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How to Craft and Measure Exceptional Community Events

Posted Feb 13, 2024 | Views 356
# Events
# Engagement
# Data
# Analytics
Tiffany Oda
Tiffany Oda
Tiffany Oda
Co-Founder, COO & Head of Community @ Talkbase

Tiffany Oda is the Co-Founder and COO at Talkbase, a startup working to bring quantitative value and help community teams understand the business value and measure the ROI of the community. She's an experienced business leader with expertise in operations, operations, program management, strategy, and community management. With a reputation for getting stuff done and superpowers in operationalizing ideas from inception to implementation, she is a highly collaborative person with a talent for building cross-functional relationships, driving alignment, and achieving results.

She’s based in San Francisco and for fun is an animal care volunteer at the Aquarium of the Bay.

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Tiffany Oda is the Co-Founder and COO at Talkbase, a startup working to bring quantitative value and help community teams understand the business value and measure the ROI of the community. She's an experienced business leader with expertise in operations, operations, program management, strategy, and community management. With a reputation for getting stuff done and superpowers in operationalizing ideas from inception to implementation, she is a highly collaborative person with a talent for building cross-functional relationships, driving alignment, and achieving results.

She’s based in San Francisco and for fun is an animal care volunteer at the Aquarium of the Bay.

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Kyle Sutton
Kyle Sutton
Kyle Sutton
Head of Strategy & Operations @ Gradual

I am an avid learner and driven to help others succeed.

I pride myself on being able to pick things up quickly and translate between the technical and the high level.

I love any outdoor activity that involves learning something to be successful!

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I am an avid learner and driven to help others succeed.

I pride myself on being able to pick things up quickly and translate between the technical and the high level.

I love any outdoor activity that involves learning something to be successful!

+ Read More

Overview of some best practices for crafting exceptional event experiences (virtually or in person) and an understanding of the importance of reporting and analyzing performance to tie your events back to your business or community goals, and improve your future activities.

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Well, hi, everyone. Thank you for joining us today. Just to continue conversations in the chat.

If you are joining later, you've just joined throw in your summer travel plans. We'd love to hear that and continue conversations after the event, but we're really excited to be here today. This is actually the first event of its kind that we are doing. So we're really excited to talk to you today about how to craft and measure exceptional community events.

Just to start off with a couple of housekeeping items, this webinar is being recorded and we'll share it out after the event. And if you have any questions or comments throughout, please feel free to throw them in the chat and we will definitely have time for some questions at the end. And that being said, we also do want to continue to make this conversational.

So if you have input or questions or experiences of your own that you want to share, go ahead and just use that chat at any time. So let's get started with our chat, warm up, continue the conversations. We'd love to hear about events that are run at your companies. What is the most common type of event that could be a community meet up, could be an expert or product flood webinar, maybe office hours, maybe in-person dinners and let us know.

We'd love to hear about your event experience. And then just to start off with a couple quick intros, Kyle next. Thank you. I'm Tiffany ODA. I'm co-founder and CEO at Talkspace. And if you aren't familiar with Chuck Bass, we are a community tool that helps measure why community matters by showing cross-functional insights into the impact of community to an organization.

I've been in the community space for about a decade now, working most notably on the Salesforce Trailblazer Community team, focused on community operations, and that's pretty much all of the things behind the scenes that it takes to make a community run. The processes, the tech stack, the tools, all the. Some people say boring work behind the scenes to keep the gears turning.

And as a community person, I am a firm believer in knowing that everyone has a personal side and a professional side. So just sharing a couple of things from a personal perspective. My favorite community that I'm a part of in my personal life is the Orangetheory Fitness Subreddit, and it's just such a good vibe. The people are super supportive, cheering each other on, sharing tips and tricks.

It's a great kind of place to be in. Also, I wouldn't call this necessarily a hobby, more like a thing that I do, I guess. But every Friday I am an animal care volunteer at the aquarium of the Bay, which is an aquarium here in San Francisco. I take care of all of our baby stingrays, a lot of our jellyfish, and even some terrestrial creatures like our chinchillas.

I don't know why an aquarium has chinchillas and snakes, so I'll pass it off to my co-host. Kyle, introduce yourself. I am curious why an aquarium has chinchillas. But while we can dive into that later, thank you very much, Tiffany. Excited to have everyone here and chat through these topics. I'm Kyle Sutton. I'm the head of operations and strategy at Bradwell, and if you aren't familiar with Fragile, you are.

You're in it right now. It's an all in one community platform that supports all your your community activities in one place. I've worked in community and operations and events for the better part of the past 15 years. I started in higher education in the nonprofit sector where I was CEO of a nationwide nonprofit and then spent the last ten years before joining the gradual team working in event production as a producer in Los Angeles, designing and executing major in-person and virtual broadcast events for major brands or communities, whether that's in in-person TV, broadcast or or virtual.

