Community and Collaboration at Second CMX Summit

photo In April CMX Summit cofounders David Spinks and Max Altschuler penned a piece for Forbes on how they put together a meeting for more than 300 digital community managers in just four weeks’ time. The duo relied on the one-two punch of high-profile speakers like former FBI agent and behavioral specialist Robin Dreeke and word of “mouth” on Twitter, Facebook, and other social networks. The first summit, which took place in San Francisco in February, garnered more than 90% positive feedback from attendees by Spinks’ and Altschuler’s reckoning. This level of enthusiasm prompted Convene to cover the spin-off conference held last week in New York City, which attracted more than 200 digital community managers from across the country. The first day of the conference brought together community-builders like Tina Roth Eisenberg, the founder of Creative Mornings, a TED-style lecture series aimed at creative professionals that has now been spun off in cities across the globe. Eisenberg spoke on the value of events with no “catch” — pointing out that no one appreciates being marketed to. Other speakers included Morgan Evans of Etsy, who spoke on defining and developing community within the workplace, and Caleb Gardner of Organizing for Action, a political advocacy group, shared his organization’s strategies for nurturing a grassroots community. The second day of the conference opened with the return of Robin Dreeke, who shared his experience with the psychology of communities. Dreeke stressed that community managers should help people with their goals rather than pushing them toward organizational goals. The key to success is finding the intersection where individuals’ and organizers’ objectives align in order to galvanize members. The final speakers at CMX were more granular in terms of conversions — turning participants into customers or active community members — and building platforms to maximize user engagement. Co-organizer and emcee Spinks was thrilled with the turnout and energy level of the second CMX Summit, proudly announcing that the conference trending on Twitter was second only to the World Cup.

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