If there isn’t a Meet Up scheduled in your town, create one. I’ve created a one page guide to help Linchpin event organizers be a success.
Success comes in the preparation. Do the prep work, and the event will take care of itself.
I divide the process into four actions: Initiate, Invite, Inform and Inspire
Sign up at http://www.meetup.com/Linchpins-are-everywhere-raise-the-flag/. Initiate the beginning of the meeting when people sign up. As a result, the actual meet-up is the culmination of growing anticipation for meeting people. Create energy and expectation for this to be a not-to-miss event.
The simple Idea that I want to convey is that the whole experience of the event begins when a person registers. So, if they signed up this morning, like I did, their Linchpin meetup experience has begun already. The experience is a product of interaction and providing information that develops a perception about what is going to happen. You aren’t spamming them. You are initiating toward them to create a relationship that will come together when you meet face-to-face at the event. This is why, when presented with the opportunity to host an event, you should take it on and do it. It is some of the best networking that you’ll find anywhere.
Make a personal invitation friends, colleagues & clients. Have them invite a friend from their office. Give away an audio book version of the book as an incentive to attend. Use Social Media to stay connected. Create a Facebook event page and Twitter hashtag to stay connected.
Please do not think that because there is a MeetUp site that this will attract people. Assume that technology is a distraction, and you must master it in order to make it work for. Therefore personal invitations, even if by email, are best. If you look at the MeetUp page, you’ll see that people tend to sign up using their Facebook id. Befriend every single person who signs up using their FB account, and when you do, put a personal note in it. This builds both comfort and anticipation for the event.
Plan three follow-up emails to keep people informed about plans for the event. Make a personal contact with each new person who signs up. Encourage new sign-ups to invite others.
Once the register, don’t think that they are coming. Assume that whatever is pressing in on them that afternoon will distract them from coming. This means you communicate often and with information that helps them know what to expect. Networking events, like this, are awkward for many people because they don’t know what to expect. Plan what you are going to do during the event right now, and divide that information into small bits of information, and prepare a brief email to go out for each piece of information. We are 18 days from Linchpin day. I’d send one email out next week. The following week two, one early and one late, and if your event is in the evening on the 14th, send another out that morning with one thing that is really exciting that secures their commitment to come.
Share your own Linchpin story and why the Meetup matters to you. Write a blog post about it, and send it in one of your follow up emails. If you know stories of others who are attending, include those stories in the email or Facebook.
In the first email that you send, give your own Linchpin story. It may be about some experience that you had or about someone who is an example for you. The purpose is to connect at a personal level with people whom you do not know yet, so that they want to come to the event to you meet you. As the organizer, remember YOU ARE THE TRIBAL LEADER OF LINCHPINS for this meeting.
A Simple Guide can be downloaded here.
An Additional Thought
You maybe in a situation like Kamil Ali where not many people know about Seth. I know that is hard to imagine, but it really is true. If so, emphasize the ideas, and not the connection to Seth. You are the embodiment of the Linchpin ideal, at least you will be after this event. My advice is that you prepare a brief overview of Seth’s message, and plan to share with people during the run up to the event. We are building relationships and their connections to a set of ideas that matter.
If you have Questions or Suggestions? Contact me at ed<at>edbrenegar.com