Conference Crowd Engagement – 5 Learnings to Consider

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In an earlier post I’d written about how corporates have leveraged crowdfunding. While corporates have been finding ways to engage with the innovation-led community online more productively, they somehow haven’t been able to engage effectively during offline events and conferences.

In a recent article I’d written on Entrepreneur Magazine, I share my experience on how conference organisers can offer much more to their delegates and partners. Inline with those shares, here I’m sharing how corporate brands can also prepare themselves to get the most out of their audience engagement. Some learnings:

a) Multitasking Galore
While the audience and crowd at event would also be multitasking, listening to sessions, attending workshops, visiting booths and networking, it’s essential to identify your target audience and also understand when and where to engage them during the conference. The best time would be during the conference breaks and when they’re on the move.

b) Better Connectivity
It be better to also not interrupt them and start demo-ing/selling and or just engaging with those at your stall, but to find it easy for the crowd to view and understand your product/offering without any human intervention. A good wireless connectivity platform or even a link/app can facilitate this.

c) Conferences for Learning
The question here is how do you enrich your audience even more, is there something new your can share with people around? Today’s event delegates, especially those from the millennial generation use events as a way to discover and learn new things. Look at the crowds at MakerFaire events, who are wow’ed with new discoveries.

d) Know Who are Attending
Half the job is taken care of, if one did a pre-event research on the profile of the audience attending the conference. Based on the attendee segments one could find their audience and reach out to them accordingly.

e) Share Expectations in Advance
It’s also useful to interact with the event stakeholders and organisers to understand and see what one could expect as takeaways from the event. This would be useful, especially if its the brand’s first time at the conference.

While brands continue engaging via online platforms, offline is a medium that could provide quality leads and a good ‘return on investment’ if one planned their offline engagement strategy well.

Sharing Economy vs Crowd Economy = Access vs Purpose

Image source: virgin.com

Image source: Virgin.com

From the times when large banks and the government machineries exuded trust and confidence in people to today’s era where renting homes and lending money to complete strangers – the trust economy has slowly but surely shifted to the side of the sharing economy.

While the likes of Uber and Airbnb are rendering ownership of objects obsolete, it’s the efforts behind the building of ‘trust’ that’s fuelling such lifestyle changes.

There’s a compelling TechCrunch article by Adriana Stan, which also mentions about the metric of trust and building up trust beyond just customer reviews. Everything about people will be measure, right from our influence, social following, work connections, etc, will also provide one with our ‘trust score’ – something like the ‘credit score’ that banks and traditional ‘trust’ institutes are built upon.

Inspired by the shares by Epi Ludvik Nekaj and his Crowdsourcing Week series where he elaborates on the 5 Ps (People, Purpose, Platform, Participation, Productivity) of the Crowd Economy.

In his piece he mentions about how the foray of the web and mobile networks, have facilitated increased collaboration and cooperation. Defining:

The crowd economy is a dynamic ecosystem of productive people who participate through a platform with a purpose to achieve mutually beneficial goals.

Based on deep dives and experiences with both forms of economies (Sharing vs Crowd), here are conclusions in 3 points:

  1. The sharing economy’s foundation is ‘Trust‘, while in the crowd economy, it is ‘Collaboration‘.
  2. The key driver of the sharing economy is availability of ‘extra Resources‘, while in the crowd economy it is availability of ‘extra Knowledge‘ that’s fuelling its growth.
  3. Commerce‘ focused organisations have best leveraged the sharing economy, while ‘Impact‘ focused organisations have made change with the virtues of the crowd economy.

Rate Global CF Platforms

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As part of a university thesis project and with feedback from crowdfunding experts, the Crowd Navigator team has been able to evaluate crowdfunding platforms. The parameters are:

Transparency
Transaction fee, investors, founding members and other pertinent project details.

Level of Activity
CF company and project updates on website, social media platforms and blogs.

Ease of Navigation
Website look and feel on different devices. Time taken to access useful information.

Information Availability
Availability of details like how the CF website works and other FAQs.

Innovation Index
Tracked based on latest technology used as well as uniqueness in business model.

Now now we would like crowdfunding users to be able to rate select platforms based on 1) Level of Activity, 2) Ease of Navigation, 3) Innovation Index. You can rate 7 platforms from US, Sweden, India, Singapore and Australia at the following link.

Reach us incase of any queries. We will announce the results in September 2016.

Time to Crowd Pitch

Crowd Pitch is a form of crowdsourcing like crowdfunding and other mass engagement activities, just that here one’s primary goal is to seek crowd validation. What crowd validation does for startups, especially B2C products, is that it ensures a transparent process and gives potential backers a better understanding of the kind of traction a product has/will receive.

While online platforms serve to validate ideas too, one cannot ignore offline showcases where ideas receive direct feedback. Crowd Product’s efforts on using online voting for offline events, makes the experience of validating startup pitches wholesome.

Why Pitch at Crowd Product?
Feedback from industry professionals & investors
Gauge the crowd and potential customers interest
Win cash prizes, co-working seats, invitations to investor meets, conference & much more

Why Attend Crowd Product Pitch?
Access to some of the most fresh product startups
Actively participate by voting on all startup pitches
An evening to network with entrepreneurs & investors

If you’re interested in creating or being part of a pitching event do write to us. Crowd Pitch puts power of achieving greatness (read investments & growth) in your hands!

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Popular Crowd Products from 2015

The year has seen some kickass products and prototypes get discovered and come to the fore, a large number of them through crowdfunding platforms. The success of these product augurs well for the future generation of hobbyists, creators and makers, who may be motivated to turn full-time entrepreneurs. Here’s a look at some of the products that caught the eye this year.

1) Lily Robotics Drone

This flying camera when tossed into the air, starts follows its owner around with the help of GPS and computer vision. Along the way this water-proof and ultra-compact device shoots HD pictures and videos.

2) Air 2 Wireless Floating Sound Bluetooth HD Speaker

The Air 2 bluetooth speakers by Coby Electronics has in-build magnets to help it mind-blowing levitate. These speakers can also be mounted on a wall.

3) Qwertywriter

This 84 keys, USB, Bluetooth enabled typewriter-inspired keyboard gives one the look and feel of a vintage typewriter. This classy keyboard design can be easily integrated with a wide range of tablet devices.

If you come across any other interesting products from 2015 via crowdfunding platforms or elsewhere do let us know with the name of the product and its link. We will be happy to showcase compelling products you refer.