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Organizing a WikiStage - a unique opportunity and an unforgettable experience 

Organizing a WikiStage event is a unique opportunity and an unforgettable experience each time. For each edition, there are new challenges. The theme must be fresh, new organizers join us and a new adventure can begin. Everyone brings their own touch. I make sure that the best team members are selected, that the event has a rich program and that each edition is better than the previous one. I also take care of the diversity of speakers and topics. The goal is to provide an informative and entertaining event that attracts as many people as possible. However, it is obvious that we encounter several obstacles each time. But what would be the organization of the great conference without it, no? The biggest problem is to find sponsors. Finding sponsors who believe in our project and are ready to support us has always been our biggest concern. The difficulties to find sponsors are numerous. Companies receive a lot of requests. So in order to be recognized, the event must be interesting for the company and guarantee them good visibility in front of an appropriate target audience. Finding potential sponsors takes a lot of time and energy. This may be related to the local culture of our society in Mauritania, which are just beginning to understand the value of sponsoring these type of events, which does not make it easy for us. But the good news is that things are starting to change and companies are opening more and more to this type of event, especially if the goal is spreading knowledge.   Mouhydine Chfanga - organizer of WikiStage ESP Nouakchott and International Ambassador WikiStage

10 Steps to Promote Your Event on Social Media

Social media channels are very powerful tools for promoting events. Platforms like Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn can be excellent ways to spread a word about your WikiStage conference. Make sure you’re present online in order to reach your conference’s target audience, engage with them and keep them informed!   1. Choose Social Media channels The first step is to choose the right social media channels based on your target audience. Choose between Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn or Snapchat which are best suited to your target audience’s demographics, interests, and online behavior. You can use more than one or all of them but keep in mind that all your accounts should be actively managed - sometimes it’s better to focus on one single platform and do it right. Many WikiStage organizers chose Facebook.   2. Create an event on Facebook and promote it on your event page Creating an event gives your audience a place to find the details, see who’s attending, and ask questions. This is also a great place to encourage networking before the event. The advantage of an event page is also sharing by attendees.   3. Use targeted advertising Facebook allows you to target your promotions in extremely specific ways. This requires an investment, but it can make it easier to connect with people who still don't know for your event. This investment doesn't have to be big to help you reach a large audience.     4. Share a teaser video It’s a good idea to give potential participants a teaser of the great experience that awaits them at your event. Share some of the most interesting bits of information to show them that your event is exactly where they should be.      5. Create images featuring each speaker Feature the achievements of your speakers to really shine the spotlight on them, inform your audience about their short biography and what they will be talking about. This can be free publicity if your guest speaker decides to share the image with his audience.   6. Post relevant quotes from speakers  People love quotes and they enjoy sharing them, which will grow your engagement on this kind of posts. Show your audience exactly what they can expect to learn from your speaker by featuring a great quote on a shareable image.   7. Announce the opening of the registration form Promote the date of the opening of the registration form using an image to catch followers’ attention. This way you keep your audience updated and informed when they can register to attend the event.   8. Engage with followers by creating a poll on Facebook If you have some doubts during the preparations of your event, ask your audience questions to find out what exactly they are looking for. You will make them feel directly involved in the planning process and you will be able to prepare a better event for your specific audience.   9.  Share behind-the-scenes visual content This content is super engaging for your followers. It builds an emotional connection by creating a sense of being an insider to the event. When your audience sees how much hard work your team is investing in the preparations, they will get more excited about the event.   10. Use live video on the event day YouTube enables live streaming and so does Facebook through its Facebook Live feature. This is really easy to do it's extremely engaging.   Use all of these social media advantages to entice the people to your event - be creative! It’s important to try a variety of tactics and see what works best with your audience. Also, don't stop interacting with your audience once your event is finished. You can keep the momentum going and attract even more people to attend your next event.

