We have been drinking the online community juice for a very long time, and through the many years of working and speaking with leaders in the B2B Media and events industry, I wanted to highlight recent communities that are loved by its members.
How do you define and more specifically measure community love? Yes it can be pretty subjective, but we think there are some universal factors most communities take into account - above and beyond financials.
When building this list of loved communities I have used the following factors:
- Attention: For me this is the most valued commodity TODAY in the day and age of scrolling culture. How long can you keep someone's attention before they move on or switch off?
I am a big defender of the lurkers and those that DO read the content, this really counts
- Engagement specifically creating, posting or participating in discussions
- Showing up to your events, your webinars, your polls, your surveys, your parties, your articles/posts.
- Appreciation via likes, shares and honest direct feedback
- Financial Reward via paid membership fees and/or event attendance (primarily but not exclusively) - and in some cases these are exceptionally well attended, to the point that some of them get sold out! That's love with a capital L.
This post highlights some of these organisations we feel you need to check out that will mostly certainly serve as a great benchmark and source of inspiration if you're starting out on the community journey. We'll also be discussing some of these communities in our Building Successful Communities series which begins this Wednesday. Check it out.
This is a community of software engineering leaders that come together both online and offline to get inspired on all things team, tech, process and personal development. It's run by a fresh and forward thinking company, White October. Before the pandemic they run very successful live events in London, New York, San Francisco and Berlin ranging between 600-1,500 attendees and the moment they decided to pivot their NY LeadDev Live event to virtual they received over 12,000 registrations.
Now their community offering includes, a very comprehensive blog written by its community members, virtual and offline events and small meetups.
We particularly like:
- Their strong ethos, vision and code of conduct. They pay particular attention to diversity and harassment-free experiences for everyone. The community and values FIRST before anything else and its members know it, rewarding them with their loyal attention
- Speakers really want to be a part of the event - LeadDev receives hundreds of applications when they send out a call for papers. This is contrary to most events where organisers need to be very proactive inviting speakers
- A thriving slack channel keeps discussions among the community alive. Shows of love include other influencers (including channels within other slack channels) sharing about LeadDev
- Their physical events used to sell out
I've been following this community for a very long time, you may remember them from a popular video interview. Led by Kelvin Newman, BrightonSEO started with a few likeminded individuals gathering in a pub to share what they knew about a common topic. When you start buying rounds of beer for 100+ people you realise that there is more to it than just a hobby. This is how this brilliant community started. BrightonSEO's physical events always sell out and now with a virtual offering, training academy and a series of fringe events the community is growing beautifully and successfully.
We particularly like:
- This community existed in conversations on twitter before they even had an event or a website
- Conversation led to organic conversion
- Kelvin, its founder is particularly active in social channels and participates in communities other than his own. This is great for capturing that attention, this is critically important
- BrightonSEO promotes and publicise the topic NOT the event(s) they do - basically great a content and creating discussion and engagement.
- Their physical events are traditionally known for selling out very fast. While there is a tactical aspect to it, do you need more LOVE than that?
DFTB – don’t forget the bubbles – is a grass roots education and research community of paediatric emergency medicine practitioners. With a strong sense of shared endeavour and shared learning, the strength of community is in collaboration.
What started out as four enthusiastic players has grown into something so much bigger.
Members love the research, the evidence summaries of literature, the training and the variety of education projects, all with a single purpose. The digital event very much brings to life” the brand and community, and gives members an opportunity to enjoy content, connect and network.
We particularly like:
- Their approach to collaboration among members, you can see their website is abundant with lots of valuable content for its members
- The way in which they create interaction during their live events (something we cover in this webinar)
- The community is mostly free access and hugely collaborative, but they also have a money generating aspect through their digital events and courses
- It's a medicine practitioners community that manages to combine cool yet with a serious look and feel
These communities erupted early in 2020 as event professionals were hit very hard by COVID. The Corona Response for Event Organisers (CREO) and The Furloughed or Released Talent (FORT) guild groups have become one of THE places to go to with regards to discussions around virtual tech platforms, event formats and in all honesty a place for event leaders to discuss their pressing issues and challenges. As a member of these groups I can vouch for their relevance, importance and tremendous value that they bring to our industry.
Led by Ashley Friedlein, these groups receive much love from its members by unprompted praise and thanks (in particular for FORT community) as it's really helping people get jobs in a challenging job market. You'll also see members flying the flag of the groups, promoting it to other professionals and most importantly thriving levels of engagement and participation.
We particularly like:
- Conversation first instead of conversion - while they do not have live events (yet) and do not charge for membership, they have the interests of the community at its heart
- The levels of attention from its members in both helping solve questions and the level of detail some of the discussions have
- The CREO Manual which is a kind-of-a-bible for everyone to use and contribute for the greater good is where you see real collaboration taking place
- You really see a group united to help each other
What other communities can you think of that are looooved by its members?
In B2B media and events there are plenty of organisations and communities like these that are loved by its members. We've highlighted four here which are particularly relevant for our time, but as community builders ourselves we are constantly reviewing the hottest trends, tactics and strategies for strong community building and would love to hear your thoughts on:
1. Any other communities you think we should highlight
2. Your own community building plans, we welcome a friendly chat if we can offer some perspective of our own. Book a session with us here.
In the meantime, sign up below to our next Webinar on Wednesday.