Using Orbit to Communicate the Success of Great Events

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Tony Blank, Director of Community Programs at Agora, teaches you how to track and validate your community efforts for both virtual and in-person events.

Tony Blank
Director, Community Programs

Measuring and communicating the success of your events can be a challenge. Sure, you know who showed up, but who interacted with who? Which attendees invited other attendees to join and shared to their networks? Who was invited vs who registered and attended?

​Let’s get the quantifying out of excel and into Orbit. This workshop will teach you how to track and validate your efforts for both virtual and in-person events. We will learn how to get ticket sales, event RSVPs, and social media plugged into Orbit and create dashboards to help you communicate the value of your events.

Tony Blank (02:50): All right. Well, welcome everybody. In today's workshop we're going to be talking about quantifying fun. My name's Tony Blank, founder of Next Week Rocks. Before I start the presentation, this is like a workshop thing, I'm going to put us all in a little breakout group. We can all introduce each other and say hi for just like two minutes. So let's just introduce each other and say hi there. Let's play around with the breakout here.

Tony Blank (05:34): I think we're all popping back. I hope that was fun for everybody to say hi and introduce each other. Hope that was cool. Let me go ahead and get my slides loaded back up as well. So yeah, I'm Tony Blank, based in Denver, Colorado, and I started Next Week Rocks. It's a side hustle, right? Day gig. I lead community for a company called Agora, but today I'm not going to talk about that at all. I'm going to talk about my side hustle.

Tony Blank (06:13): Just wondering, does anyone else have a side hustle? Let's do a poll here. All right. Cool. I'll just leave this open for like a minute. I would love to share if anyone has a little side hustle. Let me answer the question here. All right. Cool. Right on. Cool. Thank you for answering. Cornelius. Side hustle, full-time hustle. That's cool. Right on. Well, it's great to see. Great to see everyone has a side hustle. It seems like everyone does these days. Right. Cool. Let me go ahead and stop the poll here. Right on.

Tony Blank (07:09): Cool. Let me tell you about Next Week Rocks. Okay. One of the things, the teams that I lead, is a startup program team. This is actually about five years ago, I was sitting at... doing an office hour session. By the way, one of my secrets, I always like to match my socks with the event. That's Patriot Boot Camp I was at. Matching socks to the event's pretty fun too. An office hour session is when... It's kind of like speed dating where you get to meet with the founder for 20 or 30 minutes, you get to talk about who I am, get to share some experience, and then maybe in a half an hour we find out some way that we can help each other out. I can help out the startup in some way.

Tony Blank (08:00): Sometimes these sessions go really well. Other times, just kind of a swing and a miss, not much to talk about. This time, again, about five or six years ago, it was that latter. Where individuals sat down and we're talking and definitely seemed like they weren't really into meeting me. A lot of times investors shoehorn people in and say, "Go meet with this guy. It's probably good for you." Maybe not super into it. But this guy was definitely distracted, so I mentioned, "Hey, I'm happy to give you your time back if you want. We don't have to meet. We could go grab a coffee, grab a beer. You don't have to talk about your startup, whatever. It's totally fine. We could talk about anything you want." And he actually opened up and he shared what was on his mind. He had a terrible meeting with one of his investors. He wasn't hitting his growth metrics and learned that the investor wasn't going to invest in any kind of follow up rounds.

Tony Blank (09:04): It's terrible news. Your lead investor doesn't invest in follow up rounds, startup's probably dead. Obviously terrible, terrible news, so I'm like, "Well hey, maybe we can dig into these metrics and see if we can hit these growth numbers, or whatever." So I asked him how big was the miss. Sometimes these early stage startups, it's like, "Get five customers!" I'm like, "Could we just pound the pavement and go maybe fix this?"

Tony Blank (09:32): And he shared that he's growing month over month like 20,000 users a month and it should be 40,000. It's a huge, huge miss. And right then I realized... Well, I was thinking back to when I was a musician and making a living doing that, and I thought, "Man, this guy's having probably one of the worst days of his life, but he's built a pretty successful business. If I was a musician, if I was growing 20,000 fans a month, oh man, this is like the best..."

