Episode 4

full
Published on:

10th Jun 2021

Community is NOT an "event trend"

As in person events are slowly making a comeback, the long list of online event platforms born during the pandemic are scrambling to keep their clients and stay on the market. Isaac and Nessa discuss the newest wave of platform marketing: the 365 event "experience" and declaring community the event trend of the year.

Timestamps to relevant points within the episode:

[00:00] - Intro

[01:23] - Why is community being called a trend and why now?

[05:20] - What is the 365 event experience?

[14:36] - What it actually takes to keep a community all year round

[26:22] - Brands and communities that do the community experience right


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Music courtesy of When There Were Animals. Find them on Spotify


Next episode, Nessa and Isaac break down 3 characteristics of what makes someone a kickass conference host.



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Transcript
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(upbeat music)

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- Hi everyone,

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and welcome to the Kickass Conferences Talk Show.

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I'm Nessa Jimenez, the Operations Manager

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for Kickass Conferences.

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- And I'm Isaac Watson,

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Executive Producer of Kickass Conferences.

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- Yeah and this is a podcast where we sit down

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and talk about everything conferences and events.

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So, this week our topic is that a recent declaration

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of community as a marketing tool for conferences

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or as I've seen in a few articles,

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community being the big event trend of 2021.

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And we both reacted like, "Excuse me?

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What's happening?"

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So I thought it would be interesting for us

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to talk about it on the podcast.

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Now, I think it makes sense for us to start with

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where is this coming from, why and why now.

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- Yeah, so I think that there's kind of two components

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to what's happening in the event discussion these days.

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I think one of them is from the software side.

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So a lot of event platforms are leaning into this idea

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of creating community as like the next feature,

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as the next big thing.

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And I think that a lot of producers and organizers

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are realizing that again, I guess,

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'cause I feel, I think this is why we raised our eyebrows

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when we saw this, but the realizing that community

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is really important when it comes to events.

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And so they're focusing on it.

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And that makes me just kind of go,

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"But we, this is something we know about already."

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Like those of us in in-person events

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like, - Yeah, yeah.

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- This is, community is critical.

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We know this, like why, this is not new.

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- Yeah and everything that's been coming out recently

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has been with this tone of,

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"We just discovered this, this is a totally new idea!"

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And I think that's why it's so bizarre

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because community has existed since humans have existed.

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So for there to be this big declaration

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and then to call it a trend,

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because trends come and go, that is super bizarre.

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- Yes, I agree 100%.

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I think, speaking of like software,

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I think the reason that software tools are going

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in this direction is because it's a natural progression

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from a reaction to what was done over the last year

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as the pandemic hit the event world really, really hard.

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In-person events were out.

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And so everybody scrambled,

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everybody was trying to figure out

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how we make this work virtually.

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And so you have all of these, dozens and dozens and dozens

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of event platforms popping up and they all start

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from this minimum viable product thing.

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You need a live stream and you need a live chat.

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And then they iterate on that with new versions,

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they add new features, then it's sponsor booth pages.

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Then it's, this, that or the other.

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And so I think what they're,

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as they continue to evolve their platforms

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and evolve their feature setting,

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continue to keep producers interested,

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they're leaning on this idea of a community

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as being the next big thing.

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And I think that there are two reasons for that.

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One is, the hit, as vaccinations continue to roll out

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and in-person events are starting to come back,

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all of these companies are starting to panic going,

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- Yeah, "Like where's our audience?"

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- "We need to keep our customers."

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- Yes.

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- We need to keep our customers,

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we need to keep this running.

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Like we, and so that's why a lot of people

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talk about hybrid and that's fine.

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But I think the other element is this notion

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of the the event, the community around the event

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being something that an organizer or a producer,

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should be designing an experience around 365 days a year.

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And it gets back to the idea of membership

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or of being part of a group that is actively engaged,

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not just for an annual conference,

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but they're coming back for more.

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They're coming back for, they're using the platform,

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they're doing this, that and the other.

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And so I think those two things, the,

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"Wait don't leave us," and the,

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"But we can do more than just an annual thing

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or a quarterly thing,"

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are what keeps these software companies

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pushing forward on it.

