Taking Your Community Offline

Matt Warburton
Director, Community
May 2010
Objectives of Engaging your Community Offline
Objectives
•Engage and recognize power users
•Education
•Collect Feedback
•C...
Ways to interact offline

Types of Events
•User Advisory Panels
•Meetups (Company Sponsored or Member Sponsored)
•Parties
...
User Advisory Panels
Objectives
•

Enable real-time, qualitative user feedback on a variety of
topics including product de...
Town Halls
Description
• Structured regional events
• Networking
• Presentation
• Town Hall style Q&A panel discussion
• S...
Meetups/Parties
Description
•
•
•
•
•
•

Casual gatherings in restaurants, bars, etc
Regional
Can be company sponsored or ...
User Conferences
Description
• Large scale user conferences
• Conference activities aligned with business
• Multifaceted e...
Enabling “Official” Member Organized Events
Description
•
•
•
•
•
•

Officially sanctioned member organized events
Company...
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Taking Communities Offline

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This is a presentation I gave at a Community Conference in 2010

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Taking Communities Offline

  1. 1. Taking Your Community Offline Matt Warburton Director, Community May 2010
  2. 2. Objectives of Engaging your Community Offline Objectives •Engage and recognize power users •Education •Collect Feedback •Communicate news •Build loyalty and WOM •Put a face on your brand 2
  3. 3. Ways to interact offline Types of Events •User Advisory Panels •Meetups (Company Sponsored or Member Sponsored) •Parties •Town Halls •User Conferences •Official Member Organized Events 3
  4. 4. User Advisory Panels Objectives • Enable real-time, qualitative user feedback on a variety of topics including product development and marketing. Components • • • In-Person Meeting Private Group/Discussion Board Monthly Phone Calls User Advisory Council Best Practices • • • • • 10-15 Users (in-person meeting) 12 month term All sign NDA Communicate insights throughout organization Close the loop with participants Measurement • # ideas/suggestions generated • # ideas/suggestions implemented 4
  5. 5. Town Halls Description • Structured regional events • Networking • Presentation • Town Hall style Q&A panel discussion • Staff participation Example • Yahoo! Group Moderator Town Hall • Regional event • Select Group Owners/Moderators invited to attend • Networking game to encourage interaction • Presentation of product direction • Open mic Q&A with cross-functional team • Yahoo! branded gifts distributed 5
  6. 6. Meetups/Parties Description • • • • • • Casual gatherings in restaurants, bars, etc Regional Can be company sponsored or member sponsored Mostly social, with opportunity to incorporate educational elements Important to align theme with business purpose Staff participation Examples • TVG Breeders Cup Meetup • • • • Casual event at sports bar near Breeders Cup event All community members invited to attend TVG branded merchandise was distributed Members of community team and on-air talent attended • Flickr Birthday party • Birthday party held in San Francisco gallery • Users submitted photos in advance that were displayed at event • All Flickr Users were invited • Flickr staff participation 6
  7. 7. User Conferences Description • Large scale user conferences • Conference activities aligned with business • Multifaceted events with education, networking, and social components • High level executive participation Examples • eBay Live • • • • • • Annual user conference open to all users 10-15k attendees eBay charges small fee to ensure accurate headcount Education, networking, social Users collect & trade limited edition trading cards and pins Keynote with CEO • Microsoft MVP Conference • Annual conference to recognize and reward MVPs (users that are very active in helping others in the MS forums) • Microsoft pays for the conference, but the MVPs pay for their own travel • Education, networking, social • Keynote with CEO 7
  8. 8. Enabling “Official” Member Organized Events Description • • • • • • Officially sanctioned member organized events Company anoints individuals as ambassadors Guidelines are established to ensure standards are met Company provides signage and collateral Company promotes events online No Staff participation Examples • Official Xing Events • Xing provides licenses to Ambassadors • Active and dedicated Users who moderate large regional or topical groups • Ambassadors organize events according to Xing guidelines • Regional or topic-based events • Xing promotes events on the website • Events focus on networking • LinkedIn Live Events • • • • Similar to Xing Events Regional events LinkedIn promotes events on website Events focus on networking 8
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