How to Incentivize Group Leaders - Building an In Person Community

How to Incentivize Group Leaders - Building an In Person Community

One of the most effective ways to grow a global community is to empower brand advocates to host local events. The mega fans, the super-users, the members of your community that are a little bit obsessed - these are the folks to engage with. A lot of times, these people will happily volunteer to take on a local group leader role, but these leaders give your community so much - time, energy, love - so they deserve recognition and incentives.
Here are a few ways to incentivize your community leaders.

Money for Check Ins

Many communities care about bums in seats. Tracking attendee data is an easy, and accurate way to see the successes and challenges of an in-person community. If this sounds like your community, you can try incentivizing check ins; pay your community leader a certain amount per check in. Maybe $2 per check in. This incentivises your leaders to bring in more attendees to each event!

Everyone’s favourite acronym

People also love SWAG. These are non-monetary incentives, and sometimes, people work harder for a tshirt than for cash. These kinds of incentives include entrance to exclusive events, product features, free conference tickets, training, stickers, t-shirts, banners, etc.

VIP status

In the same vein as SWAG, another way to incentivise leaders is to treat them like the heroes they are. Shout from the rooftops how brilliant they are, and share their story with the community. Announce each additional leader joining the community on social media. Give them a badge that lives in their LinkedIn profile, a title for their Twitter page, make the role of group leader for your community a status symbol.

One BIG event

Local community events come in all shapes and sizes – weekly get togethers for five, monthly meetups of 40, quarterly events with over 100. One way to incentivise leaders is by paying for a special event. Maybe it’s a holiday party, or a company celebration, or maybe it lines up with a big happening in the community - like the [birthday of a dead mathematician] - whatever the case, reimbursing your group leader for the total cost of one big, annual event, is a great way to incentivise them!

Split the profits

Instead of providing financial support for the events, splitting ticket sales is a great way to incentivise leaders. If there are costs incurred by the host when hosting an event, these costs can be made up by charging attendees for tickets. Once the costs are paid for, the group leader could take home a portion of the profits from the ticket sales!

It’s wise, when growing an in person community, to avoid covering the costs of events because it makes scaling the program more difficult. Ideally, local events become self-sustaining; venues are provided by coworking spaces, and partnering companies, food and drink are provided by local vendors, excited to get their brand out there and get involved.

What to read next

How does one build and scale an in person community? With a decade of experience, and numerous clients with strong and engaged in person community, Bevy is the thought leader in this space. Here is Bevy's Beginner's Guide for Building an In Person Community.

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