Outside of all that, that work stuff, a community that I'm really excited to be a part of. I live in Raleigh, North Carolina, after living in Los Angeles. And one of the things that I found here is there's quite a few shipwrecks off the coast, So I got into scuba diving and joined some communities dedicated to the exploration, preservation and and just history of the shipwrecks that are off the coast of North Carolina and if I'm not underwater, the hobbies that I'll do or anything that's outside climbing, hiking, you name it, whatever, whatever takes me outdoors and very excited to to get to know you all.

And I think we want to get to know you a little bit. A little bit more. Tiffany Yeah. So now that you know, a little bit about us, we'd also love to get to know you as well. So in the chat, tell us what you do. Are you an events manager specifically? Are you community? Are you both are you neither?

Let us know a little bit more about what you do and we'll continue the conversations from there. All right. Now I guess we should get to the content. Even if you don't sit on it, even if you don't directly sit on a community team or an events team, it's clear that you're here today, that you understand the importance of community events.

And one thing that you may or may not realize is that community and events are ever present throughout the entirety of a customer's experience and journey with the business community is so incredibly cross-functional and works with all of the different customer facing teams across an organization. So we are the community team are often involved with their events as well.

So for example, thinking about someone who's just starting to get involved, wants to learn more about the company and the product. They want to hear how other people are using it. They can go to a user group meeting or a community event to get acquainted. They decide to move forward with buying the product they attended. Office hours that's hosted by the Customer Success team to jumpstart their onboarding process.

And then the sometime passes, they are using the product. They have a couple product ideas submitted in the community. They're regular user and they attend an Ask Me Anything session with a product team member to hear about the roadmap or new features that are coming up in the pipeline. And then as time further progresses, they become more involved in different areas, contributing to helping others in the community who have been in the same position they were in before.

And they join an advocacy program, even maybe speaking at the company's annual conference on their, you know, their use case and maybe how they implemented that new feature for their instance. And along each of the steps in the customer journey, there is a unique team responsible for these stages. But having that common denominator between them all is that they're all related to community.

Next slide. And not only does community provide cross functional benefit for events, but it can actually serve as the center of excellence for the customer experience across the business, and it shows measurable ROI for the organization. This slide in particular goes a little bit beyond the scope of events, so I'm not going to dabble on it, but it's my by far favorite slide ever in the community space.

I call it the star diagram, and it's it was created by my former manager from Salesforce and I mentor and friend Holly Firestone and is a really amazing depiction of how community impacts every team across the business and brings direct ROI to them. So I just wanted to share it. So as we're going through and talking about how to craft and measure these exceptional community events, we can also hopefully plant the seed for the true impact that community can bring.

When you kind of pull back and look at the bigger picture across the organization. Tiffani talked about how the events serve through the life cycle and that customer journey and community is the center. I want to talk a little bit about how at least I view or review events serving the community exercises as well. And the way we think about this as a community, I think of events as the pulse of the community.

They can set the set the pace and serve as the waypoints for the major moments in that customer journey or community member journey or that life cycle. Not don't want to go too far down the human anatomy rabbit hole. But each, you know, each heart beats and sends blood moving, right? So we can think of events in much of the same way as they function for community.

They generate that momentum, the excitement and the energy that drive our customers members prospects to go do go do other things. Your pulse, you know, just like in your in your body, it can be too fast or too slow. So consistency in that pieces is key, not too fast that you exhaust yourself and your members, they're over inundated with things, but not too slow, that you can't build enough momentum and get anything else done.

And each beat needs to be carefully considered. If we look back at the framework that Tiffany presented, you've got community can support or be involved in all different kinds of activities for the business. Maybe it's marketing, maybe it's sales, customer success, etc. The key is to be able to build that pulse for each of those areas because each one needs something different.

I probably or hopefully have different goals for my customer events versus my marketing events. We'll get into what that might look like and there's two sides of this coin that we're going to explore. We need to be able to craft those events well and intentionally, and then we need to be able to measure them. One without the other is really only doing half of the half of the effort getting half of the why.

If we're not intentional about what we're doing and why we're doing it, then our events fall flat. If we're spending all this time and effort to create these experiences but not assessing and analyzing how they're impacting what our goals are and measuring that, then we're losing all of that. All the real ROI of that effort. I'm going to explore the crafting side first across some different use cases like marketing or customer communities.

And then Tiffany is going to explore how to measure those events and make the most of that data. So so it's actionable. So the first question is how do we craft each event intentionally to ensure that it's doing all of the things that we needed to do? Put together a really simple framework. Here we have a lot of event professionals, so I know this is nothing earth shattering, but it follows the KISS principle in my mind.

