My Portfolio

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

How to build a strong team - The power of authentic relationship building

Source: Free Stock Photos from Hubspot

How often do you ask your team members about how their social life is going, family and in general how their lives are overall ? Recently at work we've been starting to have more team meetings and it has reminded me of my first leadership position as president of student nonprofit. During that time I learned how important it is to develop strong authentic relationships with your team.  

Sunday, October 26, 2014

The 3 tips for success a group of Highly Successful Business Women had in common

Canadian Women in Communications Power Networking
Looking back at the Canadian Women in Communications Power networking event last year it was surprising how unanimous all of the leaders on the panel were on how these three tips for success had helped them in their career. With leaders such as Sandy Pell the Communication Manager at Hoot suite, Meredith Powell one of the CO-Founders to the Next Big Thing and many others, the whole night was full of great conversation, advice and ideas. 

Taking a look at my notes from the event, here are the 3 tips for success that was common among all of them:

Sunday, October 19, 2014

How to build a Masterpiece - Perseverance and Time

Me and Queenie in front of Notre Dame
Progress can feel slow at times or non-existent when you are working on building a business, learning a new skill or creating a community. However, if you change your perspective you'll be able to see how perseverance over time is going to lead you to creating your own masterpiece like the Notre Dame.

Monday, October 13, 2014

Life is like Jenga - Life lessons

See that Jenga tower ? That Jenga tower is your life. Sometimes you think you are making the right move but it is really not. Sometimes you are not sure what to do next. Sometimes things fall apart and you have to put it back together. Here are the three things I learned while having a good time with my close friends playing Jenga.

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Encouraging Team Engagement - How to run Team Meetings

Toy Soccer Team
Source: John Cooper
"Individual commitment to a group effort--that is what makes a team work, a company work, a society work, a civilization work." --Vince Lombardi

Are you working with a team that isn't engaged as you want them to be ? Frustrated with the low level of engagement from your team members ? Do you feel that some people could contribute more.  Here are three ways you can increase the amount of engagement within your team meetings.

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Community building tool - Engagement Pyramid

Source: Engagement Pyramid by Groundwire
Finding it tough figuring out how to recruit, maintain and develop engagement with your volunteers and community members ? The Engagement Pyramid is a wonderful framework that can help guide your community building efforts. 

The Engagement Pyramid Explained

Developed by Groundwire, the pyramid derives its ideas from community organization, relationship marketing as well as fundraising and combines them together into a very easy to understand model to help you focus your activities.

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Why I became a NetSquared Volunteer Community Manager?

It all began with me deciding to attend one of Vancouver’s local NetSquared Meet-ups organized by Eli Vander Giessen. It was an amazingly informative workshop featuring Brady Josephson sharing his expertise on A Practical Guide to A/B Testing for Non-profits. As I wasn’t familiar with NetSquared I did some research and soon discovered that it is a network run by volunteers who are dedicated to helping create local opportunities for learning, sharing and using technology to make a difference. Before long I found myself helping Eli as a Co-organizer and community manager back in March 2013 and have continued to be involved to this day!

Here are the reasons why I’ve continued to be a volunteer with Eli and NetSquared.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Using the power of GIF's to highlight your community member

For Queenie Tu

When you work with a lot of volunteers, recognition is crucial for retention rates. Having been a part of a various leadership positions in volunteer based organizations, it can be tough sometimes to give your volunteers the recognition you feel they deserve. However, that doesn't have to be the case ! You can quickly create personalized digital GIF recognition for whomever you want.

I'll walk you through the steps I took to create this GIF inspired by and for my girlfriend and maybe you'll find it useful for the upcoming 2014 National Volunteer week on April 6-12.

Thursday, January 2, 2014

NetSquared Spotlight - Interview about our approach to community management

Interested in what I do as a event organizer for NetSquared ? Here is the interview I did for NetSquared Spotlight:

Tips for organizing events - The 3 basic ingredients

Top 3 things to know about Event Organizing

What are the top 3 things I learned from being a volunteer event organizer for NetSquared Vancouver ? Recently I was honored with the opportunity to be a part of the NetSquared Spotlight series where I shared some of my thoughts and lessons when it comes to community organizing. Reflecting on the experience I thought I'd create this condensed post of the top 3 things I learned from being a event organizer. Here are the top 3 things I learned from the 42 events we did throughout 2013 for a record 1316 attendees.

Speaker, Venue, Marketing - The basic recipe for organizing an event

When you combine these three things together you have the basic recipe for an event and each is of equal importance:

1) Speakers

Book them ahead of time as much as you can. I would say at minimum you need your speaker to agree to the event date at least 1.5 months in advance. This is especially the case if your are looking to develop a community or run a series of themed events. At NetSquared Vancouver we literally have all our speakers planned out for the next 6 months. Doing this allows you to start your marketing much earlier as well as free up your time to focus on other aspects of your event success. 

2) Venue

You want to have this secured as soon as possible. Find venue partners who are naturally supportive or focused on the same audience as you. Since at NetSquared we cater to the nonprofit community we look towards venues that have a focus on giving back to the community. What I've learned from my experience at NetSquared is when you start working with a new venue, ask them if they could commit to  multiple events tentatively instead of only one. First, this will really help you out if you are planning a series of events as you wont have to worry about future venues. Second, your subsequent events will be much better when it comes to logistics because you can learn from your experience. Third, you can start our marketing much earlier since you will need both information about the speaker and where the event will be happening before you can begin promoting it. 

3) Marketing/Promoting

This is one of those things where you need to throw all your effort and resources into at the beginning because the closer you get to your event, the more severe the law of diminishing gets. At the very very minimum you want to invite people to attend at least two weeks beforehand. Any less than that and you will quickly find those who would have come to your event now have other engagements they need to attend to. If this is your first event ever, you want to start your marketing/promoting as early as humanly possible. Once you have invited them to your event continue to remind them about your event a week out and the day before and maybe even on the day of as well.

These would be the three key ingredients to organizing events that I learned from volunteering with NetSquared. Let me know if you have any questions in the comments below or what you think is the most important thing to keep in mind for organizing events.

By Stevie Vu
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