Reflections about helping a team to work well together can create some awesome outcomes and value for everyone.
Regarding meetings - make sure that you have a good keynote speaker for each meeting. At your inaugural meeting ask for ideas. Make the meetings special. Do meetings regularly and on a schedule that you can manage. If monthly in-person meetings are too much then consider alternating between in-person and online meetings. Have a set meeting time.
About best practices - develop a leadership team and get them involved in planning. Setup a yearly planner and meeting run sheets. Make it fun. Find meaningful ways to reward the team. Setup a plan that you know you can manage. Ask for help.
Sponsorship is important - attracting sponsorship to maintain a professional internet presence and providing a quality venue along with refreshments at meetings does help. Be very grateful for all the support that you get. Say thank you and acknowledge help. Define your community groups purpose so that it is understood and easy to share. Approach sponsorship like a multi-sided business model where the objective is to support and give back to everyone in your community. Ask for support.
Do networking and promotion then be ready to repeat - talk to everyone about what you are doing. Connect to your audience where they are. Be ready to engage on social media. Contact each of your members on a regular basis. Find out what they want. Ask questions and provide help. Do surveys and provide feedback. Be a hub for sharing information. Always look for new ways to engage your audience. Have a daily plan to do something to promote the group. Ask questions. Always be listening.
Don’t worry if you don’t have all the answers, if the values of your community group are something you believe in strongly then just do it, be ready to stick with it and don’t give up. Chances are if it is a good idea others will think likewise.
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Do you help to support a community group? comments and feedback are most welcome.