So we're going to keep it simple. And that means it's easy to apply and use consistently. And this framework guides us through four simple questions Who is the event for what? What is my audience? What is my goal for this event as it relates to that audience? What is the value that attendees will take away from the event and what is the next community action that I want them to take?

So let's break these down a little bit. The key here is first to understand the audience, because as we discussed, your event's look may look different for four different audiences and serve different purposes. So it's important to define that first, The same things that I need to do for marketing, for my prospects, are different than the things that I may want to do for my, you know, top tier, top tier customers.

Based on that, I need to understand my goals for for that audience. Maybe it's a new feature adoption for my customers or maybe it's marketing qualified leads. If I'm more of a top of funnel type of community or type of event, maybe it's brand promotion content generation. Then I need to understand the value that I will deliver to my attendees.

What are they going to walk away with that will allow them to say, Wow, what a what a valuable use of my time. I'm coming to future activities because I know that that they're worthwhile. And then the next here in my mind is a big difference in shifting thinking, not just about what do I want my event call to action to be, but rather within the context of community engagement.

Typically think we'll think about a CTA of Hey, click this link. But like we discuss the events or the pulse that create that momentum in the community. So we want to use the event design and think about what is the next community action that I want people to take that furthers them along that journey. Maybe that's attending an event of a different type.

They want to join a roundtable or something like that. Maybe it's joining a forum discussion or connecting with another member or sharing content or referring members. Use this as an opportunity to fill the space between those events to to drive that engagement. And then you start thinking about the experience itself. If these are my this is my audience, these are my goals.

This is the value. What is that actual experience look like? And how do I connect the goals to the tactical, tactical execution of the experience and what tools do I use to achieve those? So I'm gonna walk through a couple of examples I'm seeing Awesome, great, great comments and stuff in the chat. So please continue to share your your insights on this or questions as we as we go.

So we're going to look at a couple basic examples. Regardless of audience, these are things that are helpful, helpful tips here and what you're going to see or some examples of this in action and gradual as an example here. But this is extensible regardless of platform. So for first, every event should be able to be repurposed. The name of the game in community is efficiency.

I know a lot of us work in one person community teams, so that means every action should really translate to two or three outcomes in my opinion. So if I'm hosting a webinar, it better be recorded and published later. I should take that recording and write a blog post. I should use the event chat to see the forum conversation, no matter the activity, find a way to be efficient and repurpose my efforts.

Second, not everyone is ready to engage in the same way, and different engagement types give you different signals. Tiffany Alex For more on this signal concept later of how we measure that, But just jumping in and watching a live stream is a different level of engagement than joining a roundtable discussion. So if you're wondering why your community isn't more engaged, maybe you don't have different ways for them to engage.

If we're just doing push content and communication, we're not getting that that deeper signal. This looks like having different events and different topics, but also within an event, having different levels of engagement. Just like in here, you can give a thumbs up and just, you know, watch camera offer. Maybe you jump into the chat or maybe later during the Q&A, you're going to raise your hand and ask a question.

The idea is we have different levels that people can engage with. And then lastly, everything should be done considering what's next. You've spent all this time and effort to get your people into an event. How are you capitalizing on that effort to take them to the next thing, make it easy and seamless for them to quickly convert to the next activity?

Those are general tips. And then we're going walk through three use cases here, because I know we have some different personas with us today on how to how to explore this. So first, let's let's examine event design from a couple of different perspectives. We'll start with marketing focused events, then customer focused and then community led for marketing events.

Let's assume our top level goal is brand promotion and awareness. Maybe we're doing a series of thought leadership, top talks, a conference or product launch, etc. For this event to be successful, I want to share a couple of things. I want it to be polished. I want to present my brand in a clean, professional and impressive manner. I also want it to be easy to be super simple, to discover, share and join.

This probably means that it's going to be a live stream or a webinar. If it's a virtual, maybe a conference in person, something that can even be prerecorded to ensure that content can be easily repurposed. And my value to the attendees is the insight sharing, and maybe they discover my community as a result and they didn't know that before.

For customer events, these have a lot of different shapes and sizes, but let's say it's a product update listening session, office hours, customer spotlight, you name it. But regardless, there are some common principles Overall, we'll see. My goal is customer affinity and adoption. Building this affinity comes from customers feeling heard and engaged in addition to satisfaction. Building this trust and affinity is best suited for more conversational approaches.

I feel that I'm an insider. My voice is heard, lends itself maybe to more of a meeting style format like this, something that I can that I can still control as a host. So it's easily repurposed, but it's it's easy to update gives the opportunity for people to ask questions and maybe a Q&A come on air for discussion.

So I feel like I'm really part of the experience and the value to attending as a customer as I get my questions answered and I'm able to connect, it's a repository. And last but certainly not least, is is community led events. And this this is really an event that is driven by, hosted or facilitated by members of the community.

