Social community encourages post-conference relationships

Conference organizer Maven Cast is using Broadvision Clearvale social business software to create personal dialogues with attendees.
Written by Heather Clancy, Contributor on

Originally, conference organizer Maven Cast conceived of social business community software as a way to drive interaction and accelerate recruitment before events.

While that original vision hasn't exactly panned out over the past nine months, the company's investment in Clearvale, a social business software platform created by enterprise software developer BroadVision, has turned into a powerful post-event interaction tool that may yield repeat business in the future, said Adam Malik, Maven Cast CEO and founder.

"Approximately 84 percent of any fresh members become community members after an event," Malik said. "We are in touch with them as individuals. We have an interaction with them personally, not corporately."

For Maven Cast, that is an important phenomenon, because it means attendees are more likely to give the company repeat business -- which is a big deal if you are a conference organizer trying to plan realistic logistics. And, because much of the community contact comes from personal e-mail addresses, the company is building long-term relationships that should continue even if someone moves onto another job, Malik said.

Clearvale is an enterprise social networking platform that allows companies to build communities and collaboration spaces that are unique and specific to their corporate mission. These so-called social business communities build on people's personal familiarity with social networks, but they are usually gated.

In the case of Maven Cast, the communities are being used to share content and content ideas between event attendees (past and future), event organizers, speakers, moderators and other event participants. (The screen above shows the MavenCast-branded community.)

Clearvale's ability to support hybrid networks and communities and span internal and external constituents is an especially important feature for Maven Cast, Malik said.

"Clearvale is truly unique in unifying internal and external communication and collaboration in a way that makes sense for business," he said, in a statement discussing some recent additions to the software. "The ability to add guest to a hybrid network in a secure and controlled way helps us achieve our goal of connective a social community for sponsors, speakers and delegates around all our events that spans across the entire lifecycle in a very cost-effective manner."

Maven Cast covers the cost of its Clearvale investment (which is paid as a per-person subscription fee) by rolling the expense into its attendee registrations, Malik said.

Aside from perpetuating relationships forged in person, Maven Cast is using its community to help debate topics for future events and share promised follow-ups from sessions, along with the formal materials. So, the community could be instrumental in shaping content for future conferences which, in turn, should inspire higher attendance. The community may also serve as the foundation in the future for cyber-events spawned out of community member conversations and active discussion threads.

"I have this vision of creating a socially created community as a result of any of the events that we do, and to give that community the opportunity to interact, communicate and share outside of the organizer," Malik said.

This post was originally published on Smartplanet.com


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