Tony Blank (10:07): Oh, can other people scroll it there? I see a question. Yeah. Is that working? Anyway. So yeah. Keeping it on this slide. So yeah, I realized that gosh, artists or CEOs of a company of one without any way to fundraise, so I started to meet with artists in my nights and weekends and teach them marketing and the kinds of stuff that I was teaching startups when I was at SendGrid and an email provider.

Tony Blank (10:51): It was a lot of fun. I ended up working with a comedy festival in Austin, ended up working with a couple dozen artists, teaching them things like digital marketing and the kind of stuff that startups need to grow those users. Definitely mixed result. Teaching marketing to artists was very much like herding cats.

Tony Blank (11:16): Did this for a number of years. This is before I started Next Week Rocks officially. Then the pandemic hit. Sorry, I have some pictures of an earlier pandemic. I've got some slides from this one. Yeah. I think if y'all need to move slides or whatever, I think the... I'm using the keyboard and I'm hoping that as I'm adjusting... Are the slides moving for you, or is it just maybe just moving for me? They're moving for you too. All right. Cool. Awesome. Awesome. Cool.

Tony Blank (11:50): Here's a slide from the current pandemic. Pandemic hits, all the venues shut down, and so all of my artist friends said, "Tony, you're talking about building your business online. Definitely we should've listened to you many years ago, but now we have a lot of time that we have, since we're not playing gigs or doing shows." So I saw a lot of people that were busking on Facebook. Venmo busking, where they're playing stuff online and then they're just asking for donations and tips. And so I was like, "Man, you can stand up a private ticketed livestream platform." And my artist friends said, "Gosh, I understood some of those words. I have no idea what a Shopify is." Yeah, yeah, Monica. Twitch music streams too. That's awesome.

Tony Blank (12:46): And so, I ended up just standing up like a livestream platform. We had our first show in July. I had a number of help. That's my cat, Turlet. He actually does help out, besides show his rear end to me. He's over there right now. There he is brainstorming. We like to whiteboard together a little bit. But we had a lot of fun.

Tony Blank (13:12): I ended up producing a number of really cool shows. The Road Live, which I'll show you a clip here in a second, is a talk show hosted by the godfather of punk rock comedy, JT Habersaat. What Do You Want From Us is another cool comedy show where the audience votes on the comedy bits. It's pretty cool. Social D is another standup comedy show online, and In The Trenches was a original musical. Terrible time. Felt so bad for them. They were supposed to have their debut on stage, I think, like March of 2020. Right. So we gave them a platform online.

Tony Blank (13:54): Actually, let me show you... I do have a short intro from What Do You Want From Us. I'll show you a clip of that here real quick. Let me pull this up.

Tony Blank (14:52): Yeah. It's pretty cool, because the audience ends up voting on questions and all the comedians end up heckling the audience as the votes are coming in, and then the winning answer does a corresponding comedy bit with it. It's pretty cool. Pretty cool. Right on.

Tony Blank (15:14): Let me show you the next clip from The Road Live. The Road Live was a talk show, and let me set this up. In this clip there's guests. The McEwans are featured, and they're a group of youth pastors. But I'll play the clip here.

Tony Blank (17:57): Yeah. That's a little snippet, but it's fun, man. A little talk show. Right on. Let me bring the deck back here. Cool. Yeah. Then vaccines were released. Yay. Awesome. It's amazing, venues opened up again and what I realized then was that I was actually making things way more complicated. From a high level, Next Week Rocks was, how can I leverage all the cool stuff we have in the tech industry and support emerging artists. I was doing things. Well, I can build a livestream platform and I can teach artists how to market their own shows online, everything. And I realized I could actually do this way, way simpler. I could literally just organize events and book bands and comedians at them, so that's the stuff I'm doing now.

Tony Blank (18:55): Mile High Startups and Music is a networking event. It's actually a hybrid event. People in person are hanging out here in Denver, but we also livestream the music online, and there's some virtual space that people can hang out with there. Cool thing about Mile High Startups and Music, there's none of this. No slides. It's simply just focused on the community. We've been inside long enough. It's time to get back out there. It's a monthly event.

