have contacts yet. However, I assure you it gets easier as people recognize the importance of your event, and you have statistics to prove that people do go to your event so it can generate income for the venue.
4. Find the right speakers.Speakers make or break an event so find them well. It can be time-consuming but maybe start by looking at the participant’s background and see if there are possible speakers in your future event? On my part, finding the speakers is one of those things I find exciting in event planning. I usually start by emailing or meeting speakers and getting to know them a bit. It is of great joy to be able to talk to speakers, tell them about your event, allow them to see your vision for the event and basically just learn from them. The speakers in #LinkedInLocal Aarhus has been such a blessing to me as they are not only very knowledgeable people, they are also very generous with their time and their advises, no wonder they are successful individuals.
5. Write good event description on Eventbrite. So you have your venue, your date and time and your speakers. Time to market your event using Eventbrite. Write a catchy description of your event and why people should join you. Write something that makes event-goers excited. Write why they should join and what they can learn. It should be clear to them what they can get from your event.
6. Post about your event on LinkedIn. On my LinkedIn page, I usually start regularly promoting the event one month before it’s happening, with a once a week post about it. Just enough for people to know that it is indeed happening. While this may depend on what kind of event you are creating and the number of participants you are targeting, it is important to have regular post about the event so people are aware of it and that those who registered would not forget about it.
7. Visualize. How would you like your participants to leave? What impressions, lessons, value would you like them to take home? Think of the value your event gives. This is important and I am so grateful that the #LinkedInLocal Aarhus team are excellent networkers themselves. You have no idea how fun event creation can be with the right team.
8. Team and meetings. Currently, there are 6 of us at the #LinkedInLocal Aarhus team and we come from different countries with different backgrounds. Our meetings are filled with ideas, sharing, disagreements, agreements, suggestions and that’s why it works, because of our diversity. Everyone has something to bring to the table, everyone contributes. We meet 2 or 3 times prior to the day of the event and all the other stuff are just through emails and LinkedIn chats.
9. Icebreakers. Aside from welcoming participants with a friendly smile, one of the things to consider is creating an atmosphere where participants talk to each other. Thus we have icebreakers in small pieces of papers from which participants can use in approaching others.
10. Just enjoy. Yes, just enjoy. It is fun and such a wonderful learning experience. If something does not work out or if you or your team forgot something, it’s okay, continue and have fun. Smile to people, be welcoming to them, ask them questions and get to know them. #LinkedInLocal is connecting humans and that’s what it should be.
Want to know more about #LinkedInLocal events? Check out www.linkedlocally.comand all the cool #LinkedInLocal events happening around the globe. Or better yet, why not host an event in your area? You may visit my LinkedIn Profile here.
May 23, 2018
Photos by Dovile Petrosiute