This can work for any type of audience. Maybe it's customers, marketing, what have you, but for the sake of example, let's talk and let's say we're talking about our core customers or maybe even a community of practice where it's a nonprofit association or something like that. I have practitioners or interest based people together. These events are really centered around building engagement and contribution from the members themselves, and this is best done with a peer led approach.

This event type is usually intimate and high trust. It's more conversational, can often be a workshop or some type of hands on experience. These are well-suited to be ambassador led roundtables or discussions where you can delegate the responsibility completely for setup and management execution to a member of the community and then recognize and celebrate that contribution back. The value here is highly relevant insights that you just facilitated.

You didn't have to generate them on your own and it starts to build that community. Flywheel where the community is is helping to deliver that value to members. And that's the name of the game is is value no matter the audience, no matter the goal. In my opinion, the best events I've seen are ones that focus on what is the value I'm delivering to the members who are joining this conversation.

They must provide value. Inherently, a demo has to educate, a product update has to provide an insight or a use case. A sales dinner has to have a meaningful discussion or conversation. That means no matter what, attendees walk away with some value, meaning they'll they'll come back to to the next event. So that's on the building and the crafting of the event.

Tiffany Let's talk about let's talk about measuring these things. Yes. So how how you go about measuring the value for an event. Time out just Kyle great job those. Thank you. Really good. Thanks. Yeah. And I'm going to try and do my best podcast voice as possible. So how can you go about measuring the value for an event?

I mean, sure, we can measure the regular event metrics like the number of registrations, the number of attendees or post-event survey data, but how do you take it to the next level of depth to show the value for your cross-functional stakeholders, or maybe for your executive team or your leadership team after you craft these exceptional community events using the framework and the best practices that Kyle shared, how do you highlight the impact that follows it?

So, for example, how do you prove that a marketing event had an impact on the top of funnel for your sales team? Or how do you prove that an AMA ask me anything Session with the product manager has a downstream impact on feature or product adoption or how do you traffic correlation between a customer attending events and their customer health score or their propensity to a trip?

Let's go in and find out. So when we talk about the event funnel and things to look at, I think we're focusing more on people who are not customers. They are prospects looking to learn more about the product and its features, getting acquainted with the people who use the product and their nitty gritty, everyday use cases, which is so different than the sales and marketing messaging that you get from the company itself.

They're looking into what features maybe don't exist that are being asked for by other users in the community and getting their bearings on the ecosystem. So it's not only interesting to track things like the number of events and the number of registrations and attendees, but digging deeper to look at the source of registrations, how many attendees are coming from the community?

Or conversely, are people attending an event first and then joining the community to continue the engagement discussion afterwards? Continuing along, you could go as far as measuring the events funnel itself from attending an event to joining the community to even converting to being a paid customer or maybe even looking into how many events a person attends on average before they convert.

This way you have a better idea of who the serious prospects are, and they could even provide insight into the deal. Cycle time for. Better predictability for the sales team and being able to parse out your event information in this way, bringing it together with data from your other sources, like for example, in this case your customer or your company's CRM to track account data and where in the funnel they are, you know what the relationship is.

So far, you can have a much bigger picture of your event performance and impact on the pipeline. And this, for example, can give the sales team way more information as they're working to build relationships with their prospects. Earlier, we started talking about some collaboration opportunities with the product team and events, things like a product manager, AMA or a new feature walk through or product roadmap walkthroughs.

And when you have access to share data from your product usage tool, things like like a mixed panel or a user voice or window, you can get a much deeper understanding of the impact of an event relative to product usage and feature adoption. So in this example, we show comparisons of how much product adoption there is for users who have attended an event versus not.

So for example, here in the top middle component there, you'll be able to see the average percentage features within your product that have been utilized from users who have attended an event versus those who haven't attended an event. And then the chart on the top, right, I'm not sure even pointing right there shows the total number and percentage of users who have attended an event.

So imagine knowing that 79% of your active users have a to have attended an event before. I think that's honestly pretty telling and in itself of how important events are for your company and then moving down the dashboard and looking at over time product activity for users who have attended an event or not. You can then match that to the events that you've held or even the number of events and see if there's a correlation between the number or type of events that you're holding and see if there's any spikes in product activity.

So maybe there is an event that led to a huge spike in adoption of a certain feature or a certain activity within the product. That could be a potentially good event to have again or have your marketing team promote what Kyle said. Continuing on that next step, share the recording in the summary of the event. Keep that groundswell going to potentially target the users who were able to attend the event five and keep that content relevant and then the dashboard component at the bottom here shows the average product usage before and after an event based on the number of actions within the product the user takes for that period of time after the event.