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- Yeah and the pandemic absolutely created this explosion

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of so many platforms that are trying to be like

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the platform, right.

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Getting all the audience.

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And of course this concept of 365 events,

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like the event that never ends

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has also become this big selling point for these apps

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because of course they don't sell,

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or most of them at least,

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they don't sell one event for a couple of days.

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That's not how it works.

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That there, it's a subscription model.

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The least I've seen is they'll do a year.

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So they're already selling you a year.

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They're just trying to make the year

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seem more palatable, right.

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Because if I know my event is three days,

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why am I paying you for a year of this service?

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And that's where this need to create this,

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this idea of like,

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"Stay with us and make the event never end."

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- And you know what?

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That's going to make the, that's gonna make

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the resigning of the contract next year even easier.

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If you can demonstrate value to your clients

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throughout the course of a year,

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then they're gonna be less likely

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to go seek another solution

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when the time comes to do the next one.

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I think though, that this 365 experience thing

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is also something that's not new.

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- Right.

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- I have seen this with community-based live events

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in the past.

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I've worked with clients, I've worked on teams

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who have this idea that, we push and we push and we push

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and we create this, this really awesome experience

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in this very condensed amount of time.

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And that's part of why conferences work, right?

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- Right. - The energy.

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It's the impact, it's the, in the halls,

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in the auditorium moment

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that keeps people coming back for more.

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Well, what if we can extend that?

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And so, we've worked with people who have wanted to,

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"Let's keep a Slack group going.

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Let's do monthly events.

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Let's have local meetups that are organized

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out of the conference that keep people engaged

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and connected to each other."

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But it's really hard to do well.

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- Yeah.

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- Every time it's come up with the people

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that I've worked with over the years,

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it's always fallen flat

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or never reached the potential that it has

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because as event organizers, we work on a cyclical basis

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and that kind of roller coaster of,

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pedal to the metal right up to the showtime.

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And then it drops off and you sleep for a week

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and you recover and then you start

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into the planning of next year.

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That isn't conducive to ongoing community management.

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- Yes.

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- And that's a whole reason why,

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big companies have community manager roles,

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community management teams.

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There's even a trend toward community design

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as like a bigger, broader, more impactful thing

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that do this on a regular basis.

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And so to think that we as event organizers and producers

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can do something like that,

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in addition to organizing an annual conference,

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that's a lot.

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- Yeah and I think part of the problem is,

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it's kind of flipping the formula backwards

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because it's trying to make, it's trying to turn the event

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into a community versus creating an event for a community.

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- Yes.

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- And that the events is part of that community,

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not the other way around.

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And that's why it's, it just doesn't make sense to me,

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because an event is not a community like those,

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that's not a thing, the events should serve a community,

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sure but it's not a community in and of itself.

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- Yes, a lot of people may think of this

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as a classic chicken and egg scenario.

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It's like, "Well, which one comes first?

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Can one lead to the other?"

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But the truth is that, except in rare circumstances,

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you have to build that community first.

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We've worked with first-time conference organizers.

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We've worked with long time conference organizers

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and everyone in between.

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And that community piece has to exist

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in order for the conference to work well, it has,

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that's the groundwork that you have to lay in advance.

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And I've heard for, shop talk about,

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potential clients who really wanted to have an event

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but they didn't have that community foundation first.

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And so all it does is it becomes

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either an ego or a sales project essentially.

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And there's, and it's not as successful.

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- Yeah, because it's either, like you say, ego,

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it's about the person hosting and not the attendees.

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Or it's just another product that you have to sell

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and you have to convince

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and you have to create a need for, to try to get,

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and that requires so much energy.

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It's like, if the need doesn't exist in the community,

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then you're gonna be spending a lot of time

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trying to answer, like, "Why does this matter?

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Why do we want this?"

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- Exactly, it's the question that you are always

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so great at asking, which is,

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"Why should someone care about this?"

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- Yeah.

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- This matter, like you can't just put it,

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this is not a field of dream scenario.

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You cannot build it and they will come.

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You have to build them

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and then give them something to come to.

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- Yeah.

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- And even that, 'cause I was trying to think, okay is,

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can I imagine a scenario where creating the event first

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would make sense?

