Generating a community around the workshop

Hello all workshop organizers,

I have a few questions that we could resolve maybe together. I’m building up the participant database for the Brussels workshop that will be held on the 24th and i wanted to see if anybody else in other cities have issues finding the right people. We have a lot of freelance thinkers and problem solvers, but the people inside the medical and social field are difficult to reach i find.

This is what we already did as a reach out:

contacted between 50 and 70 people directly

30 organizations

3 political parties

posted in 20 groups reaching between 150 and 10 000 people

send mail to all edgeryders profiles that where at LOTE5

helped writing 4 stories and

reached out to 4 others in Belgium

Met all those people that wrote a story in Brussels

On the following link you can see all the people that responded:

But still we only have 17 attendees at the moment that confirmed.

What could we do differently, how can we reach to the right people.

For me it is molenbeek post attacks all over again: the social cultural field comes together because they don’t like that molenbeek is shown as bad on tv, they want to organize something to show the good side of molenbeek. They come together once because the urge is there, but when you start talking about going deeper into the structural problems that occure in between social care organizations there, they don’t want to participate anymore. So after the moment of silence they organized once, they all go back to there own part, working hard, but not wanting to question methodology or try something different. Because they are already overwelmed. And so it takes time to get their trust…

How is it going in other cities?

thanks for the heads up.

Hey Yannick!

I just wrote a short summary from Thessaloniki. In terms of participation it was much below the expectations.

On one hand, it’s a constant struggle of event organisers. We always have to figure out was to get people - I think that adding a nice, social event (we had this amazing Brasilian social kitchen going on during EuroAlter Capus a few weeks ago - with fantastic food prepared from waste, but also singing, dancing and bits of performance) - which usually saves money and makes it a bit more attractive than many hours of discussion in a closed space.

I think you need to try with those who confirmed - ask each one of them to bring along someone with relevant work. People know each other, at least a bit;)

For some of the participants it might be useful to send a reminder, or basically repeat the whole operation of posting and sending emails, a few days before - many of us cannot plan a week ahead;)

I will think of other ways to do it. We will get a good amount in Brussels and Berlin, I am sure of it.

Breadth over depth, networks rather than individuals

At any given time it is very likely that the one person with whom you are interacting will not be the right one. The more time you are spending trying to engage one person, the lower the probability is that the invitation will reach the right people.

So what I usually do is that the focus on social media, large and broad.

In the event pages more specifically:

a) spread interesting, deep and relevant content that links back to the online space where we are interacting (in this case the process). Ideally the status updates in the event page on FB are in the local languages

b) Reach out to people who themselves are well connected and aligned with the initiative at hand. I make it clear why I think they might be interested in supporting the effort at hand by helping to spread the word about it.

c) Mix with calls to action I have made. Some are visual: eg: