What is the scale of the events activity at The Co-op?
Different departments of the Co-op will run many different events from large-scale to small-scale throughout the year. The AGM, that attracts 1,000 members is probably as big as my team would deliver. Our Food business also delivers a lot of events at this level, such as an annual supplier event and Pioneer Awards night, and there are Funeral and Insurance conferences. This year, we have also held a series of Leadership events for our 5,000 Co-op Leaders across the country.
What is the power of face-to-face events?
A key part of our purpose is to enable our active members to have face to face conversations with our Board, Members’ Council and Executive. This allows honest conversations, enables members to hold elected representatives to account and helps to build and foster relationships based on trust and mutual understanding.
Running the AGM as part of a bigger event also enables us to have some fun. We can showcase our new products, launch new activity and gain live member feedback.
Tips for running great events?
Start planning early, and ensure that the project team has a shared goal. The team needs to be aligned on what a successful event would look like, and this need should be shared with key stakeholders.
Be prepared to be innovative and flexible, and ensure that the physical event is supported by a digital platform. Not all members want to participate by coming to an event.
How do you measure the return on events activity?
The AGM is a core part of our Co-op governance structure, and measures include the number of members who vote, the number who attend and online feedback by those who get involved digitally. And we seek feedback from all members through a post event survey.
We’re also keen to understand how key suppliers can help to improve our event delivery through a commitment to shared working.