Without community, there would be no events. But it takes work to foster a loyal, consistent group of people who return to your events again and again.

During Eventbrite’s RECONVENE Sessions event Squad Goals: Cultivating a Loyal Event Community, three expert community builders and event organisers shared how they built — and continue to maintain — a dedicated following.

Watch the full event recording — featuring SoulfulofNoise, Center for Council, and Black Velveteen Yoga — below:

Read on for a teaser of key takeaways from each of the event’s speakers. Want more in-depth insights? Watch the full video above. For additional tips from Eventbrite’s ongoing RECONVENE events series, visit our recaps hub.

Xavier Henderson, co-founder of SoulfulofNoise  

The California-based platform supports independent artists and musicians through events like Soulful Sundays and the SoulfulofNoise Music Festival.

1. Commit to solving one problem

Xavier Henderson liked attending Black events, and Los Angeles didn’t have any that he felt comfortable going to — so he designed his own.

2. Aim to provide value

Ask your community: What would you like us to do? If they say they don’t want to travel so far to your events, host pop-ups that are closer.

3. Focus on the “freemium” model, at least at first

Make your first events free, and use them as a way to build your email database.

Maria Schnair, director of advancement at Center for Council

California-based civic organisation Center for Council  fosters good communication and community by providing training for businesses, health care agencies, and law enforcement.

1. Overcoming an “us” vs. “them” mentality

We’re all facing this challenge right now, and we need to consider where it comes from and then take action against it. Fortunately, there are some key strategies to help, including dissolving bias, listening from the heart, practicing, and employing compassionate action.

2. Ask yourself: How are you making participants feel welcome?

The Center for Council’s events include seating in a circle, so there’s no front row or back row or “good seats.” The physical space and energy are equally welcoming to everyone.

3. Are you supporting continued engagement?

Aim to build connections between your event’s participants. Before attendees leave, ask them to say one word that describes what made the event meaningful to them.

Marquita René, founder of Black Velveteen Yoga 

Black Velveteen Yoga offers yoga and sound baths for everyone, designed to calm the mind and enhance wellness. Classes are available in-person in California or via livestream.

1. Engage frequently and regularly

When Marquita René founded Black Velveteen Yoga during the pandemic, she sent a weekly email and made sure her audience knew when they would hear from her. Eventbrite’s tools can help make this easy.

2. Choose photos wisely

You know what they say: a photo is worth a thousand words. It can also help make your event listing stand out from a thousand others. Avoid stock images whenever possible!

3. Cultivate partnerships

Look for local organisations that have the same goal as you, and reach out to them. Joining forces will help both of you expand your audiences and communities.

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