Make Sure the Juice is Worth the Squeeze: Engagement After Your Big Event

There is not a way around it -- events are a TON of work. So make sure it is worth the effort you and your team put into it and get these attendees engaged!

Let’s jump ahead into the future. Everybody’s gone, your feet hurt, the staff is celebrating.  All went spectacularly well and you had a great turnout. But will you ever see those people again? Talk to them again? Will they volunteer? Donate?

Often we put a great deal of time into the event without a plan for keeping our attendees engaged. Let's change that! Remember, engagement happens before, during and after the event.

Make sure the juice is worth the squeeze!

TIPS to Engage Attendees:

  • Plan for post event follow-up before the event. This should be on your task list and timeline for the event.  And do as much prep prior as you can -- write emails, record videos, put together mailing lists, etc.
  • Communicate immediately after the event (within 24 hours ideally) to attendees. Reach them while they are still excited. Thank them, share photos, ask them to engage on social media.
  • Ask for feedback. A short poll or survey is good (favorite part of the event, did they learn more about the organization, what would they like to see changed about the event, etc). This keeps them engaged and gives you helpful insight.
  • Invite them to other events. This should happen at the event and afterwards by inviting people to other events, programs, showcases, rallies, etc.  Make sure they are saving the dates and know they are welcome.
  • Offer ways to stay involved. This too should happen at the event and after. Offer ways they can volunteer, donate, be an ambassador, etc.  They want to know how else they can help, so tell them!
  • Stay in touch on a regular basis, but keep it short. Make sure to add attendees to your mailing list (sounds obvious but is often overlooked) and keep them up to date with happenings-- but remember, attention spans are short so be concise and use images.
  • Debrief with your team while it is still fresh. Successes? Challenges? Run the numbers on time and money spent and discuss if you got good bang for the buck. If not, discuss how to improve.

KS Solutions provides event support.  It’s a heavy load! We are just a phone call/email away.

Helpful Articles About Post-Event Engagement:

7 Steps to Turning Event Attendees Into Donors

Have a great event and make it count!

Learning to LOVE Meetings

In honor of Valentine's Day, let's talk LOVE.  

The LOVE for meetings.  I'd say this is not usually the case. The look, walk and talk of someone, or even a whole team, dreading a meeting, is something we have all seen before, maybe even often.  But it does not have to be this way. Let's work on learning to LOVE meetings because we make them lovable and productive!

Here are a few things that I have learned which help make meetings more effective and productive: 

1. Start the meeting on time.  This sets the tone for professionalism and keeping on task. And it shows respect for one another's time.

2. Only invite people to the meeting that need to be there. If Stacey just needs to know one thing or you just want to keep her in the loop, she doesn't need to be there for the full hour.  Let her know you are respecting her time and will fill her in on the pieces relevant to her work.

3. Opt for shorter meetings. There is this phenomenon where if you allow for 2 hours, the meeting will take just that long, or miraculously in a 45 minute meeting you get the same work accomplished.  Somewhat unconsciously, we stretch for the time allotted.  So keep meetings short, with a tight agenda and an eye on the clock, and you'll find that you are congratulating one another for the effective and succinct meeting!

4. Who is running the meeting?  Decide this beforehand. This person should manage the agenda and the time to keep the conversation on track. She/he should keep a list of "future agenda items" as topics arise that should be discussed at another time. This does not have to be the same person for each meeting.

5. Assign tasks or actions during the meeting and re-cap those at the end.  Who is doing what? Make these decisions when together-- don't leave it with only "we need to..." Assign specific tasks to individuals. These action items should be reflected in the notes to keep people on track.

6. End the meeting on time.  People are busy. They have another meeting, have to pick up their kids or are trying to finish a project. You are losing their attention as the meeting drones on and on.  Be organized and respect people's time.  

7. Fun. Have some. You can be effective and timely and still share laughs.  Share a pertinent comic, a funny story, snacks (you will blow people away if you bring in something homemade), fun stickers or pens, etc.  You will hear people breathe and that's a good thing!

Effective meetings are not easy.  These articles below offer some useful tips to help develop this skill. Share with your team as well!

KS Solutions offers meeting facilitation, as there are times where an outside facilitator is needed for the most effective meeting.  Call us, we are happy to help.

Resources for You:

Happy Valentine's Day! 

I Will Be More Organized in 2017! - A New Year’s Resolution We Can Help With

Happy 2017!  

“Don’t count the days; make the days count.” ~Muhamad Ali

Being  more organized is one of the most common New Year’ resolutions. Is it on your list?
Better organization refers to a desire for this at home, as well as at work.  Let’s talk work life. How can we be more organized in our own spaces to increase our productivity and decrease stress?

There are several helpful articles below that may be beneficial to you and your team.