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And the only thing I can come back to is,

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maybe I'm designing an event that is not for

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necessarily my community, but there's a community

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that I know that needs it.

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So even that involves community, right?

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- Right, because the community has to be there.

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Even if you weren't the one who built it.

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- Exactly. - Or worked to cultivate it.

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You have to have that existing thing.

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I think that there are, like I said,

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there are a few rare instances where it can work.

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And I, to me, those are areas where you have like,

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either a highly relevant topic or a cause,

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or a kind of a purpose that has incredible critical mass.

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That's the kind of stuff where it's a lot easier

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to create something that people will immediately click with

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and say, "Oh yes, I'm going to that

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regardless of what community is there."

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But if you think that you have that,

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you're probably kidding yourself

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because chances are you don't.

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Like, it's very rare for something like that to work

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and to work well.

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There has to be an underlying community

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and community building effort that supports the event.

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- And this messaging of community as an event trend,

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the people that are being marketed this idea

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are definitely not those types of people

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that you're talking about, right.

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Like the types of people I would say that are

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being marketing this idea,

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are like the really big companies,

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really big trade shows, really big,

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just basically sales events.

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That's the perception that I get

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that they're trying to market this idea of,

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make your sales event a community all year round.

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And, ah, ai, ai, it doesn't--

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- That's the thing, that's not a community.

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- Yeah. - That's an audience.

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- Yes, yes.

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- Those are leads. - Absolutely.

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- That's a very different relationship.

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That's a very different strategy

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than actually serving a community's needs.

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If your core question is, "How do I get them to buy X?"

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That's the wrong question.

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What you want to ask is, "How can I fulfill their needs?

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What are their needs?

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What do they care about?

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How can we create an environment,

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design and experience and provide and facilitate a,

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kind of a," I don't wanna say the same words again,

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an experience or like trying a total blank here

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but that's fine,

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where they can come and actually have their needs met.

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And that's the key.

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If you aren't starting with that,

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then you're gonna sell yourself short.

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- Yeah and even with the trade show,

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there are trade show that meet people's needs.

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That's not their community but it's an audience

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and they meet their needs.

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But I just can't wrap my head around this idea of like,

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why do these people want to hang out

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on a platform throughout the year?

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- Let's talk about that a little bit.

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- Okay.

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- So, let's think, let's just say

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that we want to consider a 365 virtual platform experience

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for the community that we're bringing

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into our annual conference.

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What are we going to offer?

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Well, the easy, low hanging fruit is the content library.

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You've got all the replay videos.

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You've got maybe a live chat for them to come into.

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I mean, depending on, tech stack aside,

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like maybe you just have a Slack channel for everybody

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and then keep chatting and it's organic and whatnot.

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Okay, cool.

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What else?

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Are you gonna host monthly gatherings?

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Are you going to showcase community members?

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Are you going to communicate with them?

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Are you going to be sending out regular messaging

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that builds upon what they heard and saw at the conference?

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Or, are you going to ask them to help solve a problem?

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Like all of those extra things

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beyond the low hanging fruit, is work.

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- Yeah.

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- And if you don't have a strategy in place

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to help support that work,

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it's just gonna either fall flat,

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because you're gonna realize that you don't have the time

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or the audience doesn't care.

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They're not invested in it.

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Or, it's gonna come through as disingenuous,

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like you're just trying to string them along

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because maybe you wanna sell something to them.

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Or you're just trying to keep them engaged

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so that they're aware of you or some, I don't even know.

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- It's the never ending sales funnel of,

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"I wanna sell you the idea of my platform

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so that on the platform I can sell you the idea

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of coming to my monthly events.

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And then getting you on the email list."

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It's like this constant, just, yeah I,

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just because something is free

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and we definitely know this, just because it's free,

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I mean, plenty of people can sign up.

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Like, let's say you are gonna do monthly events,

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most people don't show up, right?

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- Yep.

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- But, you're still putting in this work

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of creating these events, of creating these resources,

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of creating these content libraries.

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And that's why there's literally people that exist

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to do that specific job of community management.

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Like I know, haven't you been speaking to someone like me

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who, or I think you've been following on Twitter,

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people that work in the--

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- So I've actually been really interested

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in community management as a role

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within larger organizations.

