Four days later, my brain is still on the brink of exploding after attending Feverbee’s first SPRINT conference. This event excelled in every way possible from the caliber of speakers, to a ridiculously large amount of actionable tips and the quality of other attendees. I’ve never learned so much in a two-day time period or gotten so many actionable nuggets and tips to apply. It would be impossible to break down all the top takeaways from this event, but I’ll outline six of the biggest stand-outs.
As a community manager, you aren’t alone on a lifeboat in the middle of the Pacific Ocean.
I know I personally struggle a bit at times with feeling like there is no one to turn to for some community challenges or just moral support. However, if there is one thing this conference restored in me was the fact that there are a boatload of community professionals to turn to for advice, support and feedback.
— Sue (@SueOnTheWeb) October 31, 2014
We need to get smarter about presenting the value of community.
Between Rachel Happe, the co-founder of The Community Roundtable and Rich Millington, Feverbee’s Founder, this point was hammered on multiple times. The ROI of community simply must be tied to a financial metric, if we want to get more budget and resources in our respected organizations. This number should show either an increase in revenue or decrease in costs. Fluffy, feel-good metrics tied to activity and engagement won’t cut it.
Focus less on engagement and more on behavior change.
Speaking of engagement, all community engagement isn’t created equal. The best engagement is something that advances your community’s goals or more precisely drives a desired behavior change.
— StephanieWiriahardja (@stephawie) October 30, 2014
Discourse will transform the online community platform space within the next 2-4 years.
Listening to Jeff Atwood talk about community and what he is building with Discourse is truly insightful and visionary. He said he strives to make Discourse the WordPress for forum platforms. I don’t doubt this lofty goal. The forum platform space is ripe for innovation and the direction Discourse is headed is awesome.
There is an emerging career path for community professionals
A career path is opening up for community managers. We’re seeing more senior level roles, including Director and VP level starting to emerge. This trend is promising and by all indications will continue as long as we get smarter about showing our value internally.
Spreadsheets are awesome.
I honestly lost track of the amount of times Rich Millington brought up spreadsheets through the two days at SPRINT. It’s an important point if we as community managers want to advance our careers and show our value. We need to be comfortable in Excel and doing math.
— Jenn Pedde (@JPedde) October 30, 2014
For additional takeaways from SPRINT, check out CommunityGeek.com.