It doesn't matter if you're in a business of creating events or if you're creating a one-off annual event for your brand fans - building a community around your event(s) majorly enhances the event experience for your event attendees as well as providing you with a constant source of feedback for improvements and insights into your average ticket buyer. Your event attendees in return need a place to find others to attend the events with, discuss event ideas and feel like they're being a part of a responsibility of organising the event.
So, how does one start with creating a community?
Create a platform for communication
First, you have to decide what platform you're going to be using for communication: it can be a Facebook group (low-cost & simple to maintain solution) or a dedicated forum on your website (this could be a little harder to maintain, but it will keep the attendees on your website longer). You can also come up with a Twitter hashtag and create a Twitter chat around a particular topic that you moderate. Decide on your channel and start creating your community outlet today.
Invite people to join
Next step is to get people to join your community. Make sure that the link to the community is attached to all the correspondence you send out (your email signature, welcome emails, confirmation emails). With Billetto, you can also add additional information to your guest's checkout process. Find groups with people who have similar interests on Facebook & leave a message notifying them about your community group (make sure you check with group Admins if it's OK to leave a message). Make it visible and be proactive in seeking new community members. How about a special offer on tickets for the community members?
Give people something to talk about. Create content around your event: blog posts, Instagram images, special announcements etc.. Treat the community space as another outlet for your social media activities, but keep in mind that it's a "forum" and not a "funnel" - instead of simply posting content, make sure it encourages conversation. Things that work best are questions, surveys and posts that entice someone to give their opinion or a tip.
Commit & Invest
Community involvement is a commitment. Eventually, it can grow in a self-sustaining mechanism, but you have to make sure that you keep on adding content in order to keep your community engaged. There is so much content to absorb everywhere else - make sure that your forum is the place worthy of spending time on.
Make sure that you are having a human conversation on your forum, be as transparent as possible and keep on engaging people in comments and posts. One trick tip: ask for their Birthday on the sign-up and create a Birthday post for all the community members to engage on the day. If you have created a Facebook group, you can create a "pinned post" that every new sign up will see and can read - use it to ask an ice-breaker question to start a conversation.
Get feedback as much as possible. You can have a link to your feedback survey in the group description, if you like. Get feedback before and after the event, collect votes on who should be a speaker or a performer at your next event - whatever it is - get the conversation flowing and learn from it.