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And, so I've been,

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I've signed up for a couple of newsletters

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and there's a couple of people I know from past lives

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doing other things that have found them

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their ways into community management.

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And so it's been really interesting to me

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to see some of the parallels in what they do,

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with how we cultivate community through events.

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And so these conversations are really fascinating to me

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and I don't have any like grand epiphanies to share

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but I think that there are, there are some great parallels

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and I think that there is a lot that community managers

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and designers have to contribute to event organizers,

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that could help us in the long run.

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And so I'm really keen on continuing to pay attention

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to what they're all doing and seeing how their own roles

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and responsibilities have evolved over the years,

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as well as having conversations with them

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to compare notes.

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- Right, yeah.

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'Cause they don't do the same thing that we do

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but I definitely see how we could

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have a relationship with them.

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You know what I mean?

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- Yeah and a lot of community managers

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are actively doing events on a smaller scale.

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Some of them are on bigger scale, but you know,

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events are gathering people together around a specific thing

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is not a new concept and something that communities

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have wanted to do for a long time.

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And so it's a natural thing

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for a community to want to do that.

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From an annual conference standpoint

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which is largely the space in which we work,

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it's a bit more work to put something like that together

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for a community than it is to do a monthly meetup,

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a quarterly workshop or things like that.

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There's still strategy required for both.

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And I think that's something that's,

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that's part of the reason why I'm so interested

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in seeing what the community management space is doing

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to help build and cultivate those communities

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beyond just audience development.

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- Right, okay.

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And, so now, we talked a little bit about

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like where this is all coming from, right.

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Who is trying, who they're trying to target with this idea.

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But a part of that sales pitch of events as community

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or the trend of community is this idea

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of the event being sort of a checklist on the marketing,

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a checkbox on the marketing list.

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So let's talk about that relationship of events

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and marketing 'cause we're not necessarily against it,

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but there's some nuance that gets lost.

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- I think, we talked a little bit about,

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this might not be quite where you're going with this

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but I wanna touch on it and then if we need to reroute

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we can. - Sure.

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- But, we talk about sales being highly transparent.

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So nobody wants to go to a conference to be sold to.

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Product launches may be exciting

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but ultimately people are not there for the product launch.

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They're there for the other people in the room.

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They're there for the, maybe the secondary

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or tertiary content.

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That's actually more community oriented.

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That's not to say that, commerce happens,

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shouldn't happen at an event.

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- Of course. - By all means, commerce does.

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You and I talk a lot about fandom communities.

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- Yes. - Right.

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And you know, whether that's the Star Trek convention

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or Comic Con or people galvanizing around a TV show

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or video games or whatever that is,

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these are really strong communities

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that are formed around an object of some sort.

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And there's tons of commerce happening around that.

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- Absolutely.

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- But it's largely community-based commerce.

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It's fan art.

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It's collectibles, it's merchandise, but--

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- Yeah, comic books getting autographs, photo ops,

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all these things, yeah.

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- Right, like that's a very different kind of thing

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than getting up on stage and saying,

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"We're announcing this thing, come and buy it."

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- Yeah (laughing)

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- Right, like that's, not the same kind of commerce

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that communities look for.

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And so you can certainly use an annual conference,

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especially if you're a product-based organization

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to sell your product, but it's not a direct method.

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It's ancillary.

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You are there to strengthen your relationships

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with your customers and to strengthen relationships

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with potential customers, not to directly sell to them.

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And I think that that's the key distinction there.

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- Right, 'cause ultimately it's,

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you need to give the audience something.

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- Yeah.

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- And not just make it an ask of like,

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"Buy this thing that we made."

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It's like, what are they getting?

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What, you're bringing them here to ask for money?

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Like no, nobody wants to do,

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nobody wants to go to an event like that.

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- Right.

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Say you make software or something, right,

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and you do have a product release to announce or whatever.

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And that's, there's a place for that.

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But what the community is gonna want more

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than just what are the new features is, "How do we use it?"

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If you can help teach them to do that through workshops,

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through sessions, through demos, things like that,

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you're gonna have a stronger connection with your audience

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that will build their affinity to your product.

