Event-specific apps are simple solutions for a conference that typically undermine the community.
The problem is the event app is completely separate from the community, it serves a short-term purpose but never helps build a long-term community.
If you don’t make community both an essential and beneficial part of the event – they remain disconnected. So link them closer together.
- Have questions for speakers? Ask in the community (they’ll be hosting a short AMA next week).
- Aren’t sure how to apply their advice to your context? Ask in the community.
- Want to meet up with others? Ask in the community.
- Want to find people in your place to connect with? Search the community.
You can also go beyond this.
- Invite speakers (especially paid speakers) to also spend time in the community answering questions about their topic.
- Have booths and show the current unanswered questions on large plasma screens and give rewards for members who can answer them.
- Display the current leaderboard of the community on a large plasma-screen everyone can see. Give prizes whoever is top at the end of the event.
- Post new questions from customer support into the community and challenge people to answer them.
- Reveal locations of the afterparty via the community.
- Share the videos of the event in the community first.
- Invite top community members to give lightning talks in their field of expertise.
- Run a live ideation session during the event via the community.
An event should be a celebration of the community. The community shouldn’t be bolted on to the event. Integrate the two deeply and everyone wins.