Hi @daphtan! There's a lot you can do, depending on budget, goals, and such, but here are some ideas:
Hope that helps, and best of luck with planning for the conference!
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.
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:
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 🙂
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.
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!