How would you run a community event at a conference of 10000-20000 attendees?

(Ed Fry) #1

Hey Community Geekers,

The community I help manage has space at a 4-day conference coming up in Boston which expects a five figure attendance (1200+ of our members are already registered to go).

What would you try to do with the community there? Open question - curious to hear your thoughts!




(Jennifer Zowada) #2

I guess it would all depend on your budget and the what your ultimate goal is at the conference. We had 3 communities at a recent technology event with 20k+ attendees.  Our ultimate goal was to get new membership as well as content contributors.  We had computers set up to register for the communities, gifts for people who signed up to be bloggers, forum moderators or present webcasts etc.  Since you already have the 12K+ members going, I'd focus on recruiting contributors.  Also, if you have rockstar contributors who will be attending the event I'd try to put together a recognition dinner or something.  Again, this all depends on the type of community and budgets..


(Sarah Hawk) #3

Hey Ed,

Sounds interesting! By space, do you mean some kind of booth? Or an opportunity to present?

(Ed Fry) #4

@Jennifer - good shout on the focusing on contributors. A dinner budget for a select group of people could potentially go a long way, but trying to please (appease?) thousands of people might not be nearly as interesting. Will definitely explore... one of our founders is a BIG proponent of dinners too:

@HAWK Sadly, not really space to present (what I really wanted - a stage to run an insiders 'unconference' with our community at :p). A few computer booths and welcome desk shielding an inner space with 'lounge furniture' and a wall which will probably have a screen on which could be used.

(Richard Millington) #5

So I'd guess Ed that among your thousands of members you probably have a far small percentage of those that are actually regular participants. 

I'd reach out to the most active, say you're setting up a dinner/special activity, and ask them who else from the community you should invite, keep doing that until you have 50 to 100 or so. They'll all know each other and you can probably have a great time with them without it becoming overwhelming. At the same time you're bonding the closest participants into a far stronger group. 

(Rebecca Braglio) #6

We are actually doing this kind of thing -- with a lounge area. We are having "ask the community expert" where we are taking our most active users (who also happen to be SMEs) and offering 15 minute sessions for other members to sign up and have their resumes reviewed, ask questions about projects they are working on, get feedback etc. 

We're sending hand-written invitations to our next tier of most active users and asking them to stop by for a little happy hour, hoping that they'll help jump in and stir up conversation with other members who come by the area but don't have scheduled appts. We aren't asking them to do this, just want to see if it happens.

For those who aren't active at all, we're hoping they'll get drawn in (we're having a few other things to help with that) and we'll have group sessions on how to make the most out of the community.