So just very, very interesting data here that you can correlate that shows direct impact to your product team and can really show success. And as a side note, one thing that's not shown in this example, but another frequent dashboard component we get requests for is for new feature or product launches and how holding an event outlining that new feature, doing a walk through, kind of announcing that new product launch increases awareness, adoption and even upsell error if it's a paid feature or product.

So that shows direct impact that events can have on your company's air. And it's direct ROI right there, which is really cool to be able to calculate in show. All right, now let's move on a bit further along that customer journey to look at customer success, most specifically around event correlation and sorry event correlations for customer health score.

So bring in data from customer success tool like, like a game site for example, you can start to look for patterns, things like average customer health score for customers who attend events compared to those who don't. So for example, here you can see that customer health scores are on average 13% higher for those who have attended an event compared with those who haven't.

Or if you with the distribution of number of events attended compared with customer health score like the pie chart that's in that lower right hand corner. Then from another perspective on customer success, you can also look at churn customers to see if there are any indicators that would predict if a customer is likely to attribute. So is their propensity for customer to churn if they haven't attended an event or looking broader into the community, if they aren't active in the community?

Being able to see these patterns allow you and your customer success team to better tailor communication to your customers and see how you can better can provide better support for them. So maybe, for example, they've been submitting a product idea around something that has been blocking them and they've been asking for it for quite some time in the community.

And you know that there is an upcoming event announcing the launch of that particular feature that they've been asking for. You could work with the CSM to send a personal invitation to the event, letting them know it's about something they're really excited to see and it could make a huge difference if they if they renew or not, if their renewals coming up that you listen to them, that you are fulfilling an idea that they've submitted and now you're announcing it and sending a personal invitation to to share that news with them.

And so this is something that is true collaboration right there. A CSM would have never had the visibility to the ideas that their customer submitted and the community that that that they've never attended an event and that there's an event coming up about that feature unless there is a to cross-functional collaboration between the community team, the product team and the customer success team.

And that's why having visibility to this type of data is so powerful. All right. So at talk base, we fully believe in community and the positive impact that it can make across the business. And we really want to empower community teams to be able to show this to their companies as well. And so I find from my experience and talking with others in the community space that one of the challenges that teams face when they have access to data, which is an inherent problem itself, but once they have access to the data, they start to build dashboard after dashboard, they taking the same data and they're altering it in different ways.

They're looking at different time frames, different graph types, maybe forcing different pieces of data together. But the piece that is missing often is that so what factor or that? What does this all mean? Or the what do I do with this? It's that actionable, actionable part of the actionable insights term that we hear so frequently in the space.

And I think it's important to be strategic about what data is important to you and ultimately what the goals and the intent of whatever it is you're building dashboards for are then work to build the dashboards after you have that goal in mind to really see, to help see what you need to see for your for your success metrics.

And as you're working on creating the dashboard or figuring out how to measure the success of your events, here are just a couple of questions that you could look to answer. And I think depending on your company's goals, you can ensure that your community and events have goals that are aligned not only with the goal of the event, with the cross-functional stakeholders you're working with as well, working to fully just break down those silos and creating those shared goals that both teams or multiple teams can work together to achieve.

I love I love those insights on this particular last slide. Tiffany I one of my early roles was being responsible for analytics specifically, and that was one of the questions we would always ask is what? How is this data going to help inform our decisions or how will this be actually used? And that was a great precursor to be able to to set set a paradigm on whether or not we're going to use this this information.

Well, we're going to wrap up our thoughts by in Tiffany's, but we want to get some of your thoughts and questions. So I put a note in the chat before we we give our kind of final takeaway here. What questions do you have? Please drop those in the chat or at the bottom of your screen in your little toolbar, you should see a raise hand icon.

You can raise your hand or bring you off wheel stop screen sharing and bring you off camera or on on air. So you can ask your question but want to do some some final things. So there's a lot of awesome information. This will be recorded and shared, but I want us to each capture our primary. You know, if nothing else, I remember this.

So for me, the primary thing when crafting events is to craft intentionally think about who is my audience, what is my goal, what is their value? Take away and what happens next. Tiffany, what about you? What are your your final thoughts here? Yeah, I think when it comes to measuring exceptional events, I think the big takeaway is to really be intentional about the goal of your event, working with your stakeholders to create those shared goals and then work backwards to figure out what metrics to display and how they should be displayed in a dashboard.

I think looking at that big picture that encompasses more than just the direct event metrics is what will ultimately lead to like being able to support for larger initiatives or more bandwidth or headcount or budget. I think that all comes with being able to show the worth and the ROI. So being able to kind of think big picture, that's that's a big final thought.

I love it. I love it. That's a that's a it's important because this is a big topic. All right. We've already got some questions coming in. So I don't I don't even think we need the questions that we prepared for one another. We can jump. We can just jump right in. So I'm going to start I'm going to stop share here.

