Peers Over Beers - Community Experts Podcast

In this episode Erica Moss, Principal Marketing Manager, Community, at HubSpot joins Peers Over Beers and talks about her new role at HubSpot. We also dive in and talk about events, industry communities and more.

Check out Erica's LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/ericamoss/
Erica Moss Twitter: https://twitter.com/ericajmoss

What is Peers Over Beers - Community Experts Podcast?

20 year Digital Experience and B2B Community Expert Michael Sandoval and 20 year Relationship Manager and B2B Community Strategist Chris Detzel are your hosts for this fun and straight shooting podcast for enterprise community managers and social media professionals. With their easy and natural inquisitive banter, your hosts will tackle hard issues facing community managers in their day-to-day struggles, and yes, over a beer. From starting new communities, digitally transforming enterprise culture, moderation, and globalization techniques are all up for discussion.

Chris Detzel: Here we go so welcome everyone to another peers over beers i'm Chris decile and I have a special guest Erica Moss Erica how are you why don't you do this introduce yourself title or you work all that kind of stuff is that fair.

Erica Moss: That sounds great Chris.

Erica Moss: um I am Erica Moss I am currently the principal marketing manager for Community at hubspot, which is a new role for me exciting times i'm sure we'll get into that a little bit later, but yeah i'm a Community nerd I eat sleep and breathe it and i'm excited for for our conversation today.

Chris Detzel: awesome wow you know that's a different role i've never I mean principal marketing manager of communities or whatever that's interesting I love it what.

Chris Detzel: What products product that title like.

Erica Moss: It was, it was a newer one for me as well, but I kind of like it, because it sort of speaks to the leveling up of Community right, you know we we kind of all started in this Community manager.

Erica Moss: role, but as we move into other parts of the business we become very strategic, I think it makes sense, so I think we've seen a lot of diversity and the roles that are popping up and community and for someone like me who's been in it for a while that is wildly exciting.

Chris Detzel: Is wildly excited what is what is um can you talk a little bit more about that role, and then kind of like what's so exciting about it because i'm intrigued.

Erica Moss: yeah I think what appealed to me initially about it is that it kind of felt like I could choose my own adventure in terms of like the projects that I could chase after when I was in it.

Erica Moss: So um we have like a few like buckets I guess that we were going to have me focus on so, for example, Academy.

Erica Moss: That is a huge focus at hubspot before I ever came to hubspot I heard about the Academy, and how.

Erica Moss: dynamic and wonderful these courses are and how many people were sort of like chasing those certifications right like.

Erica Moss: If you are an inbound if you're in marketing if you're in social media like having that little like feather in your CAP that hubspot certification meant a lot So how do we activate those folks, how do we keep those folks excited about academy and certifications.

Erica Moss: Throughout throughout their journey, and so I knew that was going to be a big part of the bucket but it's also about these other folks that we're trying to reach.

Erica Moss: Through hubspot right and you and I talked a little bit about kind of micro communities and meeting people where they are, but I think that's going to be a big part of this role as well.

Chris Detzel: yeah So when I say a few things because I think you know the way real to we have our Community setup today is a very.

Chris Detzel: You know product centric you know here's how you use the product here's what you do and I think that's a very important piece, and it goes very well with academy support and even key you know product specific you know.

Chris Detzel: So, and like that and i'm intrigued because i've been trying to work with our academy team in a big way or bigger way.

Chris Detzel: i'm a one person team at the moment, but you know that's gonna have to change if we want to do all this stuff, but I do think there's huge opportunity there and academy love that maybe we can dive into that a little.

Erica Moss: But that's your.

Chris Detzel: Well, the synergies right like I had allison boudreaux on I don't know if you know who she is but she's the calyx.

Erica Moss: Nice yeah.

Chris Detzel: yeah so she she leads both academy and community and they work together, you know and so there's a huge but there's just a huge connection there on those.

Chris Detzel: type of communities right, so I mean makes sense and then to, though, which is a little bit more intriguing just because i'm trying to embark on this journey.

Chris Detzel: Is kind of these micro communities that you're talking about and for me is there's kind of the business shift of thinking for me and even there's a huge appetite at real to to kind of think.

Chris Detzel: Bigger or differently when you think about.

Chris Detzel: Who, the Community really is when we think of Community to lead I think of you know, bringing people in that aren't necessarily using your product that we could.

Chris Detzel: But the topics that you cover within the Community could be more rather than talk about real to talk about the space, you know that may be real to is in like.

Chris Detzel: master data management or data governance or data quality or you know the data catalogs and now, people are setting these up what that looks like from scratch what that looks like, and you know what is this curious what kind of problems are you trying to solve.

Chris Detzel: With that and I, you know, one of the Rules that I started telling my leaders like the leaders and real to that are going to be in the space.