Tony Blank (19:23): Snark Tank Live is a twist on the startup Pitch Competition where we replace the VC judges with professional comedians. See if the founders can weather the Snark Tank. So far we've given away 35 grand to artists, but we're just getting started. Got a grant from the city of Denver to keep doing the Mile High Startups and Music. Got a new venue here at number 38. It's going to be an awesome, awesome, fun time.

Tony Blank (19:56): Anyway, that's little bit about history, context of the kind of events that Next Week Rocks does. Now, let's talk about fun events. Now, I know that most of us organize events for not the side hustle, but for the main day gig. So let's all hop into a quick breakout room for a couple of minutes, and I'd love for y'all to discuss the funnest work events that you've been to. When we come back from the breakout, would love each group to just drop a comment in the chat and we can see some work events. Cool. Let me start this breakout group here.

Tony Blank (26:03): Cool. Welcome back everybody. Hope everybody had a good discussion. I think there were three rooms, I think. Yeah. Hey. Would love people to either turn mics, cameras on and share fun events, or drop it in the chat. Whichever y'all would prefer, be comfortable doing, it's okay with me.

Speaker 8 (26:26): One of the things that we used to do at Digital Marketer was... I was just talking with Warren about this. We would actually have a shared Friday Spotify account. We would have a one-hour time period where we go in, we connect to it, we add whatever music we want to listen to, and then we have exactly an eight-hour playlist that we would shuffle through.

Tony Blank (26:57): Oh, nice. Love that. Yeah. It's always cool to see everyone's musical preferences and stuff. It's really cool. Cool. Any other groups want to share?

Speaker 9 (27:15): I had a specific one. I had a moment where I had to put together an event for just world class engineers, astronauts. I mean, just incredibly smart people. How am I going to entertain these humans? I don't know what to do here. And I actually got in touch with a professional clown and circus performer, and he guided us through the most incredible... He said, "They're engineers, right?" I said, "Yeah." He said, "Let's do the most simple science fair, third grade level projects with them. Let's do a marble drop. Let's do a two-liter bottle rocket. Let's do these really basic things and bring the inner child back out of this group." I'm like, "Man, I don't know about that." And we did it and it was hands down the best event I've ever done ever. Now when I think about the audience that I'm working with, I really try hard to think about their inner child. What did these people do when they were young? What did they like doing? Why did they like doing it? Why did they pursue this fashion? So, that was a really good one.

Tony Blank (28:30): Awesome. Awesome. Yeah. I love that, to think about the attendees when they were kids. That's a really cool tactic, I think. I see Ryan shared a video that... I'll pull this up. I think I can bring it up for everybody here. Let's take a look at this. Detroit Happy Hour.

Ryan (29:00): Hello. My name is Ryan. I am one half of Collider and I'm extremely excited, because Collider, Altimetrik Collider, is having our first event, the Spring Reboot: Detroit Tech Happy Hour, and we are excited to have these people and to see everybody in the flesh once again.

Speaker 11 (29:24): Collider is all about... In Detroit, we're looking to be the hub for all things technology in Detroit. We want to bring folks together across these different industries, across these different disciplines, to break down barriers and drive innovation.

Tony Blank (29:52): Very cool. Very cool. Thank you so much for sharing that. That's awesome. Cool. Let me pull up these slides again. Right on. Cool. First step of making it fun is I always like to think about the community and the audience, so I spend some time doing persona development. So be thinking about who are these attendees? What do they do for work, do for fun? The cool thing about events and event planning is it takes place at a certain time of day. What did they do earlier today? You can think about that. All of that stuff can inform what exactly your event is, what kinds of activities you'll do with everybody.

Tony Blank (30:48): For the couple of events that I have, just kind of soft circling a couple of things. The livestreams, typically an older crowd. The in-person stuff is typically younger startup techy people and everything. But I love to get in there and really develop personas for the audience.