Will Megan will answer your question first. Corey, I see your hand will go you second. And then I saw Joy's question. Megan's question is in the chat for the sake of of consistency, I'll read it. I feel like Boss has put a lot of weight on our attendee post-event surveys, but our response rates are super low. Any advice for one increasing survey participation and or helping the team move away from more qualitative towards quantitative post-event feedback?

This is who I have been part of a few few survey designs and I see some head nods in the chat. So happy to dive into this. But. But Tiffany, any initial initial thoughts or reactions to this one? I think post-event survey is is one of the hardest things to do and get responses for. In my experience, I think personal follow ups is is a good way to kind of urge people to to provide their feedback.

And even, you know, depending on the scope of your event, we do a lot of kind of more intimate community events rather than asking them to submit the survey in person and then personally just have a conversation with them and get their insight from there. And I think that's also kind of alluding to the second part of your question, Megan, which is around the leaning towards qualitative versus quantitative post-event feedback is if you're showing a dashboard or you have a screenshot of a dashboard in a slide, we love also hearing the stories.

We're community people. And so, you know, we usually have another slide designated with like testimonial quotes or customer is not the right word, but you know, like quotes of like I felt heard and seen at this conference. And it, it made my day to see other people who are in the position that I'm in. We actually heard that feedback from our conference in an informal manner of just like, you know, a conversation.

So I think that is very powerful in itself as well. Yeah, I think I think capturing him in that way is is really helpful. The other I mean for virtual events, I've seen a lot of success with the simplicity of immediacy of, Hey, before we wrap up, I'm going to drop the survey link, take 2 seconds to do it.

Go to it right now. That immediacy really helps. And then moving that towards, you know, quantitative is I think what you highlighted in your your kind of final thought, Tiffany, of if if you're able it's in my opinion, it's much easier to draw useful business decisions from the quantitative conversations than than the qualitative. It's easier to draw those connections more directly.

So getting leadership out into of like, hey, we could probably make some more scientific decisions if, if we're taking a quantitative approach and if anyone has input or thoughts on this, please drop it. Drop it in the chat. All right, Cory, I we're going to spotlight you and you can, you know, unmute what you got. Thanks for being here, guy.

And first of all, Kyle Tiffany, I put this in the chat. If you didn't already see this, this is fundamentally one of the best webinars I've attended in a while. Like I've gotten a ton of really great information out of it. And what are they going to apply into my role? I thought your slides were very detailed and excellent.

I hope you don't mind that I took screenshots of a bunch of them, please. Anyway, my question is, so it's kind of related to the to the first question. Like not it's kind of like a next step, right? So you guys have planned executed, you have your actionable feedback. Mind I guess is what are some of the next steps and developments from that, specifically from this lens?

It's all really great. If we have a successful event like that's a good problem to have, how do we replicate that? How do we do more of it? But if we have feedback that it didn't necessarily quite work, what is the data points that point to that bit for you to basically be able to make a decision of maybe we need to tweak the format or tweak the execution versus we need to sunset and go back to the drawing board.

So what are the next steps for evaluation in And I hate to ask it from such a negative lens, but I'm curious to learn and understand that you went you went first on the last one. I'm happy to take it. Yeah. Yeah. Go for it. Yeah, yeah. The when, when I've seen this in the past, I think if the feedback has actionable insights so if there's a common thread of, you know, attendees saying hey, it would be better if this, that or the other, that's a really positive signal.

In my opinion. That means that there is a path towards success, that that's pretty obvious that people see and being able to listen to that feedback in and implement that is really helpful. Getting more information is a is another step. So we'll do we'll do a lot of listening tours after post event or post program to say, Hey, there was some feedback around this, how would you change this?

What would have been more valuable to you to really get to the root of the issue because of, you know, just an NPS scores coming back? Hello. I need to understand why why that is. And then from there I might dissect the components. So if the overall the event was poor, but people really, really liked the matchmaking portion or really liked the roundtable discussions, but the speaking sessions were poorly attended, that gives me some signal to say, okay, cool, my community or my audience or this particular audience is trending more towards insights, sharing and peer conversations.

So that's where that's where I'm going to head because it may not be that objectively the activities are wrong. It just may not be the right pair for the right audience. That's my that's my initial reaction. Tiffany Yeah, I think I think Kyle, you gave a great answer. I would also from a, from a community manager perspective, I really value like, just like transparency and even just being not like, well, yeah, honest and, and transparent in that if you, if you see that feedback and you see the trend to call it out in the next event, if like we heard you that you like the roundtable conversations more and so we're looking to

focus more time on on roundtables and I think that kind of transparency also then shows that you're listening to them and that you're trying to incorporate their feedback for the next one and then even utilizing the people who and collaborating with the people who gave that feedback to help shape the future of the events or whatever it is that they had feedback on.