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That's going to support your sales over the long run.

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But this is not, is not a like net new leads or,

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finding new enterprise clients or that kind of a situation.

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It it's about education.

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It's about training.

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It's about developing relationships,

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not just getting them into an ask and offer situation.

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- Yeah and the events serve the needs.

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As you were talking, I immediately thought of E3

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and E3 is like this big conference.

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But what they are smart about is,

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there's one part of the E3

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that's very much for like the fan boys and girls.

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And they just wanna see the demos of the games

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and they wanna play the games in person

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and they wanna be there and hear the announcements.

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That's fantastic.

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But there's this whole other level of E3

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where you have media, interviewing with the devs,

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the game devs or like the companies behind these games.

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And so their needs is, they wanna talk to the media.

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They wanna discuss the game in a different way

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than you would with just like the fan, right.

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- Right.

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- It's more of an industry type of conversation

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that they're having.

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And so what they're really good at is,

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meeting the needs of both those sides of that community.

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And everybody goes home happy because the fan boys,

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they saw the new game, the new council,

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the new thing that's being announced.

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And then the media, the press,

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they get the interviews and all the things that they need.

Speaker:

But it's, again, it's an event that's created to meet needs

Speaker:

for a community that already exists.

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- Yeah and I think that is important

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to recognize when your audience has clear segments

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because those priorities are gonna be different.

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I mean, the same goes for your events sponsors.

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They're gonna have their own priorities and needs

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and they are more concerned about sales or about recruiting

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or about thought leadership or things like that.

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So you need to be able to cater to those to some respect

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based on the context of the audience you're serving.

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But you can't just pitch to everyone nonstop.

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That's just not,

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- And a pitch is not a community.

Speaker:

- No it's not.

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- Again a pitch is not a community.

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An event is not a community, a product is not a community.

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There can be a community behind the product, like Framer.

Speaker:

That's a great example.

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- Yeah, so we worked with Framer

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on their conference called Loop.

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And what we loved about working with them

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is that they had this avid user base,

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around their design tools that had already

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built itself up, even with very little effort on their part.

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I think that speaks to some of the success of their event,

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who were teaching themselves how to use it.

Speaker:

Who were teaching each other, who were mentoring,

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who were tweaking and hacking and pushing the software

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to its limits in a way that helped the company

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grow their product as it was in its,

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I wouldn't say its infancy,

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but in it's kind of (speaks faintly) I guess.

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- Early years, yeah, yeah.

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I would say that, yeah.

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- It's a great product.

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- But I think that the key around that is that,

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that this was a community that had already created itself

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and then they look to bring that community

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into a collective in person experience.

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And that was a conference that was not focused

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on their product announcements.

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In fact they explicitly said,

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"We're not doing a keynote on stage

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because that's not what this is about.

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This is a conference about design and prototyping.

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Big picture because that's what our community cares about.

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And we're also going to offer workshops

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so that they can learn the tools."

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Again, developing those relationships, not selling to them.

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And it worked.

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It was great. - Yeah, it was great.

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- It was a lot of fun too.

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- Yeah and people left really happy and really,

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they felt seen, they felt appreciated as a community.

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And I think they also left like with a,

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a very positive feeling about the product,

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even though the product was not something

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that we spent like hours talking about or looking at

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or get, you know,

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- Yes exactly.

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I have another example of a great conference

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that has done a really great work

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around community building.

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Just a couple of weeks ago, I attended Confab,

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which is a content strategy conference run by Brain Traffic.

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Brain Traffic is a content strategy consultancy

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or an agency.

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And they've run this event for like 10 years, 11 years.

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And this was it's second year online.

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I am fairly new to the content strategy world,

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a little over my head on it all.

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But I was like, "You know what, I'm gonna give this a shot."

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'Cause we do some content strategy with our clients.

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Content is a very, - Integral part.

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- Is very closely connected to design and UI UX.

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And these are a lot, lots of circles that we work in.

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So it was important to me to kind of understand that world.

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So I dive into it and the, beyond the livestream

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and the kind of the content end of the show,

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which was fantastic, they had this huge content library,

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great, that's a great thing.

