The After Six Club’s chief encourager and founder Kassy Pajarillo shares her thoughts on the importance of keeping people at the forefront to build active, passionate communities

In a world now oversaturated with messages all clamoring for attention, how does one effectively engage and build a relationship with people to establish a living, thriving community?

This was the hot topic that leading professionals in the events industry tackled at the Event Engagement: Driving Sales and Building Communities Panel Discussion last November 13, 2018. The event was hosted by EventBank in partnership with The After Six Club, Eventscape Manila, Project Ripple, and the Philippine Craft Kings.  

The event was an intimate gathering of like-minded startup entrepreneurs and community builders, held at the Spaces World Plaza in Bonifacio Global City, Taguig. Kassy Pajarillo, chief encourager and founder of The After Six Club, was part of the panel of experts. Also in the panel were Gigi Bautista, managing director of GBA Events Asia; Stephen Ku, CEO and founder of Eventscape Manila; RJ Ledesma, co-founder/chairman and VP for business development of Mercato Centrale Philippines; Luis Arcangel, CEO of Montgomery Fitch & Associates; and Eric Schmidt, CEO of EventBank.

Defining Engagement

One of the points raised during the discussion was how to define engagement—and successful engagement at that. For Kassy, engagement equals relevance.

“It boils back down to relevance—what the audience needs. I came from the corporate world, and I was always craving to learn more. [This was the thought behind The After Six Club. By talking to people,] I realized that a lot of people are also looking for the same thing; looking for opportunities to learn and craving for thought leadership,” she said.

People sit up and listen when they know that they are part of the process. “You always have to involve people in the discussion. Events in themselves are all about relationships,” she shared. In addition, Kassy stressed The After Six Club’s events are more than just business. It’s a continuous cycle of talking to people, keeping them engaged, and giving them what they need or look for.

 

Building A Community

For Kassy, nothing beats the connections she’s made and the relationships she’s built through the events that she helped conceptualize, mount, and support. Through her events, Kassy has taken her community of entrepreneurs and learners from online to offline—serving as a launch pad for entrepreneurs who have embraced their ambition, and as a venue for different people with different skills to share and exchange knowledge with one another.

“With The After Six Club, it’s different because, in terms of community, we really have to talk to them directly. Our events are not just panel discussions and speakers just talking to an audience. The people in our events actively ask questions. Our events serve to bridge a connection. Our events are opportunities for people to grow, to establish relationships. Technology may fail you sometimes, but the people you get to talk to, connect with, build a relationship with, it’s golden. It’s something you can’t replicate,” she added.

 

Keeping It Real

The panel also touched on how events help in building and strengthening communities. All panelists agree that people must be passionate and straightforward to keep members active and engaged. But the key to keeping a community engaged is authenticity.

“When you do your messaging for your community, it doesn’t need to be big or fancy. It just needs to be real. If you’re sincere and passionate about a certain topic for that specific community, then you’ve got your magic sauce,” Kassy shared.  

Filipinos are very inclusive, and this cultural trait serves as the perfect breeding ground for communities to succeed in the country—as long as people come in ready to listen, learn, share, and keep things real.

“The After Six Club is all about community. It’s about supporting communities for them to launch and flourish. It doesn’t need to be very complex; it doesn’t need to be daunting. You just need to be straightforward as to what it is all about,” said Kassy.

You can watch the full video of the event here.

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