So for example, we did a virtual conference a couple of months ago that had sessions and at had roundtables afterwards where each of the different speakers were on a different virtual table. And we got feedback that, like the speakers had FOMO because they wanted to be in each other's sessions or tables and they wanted to be able to chat with the other people.

And even our attendees had the same feedback of like, I loved both of these sessions and I couldn't talk to both of them because they were at separate tables. So now we're working and brainstorming on being able to facilitate more of these like Collaborative Together roundtables rather than keep them separate. Then we're working with our community members to to build that out because at the end of the day, we're trying to serve them today.

Answer your question. Yeah, no, this is great. Thank you. I appreciate it. I think there are some other I know any dropped an awesome, awesome response in the chat too. So definitely check that one out. All right, Joy, you had a question? Yeah. Yeah, it was. You know, we're you know, we're back in person for many people for summer internships.

And I'm thinking of other events we do to recruit. And some will be virtual, some will be fully in-person, some will be fully virtual. Summer will have a little bit of both. So just trying to think about, you know, use cases for, you know, you have the maybe handful of people in a smaller office and then everyone else in the main office.

And how do you create an equitable kind of great experience in utilizing a tool like gradual. Yeah. Kyle, I think this one all you sure Happy to. I think for a program like that because I do have a little bit of familiarity from from our working together is making just making people feel special everybody wants to feel special.

So even if they are, you know, distinct experiences where I've got a virtual audience and I have in-person, I think where the inequity comes from or the dichotomy would be that is that FOMO piece. But if I can't eliminate it, maybe I can just even it out so the virtual audience gets something special that the in-person audience may not and vice versa.

So it's not that there's clearly one experiences is better than the other, but everybody still feels special. So I think some of the things you could do is like, hey, maybe it's a actually one of one thing that I might start with is create a connectivity between everyone first, perhaps in a virtual setting so everybody's peers already. So just because we're not there in person doesn't mean that I'm not building or fostering the same kind of relationships.

It's like, the in-person folks are, I wish you were here because I already have a relationship with you that I think helps to to equalize that, especially for that audience, because I've done quite a bit for for the university age audience. That's helpful. I appreciate it. Yeah, I we're moving more to like in office, but even then, not everyone will be in the Santa monica headquarters.

So thank you. That's awesome. Yeah, for sure. For sure. One of the things that we did at Salesforce because we would have these large conferences in San Francisco and we had a global community where people couldn't attend was we did an initiative initiative can't talk today called Global Gatherings, where we would essentially send a kit to our user group leaders that had, you know, just small things that didn't cost very much but helped make them feel like they were together, whether that's like a little Polaroid camera where they can print out pictures to be together or, you know, like the swag that they missed out on because they couldn't attend the event.

And even just like a handwritten note from us, the community team, saying that we really like Michelle, like hope you can come to the next one. And it just made them feel more included. And then also we highlighted them on social as well. So we're like, Hey, yeah, post your global gatherings, we'd love to see you and like all come together.

And then we wound up doing like a collage of all of the global gatherings, like selfies that people took. And it just, it fostered the community even more because people could see each other and it was a good feeling. Yeah, that's awesome. I love that. All right. It looks like, Jeff, you had a question on measuring use cases.

And then Megan has a great question that Tiffany, I think is all all yours. Jeff's question was around best use case for for graduate. I think that's true for any event platform integrating with other systems to measure community ROI outside of the lens of of events and what kind of achievable community metrics have trended that they've come to value most.

Tiffany I think this is a good agnostic platform, agnostic question that talk based probably can answer two. But one of the things we've seen is, is one of the slides Tiffany showed around the product question is the same way that we would measure it. So we have a couple of customers that use grad school as one source next to their products.

So they have their native application and then they have their community. The what I'm thinking of especially is a moderator community, and it's a global moderator community who are responsible for taking actions inside of their application. So what they do is they look at, all right, what content, they have a couple of courses on gradual that people walk through.

What content have they viewed, what events have they attended? Are they active inside of the platform and then what is their native behavior in the app? Are they taking the core actions that we would want great moderators to take? The same is true for another one of our customers, where it's a kind of a developer platform. It's correlating the what are the actions inside of the community that are education in nature that help prepare them to do the thing inside of the platform and putting those two together from from from adoption.

That's A Great that's a great question to Okay. Looking at Megan's question, how do you capture event ROI when the actions guests may take happen later in the year? For us someone may join an event in April but not donate until December? We struggle with this and tying donor card conversion to event attendance. Nonprofit needs struggle. I feel you really?

Yeah. Looking at the customer or the user or the person's journey throughout and their engagement throughout the process. So I know that there's a lot of value in being able to scale up and look at the broader picture of, you know, customers or users as a whole. But there's a huge value in being able to know an individual's journey through throughout the process as well.