Chris Detzel: We start talking about it, the first rule of you know of our little journey here is not to talk about real to is to talk about the space that we play in.

Chris Detzel: But more along the lines of the problems and business outcomes that these customers have at the end of the day and that's.

Chris Detzel: Where I think the bigger opportunity is from a Community standpoint, not to say that that this you know technical Community isn't important because it's highly important to.

Chris Detzel: help with a bunch of stuff but also how do you get the bigger picture.

Chris Detzel: yeah.

Erica Moss: yeah I mean you're talking to the Queen of like community of product like obviously.

Erica Moss: The prior to hubspot I was at atlassian and that was the meat and potatoes right, like so many products ecosystem of humans who are interested in it.

Erica Moss: Very Q amp a based but then we started making that transition that evolution right and it doesn't happen overnight it doesn't happen because you've.

Erica Moss: published a few pieces of content, you know.

Erica Moss: it's long term, and so I think that's very much kind of our mindset at hubspot to to your point like How do we make it bigger than us and create a space where all the cool kids want to hang out, you know.

Chris Detzel: Absolutely um I think that you know when I start thinking about how to do that, and I want your take but i'll give you mine only to give you a chance to to react.

Chris Detzel: And then get your opinion, so the way i've kind of been thinking about this and we won't talk about academy today but.

Chris Detzel: Because I want to because i'm way more interested in this this topic, because you know I think it's probably a potential love that you're going to have to adopt in.

Chris Detzel: Probably want to go after.

Chris Detzel: Today we have a relative Executive Council which i'm ahead of right so it's.

Chris Detzel: Our leaders within like our cios there's some cto chief data officers VP of it VP you know.

Chris Detzel: And they really help kind of guide us with our roadmap and things like that i'm sure you guys have done that in the last year, and probably do that at hubspot, but I also want our Community space or online Community space that you know we talked about is.

Chris Detzel: When you start looking at the Executive Council, but you also look at influencers within the space and not just influencers but you know other companies that you know have chief data officers or cios or whatever.

Chris Detzel: there's an opportunity to really start kind of.

Chris Detzel: Getting those people engaged and involved right, you know you know it could be through.

Chris Detzel: webinar programs, you know, a webinar type program it could be, you know Q amp a webinar it could be podcasts it could be.

Chris Detzel: onsite kind of focus groups to 510 15 people, and you know you have a speaker come up and then guide the conversation so there's there's literally 10 different things that you can go do.

Chris Detzel: To do that, and then from that funnel is what I would do it's what i'm thinking about doing is.

Chris Detzel: funnel those programs can't do them all, but you know you pick one or two that you can really do well funnel that in cotton create content that helps you know helps with that so if it's Q amp a that's those are easy right, you know it's like.

Chris Detzel: You know you're talking to Chris gets all the moderator and then the CIO of whatever you know, and then you have all these questions boom, you can push that out onto nice little blog.

Chris Detzel: And then you can quit create quick hit videos that you know just says the question you know and makes it look pretty good podcast pushed it into podcast because a lot of shit that you can do.

Chris Detzel: At the end of day.

Chris Detzel: You know, to really start it's exactly what I do today, honestly, but.

Chris Detzel: But.

Chris Detzel: I do it on the technical Community like, why not do this shit at the higher level, you know what I mean like.

Chris Detzel: that's where it's going to also make a huge impact.

Chris Detzel: So that's my thinking any thoughts concerns.

Erica Moss: yeah when you said that the word like fly we'll just kind of popped into my brain and.

Erica Moss: I know that's kind of like a buzzword that a lot of different folks use for different.

Erica Moss: Situations but that's how it works that's how it builds like when I think of really great programs I think of the atlassian authors program which was created and built by Bridget sour my former.

Erica Moss: Colleague at atlassian who is brilliant and I love her, but it was so simple, but it was so brilliant so it's an author's program you have to hit a certain level in the Community to be invited into this, you know.

Erica Moss: sort of membership and then she would give a prompt every month, and sometimes the prompt had something to do with atlassian products, sometimes it didn't.

Erica Moss: But when you do that, you kind of open up the possibilities, you get folks thinking about things in different ways, she could then take the content that was being created by these folks.

Erica Moss: back to the product teams and say like hey, this is what we're hearing this is what folks are saying um.

Erica Moss: And yeah you just kind of like snowball it in that way and it like to your point just becomes all of these different types of content creates this feedback loop and makes everyone happy, you know it's it's really powerful.

Chris Detzel: yeah, I think, so I think that flywheel is the news for a long time, and I think that.

Chris Detzel: The first time I ever heard it was when I worked at Forrester research from George colony he's talking about this fly when I really didn't know what he was talking about the first and then, finally, I was like what is a flywheel.