Tony Blank (31:09): Then, when you're coming up with your content, I always like to lead with empathy. You always put yourself in your audience's shoes and give them what they want. Another thing I love to do is to... I think when I was probably less experienced, I probably would have a really high bar as to what I think an event needed to be. But, I mean, a lot of times reality can't match that, so I like to always think in terms of judo. How can your weaknesses be strengths? One good example of this is the livestream What Do You Want From Us. That's a Larry show. Standup comedy is almost... Cell phones don't really mix that great with standup comedy, but the thing when you're watching a livestream comedy, you're on your phone. So knowing that everyone's going to have multiple screens around, how can you have that be in addition to a comedy thing? That's when Larry's like, "Well hey, if they're going to be holding their phones, let's just have them be answering polls and have it be a bit more engaging." So to try to think about some negatives and turn it into positives.

Tony Blank (32:32): The other thing that I love to do is to differentiate. I mean, that's the easiest way, I think, to get attention to your event, is to be unique. I think Snark Tank is a really great example of that. By taking these VCs and replacing them with anti-capitalist comedians is a pretty unique thing. Cool.

Tony Blank (32:57): All right. Now let's talk about quantifying the fun. But first I want to just highlight the differences between virtual, in-person, and hybrid. I think that's one of the things that as community and event organizers... Obviously the pandemic has shooken up all kinds of stuff. But one of the things that I think is a great takeaway is virtual and hybrid events are a lot more inclusive. There's a lot of reasons why people can't go out in person. I love that many events now are very much including everybody that can't make it in person, or can't make it out. I think it's a good thing for all of us to be digging in and exploring.

Tony Blank (33:47): Let me open up a poll here for another minute, and would love to hear about hybrid events. Because this is definitely an area that I think... I've heard a lot of people say hybrid events, hybrid events, but what exactly is it? So would love to hear some of your thoughts on hybrid events, so let me start this one here. Cool. And maybe I'll do some bleeps and bloops on a synthesizer.

Tony Blank (34:31): Okay. Let's see. All right. Cool. Anyone else have toys in your office? I'm just surrounded by toys. It's...

Speaker 12 (34:43): I have severe problems with ADHD, so one of the big things that I've had to do is I've had to select soft toys that allow me to play around. But I've also had to set up my workplace so when I grab the toy, it forces me back to the computer. I actually have a set of hair ties that are on a bar that's attached directly above my keyboard, so I am always going back to and my eyes are going straight back to the screen in order to get my attention back.

Tony Blank (35:19): Right on. Right on. Yeah. I have mostly musical toys around me, so I've got my startup guitar. If this was an in-person event, I'd ask everybody to contribute a sticker to it.

Tony Blank (35:33): Cool. Let's take a look at some of the results here. Right on. Yeah, some cheers, IPAs. That's awesome. Yeah. Warren and Rara, I completely... I feel like that's what we see a lot of, where I think it's a lot of... We're still figuring it out. But I think it's a really fun challenge for us, I think. Yeah. Cool. Love all the comments down there too.

Tony Blank (36:13): Right on. Cool. So it's been a really fun playground to play with all the Next Week Rocks events, because the livestream's obviously purely virtual. So trying to figure out how to maximize fun there. Mile High Startups and Music, a hybrid event, and then Snark Tank being in-person only, as the comedians don't want any of their material and stuff out there and stuff too. Been a lot of fun to play around with those kinds of things.

Tony Blank (36:45): The other thing that you want to do is be thinking about these engagement signals. And so, before the event happens, there's a lot of information and data that you can collect, things like ticket sales, RSVPs, attendance obviously during the event. Social media engagement, audience polls, merch purchases, those kinds of things, are all great, great data, and Orbit's a perfect platform to aggregate all of them in. The first thing that you want to do is to decide if you want to do live or batch. I'm a big fan of low code automation platforms. I've used Zapier and Tray, and also done basic API calls as well to integrate a variety of different data sources.

Tony Blank (37:38): Looking across all of the events, I'm on Twitter, we got Shopify, Splash and Eventbrite. I actually just started getting Orbit set up with Next Week Rocks about a month ago, so I have a lot of planned integrations as well. Want to get some more audience engagement stuff in the mix too.

Tony Blank (38:03): Let's talk about other engagement signals now, so let me open up another poll here. Yeah. What other kinds of signals can events generate? Maybe I'll strum guitar here. Ooh, actually got a question from Warren. Yeah. I mean, obviously you wanted really... Real time is the preferred way. You want everything to come in ideally in that way. I loaded a bunch of stuff in batch, because it was really easy to load...

