The president of Utopia Experience, Joey Goone, discusses the importance of understanding the psychology of nonprofit events and how to leverage technology to enhance gatherings so they engage attendees on a deep emotional and intellectual level. By focusing on content, connection, and community and using technology strategically, nonprofits can create events that leave a lasting impact and foster longer-term relationships with both established and new supporters.
Joey focuses on the “Three C’s Model”: Content, Connection, and Community.
Content: Joey stresses that events should offer valuable and unique content that goes beyond what attendees can easily find elsewhere. This content should aim to educate and inspire participants, making the event more than just a social gathering.
Connection: To create meaningful connections among attendees, Joey shared a creative approach. At one event, they color-coded bid paddles and organized attendees into small groups. These groups were guided through different exhibit stations, where they watched videos and heard stories about the nonprofit’s impact. This strategy encouraged emotional connections among attendees, fostering a sense of community.
Community: Building a sense of community is a central theme throughout this discussion. Joey emphasizes that events should go beyond individual connections and focus on creating a larger sense of belonging and solidarity. This often involves connecting newcomers with long-time supporters and encouraging them to engage with each other.
Joey also took the time to highlight the importance of leveraging technology effectively during events. For instance, using QR codes to gather information from attendees in real-time, allowing for personalized follow-up communication based on attendees’ preferences and history with the nonprofit.
This is a truly insightful learning session for nonprofits wanting to take their galas and events to the next levels.