Your Journal and Event Participation

Event participation can have two meanings in the context of a company. Both are very important, but both cover very different parts of the business.

On the one hand, event participation could refer to internal events within your company. These could be things like team-building activities, professional development seminars, or even launch events. For example, if you’re launching a new journal, this might be momentous enough that you want to talk to your whole team at once. These sorts of events have a lot of potential benefits (and a few downsides). The other kinds of events that you might participate in are external events (or community events).

This type of event might also be quite varied. Your journal, believe it to not, may be part of a great many different communities. From the academic community to local businesses, there are a lot of different communities that you might want to consider forging relationships with. While internal events are critical to your company’s well-being, in this article we’ll be going over external events.

Why participate in events?

There are lots of reasons why you might want to participate in events. Event participation can translate directly into two important benefits: brand name awareness and reputation. These two things are similar, but not the same. Brand name awareness is the idea that when someone hears the name of your company, they know who you are and what you do. Reputation, however, is more about how your company is perceived.

Different types of events will help you to work on different parts of your company’s reputation. For example, if you consistently participate in academic conferences and help to sponsor them, the people that go to that conference will hear about those efforts. But this doesn’t mean that academic conferences are the only ones you can participate in.

Even smaller local events, such as sports teams, city festivals, or things like that can help to affect your reputation. Building reputation is not always a straight line, and sometimes a seemingly unrelated event can have a vast impact. Your journal’s name being mentioned on the radio might draw the attention of a university professor. The journal’s name being on a banner might be seen by a prospective author. There are many different things that can happen.

What kind of events should you participate in?

The reasons for participating generally all tend to be very similar, but the type of event can vary widely.

For the sake of simplicity, we’re going to separate the types of events you can participate in into two broad categories:

  1. Academic community events;
  2. General community events.

Because these two types of events can vary significantly, going into each of the events with a clear understanding of what the events are and what their goals are is a good idea.

Academic community events

These events are often related to the broad umbrella of “academia”. But participation in these events can be critical. These might take the shape of the aforementioned academic conferences (we’ve previously written about how to navigate academic conferences). They might also be something like a sponsorship for academic prizes for research. And another example would be the community itself. There are many events throughout the year that relate to the world of academic publishing, and many of these events bring together journals, academics, and other interested parties.

As an example, Open Access Week usually happens in the last week of October, and brings together many stakeholders to discuss open access in the context of a new theme every year. In previous years, they’ve talked about how open access affects the Global South or “community over commercialization”.

Another project that brings together different journals, academics, and stakeholders is Peer Review Week. Much like Open Access Week, Peer Review Week tackles a different theme every year (chose by the community) and there are many journals and institutions that participate. These help to improve the reputation of these stakeholders though meaningful participation in these community events.

General community events

As noted above, general community events and participation in those events, can have a positive impact on your company’s reputation.

One of the primary downsides to this sort of activity, however, is that it almost always winds up being something that costs money. This is why having a marketing budget can be really important. Remember that sometimes even small amounts of money are sufficient to get your journal’s name on a list of sponsors or on a radio advertisement.

Picking and choosing the right events to participate in can be challenging though, so taking a bit of time and consulting with local academic institutions or other journals might be a good way to determine what might be a “good investment” for your company. Remember, because reputation is one of your most valuable currencies, being able to ensure that you have a good sense of where you can balance the general community and your academic interests.

Event participation to improve morale

No one loves being stuck in an office all day, and so event participation has the added benefit of being able to take employees out of the office and putting them into the community. Much like a conference, this helps to let your staff talk about your journal in a positive way directly to people who might want to support, or submit to, your journal.

Remember, in a big way, your staff can be one of your most powerful marketing tools, so giving them the opportunity to get out into the community to talk positively about your journal can be a boon to your company’s reputation.

D.J. McPhee
3 June 2024Posted inMarketing
Post authorD.J. McPhee