How to Engage Your Community at Your Event – Digital Promise

How to Engage Your Community at Your Event

The YouthMADE Festival invites you to host events that showcase and celebrate youth creativity and innovation. Your event can be virtual, in-person, or hybrid. Whether your event is open to the public or invitation-only, you will want to engage your greatest supporters—the people you already know in your community. Your community may include people in your school, people in your neighborhood or city, and people you share interests with across locations. This guide is here to help you reach and engage them in your YouthMADE Festival event or activation.

First, what makes a great event?

Determine your goals and your audience

You can host any kind of in-person, virtual, or hybrid event that best suits the organizers and participants in your event. Whatever format you choose, consider how you want people to feel at your event. Is your goal to inspire, entertain, and/or educate your audience? What do you want them to do after attending your event?

As you consider the goals of your event, also determine who your core audience is. It might be students, staff, and families in your school community. It might also include members of the wider community, such as people in elected positions, people from an industry related to students’ projects, and people from faith communities. Identify the people who will be the most interested in your event and make sure they can access your event or activation.

Create moments of connection

The most engaging events include moments of connection and interaction between attendees. Interaction can take place between the presenters and attendees, as well as between attendees. For example, if you host a virtual student showcase, consider including a live Q&A where audience members can interact with the presenters. If your event is hosted on a platform like Zoom, you can also include polls to interact with audience members throughout the event. There are many ways to create moments of interaction and connection, so we encourage you to think creatively about what will work best for your event.

What platform should we use for a virtual event?

If you are looking for ideas for the kind of virtual event you could host and the platform you might use, explore our curated list of platforms for virtual events. This list shares popular platforms, as well as links to tutorials and accessibility features. If you have suggestions for platforms to add to this list, let us know by emailing

How can we invite our community to our event?

Once you have determined your core audience(s), consider where you are most likely to reach them. For example, if your audience is people in your school, you could reach them by handing out flyers, sending an email to the school community, and using the announcement system, among others. If your audience is within the broader community, you could reach them through social media, community listservs/message boards, and email invitations, and more. If you want to invite local journalists to attend and write about your event, you can reach them through a media advisory or direct email.

Below are guides and templates to offer more support. These templates are downloadable so that you can edit and/or translate them according to your event needs:

How else can we engage our community at our event?

Finally, we are excited to share the YouthMADE Festival Community Awards. During your event, ask attendees to write kudos, shoutouts, and reflections using this link. We will use attendees’ feedback to spotlight impactful youth creators and changemakers from this year’s YouthMADE Festival. Awardees will be recognized on the website and through Digital Promise’s social media platforms following the event.

Use the templates in the design kit to create social media and other graphics to reach your community.

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