Chris Detzel: Well it's the same that's really hard to move, but once you.

Chris Detzel: move in it.

Chris Detzel: Slowly but surely you know it starts to move, and then it starts to you.

Chris Detzel: know most people know what a flywheel is, but you know, I was just very naive and didn't read a lot.

Chris Detzel: Somebody had to explain it, I was.

Chris Detzel: always have to ask her about some these big words like what does that mean exactly never use that in a sentence.

Erica Moss: Totally fair totally.

Chris Detzel: Fair so.

Chris Detzel: Is that some of the things that you're thinking about like is I mean look you're really knew hubspot and so you know what do you feel like you know the potentials all over the place, so.

Chris Detzel: Yes, you've got to kind of hone in on that you know and focus in on you know something.

Erica Moss: What is that that's that's totally the challenge, right now, because there is so much runway there is so much possibilities so.

Erica Moss: You know I don't want to dive into 20 different projects that i'm not doing particularly well like I really want to see like.

Erica Moss: what's going to have the most impact and then sort of chase you know those three or four things so again academy is definitely one of those bright shiny.

Erica Moss: opportunities but we've got all these different you know humans who are in our Community right, and so I just want to really make sure that we're.

Erica Moss: meeting them where they are whether they're thinking about using hubspot have been loving it and using it for years or again folks who like have heard about hubspot think it's cool or whatever, but aren't necessarily using it.

Erica Moss: But want to be a part of something bigger you know the the thought leadership stuff that we were.

Erica Moss: Referring to so whether that is a amaze whether that is you know virtual events where we're kind of bringing folks together under like topic based.

Erica Moss: meetups and sessions, or what have you like that's what I kind of need to figure out like what that that special sauce is but um yeah that's why it's like terrifying and exciting to be in this role, right now, because the sky is really the limit.

Chris Detzel: You can do amazing.

Erica Moss: Things.

Chris Detzel: I really I really believe that I think you know your hands on it and figure it out, do you think.

Chris Detzel: And so we might get a little bit tactical here because.

Erica Moss: yeah.

Chris Detzel: You know, sometimes I think tactics really help people to go, what can I go do I, I have this event strategy or I have this whatever strategy.

Chris Detzel: Because you kind of look at.

Chris Detzel: Let me give you a little thing my CEO said the other day, and I think this will, can I have been saying this last couple episodes but love your take so we hadn't asked me anything with our cto and founder on the Community and.

Chris Detzel: All the questions came directly and it was live I love to do these things, live, because you know.

Chris Detzel: People to chance to engage but.

Chris Detzel: you're you get the questions beforehand, because promise get a live session like that, and nobody says anything you get your cto and founder on there, as I.

Chris Detzel: didn't say anything you know so yeah just make it and I did it, you know I sent out a message to everybody on the Community and probably at 20 plus.

Chris Detzel: questions in a lot, and then, once you start getting those questions going people will start, then it flows into the comments and everything else, and so.

Chris Detzel: So anyways we had maybe 105 or 10 people on the AMA and 60% of those were employees remember Look, we have a lot of new employees that are.

Chris Detzel: very interested in what money, she has to say, because he is the thought leader, of all things and.

Chris Detzel: Data management mess, you know.

Chris Detzel: But you know 50 or so those were customers partners and prospects and so no sauce so my CEO he was like hey Chris how many people were on there and versus you know how many our employees and stuff like that and I told him, so I said it's this mix, and you know it's pretty good yes.

Chris Detzel: yeah you bet he goes, I see that differently.

Chris Detzel: Of course you do.

Chris Detzel: Because it's a good he gets he gets you thinking right like it's it's more of it's too many employees right and because community should be a marketing machine right and it should be having hundreds of events and thousands of non employees showing up to these events, so I was like.

Chris Detzel: All right.

Erica Moss: OK OK.

Erica Moss: So.

Chris Detzel: The thought was so I got a call with them that I had this week, actually, and I said hey.

Chris Detzel: i'm not sure how to do that so help me, you know that's the fun of it, Chris you know that that's kind of the fun of.

Chris Detzel: You know, not knowing how to do something, because you need to think so you're really good at you know the things that you know and pushing and getting it done it was a love that about you, but.

Chris Detzel: How do you think outside the box, you know and how do you think outside of the things that you're not used to doing you know and and I think that's what he wants but.

Chris Detzel: It got me thinking about it is more the tactical things and where do you go first, if you think of events right like it's certainly for me that i'm really good at is you know virtual webinars.

Erica Moss: You know or.

Chris Detzel: or whatever so that's going to be one, but you know when you when you start looking at atlassian or you start looking at even like if you don't see amex in.

Chris Detzel: These folks have done a really good job of just.

