It's not just about me supporting you by pressing the like button ... it goes beyond that.
Manal, Group Admin
There are endless benefits to bringing your members together offline. Real life events can strengthen bonds between members, reinforce the group’s mission, help your group build relationships with other organizations and the list goes on.
They can also be a great source of online content, so make sure you snap lots of pics!
Here are some tips to help you get the most out of your in person meet-ups.
3 tips for hosting in-person group events:
Your first event can be anything – a casual meetup in a coffee shop, a picnic in the park or any activity that has value for your members, in a place that’s easy for them to get to.
Pick a spot, decide on a theme or activity, then choose a time. Consider making it a regular, monthly or quarterly event to give your members something they can look forward to.
Make sure you publicize it in the group before and after by taking pictures of the event or broadcasting on Facebook Live and encourage your members to do the same. Pro tip: Always make sure to ask permission to use any photos of people outside the group.
Admin advice: "My group meets up once a month. We keep it exciting by switching between doing a happy hour and an activity around the city. We’ve had speakers come to our events and present to us - we've even started a book club to get people together and provide additional value. Events can come in all varieties!"
A great way to start getting the word out about your group is to work with local businesses. They can provide the space and you can provide the customers!
Admin advice: "I made business cards for my group so that I can hand them out when chatting with local businesses. This helps to bring legitimacy to my group. I make sure to ask business owners what their slow day is and if there is a time that works best for me to bring in a group of people – these relationships can help your local economy and give you a place to bring your community together."
Another fun way to grow your events is to reach out to other people who may have similar groups and pair up to throw an event together.
This is great way to cross promote your communities too! Read more about how admins cross promote here.
Your group is the best place to get event ideas! Use polls to crowdsource suggestions for future events. And encourage members to start their own get togethers or volunteer to help with an upcoming event.
Find those most engaged members and ask them to volunteer to host events. This acts as a great reward and will help you to grow your community and support network.
Use Polls in your group to gather event ideas from your members.
Tools to help you coordinate offline events
Once you’ve got a plan for where to get together and the purpose of the meeting, Facebook Events is the best way to organize your real life event.
Steps to set up an event:
- Go to your group and click the events button above the composer
- When you are in the events tab, click “Create an Event”
- Add your time, location, info and a cover photo. Pro tip: if designing your cover photo, include the time and place for more visibility for your group members.
- Once you have set up your event, you can start to invite members by clicking the invite button.
- Remind your community to RSVP and add to their calendar using the “...” and “Add to Calendar” button
Admins and members can also organize smaller, informal meetups within the group on their own using the Get Together feature that shows up as a post in your group.
Steps to set up a Get Together:
- Go to your group and open the composer section
- Click on “Get Together” and compose your meetup with details
- Post your Get Together!
When promoting an event or get together, pinning your event post as an announcement will help you get the attention of your members.
Steps to pin an Announcement:
- Go to your group and find your event post
- Click the “...” and “Mark as Announcement”
- Choose the length of time (could be until the event is over) and set your announcement!
Polling your members on what events they would like to have can help you think of new ideas for your next offline event!
Steps to set up a Poll:
- Go to your group and open the composer tool
- Click on the “Poll” option and type your question which could be “What should we do for our next event?”
- Add options and using the “settings button” choose if you’d like to allow members to choose multiple or add their own options (sometimes it helps to say: “If you add an option, look forward to having you help plan that event!”)