#EventProfs Community Is Live and Online 24/7/365

#EventProfs Community
The new #EventProfs Community, which launched in June, is an app- and web-based 24/7/365 community designed by event professionals, for event professionals looking for a home outside of the usual Facebook and LinkedIn groups.

Despite rumors to the contrary, it is possible to create an online community that has 24/7/365 engagement. The new #EventProfs Community, launched in June, is a case in point, according to its founder, Will Curran, Chief Event Einstein with Endless Events.

The time was right to launch this example of what such a community can look like, says Curran. “There’s been a perfect storm in the event industry,” he says. There’s an increasing distrust of social media, which for many has devolved into marketing noise and political rants. Then there’s investors in event industry platforms and technologies demanding more revenue in return for their investment, which means getting more clients and more events at a time when budgets are tightening. This makes turning a one-off event app into a year-round community — with year-round marketing opportunities baked in — an increasingly attractive idea.

Curran’s clients have been asking for an example of what a year-round community could look like, so he thought, “It’s the perfect time for planners to take the lead on this…I wanted to give people an example of what’s possible. So, basically, I built a community platform that could do all the things people say they want — hold events throughout the year, use push notifications, and do all the things an event app can do, but have the look and feel of a social network” only without all the baggage of a Facebook group or a Twitter hashtag community.

Built on the Hubilo platform, the #EventProfs Community is a private space where event professionals can exchange ideas, seek help for specific challenges, and connect with peers and colleagues. In addition to being a private, secure, non-social-media-based community, #EventProfs features exclusive webinars, podcasts, blogs, ebooks and planning resources in an AI-driven, searchable pre-recorded library. Members can engage however they want to engage, whether that’s through private messaging, friend requests, a social wall and audio rooms (similar to what you find on Clubhouse), and even some exclusive promotions such as software discounts and special event invites. “The idea is that, once you come in, this is your second professional home,” he says.

Event planners do have to apply to join — and the website warns that it may not be a good fit for those who aren’t actively planning events, because the community is only as strong as its members. The majority who have joined so far have between five and 20 years of experience planning meetings and events, Curran says. Once you apply, you’re put on a waitlist, but you can jump ahead in the line by referring others — the data shows this strategy has provided a lift of 34% in signups so far. A new cohort is accepted each month. Once you’re in, you can download the app, available on iOS and Android, as well as participate on the web.

The feedback so far, Curran says, has been really positive. People like that they don’t have to log into a social network to get into the community — no wading through cat memes on your way to meaningful professional exchanges — and the always-on nature is welcome. The supplier members also are respectful and refrain from spamming the planner members — there is a “self-promotion Friday” where everyone who wants to can tell people what it is they do, but otherwise, self-promotion isn’t allowed unless someone specifically asks for information on specific types of products or services. And, unlike with social media, where the fate of your data is murky at best, data privacy is a core value for the #EventProfs Community, Curran says.

There is still much to come for the #EventProfs Community, including a calendar of events where members can upload entries themselves, subgroups for specific topics, and ways to tag posts to specific topics so they’re easier to find. There also may be a fee at some point to help pay for the expenses involved, and Curran doesn’t want to have to rely on a sponsorship model to fund it on an ongoing basis. The immediate next step, of course, is for members of the #EventProfs Community to meet in person, something that may happen as soon as IMEX America this fall.

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