Tony Blank (39:02): Can you hear me now? Okay, cool. All right. Thanks Warren. Yeah. Is my mic working? All right. Is this back? I could maybe try... Cool. Right on. NPS, that's a great one too. Cool. And videos. Awesome. Cool. Well, I'll close the poll up here. Yeah. Appreciate all of those comments there.

Tony Blank (40:13): With Twitter, the integration's really, really fast, and that's live. And the way that I loaded in the data is through just massaging the spreadsheets. For Splash it was really a pretty easy matter of just adjusting the columns around and adding in the types and the weights, and same thing with Eventbrite as well, and same thing with Shopify too. Again, I will ultimately get all of this integrated in live. Yeah, I know, right? Spreadsheets.

Tony Blank (40:53): Sorry about that everybody. Just take a few moments to wipe the blood away off your face. I know that sharing spreadsheets on a presentation is not super good. But generally what you want to do, and this works across any kind of data sources, is that you want to think about which relevant fields you want to pull into Orbit, and then make a couple of decisions. What is the importance of this engagement, so you got to decide the weight, and then you got to decide the key, which will help you slice and dice some dashboards and everything down the road.

Tony Blank (41:31): And the why of all this. It was pretty magical when I loaded in all of the different channels across my various events. I've been running the livestreams for almost two years now or so, and then the Mile High Startups and Music started middle of last year, and then Snark Tank I just ran one in March. It's cool. You can actually see that bump there. Total members. That's telling me that gosh, running more Snark Tanks is going to give me a chunk of new community members every time I run one of those.

Tony Blank (42:06): Same thing by source. See the livestream obviously is the larger audience. Been running that a lot longer. It's interesting data as well. Then seeing that time there, that big bump around March. That's in that Snark Tank episode. So it's really cool to see all of my various events aggregated. And the whole why really is so I can understand how my community is engaging with the events, and it'll help me steer future events in the future for success, make sure that I'm keeping everything valuable.

Tony Blank (42:49): Would love to answer any questions. We got like 15 minutes, so would love to... questions or open discussion on fun events and open up the floor now.

Speaker 8 (43:02): Do you by any chance integrate community generated leads in event ROI? Or do you keep those two metrics separate?

Tony Blank (43:10): Yeah. Well, I mean, I think it really depends on the event. I mean, the way that I like to think about setting goals for events is there's a lot of different numbers that you could track, a lot of different metrics. But I like to think about what's the one or the two things that's the most important one, and I really only want to really focus and pay attention to those. If we're looking at... If the point is to produce revenue, then we'll want to think about what kind of an event will attract the valuable users in the community. You can look at things like... Perhaps say a good metric there would be open opportunities in Salesforce, so you could look and see which users you're engaging with at your event that maybe a sales organization is also engaging. That would be the one metric that I would then focus on maximizing.

Tony Blank (44:11): If I was looking at more brand stuff, I would probably be looking at just simply new members to the community, or increasing the aggregate love engagement across everybody.

Tony Blank (44:27): Cool. Any more question?

Speaker 13 (44:29): Tony, I'm curious. Just what's your scale, man? Because I think that's one of the things I've been thinking about, is how do you rank a purchase against attendance and then maybe over time, if you look at your tourist fans to the last talk. I'm just fascinated with what that ranking is. Because I think the love score is genius, but of course we want to know what the ranking is before we start throwing around stats. For example, I'm American Airlines gold. I spend way too much time on the airline, but that actually means nothing for the value of my everyday life. But knowing where I am of Executive Platinum, they've got that baked in my head and it's genius. I know in community we want to be a little bit more tactful, but I guess I'm just curious, how do you come up with your ranking?

Tony Blank (45:20): Yeah. Yeah. The weight. I definitely expect the weights in my community to change over time. The way that I prefer to do things is just use the guess and check method, where I set the weights as best as I can and then I can go through and can more anecdotally check. It's definitely something that I will want to look at in the future. The thing that I think is going to be interesting is... I mentioned that I just started using Orbit with Next Week Rocks. I'm going to be putting in a lot more data as the Mile High Startups and Music ramps up. Mentioned got a grant from the city of Denver, so that's starting up going to be end of July.

