Community events – how to get more out of them?

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Community events can be nice, but sometimes it’s just not that what you would have liked to have intended with them. You are organizing a community event and hope for an increased number of cooperation afterwards. Or at least that after the event people feel that they found what they were seeking for. But often that is not the case.

Normally you have two types of people at the events: The ones who tell you how good they are, although you have a feeling that this is not what they really feel and the other part of people who is complaining about how hard everything is. Of course there are also others who are in line with their feelings but lets not talk about them in this article.

Both groups are acting, because human beings just want to stick with the group – they normally do not want to be the outsider and want to be accepted – so you can see if someone starts complaining about something others will follow – and the other way around if you start to talk good things also others will follow. So it is your decision where you lead the conversation and the whole event to.

We have to be aware on how we can overcome the “complaining culture” towards a culture of creation. How everybody itself can live the change he wants to see.

So if you are stuck in a conversation and the other person is just complaining and complaining what are the things you could do to change the situation? What are the real things that we can do? Where are the roads to take towards success?

Forum theatre is a great example: If you change one character of a scene, the whole scene is changing. So that means if you are acting in a different way also people around you will do so. If you normally do not pay attention on what the other person tries to tell you then keep your attention on the person. Show your fully attention and if the topic is nothing you think you can contribute to, then change it.

Don’t just be polite and listen to a story about something you are not interested in, just because you want to show your good listening skills. Tell the other person what your needs are and where you see points of common interest. Because these are the points where you can start being productive together. And there are common things with everybody – may that be sports, music, food or traveling. And after finding out one topic in common be creative on how to collaborate with that person. Because what really are the great things in life is when you create something together and you have great memories that you even remember years ago.

So if you are planning to do another social event and really want to bring people together then try different games that will give them the opportunity to open up – to tell something to other people that you normally do not know from that person.

There are so many people in my community – I saw them on maybe already 20 networking events and I never came over the basic information. There is a rough idea in my head what they are doing but this knowledge is not enough for starting a cooperation with them. Cooperation is based on trust and this is something that is being created in informal environments, so either create them artificially at your events or organize the next event in the mountains, lakes….

Have fun setting up your next networking event and always keep in mind: The only thing people wish for is real joy – give them the opportunity to feel it at your community events, then they enjoy being there and will come to the next one as well.

Sabrina Schifrer