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People love that, they'll come back for it,

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for the topics they're interested in.

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But what was interesting to me is that they had set up

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a Slack group for the conference.

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It was a dedicated Slack group, not just one channel.

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And they took it upon themselves

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to pay for a regular Slack plan for all of the attendees.

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It was like 750 people.

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- Yeah, that's a big bill, ooh.

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- So they did it, I mean, hey, good for them.

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- Yeah, great.

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- They did it for a month and they put the power

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of the Slack management in the attendees hands.

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And I got in there and I was like,

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"This is a little weird, I'm a little skeptical of this.

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I'm skeptical of most things.

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But I'm gonna sit back and see what happens here."

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And it was fascinating to me to see what happened.

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They had some predefined channels.

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So you have like a live broadcast channel.

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And that was just like blowing up during the mainstream.

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And people use it as a live chat.

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It was hilarious and fun and great.

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They had a hallway chatter channel

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where people could have side conversations

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that were a little off topic or whatever.

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And then you start seeing individual attendees

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in this community, creating their own channels,

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as they felt needs pop up.

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There was an LGBTQ community.

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There was a, there was a design systems channel.

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There was a design lead or a content leadership channel.

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Like basically as people self-identified

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and connected with each other

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and these topics started coming up around the industry,

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they would create their own channels.

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And it worked really, really well.

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Now, that Slack channel shrank back down

Speaker:

to a a free plan after a month.

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And there's still people chatting in there.

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I signed in just the other day.

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And there's, a little chatter here and there

Speaker:

about this, that, "Oh, did you see this?"

Speaker:

And, - Yeah.

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- And that's great.

Speaker:

That kind of organic continuous community is good.

Speaker:

That is likely going to ebb as time goes on,

Speaker:

as people turn their focus' elsewhere.

Speaker:

But I think what they've done really well,

Speaker:

is they were able to cultivate that community.

Speaker:

They've got a great audience of return attendees,

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a lot of newbies as well

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that are centered around this industry broadly,

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without marketing anything explicitly.

Speaker:

So, Brain Traffic does consulting.

Speaker:

They're an agency, they do content strategy.

Speaker:

Were they selling their stuff?

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No, weren't. - No.

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- This is not about that.

Speaker:

This is about content strategy as an industry.

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And when you galvanize a community around that,

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it works really, really well.

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But you don't need to carry that through

Speaker:

to a 365 experience.

Speaker:

And I think that's part of what makes it work really well.

Speaker:

- Yeah.

Speaker:

And the key word organic, because thinking about that Slack,

Speaker:

there wasn't anyone from the company or from the events

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making the Slack channels and going like,

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"Hey guys, come on.

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Join us in this chat."

Speaker:

Which is so disingenuous and like dorky.

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It was just an organic thing that the people saw a need

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and the people created it and they were,

Speaker:

they were allowed to do that.

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But it came from the community.

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And I don't think people appreciate

Speaker:

like how powerful that is,

Speaker:

but also how complicated that can be

Speaker:

to create that organic energy in a community.

Speaker:

- I think, to their team's credit,

Speaker:

they cultivated a conducive environment

Speaker:

where they trusted their attendees

Speaker:

and gave them the freedom to pursue their interests

Speaker:

and fulfill their needs within the context of the event.

Speaker:

And I think that's part of why that worked really well.

Speaker:

I was really, really impressed with it.

Speaker:

And, especially for an all virtual conference,

Speaker:

it felt, the level of activity and conversation

Speaker:

I was seeing in that Slack group was almost as if,

Speaker:

and I hate to draw replicable parallels

Speaker:

to the in-person event world.

Speaker:

But it was almost as if I had taken all the hallway chatter

Speaker:

and the bar conversations and the late night chats

Speaker:

and things like that at an in-person event

Speaker:

and mashed them into a single place.

Speaker:

And that was really, really fantastic to see

Speaker:

that they could do that.

Speaker:

- And the platform didn't matter.

Speaker:

It wasn't the fact that it was on Slack

Speaker:

that made that happen.

Speaker:

That, like that, and I think obviously for sales reasons

Speaker:

the platforms that wanna sell subscriptions,

Speaker:

they want you to think that,

Speaker:

"Oh it's, you just need the right tool and it'll happen."

