Post-event and renewal
Wrapping Up Your Event
All that thoughtful planning and preparation, creative promotion, and perfect execution of your schedule during the event have paid off. Although you are probably exhausted, you should be proud to have supported your community!
But just because the event is over, that doesn’t mean there’s nothing left to do. Event wrap-up is an essential part of organizing a Startup Weekend. This is the perfect opportunity to follow up with stakeholders to thank them, get their feedback, and maybe even gather visual material to help promote your next event.
The wrap-up email is an excellent opportunity for the organizing team to celebrate the success of the event and provide a recap to participants, mentors, sponsors, your venue provider, and everyone else who helped to make the event happen.
A good wrap-up email makes your stakeholders feel like they were part of something truly special. It’s a great time to acknowledge all of those involved, and to highlight the winning teams. It can also be a good opportunity to let everyone know when to expect the next local event or how they can continue their involvement with Startup Weekend. We recommend sending your participant wrap-up email the day after your event, and your other wrap-up emails within 48 hours of the event.
Remember to personalize your wrap-up email and keep it warm and sincere. Your wrap-up email to sponsors might include more financial details, and your email to your mentors should include other mentoring opportunities within the Techstars network. Your participant wrap-up email on Monday morning will include a reminder to redeem partner offers before they expire, an invitation to share their images or stories, and information about joining the Techstars talent network. We provide email templates to help you with this.
Post-event social media and blog posts
Never underestimate the power of shoutouts on social media. Use Twitter /Instagram /Facebook /LinkedIn and other popular social platforms to thank your mentors, judges, speakers, volunteers, and anyone else who deserves a shoutout. This gives them well-deserved acknowledgement for their efforts in front of a larger audience and helps them to share their experiences.
A post-event blog post is a great addition to wrapping up your event. Through your blog post you can share your personal experience as an organizer, acknowledge winning teams, and tell the story of your event and the story of some participants or teams. It adds a personal touch and helps create buy-in for future Startup Weekends or other community events that you might want to run.
Ongoing community engagement
Now that you’ve expanded your network and bonds have been formed within the community through Startup Weekend, you can continue to engage with the community by running a follow-up event. This can include a participant meetup, a panel, talk, or another networking or educational event — live or online.
Techstars takes care of surveying your Startup Weekend participants. We usually send out a survey within a week after your event. Once we’ve collected all feedback we will share this with the organizing team.
Team retrospective and wrap-up call
One of the prerequisites of organizing a Startup Weekend is to agree to submitting feedback in a post-event wrap-up form. In the form you’ll be asked for any feedback, things that worked, things that didn’t work, what you would do differently next time etc. This is a good opportunity to evaluate your success according to the goals you set for yourself in your first team meeting.
This is the less exciting part.
Pay all your outstanding invoices and reimburse everyone who needs to be reimbursed. Update your budget tracking sheet so that you can analyze the complete financial picture of the weekend and share it with financial stakeholders (the organizing team, your sponsors, etc.).
Depending on your region, your sponsorship invoice can serve as a receipt to your sponsors confirming the sponsorship that they’ve provided for your event. Your sponsor agreement may require that you issue an additional in-kind donation, acknowledgement forms, or certificates. Follow up on any other requirements set forth in your sponsorship agreement.
Community Leader Journey
As a Techstars Startup Weekend organizer, you are part of our extensive global network, and your journey as a Techstars Community leader doesn’t have to end once your event ends.
Once you’ve completed your post-event wrap-up tasks, you can start thinking about organizing another Startup Weekend.
We recommend that you avoid running two events with the same vertical within a few months of each other. There’s a good chance that you won’t get many repeat participants, and there might be some local fatigue surrounding this vertical for a while after the event.
If you’re unsure what the best move is, reach out to your Techstars community support contact to discuss your plan in further detail.
No city should have to rely on the same few people to run their Techstars Startup Weekend forever. Part of the role of an organizer is to help cultivate new leaders to ensure that your community thrives.
Pass the torch
If you’ve been organizing Startup Weekends for a while in your city, are planning to move away, or don’t have the time to organize future events, think about passing the Startup Weekend torch to others in your community.
You’ll have local experience and information to share with enthusiastic individuals who want to support their community. Advice and guidance from past local organizers is an invaluable resource to help new organizers achieve success as community builders.
Reach out to past volunteers at your Startup Weekends, or someone in your organization, social/meetup group, college or university to ask if they would be interested in running a Startup Weekend. Get them involved in the next organizing group so that they can learn first-hand what it is like to be a Startup Weekend organizer.
Other ways to find successors are to reach out to your Techstars community support contact to register your interest in passing the torch. They will be able to connect you with new Startup Weekend organizer applicants and help form a suitable strategy. You may need to act as an advisor to new organizers. If someone’s application is rejected, they can join your team for your next event and learn first-hand how to run a successful event.
Some established organizing teams have hosted meetups or dinners with the specific purpose of connecting with interested individuals. Having an informal conversation about the expectations for the role and asking questions in-person can be an effective approach.
Keep the community thriving
Succession planning helps to keep the community thriving through inevitable changes.
Become a facilitator
Once you’ve organized at least two Techstars Startup Weekends, the next natural step could be to grow into a facilitator role.
As with the organizing role, a facilitator is someone who donates their time. While the Startup Weekend facilitator journey differs from facilitator to facilitator, the role has many valuable benefits for professional and personal development.
Many Startup Weekend organizers turned facilitators didn’t initially see themselves as naturally gifted public speakers. Training, practice and facilitating events helped them get out of their comfort zone and learn how to manage and engage crowds. You’ll be able to develop valuable skills such as leadership, community building, and the ability to increase your networking opportunities.
You’ll join a global community of facilitators who can help you grow and develop. There can also be opportunities to travel to other cities, experience different local cultures, and connect with diverse mentors.
Not only does facilitating offer professional and personal growth, but you’ll play an integral role in the future success of entrepreneurs and communities. Your support will help participants bring their ideas to life!
A unifying trait we all share is our passion for entrepreneurship, and Startup Weekend provides a platform to build entrepreneurial communities. Startup Weekend provides a space for aspiring entrepreneurs to feel supported, to learn, to ask questions, and to become inspired.
If this sounds like an exciting opportunity to you, please fill out the Facilitator Application Form, and let us know if you have any questions!
Organize a Startup Week
Techstars Startup Week is a five-day, entrepreneur-led, community event held in cities around the world to showcase the local startup ecosystem through meetups, lectures, discussions, and celebrations.