Chris Detzel: giving them the the giving their users, the this kind of access, if you will.

Chris Detzel: allow them to go out and do.

Chris Detzel: Events on their behalf right and i'm like I want to go do that, how do I do that.

Chris Detzel: Like how do I get people to have events on real to his behalf, and that I don't have to be at every event i'll go to some of them, you know just to kind of get it going and things like that, but any thoughts.

Chris Detzel: on how.

Chris Detzel: You know, like, how do you build something like that, because I.

Chris Detzel: do think there's a.

Chris Detzel: Key and opportunity there.

Erica Moss: How much time do we have like.

Erica Moss: That was, you know kind of the bread and butter of what I did at atlassian and we were very privileged in that.

Erica Moss: Our events program kind of started organically, where we just had atlassian enthusiasts, you know meeting in Virginia, just to talk about best practices and to talk about our products and so.

Erica Moss: Eventually, we got smart and we're like we should probably harness this give these folks some resources give these folks some attention.

Erica Moss: um you know, internally and so that's when you see us kind of wrap a lot of process and whatnot around that program but.

Erica Moss: it's not easy, because these folks are committing to doing these things outside of their nine to five, and when you're living in a global pandemic, you have so many competing priorities.

Erica Moss: So many other things that you could be doing with your time like as a community leader as someone who is you know wrangling and helping these folks you want to.

Erica Moss: kind of do a delicate dance between providing them support, but like not asking too much of them.

Erica Moss: And so we always kind of tried to strike that balance and make sure that sort of the perks and rewards that we were throwing their way like reflected the value.

Erica Moss: That they were bringing because you know to your point they are in the wild there championing your brand doing all of this work, on your behalf, so like.

Erica Moss: What can we do to kind of to kind of make it worth their while and.

Erica Moss: I think you start you know with your biggest champions, I think you look at your customer base and say okay who's super extroverted who's already you know sort of sounding the Horn, for us, and would this be a good fit for them would they.

Erica Moss: glean any value out of that and.

Erica Moss: You know, like I said, make sure you've got a lot of support systems in place like you got to hand them the content, you got to give them some type of.

Erica Moss: roadmap, or like place to start with these things, because if you just say like hey we want you to be an events leader like have fun with it.

Erica Moss: Like I don't know I don't know the outcome is going to be exactly.

Chris Detzel: it's kind of a process like are you talking about like.

Chris Detzel: All right, so we want you to become this events leader, for us, you know and.

Chris Detzel: yeah here's here's what we need you, for you to do is like step one you know invite your friends step tam you know.

Chris Detzel: will help with the place or you know you can pick a place, maybe it's your whatever step three is you want to make sure you have dinner or lunch or whatever, will help sponsor that will give you some swag.

Chris Detzel: And then you know is that what you mean like by putting that process, and you know, spelling it out the same here, are you in.

Erica Moss: 100% what I mean and a big chunk of sort of that like resource that toolkit.

Erica Moss: i'm at atlassian was providing speakers from our internal teams and sort of you know me as the ambassador program manager.

Erica Moss: Being like the liaison there, so if someone comes to me and they're like hey I think my Members really want to learn a little bit more about.

Erica Moss: templates in confluence like who do you have on your side that is really energetic you know, is a product expert and can kind of speak to those.

Erica Moss: nuances in the product and so that was a way that we helped folks keep content very fresh and dynamic and some of these events, but.

Erica Moss: The pivot to virtual events, when you are used to a very like healthy in person program was not an easy thing, and I think even when I left atlassian we were still trying to figure out what that looks like because you can't just necessarily take something that used to happen in person.

Erica Moss: and put it in a zoom and expect to have it feel as magical or as impactful and so.

Chris Detzel: it's just.

Erica Moss: It was kind of a moving target it's.

Erica Moss: really difficult yeah.

Like.

Chris Detzel: And I could be wrong because there's a lot of different types of virtual events you can do as you know, you know better than I do right, but I could promise you that because that's what you live.

Chris Detzel: But you know, to me, the most effective virtual events have been more of the you know this so again this technical community is we'll go deep in this product will do these things this things live So if you have any questions just up mom krista will moderate it.

Chris Detzel: Last that speaker.

Chris Detzel: Those questions and things like that it doesn't necessarily have to be somebody from the company, but it needs to be somebody right like better if it's actually a customer or something but.

Chris Detzel: You know, and when I hear you say, well, you could also do you know just virtual meetups you know which.

Chris Detzel: Really, which I think it's done right, those are kind of good you know, but I can do my own virtual meetup these days.

Chris Detzel: I don't need.

Chris Detzel: A last one or girl to you know just don't.