Speaker:

Like no, that community used that tool

Speaker:

to do what they wanted to do

Speaker:

which was connect with each other.

Speaker:

- Yeah, rather than find the tool that can do it.

Speaker:

Like, wait, I gotta make sure I'm saying this right.

Speaker:

Rather than,

Speaker:

well--

Speaker:

- I think I know what you're gonna say.

Speaker:

I think I know,

Speaker:

- You gotta find the right tool for the community's needs,

Speaker:

- Exactly.

Speaker:

- Not cram a community into the tool that (indistinct)

Speaker:

- Exactly.

Speaker:

- And that's what I'm trying to say.

Speaker:

- Exactly, exactly.

Speaker:

I knew that's what you were gonna say.

Speaker:

I had a feeling, we were on the same wavelength there.

Speaker:

But it's just like, with the events,

Speaker:

you make the events work for the community,

Speaker:

you don't try to shove a community in an event

Speaker:

that you've already made or this thing that you decided,

Speaker:

"Like, this is what they want."

Speaker:

And now you're trying to convince people to go in.

Speaker:

- Yeah.

Speaker:

- So it all comes back to that,

Speaker:

like, are you making something,

Speaker:

are you doing something that people actually care about

Speaker:

or actually need at the end of the day.

Speaker:

Okay, so, now like we're super close to the end

Speaker:

of the episode.

Speaker:

Do we have any final thoughts about this idea of community

Speaker:

as an event trend of 2021?

Speaker:

What parting words can we share?

Speaker:

- I think if it's a trend, then somewhere along the way,

Speaker:

we forgot how important it was.

Speaker:

And that's a shame.

Speaker:

If that's true, that's a shame.

Speaker:

- Yeah.

Speaker:

- Community has always been integral to successful events,

Speaker:

whether they're in person, whether they're virtual.

Speaker:

I mean, virtual events have been around for a long time.

Speaker:

They've had their heyday over the last 12 months.

Speaker:

But, I think that if anything,

Speaker:

the software platforms out there are,

Speaker:

this goes back to my two things,

Speaker:

they're trying to keep their customers

Speaker:

and provide value to them

Speaker:

and they're leaning into community to do it.

Speaker:

And that's not bad, it's just a little disingenuous

Speaker:

because community's always been there.

Speaker:

And I think that the organizers understand how,

Speaker:

a lot of people have been saying,

Speaker:

"Well, it's so easy to do a virtual event."

Speaker:

No, it's actually not.

Speaker:

(both laughing)

Speaker:

- Like maybe logistically if,

Speaker:

sort of, technically, like that's not even true either.

Speaker:

But,

Speaker:

- Yeah like it, for those people who thought it was easy,

Speaker:

they've realized how damn hard it is,

Speaker:

actually do successfully.

Speaker:

And that's underscoring the importance of community

Speaker:

even in a virtual event setting.

Speaker:

But that doesn't mean the community is a trend.

Speaker:

It's always been there, it's always been important.

Speaker:

It will always continue to be,

Speaker:

so let's not let the marketing decks

Speaker:

and the new feature announcements try and persuade us

Speaker:

that this is a new thing when it's not.

Speaker:

- Yeah and let's not try to make community

Speaker:

just like a line and a checklist.

Speaker:

That's not what is is at all.

Speaker:

- Yeah, no, no.

Speaker:

- All right, awesome.

Speaker:

Well, thank you so much, Isaac.

Speaker:

I thought, this was a great conversation.

Speaker:

We'll probably keep having this type of conversation

Speaker:

because I can't, like you can see,

Speaker:

this marketing things it's--

Speaker:

- We could talk about this all day.

Speaker:

- Forever, yes.

Speaker:

(both laughing)

Speaker:

So thank you everybody for listening and watching.

Speaker:

You can find us at kickassconf.com.

Speaker:

And if you found this conversation interesting, helpful,

Speaker:

I invite you to share it with others.

Speaker:

So, thank you everyone.

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And we'll see you next time.

Speaker:

- Take care.

Speaker:

- Bye-bye.

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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 host

Profile picture for Isaac Watson

Isaac Watson

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.