When organising events for a community, it’s so easy to fall into the trap of thinking that bigger is better. This is an especially dangerous trap when your community is still in the early stages – shooting for a large event before your community is ready for it will inevitably do more harm than good.
Large events require a lot of people, work, time, energy, and money – the combination of which adds a whole lot of stress to any situation. That’s not to say that large events hold no value – that would be patently untrue – rather they need to be done at the correct time and in the correct context, and doing them too soon is setting your community up for failure.
You’ve done too much,The Specials – Too Much Too Young
Much too young.
Entirely different context, but still an apt quote here.
Embrace smallness and see it in a positive light – don’t be desperate to grow too quickly. All the old clichés apply: don’t try to run before you can walk, slow and steady wins the race, just put one foot in front of the other. Fight the urge to put together large community events until you know you have the capacity to handle it.
In practical terms, for most community groups this would mean that you should spend your time and energy focusing on your regular (usually monthly) meetup events. Even if the community program that you are a part of allows for less frequent larger events, you should hold off on organising one until your group has grown and has become more established. Placing that enormous stress on a young community could very well be the end of the growth that you would like to see.
As long as the goal for your community is for your members to grow closer, learn together, and see real personal development, then you’re on the right track, and you’ll know when your community is ready for something larger. As soon as that goal gets muddied by wanting to do something big before you’re ready, then you’ll be trying to do too much, much too young.