8 tips on stakeholder engagement and event organization - Part 2

8 tips on stakeholder engagement and event organization - Part 2
Engaging stakeholders in various events during your project lifetime can be challenging, but it’s an activity you can’t do without. There’s no one-size-fits-all recipe, however, I can definitely give you a few tips you can take away from my own experience. 


Remember the first few tips on how to engage your stakeholders and organize successful project events from a couple of weeks ago? You can find it here

Now since we know our communication and dissemination KPIs, we’ve done our background research, know well our stakeholders and potential participants, and we chose the date of our event, let’s dive into the last four tips to complete the cycle. 


5. Make some noise on social media!   

 After defining the date and agenda, promoting the event on social media and the project website is vital. In most cases, you are targeting a certain number of stakeholders connected to your topic (academia and research, private and public sector, NGOs, CSOs, policy and decision-makers). However, the fact that the event might not be open to the general public should not restrict you from promoting it; you can use different elements such as teaser videos, graphic materials about speakers, available photographic material of the city and topic to announce the date, among others. Plan a social media campaign, meaning a fixed number of posts per month about your upcoming event.  


6. Sort out logistics in advance 

 In previous blog posts, we gave you tips on organising Kick-off- meetings and planning project meetings. Most of this advice also applies to organising capacity-building activities and workshops where you expect non-project partners as primary attendees. Thus, look at these blogs: How to Plan a Project Meeting for Success in 13 Steps, Tips for Having a great Horizon Europe Project Kick-off meeting and Tips for Having a great Horizon Europe Project Kick-off meeting: Part II. Besides these valuable tips, one essential tool that will help you get a good estimation of the number of participants is using a registration form (like Google Forms or others). In this form, it is important to ask the following: full name, organisation, how many attendees per organisation will attend, food preference/dietary requirements and contact information (usually email address). It is important not to overwhelm the participant with unnecessary questions; thus, apply the KISS principle (keep it simple, soldier!).  

Include a consent disclaimer in the draft agenda and registration form so attendees are aware there will be photos and videos taken of the event, for example: “By registering for and attending the meeting, you agree to our photography/videography terms and conditions”. Besides this, don’t forget to ask for consent before you start your event. Last tip on logistics: don’t forget to bring registration forms for attendees to sign!  


7. Graphic material during the event  

We know that hosting an event is very stressful, and you must pay attention to all the details. Try to get support from one or two colleagues to take pictures if you are chairing and taking notes. It is also essential to take photos and videos during the beginning and before lunchtime! (Sometimes, participants leave after the lunch break, thus try to get a group picture during one of the coffee breaks).   


8. Follow up and keep your audience engaged 

 After hosting a conference, workshop, co-creation session, network event or webinar, you must focus on maintaining and building relationships with the participants. How you effectively follow up can have an impact on your reputation as a project manager or coordinator and make a difference in future opportunities, whether within your running project or future ones. Thus, you need to pay attention to this vital step.   

 First, collect the data on attendees, then write a thank-you email. What will this email contain? Provide the participants with all the event material, presentations, photos, or highlights of the event and encourage them to follow the project on social media, connect with speakers on social media, and that’s how you can extend the project’s network (and yours!). Also, it is important to be open to feedback about the event.   

Until next time we meet in the blog space, don’t forget about our January-June 2024 courses, which you can check out and sign up for here.   


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