Tony Blank (46:07): And I definitely expect to do some reverse engineering like 12 months from now where I can look and see who's most engaged. I can look at various metrics in Orbit, but also outside of Orbit. I can look at my Shopify and see total amount purchased and I could say, "Okay, who bought the most?" And then, "What was that journey?" Then I can look at my most valuable members of the community and then look and see how they engaged. Then I might want to bump up the weight of some of those more ideal members.

Tony Blank (46:46): But again, it's going to take a couple of months of me tracking everything, I think, before I'll be able to look back and get some of those insights.

Speaker 13 (46:59): Yeah. I'm thinking about maybe coming up with a lifetime value number and then backing it from there. I think that's what I'll do 12 months from today, because that's how American do it. Like Executive Platinum represents spend.

Tony Blank (47:12): Yeah.

Speaker 13 (47:13): Obviously I think that's a fantastic community metric as well. It's not the only one. But that's what I'm thinking, is if on average somebody who's engaged... and engagement is attached to spend, then a score could just be a derivation of that. Right?

Tony Blank (47:27): Totally.

Speaker 12 (47:30): I just shared it in the chat as well, but I might recommend that you take a look at the Eyes On The Journey report, which is a Google tag manager implementation as opposed to Orbit. But it might give you a far more granular understanding of the cohort analysis for what people are doing after an event. As long as all of your thank you pages and all of your portals for after the event are on your website, you should be able to track it using Eyes On The Journey instead.

Tony Blank (47:58): Cool. Awesome. Well, thanks for sharing. I'll definitely check that out.

Tony Blank (48:06): Cool. Any more comments or questions? Right on. Well, I want to thank everybody for hanging out with me for the last hour, and I hope everybody has a fantastic rest of the day. Enjoy the rest of the content at Nexus, and again thank y'all so much.

Speaker 12 (48:36): Hey Tony, do you have a place where I can contact you privately? Because I have a few things I want to follow up with you on. I think you'd be excited about. I'm also in the Denver area.

Tony Blank (48:47): Oh, right on. Yeah. I'll put my email address in the chat and would love to follow up with everybody. It's really easy, it's [email protected]. And yay, more friends in Denver. We'll have to hang. We'll have to hang at Mile High Startups and Music.

Tony Blank (49:12): All right. I'll love to come out to Detroit and hang with you, Ryan. That event looks awesome. I love to do startup events in Detroit.

Ryan (49:22): You are welcome any time.

Speaker 6 (49:27): Tony, if you got another second. I really was enjoying some of the commentary, actually, in the chat, and I'm trying to scroll up, but I can't. Somebody was talking about exclusivity breeds inclusivity, and really talking about that diversification. I'm curious, have you ever thought about not connecting or having a... let me say an aesthetic of a community, or a value of a community, being the fact that it only does one or the other? Because if somebody like... I host a ton of retreats in-person. Through the pandemic of course I was forced to bring a lot of those things online. But I'm just thinking deeply about where was the engagement better in three days. Spending three days with you, for example, in a retreat format, going deep on some of this stuff. I mean, you just can't compare that to a 40, 50, 60 minute presentation. I'm just curious, have you ever thought about just doing one as opposed to the other?

Speaker 6 (50:27): At least in my world, I actually reflect that in my product suite. The types of people that come and spend three days with me are very different to the types of people that will just engage in our digital content. But I'm not afraid to say that actually this is where the best conversations are going to happen. So I'm just curious if you thought about that in your role.

Tony Blank (50:48): Yeah. I mean, it's really interesting. One of the ways that I like to think about just general event planning is almost like a game of chess. I really think the best kinds of events are more like the organizers set the chess board up and then let the attendees play the game. And so, certainly I think a format like this versus a more intense or a more... a three-day retreat, very different chessboards. And I think you're going to get different engagement and different outputs.

Tony Blank (51:24): I don't think that there's really a right answer, and that's why I always like to lead with empathy and like to just really think about the audience and attendee and personas. Just to make sure that it's resonating and firing on all cylinders there.

