Episode 1

Published on:

28th Apr 2021

Why host a conference?

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.

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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
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About the Podcast

Make It Kickass
Community Event Mastery
Make It Kickass explores how leaders of growing communities can make conferences with impact, gatherings with purpose, and an attendee experience that knocks their socks off. We uncover the strategies, tactics, and tools we use every day to bring our clients’ conferences to life. If you've ever wanted to host a life-changing conference, this podcast is for you.

Find us at kickassconf.com or geteventlab.com

About your hosts

Isaac Watson

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Isaac Watson is the founder and Executive Producer at Kickass Conferences, an event strategy and production studio based in the Pacific Northwest. Isaac helps community leaders develop and deliver transformative events for their audiences and inspire them to build a better world.

A maker and introvert at heart, when he’s not working his magic behind the scenes in event strategy and production, he’s usually at home in Vancouver, Washington working on remodeling projects, gardening, cooking, learning to sew, and building LEGO.

Nessa Jimenez

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Nessa Jimenez is the Operations Manager at Kickass Conferences, an event strategy and production studio based in the Pacific Northwest. She coordinates the day to day work with our clients and vendors, keeps all of our projects rolling on time and now edits and produces the podcast.

Nessa lives in and works from Puerto Rico. When she's not working, you can find her reading a book or trying to figure out how to keep her plants alive.