In this episode, we'll be discussing hosting conferences and providing insights and tips for organizing successful events. We'll emphasize the importance of knowing your audience and the message you want to convey. We'll discuss different types of communities that can benefit from hosting conferences, including user groups, cause-oriented groups, and professional development groups. We'll highlight the importance of building connections within a community. We'll explore the magic that happens when like-minded people come together to share ideas and inspiration. Lastly, we'll discuss the power of groupthink and the contagious energy that can drive advocacy and cause-related work at conferences.
0:01:51 - Why host an event?
A key to organizing a successful conference is understanding the draw that will bring people together. It's important to identify the reasons why someone would want to meet the organizer or other people in the community. Without understanding this, it's difficult to build a meaningful event. Often, people assume that hosting a conference is the next natural step without considering why they want to do it in the first place. Asking these questions and understanding the purpose behind the conference is crucial for its success.
0:11:27 - Events for user groups
Convening events, such as product launches or new feature announcements, for a software tool with a broad user base is common among both big tech companies and smaller ones. However, the intent behind these events is not just to sell directly, but to help the community learn and understand what's coming, provide them with tools to continue using the product, get them excited, and ultimately turn them into advocates for the products.
0:15:47 - Community and Conference
A great example of a community-driven approach is Notion, where people advocate for the product even though they don't work for the company. There are websites created by fans who are excited about what they've made using Notion. If you want to host a conference, it's important to have an existing community to present it to. Building a community and hosting a conference go hand in hand, as a conference cannot exist without a community, and a community is not solely built around a conference. There needs to be something else that brings the community together beyond just the conference.
0:20:45 - Investing to Build Community
A common conversation with first-time conference organizers is about budget goals, and often they say they just want to break even. This approach can indicate a lack of willingness to invest in the event and the community. It's important to consider how much you're willing to invest if the event doesn't break even, and if that amount is less than fifty thousand dollars, it's worth reconsidering, as starting a conference requires investment in the community.
Opening and closing theme is Just Dance by Patrick Patrikios
This podcast uses the following third-party services for analysis:
Chartable - https://chartable.com/privacy