Editor's note: Anne-Margaret, online community manager for the American Association for Clinical Chemistry (AACC), shares her perspective on Super Forum 2019.
There are so many great reasons for why I go to Higher Logic’s annual conference, Super Forum. One of my favorite aspects is the networking.
Super Forum brings together over 700 people every year to hear about upcoming product updates, learn best practices from other Higher Logic users, listen to motivational industry speakers, and my favorite – network. With so many Higher Logic users in one place, this is a great opportunity to learn from others.
There are two big groups I love connecting with at Super Forum: Higher Logic staff and other Higher Logic community managers.
Connect with Higher Logic Staff
My first contact upon entering Super Forum is always the Higher Logic staff. The Orange Army’s colorful attire (so much orange!) makes it easy to find the staff whenever I need assistance.
Throughout the year, as a community manager, I reach out to Higher Logic to learn from their webinars, seek assistance from the support team, and get feedback and suggestions from the Higher Logic community managers on Higher Logic Users Group (HUG). It’s so nice to put a face to a name after working online together throughout the year.
Meet Other Community Managers
Most organizations only have one person assigned to work on community management, so it can sometimes feel like there’s no one to turn to in your organization. Once you learn there is an entire community just waiting for you in HUG, you realize you’re not alone. Even better? Meeting up with all those people at Super Forum!
Super Forum is huge event with many different attendees. I met CEOs who were looking to start an online community for their organization. I sat with technology people, like database maintenance and user experience professionals, association membership staff managing marketing automation at their organization, and my favorite, community managers.
Here are a couple ways I got to network with other community managers:
Not only did I learn more about how to use my Higher Logic products successfully at Super Forum, but I also learned how other companies and associations use online communities for their customers or members.
For example, who owns your online community? It fascinates me to learn where, in an association, the online community manager sits. Are they in communications and marketing, membership, technology, or another department all together? I so enjoyed the fascinating conversations that followed regarding the benefits of having the community in these different departments.
New this year, Shannon Emery, the HUG Community Manager, created a HUG In-Real-Life (IRL) booth. This was a great opportunity to meet Shannon and spot fellow HUG members who came to say hello.
This is just a small taste of what you learn from informal conversations at Super Forum. (And if you’re a Higher Logic customer, you can continue them in the Super Forum community in HUG.)
And then there are the formal conversations, where speakers share lessons learned with both the community and marketing automation products, strategy tips, and everything in between. The different breakout sessions are a great opportunity to meet and learn, not only from the speakers, but also from the fellow attendees. It was a great place to meet community mangers and other Higher Logic users.
Everyone in the breakout rooms was interested in the same topic. It was fascinating to hear how others were implementing similar techniques in their online communities – what worked and changes they would make if they were doing it again.
Meeting HUG Friends in Real Life
To me, Super Forum is like a big homecoming event, and this year was no different.
I spend all year communicating with fellow Higher Logic users on HUG, and Super Forum gives me the opportunity to meet all of my online friends in real life all at the same time. It’s a place to discover, learn, and build connections.
See you next year? Save the date for Higher Logic’s Super Forum 2020: September 20 – 22. (Stay tuned for early bird registration!)