Preet Singh is a community founder and online event organizer. He runs the DesignX community and has founded multiple conferences both online and offline.
Most of the budget spent on conferences isn't returned. The content isn't why people go to conferences. They're a moral booster and a networking opportunity.
Speakers are the hook, community is what keeps people coming back.
In-person conferences are still more profitable (for DesignX), mostly because they're charging less for tickets. Even though there are less costs.
Sponsors also are able to justify a higher-budget for the in-person conferences. The idea that they get a physical booth makes it easier to sell that higher price point.
When building a community, improve constantly. Focus on values. Axe people or aspects of the community that don't fit those values or goals.
Day 1 of starting a new community: identify what unites the community. To build a room you need the walls and a door. Some kind of constraint. Go as niche as possible, you can always go broad later. Find out how people are already connecting. It's not that different than building a Saas company, but it's a longer-term value play.
Start with an event. Not every group needs a Slack group. Start with a one time thing and grow from there.
Don't be afraid of collaborations and existing communities. See if there's some way you can work together with them to build your own unique vision. You can go farther together.
Start with great content when creating a conference. Make sure the speakers are great. Have a good delivery mechanism. Allow time for natural interactions. Optimize for authenticity. People are more forgiving of live-events, the flaws make it interesting and authentic.
Community building is an art not a science. Lean in to your own personal style.
Takeaways for virtual conference organizers:
- Get big name and interesting speakers to draw people in
- Create a sense of community to keep people coming back
- Address sponsorship concerns to get a higher price-point, why do they want a physical booth? How can you deliver that same value?
+ Point out the money they save on hotel and flight
+ Guarantee a similar number of one on one interactions with conference-goers
Connect with Preet and the DesignX community:
Connect with Indie Worldwide:
Anthony on Twitter: https://twitter.com/AnthonyCastrio
Q&A w/ Preet Singh from the Design X Community
03:30 Going Virtual
06:50 Why do people pay for conferences
09:40 User psychology of conference-goers
12:02 Which is more profitable: virtual or in-person?
15:30 What makes a community worth joining?
18:11 How to bootstrap a community from scratch
21:30 Grow faster with collaborations
29:35 There's no rules, do what makes sense for your group
34:22 How to host a great conference
40:25 Closing remarks