Debi Clark, of Go To Girl Organizing Solutions, a local Baltimore business, says:
"Sometimes we feel guilty organizing our offices because that’s time we could be spending on 'actual work', right?  Investing the time to organize your office will pay you back many times over in increased productivity and decreased stress levels."  
"Everything has a place and there is a place for everything.  An organized office does not have to look like a Martha Stewart photo shoot. Being able to put your hands on a file or piece of information within seconds should be the goal of any organizing system."

KS Solutions' Favorite Tips:

  1. Have a scratch pad on-hand - As things pop in your head, a co-worker shares information, etc., have one place to jot things down throughout the day. This offers less to remember and less time spent on trying to find “that” sticky note.
  2. De-clutter - Move things to drawers that you don’t use regularly, hide cords, have a physical in-box. This is good for your focus and organization.
  3. Take a picture – In lieu of having items on your desk that are simply for reference (like an ink cartridge or article) that take a picture with your smartphone.
  4. Use  email organization system -  As we know, email can be a huge time suck.  There are many systems out there to use email more efficiently  (see #5 below for one idea).
  5. To organize papers, Debi of Go To Girl Organizing Solutions suggests:

  • Set-up files into 3 separate categories: primary, secondary and tertiary. Primary files are the ones you need to access on a regular basis. Secondary files are ones you go to occasionally and tertiary files are seldom accessed. 
  • Use vertical file sorter and a few manila folders to get active papers up and off the desk, yet still within reach. She describes that a vertical file is just a pile, turned on its end. When labeled into folders, they are easier to see and to access.  
  •  Take 10 minutes before leaving the office each day to tidy up your desk.  It can really kick-start your motivation the next morning!  

There are times when you have too much to do regardless of how organized you are. KS Solutions offers support to mission-based organizations offering expertise and takes work off of your plate. We offer project management, organizational development, volunteer engagement, strategic planning and facilitated learning opportunities.  Contact us to see how we can assist you.

A Few Articles for You and Your Team:

  1. Five Simple Steps That Apply Order to Chaos -  Getting Things Done, David Allen
5. A Super-Efficient Email Process - Harvard Business Review  

~ Contact Kate for questions about how KS Solutions can help you and your team.
~ Check out Got To Girl to learn more about the organizing solutions offered.

Cheers to a productive 2017!

Learning to LOVE Your Organization's Database-- Tips for You

It is hard to even think about! What is the condition of your organization's database?  We have  one,  we need one, but they sure can easily get unwieldy. 

Gail Robinson of Generosity Data Solutions, a local company, offers these tips to keep your database maintained.  Her contact information is below if you want to know more about how Generosity can help your organization.

Your Personal Database Checklist
We don’t have to tell you how important it is to make sure your database is up and working properly. But we also know that keeping up with your database maintenance needs can seem overwhelming.

That’s why we created a checklist that will help you to stay organized when it comes to monitoring the most important part of your business.
  • Do you have a dedicated person in charge of your database? 
    When it comes to running a database, you need someone who can constantly monitor it. Make sure that person is available enough to ensure that operations run smoothly. There should never be confusion on who runs the database.
  • Do you have documentation for your data entry policies & procedures?
    Everyone in your company has to be on the same page when it comes to the database. You need to make sure that your data entry policies and procedures are documented and readily available.
  •  Is your data backed up and updated? 
    You aren’t going to get a warning before your database crashes and you lose everything. You need to establish a schedule to make sure that your data is backed up, and you also need to make sure that it's being updated. We tell companies to make sure they update NCOA, email and phone appends, deceased suppression data, and much more.
  •  Are permissions for all of your users set correctly?
    Every employee obviously doesn’t need access to every security level within your database. But we find that companies often forget to provide some of their key employees with the right permissions to perform their jobs effectively.
  •  Do you have the latest software installed?
    Collaborative projects can become a headache if staff members are using different software. Make sure that everyone has the latest software update installed to access key features and keep operations running smoothly.
  •  Do you have strong passwords?
    Stress the importance of password strength with your staff. With password hacking tools becoming even more sophisticated, a weak password can leave your entire company vulnerable.
  •  Is your staff properly trained?
    Is your staff properly trained on how to use your software and communication tools? Remember, you aren’t always going to be there when a problem occurs.
  •  What support levels are covered through your CRM Company?
    Do your customer relationship management programs have enough support? Are you able to accurately analyze customer data and interactions? Is your data migrated into one CRM program? It’s great if you are utilizing CRM technology, but a lot of businesses don’t have the support levels they need on the platform.

If you would like to learn more about Generosity Data Solutions and how we can help you today, please visit us at

Generosity is a software and data solutions company that implements, integrate and customize software platforms so business processes can run smoothly, effectively and save time.
Gail Robinson
Chief Data Officer/Owner
Generosity, LLC

Thanks, Gail, for sharing your expertise!