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Building a community

The most successful sporting events have a strong community of likeminded people built around them.

This community are loyal to the event and are active in promoting it to the external community, which is why they are so important to your event. Your first step as event organiser should be to define who your community are, both externally and internally, and to think about how you can reach out to them to nurture the relationship.

Who Is in Your Community?

Before you can concentrate on interacting with your community, you need to ensure you know exactly who your community is so that you are using the right tone and communication methods. If you haven’t done so already, you should create audience profiles of the types of people who attend your event/events like yours. You can use information from social media, competitors, registered attendees and online tools such as YouGov Profiles (see image below) to design the personas of your audience.


Community yougov image.png

It goes without saying that you should be using your internal database to identify your community. Those who have attended your events in the past, subscribed to your newsletter or have expressed any interest in your event should all be listed in a database. These people will be your ‘go to’ community who you should be communicating with throughout the year. If you haven’t already built a database, you should get started as early as possible.


Promoting your event to your community

Once you have defined your community, the next step is to think about how you are going to promote your event to them and encourage them to attend. Your method of promotion will be dependent on several factors, including the type of event, the type of audience and your promotional budget. We suggest you commit a reasonable budget to promotion as this will encourage a real return on investment.

Marketing your event online allows for a highly targeted campaign, especially when you consider social media advertising. You can target specific audiences on social media, including demographic information such as age and gender as well as their interests and hobbies. This makes it a great option for getting a personalised message out to your audience, however you will need to have a creative campaign for it to get attention. The video below gives an insight on how to make a splash on social media.

There are plenty of other great methods for promoting your event other than online options though. Attending exhibitions and shows related to your event enables you to spread the word to a likeminded audience, while purchasing advertisements in publications your audience are likely to read gets you in front of the relevant people. You might also want to consider your offer to the audience, for example offering reduced prices to previous attendees and early bird pricing structures that make your community feel valued and appreciated.

You will also need to consider how your audience are going to access your event. Are tickets bought online or at a physical location? Is the venue easily accessible? These are questions you will need to answer when building your community. It is also vital that you follow up with your community after the event. Keep in touch with them, keep them up to date on your events progress and ask them for feedback.

Top Tip

If you are looking to build a community, it’s essential that you offer them value. Be helpful, be supportive and be responsive to that community.

Did You Know?

  • There has been a 10% increase in the number of active internet users in the last 12 months (+332 million)
  • A similar 10% increase in the the number of active social media users (+219 million)