How Much Is Too Much Programming?

A fresh cup of hot tea is brewing away on this lovely spring morning next to my desk as I open up my email. Loading, loading, and still loading my inbox finally shows over a dozen emails from different companies inviting me to events they have coming up. The first email is from Airbnb saying they have 30+ events that I would love to attend. The second email is from my Alma Mater explaining five events they are inviting me to and how wonderful it would be if I came back to support. And the rest are from websites, financial institutions, and other random organizations I crossed paths with at one point in time. 

One day while I was filtering through these events, I started thinking: Even if someone wanted to, there is no way they could attend every event being offered by various organizations.

Are we overloaded with too much programming?

Let’s break this down. We have 24 hours in a day. We are sleeping seven(ish) of those hours, eight hours are for work, and 30 minutes for commuting each way. If you are like me and have a family, now we have to factor in family time, and we can’t forget to eat… I mean, the list of responsibilities goes on and on. 

When looking at all the events I receive invites to each week, how do I choose which ones to attend and which ones to ignore? If you add it up, the hours are more than what I have available in a lifetime!

There are an endless amount of learning events happening in the world sponsored by both large and small organizations. Business of Apps found that Meetup.com reached a milestone of hosting two million virtual events. TWO MILLION. Airbnb claims to have over 50,000 events listed at any given moment. That is a lot of events.

So, this brings us to the ultimate question. If there are all these events out there for others to attend in the world, why should you host yet another event in your community?

The Only 3 Reasons Why You Should Host An Event

No one else is doing it; you’re the only one

Make your event specific to your community and make it unique. As much as we all love goat yoga, hundreds of people are already doing that. Your event should stick out to your community and wow them. Give them information or an experience that they can’t get anywhere else. 

Timing matters

Create your event around things going on in your community. Find a relevant topic that your community would benefit from rather than just hosting an event to host one. Three questions you should ask yourself during this process are:

  1. What’s something my community needs right now?
  2. What’s something that would bring them value?
  3. What will they gain from this event?
Your members want it

There are two questions to ask yourself here:

  1. How do you communicate with your members? Whether via slack, email, or in-person communication, open up a poll and see what your members would like to do. 
  2. What event could you host that benefits them? If they ask for it, you are more likely to have higher attendance at your event. Memberclicks.com came up with six great questions to ask your community what type of event they would like to see.

How Do I Know When To Cut An Event?

This is an event planner’s worst nightmare; however, it happens. It’s okay. The most important lesson to take away is why it was unsuccessful and what you can do to improve next time. 

No one showed up – The first question to ask yourself is why. Why did no one show up? Was there a lack of advertising? Was your event unique to your group? Did you rush your event just to have one? There could be plenty of reasons why no one showed up; however, the main thing to do is figure out why it was a no-show and make changes. Then, go back to the drawing board with your team and tweak some details. 

It’s already being done – There is no reason to host yet another bingo night/goal setting session if ten other groups are doing the same thing. The competition is too high and is bound to impact the participation of your members.

No one’s talking about the event – If you aren’t hearing people talk about your event, it probably wasn’t good. Ask your 4s and 5s what went wrong and how they would like to see improvement. Most people who enjoyed a good event will post about it, reach out to you, congratulate you on a great job, or share the value with their peers. However, when your event is over, and it’s not poppin on social media, that is a sign that it should either be cut or time to go back to the drawing board with your events team. 

In the end, you don’t want to be another email where people are warming up their hot tea and scrolling through nonchalantly deleting away. Make your event stand out. Make it noticeable and valuable to your community. Out of the two million-plus events in this world, make your event the winner and the one everyone is talking about in the end.

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