Chris Detzel: You know that's a little harder, you know, I think, to do, not to say I wouldn't do something like that, but you know it's you might get five or seven people which might be enough.

You know it's okay yeah.

Chris Detzel: And then, when I think of onsite events I love that night because that's what my thinking was when I was at Forrester research.

Chris Detzel: What I used to do was it was kind of Nice because we're having an analyst that was super smart, so I just picked the smart analysts that I knew that covered a particular topic.

Chris Detzel: You know, and say Michelle let's uh let's go see these 10 clients in two days will fly to sacramento will fly to whatever will also have a.

Chris Detzel: lunch and learn steak dinner, you know, for all these people 510 people show up you know and boom boom boom boom I get that but you know which I get tire you know, a kid.

Chris Detzel: But that was effective, but then, how do you turn that more into you want you to do some of that getting those people to do that shit you know customers and stuff like that.

Erica Moss: I don't know.

Chris Detzel: I mean that's what it sounds like you sort of did some degree.

Erica Moss: yeah yeah and you know, like I said it's so challenging to maintain that innovation and maintain that creativity, what I will say.

Erica Moss: the beauty of virtual events is that it sort of democratized who could attend what events so before if we were holding an in person meeting at the you know Denver.

Erica Moss: With the Denver crew that meant only folks in Denver could show up if they were interested in that topic, but you take that virtual and it's like okay this events happening in Denver, but i'm in New York, but like I really want to hear that.

Erica Moss: i'm product experts speak or whatever, so I can just log in because it's you know friendly time zone.

Erica Moss: And so we did start to see a lot of like kind of cross pollination um in a way that we had never seen before, which was a wonderful knowledge sharing you know type exercise so that that was definitely a positive that came out of out of the situation.

Chris Detzel: I feel like events are starting to open up you know people are starting I mean I think i've seen four or five of them just in the last.

Chris Detzel: That aren't virtual just in the last you know couple of months so that's a positive thing, so I think we'll get started doing so that i'm going to try to start maybe in September or August, can we do anything but.

Chris Detzel: Certainly September would be.

Chris Detzel: ideal is to do two or three events that are just focused on a small group of five or 10 people but.

Chris Detzel: you're right, I mean if you have an expert doing doing, I mean now they have access, the way I kind of look at it today and.

Chris Detzel: You know, when I was when I first got here, nobody had access to the product managers, nobody had access to the pstn nobody had access to you know these really smart people that knew that product inside and out, you know and Community made that happen.

Chris Detzel: At the end of the day, like we had over 42 webinars in the last in one year, which is, I did every single one of them right, you know and so.

Chris Detzel: And we went deep mostly into the product, we had somebody asked me anything's with our cto and.

Chris Detzel: funny enough, is my last webinar I did with the product manager it just turned into an AMA like this is.

Literally.

Chris Detzel: They want to go deep, but then they're like have all these questions about this core piece of the product, and I was like.

Chris Detzel: scrape I mean some of the answers we didn't have all the answers, but it was like I mean this is great I just start feeding community that like I pushed the content back out, you know, like.

Chris Detzel: Oh yeah.

Chris Detzel: You know just you know, over time, you know you know that goes with the but i'm curious to kind of.

Chris Detzel: get your thoughts around the the onsite stuff you know because I feel like.

Chris Detzel: The virtual is here to stay forever, you know just got to be some kind of that and because, because the access and things so there's that which I like Sam mastered, but I feel like you know i've got a handle on that, but the other stuff that you know people do want to meet.

Chris Detzel: People do want to have these things, and so, what do you start there, what do you do I mean maybe you guys are already doing so that are thinking about it already but.

Erica Moss: yeah it's you know hybrid is the name of the game, right now, I think we saw that I was kind of exiting it last year and, as they were getting ready to host their big user conference called team.

Erica Moss: And it was kind of the best of both worlds right, so we had kind of limited capacity in person, you know in Vegas for those folks who have been.

Erica Moss: chomping at the bit for the past, you know, two years or so, to really meet you know their peers and their fellow leaders in person, and so we had that experience for them.

Erica Moss: I saw the pictures that look like it went swimmingly, so I think everyone had a great time but then, in tandem with that you have kind of the digital programming, so you can get the keynotes online.

Erica Moss: For our leaders who were like kind of our ambassadors are you know atlassian champions, we had some very specific.

Erica Moss: content and programming that we were planning for them the week after team, so a lot of our folks in a MIA and a pack they like.

Erica Moss: couldn't you know make make the trip to Vegas but that doesn't mean that we should leave them.

Erica Moss: You know, high and dry like sorry, you know best of luck to you like know want to still create a personalized tailored experience for you, and so that was kind of you know, obviously a learning process, as we were.

Erica Moss: Building that and that programming was a combination of like to our to what we've been talking about here like very specific product stuff but some of it was just pure networking.