Speaker 6 (51:46): But I guess for the ticket sale, I wouldn't... And I'm curious for your advice on this. I wouldn't rank the ticket sale of digital event the same as the ticket sale for a three-day event.

Tony Blank (51:56): Oh, totally. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. I mean, and also, there's a dollar amount. I mean, it's like the free events. You get a lot of low engagement kind of stuff. So yeah, I think looking at that's one thing for sure. That's kind of where I was going with what are the engagement signals. I think the longer you have an event, the more opportunity you have to track that engagement and to uncover those signals too. So I would say sure, I think the weight of that ticket's going to be a lot more for the three-day event. But also, that three days could include a lot more engagement that's going to be generating more weight there as well. I think that part of it... I think you have to look at the aggregate overall of the event for sure.

Speaker 6 (52:52): And do you have a flywheel that you operate on?

Tony Blank (52:55): When you say flywheel, could you elaborate a little bit?

Speaker 6 (53:02): Yeah. In the last talk there was a great flywheel displayed, and I think the best way to think about it is like riding a bike. As you're putting down force on one thing, the next action is hopefully becoming easier. So right foot, left foot. I'm just curious, in your setup of live versus hybrid versus in-person, do you see them driving each other in a specific way?

Tony Blank (53:23): Yeah. I mean, that's definitely something that I would like to see more of. Honestly, I've just started to look in the data and see that cross pollination, where the Venn diagrams overlap. But I think that that is the opportunity. The opportunity is to connect those various communities. I've started to see it a little bit. The livestream audience, there are more people that are in and around Denver than other cities, and a lot of that is because of the engagement on the other events too. So definitely want to do more of that.

Speaker 6 (54:07): Yeah. Because I agree. I'm excited too. I'm just waiting on one support issue with Zapier, but then I'm going to hopefully have my integration completed next week. And I've got-

Tony Blank (54:19): Oh, awesome.

Speaker 6 (54:20): Speak to me in a month and I'll be happier. But one thing I'm actually really interested in is almost like the book Nudge. But preventative churning, I think, is actually the most fascinating piece of this. Once you actually get a beyond top of funnel, it's like... If someone hasn't come to one of my retreats in six months, can our relationship be going that well? Of course there's situations where things might be happening and the... But actually, from an engagement standpoint, the purchase price is the same.

Tony Blank (54:55): Yeah.

Speaker 6 (54:56): I think it's a really interesting thing to turn around and say, "Yeah. Look. The people that go to the gym six times a week and people that don't go, pay the same price."

Tony Blank (55:02): Yeah.

Speaker 6 (55:03): But the outcomes are completely different. And so, that's something I'm very interested in and love behavioral economics and very interested in that nudging piece of it, because that's almost like the second layer of this. Right?

Tony Blank (55:15): Totally.

Speaker 6 (55:16): A guy who works at Orbit who introduced me to this whole world, and he's like, the most powerful message he gets from his community is when he doesn't come to something.

Tony Blank (55:25): Yeah.

Speaker 6 (55:26): And they're like, "Hey, we missed you this afternoon. Is everything good? Can we catch you up?" And I'm like, "Isn't that so amazing?"

Tony Blank (55:33): Yeah. Yeah, yeah, yeah. Yeah. That's great. And again, this is where I think really digging into that persona identification... Like that gym example, I think, is a great one. I mean, that's two different personas. That's the person who buys the thing and doesn't use it and the person that buys the thing and uses it every day. Very different people and they'll get value out of different kinds of events. Definitely encourage you to dig in and give those community members names even.

Speaker 6 (56:03): Yeah. Yeah, yeah. It's a fascinating space. It feels so new. I wish I could just go to the store and buy the 10 books on how people have already done this. I think one... And not to take all your time, but I think one organization that I love is WHOOP. I love my WHOOP and my WHOOP score, and I've been thinking about what's my WHOOP score for a community member. WHOOP's great, because you're like, "Oh no, I definitely got eight hours last night," and it's like, "No, no, no. You were on your phone for an hour and a half, then you only got five." You know?

