They met!

On Friday, around 100 agencies and government marketers met 25 representatives from some of the UK’s biggest online communities, including Netmums, The Student Room, BusinessZone, Mumsnet, StudentMidwife.NET, Carespace, Do The Green Thing, PatientOpinion, Prospects and the Army Rumour Service.

View more pictures from the event

The group heard short case studies from the communities, discussed some of the key issues around the barriers to working with online communities, sensitivities and strategies for engaging a community, and whether to build new communities from scratch or engage with existing groups. Half the session was spent networking, sharing stories and exchanging business cards.

The case study presentations and many of the community links are captured in the live event coverage (click ‘Replay’ below) and we’ll be adding video from the event to this site in due course.

Thanks a million to everyone who came, to DECC for hosting us and providing an amazing film service, to Alistair Reid and Rhys Stacker for providing live multimedia coverage, and to We Are Social and Diffusion PR for sponsoring food and drinks.

What next? We’re not sure, and it would be great to have your ideas. Perhaps we should create an online directory of communities, with profiles and contact details? Perhaps we should run more Meet The Communities events either around specific topics or sectors, or in different parts of the country? Perhaps we could expand the model to more hyperlocal sites? Perhaps we could try and work to address some of the underlying barriers to working together, around procurement, planning and funding?

Over to you – let us know in the comments what you would like to see happen next!

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7 Responses to They met!

  1. stevieflow says:

    I enjoyed the event – good to hear the stories and talk to people behind them.

    Yes to all your suggestions! Seriously, I’d be interested to help organise something for NW/Manchester communities – probably at the wonderful http://madlab.org.uk/

  2. helpfultechnology says:

    Cheers Steven – that does sound like a good idea. When I was promoting the event, a few people did suggest taking it up north too… and there are plenty of government people up that way too

    • Julie Whyman says:

      Hi there! Thoroughly enjoyed the event on Friday and hope to be able to develop one or two ideas with some of your presenters over the coming weeks. In the meantime, if you decide to “go up North”, that was my patch for 20 years before I moved down to Oxford, so more than happy to lend any assistance …. Hope to see you soon. Cheers Jules x

  3. Paul Jenkins says:

    Hi Steph,

    Just to say thanks for pulling togther what was a great event, and a really useful summary above as well. I only managed to stay for the morning session , which was brill, but will be catching up via the feeds :-)

  4. Andy Stevens says:

    It was a really useful event – fantastic choice of online community providers!

    I am based in Manchester and would love to see something similar up here. Maybe a Twitter discussion (@OnlineAStevens) to get things kicked off and generate some interest? I know the guys at MMU would be interested

  5. CommCulture says:

    Unfortunately we were unable to attend the event – I think it would be a great idea to run a similar event up north.

    I have attended a number of successful market research events in Manchester so I think there would be plenty of interest. If you need any speakers to contribute to the discussions around communities and also how the data can be used we would be happy to help.

    CommCulture is based in Manchester. Find us on twitter @CommCulture / website http://www.commculture.com / email theteam@commculture.com

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