Erica Moss: i'm a digital escape room just stuff that's kind of like building blocks for them to maybe be in the room, with folks that they haven't been privy to or had access to or hadn't had a chance to meet.

Erica Moss: And so that's what I think we're doing right now kind of in tandem, I think inbound for hubspot is going to take kind of a similar hybrid approach so it's fascinating to watch right it's a very interesting time.

Erica Moss: To be doing what we're doing, especially if you touch you know events in any way.

Chris Detzel: You have to like when we do a big event i'm going to be the Center and focus on getting that together, which.

Chris Detzel: You know i'm not the most organized person so they'll have to be some wise people behind me.

Chris Detzel: To really kind of build the processes and everything else, I mean it's going to be a team thing right, you know it's not going to just be me but.

Erica Moss: it's an all hands on deck thing it's yeah every everyone in a room and what atlassian to was doing was kind of experimenting with regional events so again, maybe you can't go to Vegas.

Erica Moss: But let's get the New York chapter, you know, in a room let's you know stream the keynote let's have a couple of speakers.

Erica Moss: And you still kind of like maintain that momentum and keep that sense of community, even if you can't go to the big you know in person celebration, so that that was cool to see as well.

Chris Detzel: How do you kind of manage so if you're doing these regional events, I mean, how do you these people have day jobs that they had to go do internally like and so, how do you manage that and just say hey dude.

Chris Detzel: that's what we're doing for the next.

Chris Detzel: Two months.

Chris Detzel: or weeks, whatever it is.

Erica Moss: It was a behemoth but much like everything.

Erica Moss: That touch Community at atlassian we co created everything with our leaders and so when that idea kind of like first came to pass We brought the chapter leaders in like from the jump and we were like this is what we're thinking.

Erica Moss: Does this make sense for you, does this make sense for your chapter here's kind of like the resources that we can bring to the table.

Erica Moss: And a lot of the onus was on us to kind of work through the programming, you know booking the venue making sure the tech was where it needed to be in all of that, but.

Erica Moss: bringing them along for the ride and making sure that you know it's a structure and a framework that's even going to work, for you know these individual chapters was was paramount to to its success for sure.

Chris Detzel: When you think let's think of internal resources that it takes, you know to do these so if you're getting and those kind of people, you know to do this, I mean again they have day jobs.

Chris Detzel: That you know in there and it takes a lot of time obviously from you and then others to really it is so I think events have to be a key kind of strategic focus, you know that is for the company, especially something someone as big as the last one.

yeah.

Chris Detzel: But there are more resources, I assume.

Chris Detzel: Everybody has.

Chris Detzel: You know issues with resources right, and you know it's just it doesn't matter how big company or.

Chris Detzel: What what was that, how is that, like, I mean people just cannot assume all right well you know that's what I gotta do for the next two months is all this stuff.

Chris Detzel: And then somebody's gonna be managing it buys seems like Eric is going to be like I can't have this person doing this oh my God this things happening on I mean i'm sure there's some crazy stories.

Erica Moss: I mean elba.

Erica Moss: yeah crazy stories for sure atlassian has a wonderful events team.

Erica Moss: That obviously like their entire.

Erica Moss: You know, North star is team, and you know, setting up these regional events.

Erica Moss: For success, but there was like I said, certainly some some onus on members of the community team to you know put this thing together and it.

Erica Moss: If you know anything about event planning, you have to be really obsessed with the details, you know you have to be on top of deadlines.

Erica Moss: You know, to your point kind of wrangling those internal teammates and making sure that they see the value in it, I will say on the whole all internal folks at atlassian like well, not all I guess I can't speak for all of them, but many of them see the value in community.

Erica Moss: You know they love meeting folks face to face, who are in these tools.

Erica Moss: You know, every single day because customer feedback was was just paramount and so community is obviously one of the best levers for that.

Chris Detzel: Oh.

Erica Moss: We didn't we didn't have to twist many arms to get folks to.

Erica Moss: participate virtually or you know, like I said at these regional events like they were they were always really wonderful about that, but that's.

Erica Moss: You know, an evergreen process, you know being internal folks about why that's exciting why they should care, and you know, obviously, some are going to be more along for the ride than others, but that's that's on us to make sure we we explain that.

Chris Detzel: What did I miss anything I missed around kind of this thought leadership events kind of stuff that you wanted to talk about.

Erica Moss: Oh gosh um I will say that it was really wonderful and fun to watch atlassian specifically our leaders sort of rise to the occasion.

Erica Moss: and get creative when it came to formats for these types of events, the type of humans, that they were bringing in as like speakers.

Erica Moss: For example, Fabian one of my very beloved leaders that I used to work very closely with.