So in talk base, we actually have like, like a CRM where you can track individual people and look at what a tensor, what events they're attending, cheese versus difficult for day events they're attending. If you have a community and they're, you know, posting or they're reacting, they're liking the thumbs up or thumbs up emoji or they're asking questions, you can actually track their overall engagement with you and your organization throughout.

That process and maybe maybe events aren't directly correlated to conversion. At the end of the day, if there's such a big delay between one action to another. But if they're engaging in, they're increasing their engagement or maybe they're having more conversations in the space. I think there are other ways to measure that as well. And so in capturing event ROI, that might be a little bit difficult if if there is that lag time.

But you could look at maybe how many events they're attending, what type of events they're attending, if there's certain topic that they're interested in that might guide them towards donating. And then obviously looking at general community engagement and activity as well. I'm I'm going to jump in on that one to Megan just because I we implemented this program for nonprofit management to be able to attribute behaviors just like you would in a sales cycle from a leading a prospect perspective.

We did a bunch of interviews with people who had a distribute version of the activities that we wanted to measure. So event attendance, direct mail solicitation, personalized phone calls and outreach. And we assigned we did interviews to assess, to understand if there was consistency in that. So we asked like, hey, what, what, what was the, you know, the tipping point for why you chose to give or why you chose to donate and we were able to on scientifically extrapolate to say, okay, event attendance is a higher affinity impact activity than, you know, direct mail or versus you know, an outreach call from a member of the community was higher than direct mail.

And we would use that to build a scoring system, which we could then attribute. So, you know, event attendance was going to yield you a higher affinity score than, you know, direct mail versus a personalized outreach. So doing the interviews to help us understand understand the behavior was was especially helpful. But other questions probably have time for maybe maybe one or two more in any of the questions that we had for Tiffany, I had for each other were not as good as these.

But of course, of course we had questions ready. That's where this is. I appreciate, I appreciate that though, if well, you know, we'll do a we're doing a different one. What kind of metrics would you consider for customer virtual meet ups from the same industry where the idea is to come together and discuss common challenges, objectives and not about our products?

That's a great question. I mean, a little on that. A little bit. Kyle, do you have any initial thoughts for I think personally for a a community of practice where it's not product centric, I would look at referrals. So if, you know, I'm willing to refer it to bring someone else into the conversation, that's probably pretty good signal that you're deriving, deriving value from that.

And then the one the metric I really like for these communities is, you know, your repeat buyer behavior. Are they is that person coming back over and over again? Are they doing different things that that would tell me? From a metric perspective, they're finding this valuable and it's not you know, I don't have a percentage product adoption to measure.

So I look at repetition and variety great answer to anything. You're more on the metric side than me. That was that that's coming from having having to answer that question for myself or how are we measuring success of this community peer group program? Yeah, yeah. And for me, I mean, I think with that one, it's a little it's a little fluffier, but I would look in terms of like sentiment and trends just so that you can, you know, find other events or other community activations to further along those conversations.

And obviously I think common challenges are are negative in nature, being able to try to take that information and, you know, figure out ways to better support your members or answer or address those challenges. But that's not necessarily quantitative data, which is why I think also the qualitative is really important, but definitely I think like sentiment analysis would be really interesting on that one.

Absolutely. Yeah, absolutely.

I think all that's left is to say are Thank you.

So, thank you, everyone. We appreciate it. I mean, this is a this has been a joint effort. Like it was really, really cool collaborating with the gradual team on this Kyle like amazing partner on this I think we are we're just like absolutely firm believers in events and community and being able to measure and show off the work that you do.

So really cool that we gather people of like minds to share this nerdiness with us. Yes Thank you all very much. We're going to drop a couple links in the chat because we the cool part here is we're combining combining communities. You've got folks who are familiar with gradual but not talk based folks who are longtime talk race fans, but maybe new to graduates.

So there are some some opportunities to learn about both. Those are the links in the chat. And the next community action is to join an upcoming talk race event in their community, which is going to be I'm going to do it. It's a talk based friends talk, right? And yeah, so it's called talk. Friends talk tools. It's you know, you use all these different tools in your community day to day that aren't necessarily community tools or platforms.

And I'm always like, I want to learn how to use their table, but I've never needed to. So what we're doing is we're having our community come talk about these kind of tangential tools, and the next one is coming up on February 22nd, and it's going over Zapier, which is a really popular one. So hope to see you all there.

Thank you, Laura, for sharing the link. That's amazing. Megan were bigger table in Zapier friends here too. So thank you all. Thank you Tiffany Thank you all so, so much for being here. You'll be able to find the recording. We'll share that as well. And if there are any questions you have, you know how to get a you know, how to reach out and get a hold of us.

So thanks, everybody. Thank you. Some words

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