We recently brought its customer community together for a live multi-day event focused on learning, networking, and product feedback. Being an online customer community software company, we were overwhelmed by the positive response of our customers to the in-person workshops. The feedback highlighted how important it is for B2B companies to combine live conferences and online customer communities to build strong customer relationships.
When companies put in their resources into planning, launching, and growing an online customer community, they can overlook the significance of live customer events. Though travel budgets are tight and social networks dominate the conversation, in-person conferences and workshops are still vital for B2B companies and user groups to keep customers engaged.
Here are three primary reasons:
Reason #1) Focus
With everything going on in your customers' businesses and offices, it can be hard for them to dedicate the time to your products on a regular basis. Live events and conferences provide the right mental and physical environment to think both strategically and tactically about how they can get more from your solutions.
Reason #2) Connections
Often times, people learn better through case-based examples. Meeting and networking with other users and partners helps customers look at products from different angles, get ideas, and solve problems.
Reason #3) Momentum
In-person customer summits give your company the ability to capitalize on the buzz and enthusiasm coming out of the conference for other initiatives, events, renewal campaigns, and brand advocacy in the market.
Online Community Takeaway
Online customer communities and live customer events should coexist and complement one another. For instance, questions, presentations, and interviews from live events make great content to drive customers back to your community for months to come. Many online customer community platforms also have integrated online community and event management features so that both the customer experience and the community management experience are seamless.