Erica Moss: He brought in, like a celebrity chef for one of his sessions, and she taught folks how to make this you know wonderful dessert platter.

Erica Moss: And that doesn't that format doesn't work for every chapter right like I had kind of mentioned that to our New York Chapter I was like oh fabians over here doing this and they're like.

Erica Moss: That sounds lovely that that like doesn't translate for us like our folks are very technical and they want to show up and hear from someone.

Erica Moss: You know added last year, they want to know how to like level up, and so I don't know it was just really wonderful to see that creativity and that innovation, and I think that will obviously continue moving forward until we figure out what the silver bullet for this.

Chris Detzel: event they're really.

Chris Detzel: Ever super.

Chris Detzel: Powerful I don't know but.

Chris Detzel: Well that's it, so I am the chapters are just kind of these regional areas that would do virtual events, but sometimes on site that would go been met so many on site.

Chris Detzel: So he brought in to one of these chapters a virtual chef that taught them how to cook some stuff now did y'all send out all the ingredients and all that stuff to these people are having that work.

Erica Moss: that's a part of it, too, is certainly like in advance of the meeting, like are we sending the folks you know the supplies they need to actually like recreate this at home and so that's when budgets certainly comes into.

Erica Moss: play when we were in person, we always give folks a budget per person anyway and.

Erica Moss: So, in a virtual setting if you want to be creative and use that for a celebrity chef and their time and you know sending out ingredients to folks like.

Erica Moss: Her we were happy to pivot and be nimble you know right along with them so that's kind of how that played out.

yeah.

Chris Detzel: I need somebody like that in my company, so I can do some of this.

Chris Detzel: sounds fun that sounds like you know there's a lot of stickiness to that right, you know when you think of a company kind of putting on these events hosting these events and making it fun for.

Chris Detzel: Your Members, you know of the community of users and and I love it sounds like you did an amazing job there.

Erica Moss: I mean, we had a lot of fun along the way it was certainly not without its challenges, obviously, you know pre pandemic, a lot of folks we're seeing huge numbers at these in person events right they're.

Erica Moss: Seeing 50 folks who are showing up for the pizza and the beer and the networking.

Erica Moss: But then when you kind of like remove that layer you know, in a virtual world.

Erica Moss: I would see our leaders getting very frustrated they're like you know.

Erica Moss: We used to have 50 folks.

Erica Moss: But now, maybe it's more like 20 and you know I think you mentioned this earlier, there is a lot of power in.

Erica Moss: Those, like more intimate gatherings right, you can really get into the nitty gritty get into the weeds of stuff.

Erica Moss: In a way, that maybe you weren't able to when it was you know so so big and massive and so.

Erica Moss: That was, I think, part of our coaching with them, where I think they were worried that we were worried that maybe fewer humans were showing up but it's that's not really what it's about really it's about you know, making those connections.

Erica Moss: and keeping.

Erica Moss: The agent excited you know.

Chris Detzel: numbers are always kind of you know, good hey we had a lot of people great you know, but what.

Chris Detzel: What kind of intimacy is there with 80 people you know it's a tough one right, you know.

Chris Detzel: So.

Chris Detzel: i'm not saying numbers aren't important but sometimes a gathering of 15 people 20.

Chris Detzel: You know, is good because or even less you know 10 people 15.

Chris Detzel: Because there's more of that you know bond and relationship that you can start building yeah you want to just kind of hurry this up, and we want all we want hundreds of people and we got to thinking about you know our company or whatever.

Chris Detzel: yeah how did you last thing, because I think it's important because.

Chris Detzel: In my mind is.

Chris Detzel: All these events, all these whether it's on site chapter or virtual chapter kind of events we generalize or onsite or whatever what what's kind of the key.

Chris Detzel: You know metric metrics that you look at obviously numbers support and okay got that one check, but is there anything else that you kind of looked at to say hey This gives us Roi did you look at Leeds then you'd send leaves email I don't know how does that work.

Erica Moss: yeah I will say we weren't looking specifically at like leads from these events I.

Chris Detzel: Think.

Erica Moss: We do like to see is you know, are the same folks showing up to these events, or are we seeing new faces, you know that's kind of how you continue to build.

Erica Moss: Momentum around these programs is like you know I told my colleague about it because I had such a great time and you know now there are regular so.

Erica Moss: um I think both like retention, just like folks coming back, but are there, new faces in the fold, and I think, also in a virtual.

Erica Moss: world we kind of saw a ramp up on the number of events that these chapters were able to hold right, because when you're in person, you have to book a venue you have to you know get catering, you have to.

Erica Moss: You know, make sure your speakers are showing up on time, you know and what have you in a virtual world there's a lot, you know it's a lot lighter lift you just.

