Putting the E in Engagement


One of my first goals as the new Community Manager of DataCite was to improve how we think about and manage events. Today, I am happy to share with you the what, the why, and the how of DataCite’s Event Strategy and to introduce our new DataCite Connect events – don’t forget to save the date of our first event!

The What

Having released our 2022-2025 strategic plan in late 2021, in 2022 we have been working as a team to improve our goals and processes to better meet our community needs (Pillar 1: Provide easy, efficient and responsive community services to support the needs of our community). Being a member-driven organization and engaged stakeholder in the research ecosystem, we aim to achieve our vision and mission through community collaboration. Communicating at and through events is central to that collaborative approach, and hence the need to have an Event Strategy. This work follows the recently completed stakeholder mapping and communications strategy (about which you can read more in this blog post by Paul Vierkant).

The Why

Putting our Event Strategy together, we focused on two things: we wanted to be more proactive (than reactive) with our events planning, and we wanted to make the most of both organizing and participating in events, to better support our community. As a small non-profit organization working with a global community where there are a lot of topics to address and hundreds of events being organized, it is very important to prioritize and have a strategy in place for decision making.

The How

Through our work on stakeholder mapping we defined “who” we are communicating with, but the question of “how” is part of the Event strategy. To answer that question, we developed the “DataCite journey” that helps us map the engagement with our community. The journey includes all our stakeholders and the awareness phases . This work was finalized with input from the DataCite Community Engagement Steering Group and the DataCite team, so a big thanks to all!

To maximize the reach of our efforts:

  1. We organize virtual events (such as webinars, Open Hours, and training sessions) to engage with our community when they are in the Consider and Create stages of the journey, as these are focused on information dissemination and allow greater impact and reach if done online. To consistently build awareness we aim to host regular webinars throughout the year.
  2. We organize in person events to engage primarily with our member community on the Connect and Collaborate stages, that are more exchange and networking focused and allow greater impact when done in person. To consistently build awareness, we aim to organize two in person events per year. 

Introducing DataCite Connect

Before 2020, DataCite used to hold in person member meetings which were transformed into two virtual events: our General Assembly meeting in April and a member meeting in September. After three years, we are now ready to resume in person events to engage with our members and broader community.

DataCite Connect is our new series of in person events. These won’t replace the virtual member meetings, but provide a new opportunity to promote collaborations among our members and community by leveraging the advantages of in person events: in-depth and highly interactive discussions. DataCite Connect are half-day to one day events, which will rotate across regions

To make DataCite Connect more accessible to our members and community, we aim to co-locate these sessions with major community conferences. We hope this will allow more people to attend, while being more sustainable for our environment and budget, and also building synergies with bigger communities and discussions around research, data and beyond.

Save the date for our first ever DataCite Connect meeting on March 20, 2023 in Gothenburg, Sweden, co-located with the next RDA Plenary. More detailed information is coming soon!