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Supporting Scotland's vibrant voluntary sector

Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations

The Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations is the membership organisation for Scotland's charities, voluntary organisations and social enterprises. Charity registered in Scotland SC003558. Registered office Mansfield Traquair Centre, 15 Mansfield Place, Edinburgh EH3 6BB.

Top tips for running a great event at the Gathering

Coming up with all the right ingredients for a hit event at the Gathering can feel challenging - but don't worry as help is at hand.

A whopping 65 events take place across two days at the Gathering attracting thousands of people with different interests and  roles. But why should they go to your event?

You are the expert in your field and you know what you want your event to cover. But let the Gathering events team be your expert on how to balance what you want to say with what our delegates want to hear, and how to maximise the appeal of your event.

Here are our top tips to make your Gathering event shine:

A punchy title

It’s what people see first and it’s what will help draw them in (or not!) – try alliteration, a bit of humour, or maybe pose a question as your title. But don’t go wild, It’s also important that the title clearly reflects the content of your event.

Killer content

No-one is going to read ‘War and Peace’ when booking an event but they do want to know what to expect, so keep your event description short, focused and informative.  Better crafted descriptions always attract more bookings and better turnout. And make sure you deliver what you say you will – people don’t like it when they don’t get what they expect, it’s disappointing.

Target the right people

Lots of event hosts tell us they want to attract CEO’s and senior leaders as well as people whose roles or interests make the event relevant to them.  Our advice is to use what we know about delegates attending past Gatherings to understand who you can expect.  Experience tells us that only around 30% of our audience falls into that CEO/ senior leader bracket, which means that CEOs will be in the minority at most events. So you need to plan content that will appeal mainly to staff and volunteers and expect them to make up the majority of your audience.

Talk to your audience

From when we launch the programme through to a few days before the Gathering, we provide weekly delegate lists of who has signed up to your event. Event hosts who take the time to communicate with their audience pre event to thank them for booking and build anticipation for the event get better turn up rates, so it’s worth that extra effort.

Let us help!

We’re already working with event hosts to make sure we don’t have events running at the same time with the same focus or targeting the same audience.  One of the main ways we’re managing this is through a carefully managed themed strands. We are also planning a pre-registration over the coming months where we’ll be asking visitors what they are interested in attending, what their role is and where they are from so when we launch the programme in January we can make sure we highlight the events that are most relevant to them based on what they tell us.

Last modified on 22 January 2020