Erica Moss: have to make sure you have the zoom you know you want to prep your speakers and get any swag codes in advance and stuff like that, but.

Erica Moss: A lot less overhead a lot less um you know yeah just being in the weeds of that kind of stuff, and so we saw a lot of chapters that ramped up just in the sheer like volume of events which was.

Erica Moss: wonderful to see but um yeah we definitely saw an uptick there and then like I said, we were looking at, are we getting new faces, you know, are we growing the program you know reaching new eyeballs that kind of thing.

Chris Detzel: So retention is key, new faces, which is kind of like expansion.

Erica Moss: yeah totally.

Chris Detzel: So, but I do think that's a key thing I like that is how do you, you know what the same people coming over and over to some of these events, which is key, because you know that they're one.

Chris Detzel: Probably your advocates of you know, the product to is you know their people persons, but you know, three is is that they're the ones that could potentially expand their licenses or their.

Chris Detzel: You know footprint within the business and everything else, and things like that, so you know that would be something I would keep an eye on you know if I was the leader is like all right, well, what is the renewal now.

Chris Detzel: Or what is what is there, how much they pay now what's the renewal later, you know, can we at least see Community events community has influenced that.

Chris Detzel: reload you know.

Chris Detzel: So, you know that those are the kind of things I would kind of try to push for you know it's hard to the beginning for any Community it's really hard to me to.

Chris Detzel: You know one, how do we connect business systems together from Community, how do we connect you know.

Chris Detzel: You know, when you think of marketing what they care about is new pipeline and so they're looking at all these digital events that are going on these digital activities that are going on, and you know.

Chris Detzel: How do I do the same with Community right, you know how do I do, that same digital kind of stuff connecting to say hey we're expand the pipeline, but he's cute he had a huge influence hey we're.

Chris Detzel: You know customers buy more because they attended all these events and did all these things you know we could at least prove that there's a huge influence that Community right now is not necessarily a you know.

Chris Detzel: The reason, because it could be.

Chris Detzel: A multi touch reasons that you know it happens, you know, but those you start getting into those kind of things, then community is going to live on forever.

Erica Moss: You know I mean.

Chris Detzel: that's that's kind of what's a golden goose but that's what we should aspire to do is just make sure that.

Chris Detzel: We can build dashboards to show that we're affecting either leads pipeline expansion all those things, I think all those things you said, are important.

Chris Detzel: But again, as we had this first conversation at the very beginning is people don't you don't have a Community just to hang out with people you know it's not the there's a business reason.

Chris Detzel: And, and we have to as community leaders, in my opinion.

Chris Detzel: Make sure we connect some of those really outcome business outcomes to our business into Community so that we can stay successful it's not easy, I promise you, I have a long ways to go myself but.

Chris Detzel: I think it's important to keep that in mind, and try to focus in on that you know.

Erica Moss: totally agree totally agree.

Chris Detzel: Erica this has been great I really appreciate.

Erica Moss: Every time.

Chris Detzel: I did, I mean I always have a great time and.

Chris Detzel: You know it's you know I think I said this in the beginning, if I didn't say it, you know, on the on the episode, I did say up on the pre show is you know I missed the first time, you and I had the opportunity to speak.

Chris Detzel: yeah you know I see in the Community space, I see on Twitter, I see only then, I see you speaking at certain things, but you know we've never spoken, and you know when I reached out to I was like she might even just ignore this I don't know.

Chris Detzel: So.

Erica Moss: No.

Chris Detzel: I don't know.

Chris Detzel: You don't know what.

Chris Detzel: People just either don't look like Dan or maybe you don't you don't know what they do you know, and so I appreciate you come on this and really good, and you know my goal is to have you on again.

Chris Detzel: A number of times and, by the way you did say that you know Elizabeth pretty well kinsey so she's director slack cuties so right.

Erica Moss: queen Queen Elizabeth she is yes, making moves over at slack yes.

Chris Detzel: She is, and I saw her at the well, I know I think she's at some event or something on thought I saw it on Twitter I don't know but we'll have to talk about that later.

Chris Detzel: But maybe we'll have the three of us on at some point, since you're already friends and i'm sure the conversations just going to go splendid.

Erica Moss: Sure, I think that would be a great idea.

Chris Detzel: All right, well.

Erica Moss: You got saying yes for her.

Chris Detzel: texture right after this.

Chris Detzel: and say.

Chris Detzel: hey we're on the decimals podcast here so well as Erica of sound was Elizabeth cheese.

Chris Detzel: Eric it's been really good to have you on the show, so thank you so much, my name is Chris Seattle, thank you for coming over for another peers over beers and.

Chris Detzel: You can say your name.

Erica Moss: Erica Moss thanks y'all.

Chris Detzel: Thank you.