6 Tips to Make your Event More Attractive for Sponsors from Organizer of WikiStage HEC Alger

Hello everybody, my name is Aniss and I was the main organizer of the 4th edition of WikiStage HEC Algiers: Leaders 2.0! Before jumping onto our main subject, I wanted to thank you all for being part of our WikiStage family. I encourage you to keep making efforts for a positive change in your environment because organizing a WikiStage event is all about impact. My main goal while I’m writing you today is to share with you how we as a team managed to get help from companies, and most important - what things were most difficult for us during the process of organizing an event that hosts 600 people each year and has a team of 60 organizers. Let’s start with the things you should do if you want to make a successful WikiStage event:   1. Start early! No matter what’s the size of your event, no matter how many people will be organizing it, if you start 2 months before the set date of your WikiStage event it’s too late. Sponsors tend to prefer being part of the process of organizing an event quite early, so the earlier you start the better. Companies also don’t like working in the urge so it’s always better to reach out to them months before the due date. Something I’d also like to share is that as a Project Manager, I was too focused on networking and that made my team uneasy and doubtful about the chances of making it. We ended up having some minor grudges during the process. This leads to the next point.   2. Your theme needs to be chosen wisely Depending on the theme of your WikiStage event a company is more or less likely to be your partner. Why? Because some companies don’t like to be involved in politics, for example, an industrial company has nothing to do in an event that’s aimed for agriculture and so on... So chose wisely, and target companies that share the same values as the theme you want to work on.   3. Teamwork You can’t possibly do everything alone, trust your teammates and associate them to your decisions as hard as it can be for us to not be in control... it’s for the better. As a project manager you can’t be in charge of everything, so make one of your team members responsible for sponsoring part. The time is limited and if you can’t give your full trust to the team, the event won’t happen! One of the mistakes I made was that I relied too much on myself at first. Listening to your teammates and exposing your problems to them might help you have a better chance of getting a sponsor. For example: I had approached a company without any contact while one of my teammates knew someone in there. If I had shared with my teammates this info I would have gained lots of time. So - share your thoughts and listen to your team more often. The communication between all team members is really important. In the end, what is crucial is that during the process of getting sponsors and partners you need a maximum of contacts and the best network.   4. Your sponsoring document is your ID! If you want to have an interview for an eventual sponsoring, your sponsoring document needs to be the best, not just good, the absolute best! It has to contain all the information about what you achieved as a team before, your event, why you are organizing it, when, where etc... all information needed for sponsors to understand better the context of your event.   5. Always choose a direct contact with the company Most of the companies will start by asking you to send your sponsoring folder (like I said it’s your ID) but sometimes it happens that they ask directly for an interview.  Never refuse that! If you can get in touch with one person from the company directly, you are more likely to get something from them.   6. Be honest about your intentions, problems, strengths, and weaknesses The relationship between a sponsor and a young team trying to make an event like WikiStage is bound to fail if it starts by lies. No company will ask you to be the perfect team and to have everything ready... what they see in you is potential and talent and they want to help by any means not only money. Just be honest, be ambitious, and be tenacious because you are going to fail multiple times before getting your first partner. Be patient - good work often takes times.   I prefer sharing my mistakes with you - the future organizers of WikiStage, hoping that you won’t do the same when the times comes:   - Never go unprepared to an interview with a company. If they see that you are not in control of your subject, you have nearly 0% chances of succeeding - Be sure to have the means necessary to receive the money, goods, or any support the company might accept to give you. One of the few mistakes we made as a team was to reach out to companies that agreed to support us, but in the end, we couldn’t receive that help because we didn’t have a bank account for example. So, try to see the limitations that you have, and find solutions to overcome it as quickly as possible. - Organizing an event = making a plan: I can hear you from my place saying: I have everything in control don’t worry... Yeah, I know, but write it down and expose it to your team. You can plan everything in your head but your solutions may not be the best and another point of views are always welcome. In addition to that, sponsors won’t read your mind, they want to see your plans black on white, written in a perfect, clear and easy to understand language. W.R.I.T.E. I.T. D.O.W.N.! - This one is quite difficult... it may vary depending on your region/country but as hard as it may be, you have to affirm yourself as the Chief/Leader/Manager (depending on your personality) and even if it displeases some people (or others don’t consider you as such) you have to keep going on and make the project the priority and make things move. As a WikiStage Project Manager you may have to lead teams like mine, which had about 60 people, so be patient and try hearing out everybody and solve the interpersonal issues. Depending on the situation you may have to take the decision of dropping a partner for the benefit of the other, so don’t be scared and take the best decision you can think of. Egos are not something you should care about, your goal as an individual and as a team is to make the conference a reality, and decisions need to be taken. - Last but not the least, don’t forget that it is supposed to be FUN! You are friends, you are a team, you’re in a process of learning how to work as a whole not as individuals. If you can sell yourself as a team, it will be easier to get sponsors.   As silly as my advice may appear, they are quite effective. And here’s why:   • During our edition of WikiStage HEC Algiers, more than 50% of our contacts came from our team members, more than 50% was set up thanks to the same team members, and the final sponsors were all with us because of same those team members • We were taken seriously because we had a plan, a vision, and a document to attest of what we were aiming for • We never lied nor gave promises we couldn’t accomplish • Even if we had conflicts, we always put the event before anything else • Problems always happen, but it’s how you deal with them that changes everything • Trust your team and let them take responsibility (even when it means not taking credits for something you did) nobody will be remembered as THE ORGANIZER, but THE TEAM will be remembered as the best   Organizing an event is not like solving a math problem, you will all have a different result even if you follow the same steps. So be patient, try finding the right solutions and don’t waste time blaming people. As for me, you can contact me whenever you want if needed.   Once again, thank you for being part of the great WikiStage family and good luck! May the force be with you!

WikiStage in Videos

About WikiStage

Ideas for Change

WikiStage is a global community of people who believe that individuals who speak up can inspire positive change in the world. We believe that our voices can contribute to a world where peace, solidarity, democracy, human rights and the protection of our planet become a reality.

We are an open community and at the heart of our group are the volunteer WikiStage Conference Organisers who until today have organised more than 100 conferences in over 10 countries. If you want to give a stage to people who make the difference, organise a WikiStage Event to amplify their message through our community.

WikiStage.org is run by people like you who create playlists about important issues and nominate speakers to enrich our video platform. Explore WikiStage to get inspired and discover a world of possibilities.

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