Nothing beats the feeling of being in the company of people who share the same interests, especially when it comes to books, music, TV shows or movies. The feeling of camaraderie is almost instantaneous, and the enthusiasm within the group is definitely contagious.
Sometimes, however, interaction with fellow fans can become a bit contentious. There can be arguments on differences of opinion. Hours and hours of chatting can also lead to boredom. To make interactions with fellow fandom members more productive, meaningful and memorable, it takes some planning and deliberate, worthwhile ideas. Here are some steps to creating more effective ways to engage with fellow fans in a club or organization:
Create a leadership or management team
As with any organization, order begins with a set of people that the members can look to for direction or guidance. The process can be a democratic election of leaders, or the founding members can appoint themselves as heads of the group. Either way, having a definite set of leaders will help make the fan club activities organized and more efficient. It will also give direction to the future development of the group and formalize its mission and vision.
Organize regular events or meet-ups
It helps for a club to meet regularly in order to maintain solidarity and to strengthen the bonds among members. Events are an outlet for creative expression and interaction with one another. This is especially true for fan clubs that are visual or artistic in nature. Anime or comics fans are a good example of this. In conventions for these groups, members come in their best costumes, bring their most amazing artwork, and express their flair for creativity and design. It is a very fun and visually arresting spectacle.
It is no longer difficult for fan club members to keep in touch with each other even when there are no events or meet-ups. Aside from the usual means of communication such as phones and e-mail, using a club communication app is also a big trend nowadays. Think of it as a virtual meeting place.
Apps like BAND provides a communication modules like chatrooms and group calls, where members can talk to each other even in real-time. Functions such as a community board or a calendar, on the other hand, allow members to announce important events and activities. Polls can also be held to find out the consensus of the group on certain topics or issues. Photos, videos and other types of media can also be stored and shared conveniently. Best of all, the group can be kept private or secret, or it can be made public for other people to search and join.
Put up a website
Creating and maintaining a website is another great idea to make sure the group stays glued together. It is also primarily a good marketing tool to entice other members to join. People from overseas can even learn more about the group. Make sure that it is searchable so other people who share the same interests can find out about it. The website can also be enhanced as an e-commerce site where the club can sell, trade, or exchange fan merchandise.
Interact with the stars
Book authors, movie stars, and TV actors are usually more than glad to express their gratitude back to the fans who support them. Aside from simply organizing meet-ups with celebrities, it is also good idea to help support the meaningful causes that they celebrities espouse. Many of them are associated with certain charitable institutions or non-profit organizations. It is good for fans to be aware of these causes and provide support to them, either financially or through volunteering for activities.
There’s a lot more to being “just a fan.” Admiring and supporting artistic and creative endeavors takes on more meaning if it becomes a more personally rewarding and fulfilling experience for all members of the club.