Collaborating with other organisations is so important for so many different reasons. It can help with relationship building, cross-promotions and it allows both organisations create an event they may not have been able to do otherwise. However, they do take a lot of work. There are lots of things to think about when organisations collab: logistics, finances, marketing and attendees. No need to stress though because we’re here to give you some tips.
Finding the right organisation
Not every organisation can collaborate with every other organisation. The collab needs to be beneficial to both organisations. Both parties need to gain something out of the experience. Communication between both organisations is important. If from the get-go the other organisation isn’t getting back to you or is being unclear with their intentions or views for the collab, it’s probably a red flag. Collaborations come with many challenges and both organisations need to work together. So, find a partner that will be on top of things.
Set out goals
Collaborations are more than just being about having fun. There should be a common goal or something both parties are gaining from this. It is important to write out and explain your goals and hear the other organisation’s expectations. Make sure both your intentions align. The goals don’t need to be the same. For example, one organisation’s goal may be to create a unique activity for their participants whereas the other organisation may want to gain more exposure. Therefore, both organisation’s benefit each other if one organisation runs the activity for the other, gaining exposure. On the flip side, the goals may be the exact same for both organisation’s. Either way, it is important to talk about it and ensure both organisation’s expectations are met.
Plan everything out
Be super organised, even more organised than you would be for any other event. Everything takes longer and is more complex when you are working with another organisation. Therefore it is crucial to plan things out in advance, including small details. What I’ve found useful is creating a shared Google Doc, writing out all the tasks that need to be done and assigning each task to a specific person. Then having a couple meetings before the event to make sure everything is feasible and both organisation’s are on the same page.
Make sure both organisation’s are promoting the event to their individual audience’s. Most organisations’ goal for a collab is to gain exposure/more members. Therefore if only one organisation is posting or promoting the event, then the other organisation isn’t doing their share of the work. A marketing plan should be worked out between the two organisations where they create flyers/posts/etc and work out a posting schedule. They should speak about expectations for the turnout and how they are going to meet those expectations. Both organisation’s should be drawing in an audience to the event.
On the day of the event, both organisations should be present. Both should have more or less an equal turnout from their staff/exec team. They should both give a speech during the event, talking about their individual organisations. It looks super awkward if it is a collab and only one organisation is present. It makes it seem like the other organisation is just putting their name on something without doing work. People see right through it.
Support each other
Throughout the whole process – planning and the event, check-in with each other. Make sure both organisation’s are happy and are still on the same page. Remember, you both have a common goal. I’ve seen collabs where both organisation’s kind of feel like they are left out of the loop or doing it all on their own. It often leads them feeling resentment towards the other organisation. If it is one-sided, no one will want to work with you or collaborate with you. Our community is small – other organisations will hear you’re hard to work with and will blacklist you. The best way to avoid this is by being open and helping each other. It is a collab after all.
And there you have it, all our top tips for collaborations. We hope you’ve learned something and are able to implement some of these tips into your next project.