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Highlighted
Honored Contributor
Honored Contributor

Integrating community into events or conferences?

How have other communities integrated community elements/their community into their events?

 

Planning for our large user conference early next year and would love some fun ways other people have done. 

 

The simpler, the better!! 😉 

 

Thanks, 

Daphne

Tags (2)
11 Replies 11
Highlighted
Retired Community Manager
Retired Community Manager

Re: Integrating community into events or conferences?

Hi @daphtan! There's a lot you can do, depending on budget, goals, and such, but here are some ideas:

  • Contests! You can hold these in the community to encourage participation. The beauty of this is that it can happen before, during and after the contest. Some examples include the LiNC contests (win a free pass) which I am a fan of Smiley Wink During the event, you may want to do a photo contest or encourage people to post, Tweet, etc. In my previous role, I hosted a customer training event where we encouraged customers to tweet, and held raffle drawings at breaks as well as the end of the day. Post-event contests may include a "share your story" kind of prompt, which not only wraps up the event well, but also provides great feedback internally.
  • Apps: Again, I am a fan of these. There are many event apps out there and an app is a great way to connect users, keep them updated and engaged.
  • Continue the conversation: As different sessions occur during the conversation, whether it's a breakout or keynote, continue the conversation in the community! This can include anything from a blog post, to a group, to moving presentations into the community after the conference. Continue to drive the momentum from the event, and provide a space for users to share what they're learning with one another. 

 

Hope that helps, and best of luck with planning for the conference!

Cheers,
Jenn Chen
Community Manager, Lithium Technologies
(Formerly known as jchen)
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Honored Contributor
Honored Contributor

Re: Integrating community into events or conferences?

Very helpful! Thanks! Anyone from the HP community @Wendy_S or Skype's @Claudius able to share some thoughts? I admire your communities from afar 🙂

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Honored Contributor Honored Contributor
Honored Contributor

Re: Integrating community into events or conferences?

Hey there @daphtan

Great topic. I am going to tag someone else on this one but boy, Oh yeah we do try to blend in as many community elements as we can. But like JennC said, Contests are a great way to engage everyone and we've done that in our pasts events as well as taking the advantage of having a large group there and to announce new Community features or prorgram elements. We do break out sessions on HP technology 🙂 etc. During our last event we set up a Picture frame and had a twitter tag to follow everything we were doing (Check it out! https://twitter.com/hashtag/hpmeetup) .All credit goes to our fantastic @Natalie-B. She is our rockstar amazing Events Manager!

 

Hope this helps. Let us know if you need anything else.

Wendy

Learning from others and helping where I can!
Community Passionista!
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Valued Contributor
Valued Contributor

Re: Integrating community into events or conferences?

@daphtan 

 

As my wonderful colleague @Wendy_S mentioned, we really do try to incorporate community into our events! But I kind of think of this differently. Our annual, in-person event is really for the community (HP Experts) so it's not as much about incorporating the community into the event -- sometimes it feels the other way around 🙂

 

However, for our last big in-person event (#HPmeetup 2015), here are some of the things we did to incorporate the community:

  • Planned a "Community Day" as part of the event: For 1/2 of the day, each language community (our communities are broken out by language in keeping with our forum instances) broke off into their own focus groups. The primary objective was to get feedback from our community on how we can improve -- everything from the forums, to the program, to the products, etc. The other primary objective was just for each community to spend time together without having language barriers, etc. But we've found that listening to the experts and having candid (to the extent we can) conversations with them about things HP can improve really helps to engage with them and cultivate the relationship. Of course, it means we all walk away with action items 😉 but it is always really valuable.
  • Incorporated social aspects with our Selfie Wall of Experts. This was just a fun, social aspect to bring folks together and have some fun.
  • Brought cool HP products for a showcase and let the community play with the products.
  • HP Vlog - this was actually completely opportunistic, but a partnering organization here at HP is running an HP Vlog called #HPHowToForYou. We brought the folks running the blog to the event an they captured live footage of the HP Experts at the event and turned it into a vlog episode. Super cool. 🙂

 

We have other events that are virtual and less centered on the actual Experts and more on driving traffic/solutions, etc. Happy to share about those as well if it's of interest.

 

I hope that helps you! I am in the process of completely redefining and reassesing our events strategy, so I am looking for lots of ideas too 🙂

Happy Friday!

-Natalie



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Esteemed Contributor Esteemed Contributor
Esteemed Contributor

Re: Integrating community into events or conferences?

Another thought is having an session where community superusers get to strut their stuff. One thing we did at my previous community was to have a user group, at the company's main event, where the community experts got 10-15 minutes to present a project they were working on and discuss it with the group. Much like in a community there was the opportunity to ask questions, share alternative methods and kudo the presenter with some applause. 

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Honored Contributor
Honored Contributor

Re: Integrating community into events or conferences?

Ooooooh, I really like that idea. Thanks for sharing!
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Esteemed Contributor Esteemed Contributor
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Re: Integrating community into events or conferences?

Yeah, it worked out nicely. We also had a few after hours get togethers and tweeting contests with the superuser group which they enjoyed.

If you are looking for something broader involving the community and the event, you can hold an ideas contest on the community around a topic the company is interested in. All community members can participate and submit ideas around the topic. Then you get to judge the ideas based on originality, feasibility and votes received. You can provide the travel and event passes as a reward to your top winners. Once at the event you can have a session where they pitch their ideas to a panel of judges for an additional prize. I did that for a couple of years and it was interesting to see the interaction.
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Occasional Contributor
Occasional Contributor

Re: Integrating community into events or conferences?

I like the ideas contest idea - thanks for sharing!

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Re: Integrating community into events or conferences?

Next weeks we have  conference, open to everyone, in some branches (Rome, Milan ...)

we are planning to send a preview invitation to community users that live in those cities and reserved some seats to them.

In additions, we will publish the video streaming  of the conference on our community home page.

 

Have a nice weekend!

 

 

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