Speaker 6 (56:39): But I've been thinking about that score and I do think it's actually really valuable, back to one of the other talks, which is yeah, you celebrate these members for going to the gym or doing whatever, but ultimately, how do they know where they stand? I think that's one of the things that I've definitely struggled with, is how does somebody in my community who comes to everything that we do, take pride in but also see progress over something else? I use the example of an F1 car. I've been really getting into F1 recently. It's like, yeah, you can see those lap times drop off immediately if someone doesn't put on a new set of tires or they... But in the real world, you don't see those. You don't see what your life could have been like if you had done this thing.

Tony Blank (57:21): Yeah.

Speaker 6 (57:22): I think that's the hardest thing to capitalize on.

Tony Blank (57:26): Yeah. Yeah, yeah. I don't think everyone's familiar with WHOOP. If you could just share what WHOOP is.

Speaker 6 (57:32): Yeah. Fascinating. So it's that company that took hardware and made it software. It's a 30-buck-a-month band. It's a sophisticated sleep tracker that also has something called a strain score, which basically measures your cardiovascular activity and then indexes that against all of the other community members on WHOOP. So every day in Chicago for Team Caffeine, Team Marijuana, whatever your team is, you can see how you're performing on certain metrics. But it will make recommendations to you based on your strength. So if I have a crappy night's sleep, it will say, "Hey, don't go so hard in the gym today." But if I have a really, really good recovery, it's like, "Go and push yourself." That's what I want to do to my community members.

Speaker 6 (58:16): I actually had a conversation yesterday connected to sales where this community member is ready for the upsell. They just had a huge photo published in Vogue. But I wasn't able to objectify that, and so I actually felt like the upsell fell down.

Speaker 6 (58:46): That's where I'm coming from with all of this. I think it's fascinating and I think they've done a good job. But it's funny, WHOOP doesn't actually do a great job on necessarily incentivizing you outside of the score.

Tony Blank (58:58): Gotcha.

Speaker 6 (58:58): They'll give you like a bronze medal if you have 16 recoveries in a row, but there's nothing really beyond that.

Tony Blank (59:06): Gotcha. Cool. Well, thank you so much for sharing and I do think we are at time. We got to, I think, bounce to the next one. So again, thank y'all so much. I shared my email address. It's [email protected]. I'm TheTonyBlank on Twitter. Would love to stay in touch with everybody. And yeah, thank you all again. See you.

Up next

Using the Orbit Model to Demonstrate Community Value

Nexus 2022

Keynote: Product, Model, and Partners
Keynote: Product, Model, and Partners
Creating Opportunities for Cooperative Work
Creating Opportunities for Cooperative Work
The Secret Sauce to Growing Open Source Community
The Secret Sauce to Growing Open Source Community
Community Driven Growth at Supabase
Community Driven Growth at Supabase
Lessons Learned from Growing On Deck Internationally
Lessons Learned from Growing On Deck Internationally
Using Orbit's Glossary to Communicate Value at Bramble
Using Orbit's Glossary to Communicate Value at Bramble
Fireside chats
Fireside chats
The Power of Asking a Great Question
The Power of Asking a Great Question
Scaling a Thriving Community
Scaling a Thriving Community
A Community-First Approach to Driving Competitive Advantage
A Community-First Approach to Driving Competitive Advantage
Data-Led Community Programs and Strategy
Data-Led Community Programs and Strategy
Community as a Practice: Trajectory and Trends
Community as a Practice: Trajectory and Trends
Grow and Measure Your Community with Orbit
Grow and Measure Your Community with Orbit
Using Orbit to Communicate the Success of Great Events
Using Orbit to Communicate the Success of Great Events
Using the Orbit Model to Demonstrate Community Value
Using the Orbit Model to Demonstrate Community Value
Building a Beta Group or Champions Program in Orbit
Building a Beta Group or Champions Program in Orbit
Git it Right! Measuring What Matters in OSS Contribution
Git it Right! Measuring What Matters in OSS Contribution
Building Go-To-Community Strategy for your Pitch Deck
Building Go-To-Community Strategy for your Pitch Deck
How to Increase Participation in Your Community
How to Increase Participation in Your Community