CommBuild

last person joined: 19 days ago 

Focused on building and sustaining online and offline communities for nonprofits and other mission-driven organizations. The CommBuild group is focused on building and sustaining online and offline communities for nonprofits and other mission-driven organizations. Anyone interested in community building, whether you are formally in a community management job or not, is welcome to join the group.

Conference buddy programs

  • 1.  Conference buddy programs

    Posted Nov 08, 2017 12:05
    Hi all,

    I got to chat with the fab @BJ Wishinsky, @James Porter, @Elizabeth Neal, @Mandy Valentine​​​​​​​, and @Heather Martin of the18NTC Community Committee yesterday and the idea of conference buddies came up.

    The suggestion is that we can recruit folks who have attended at least one NTC for an informal volunteer position as a buddy for newbies (and those who appreciate meeting people in smaller groups :points at self:). Newbies would opt in for a buddy. Then from NTEN's side, we would intro the buddies and newbies via email. We might check in once before the conference as well as follow-up after for evaluation purposes. But it should be mostly hands-off from our side.

    The pairs would then meet up the day before the conference or during registration or sometime early. The newbie would at least know one person as the conference starts and can learn the ropes from someone more experience.

    Buddies wouldn't need to identify themselves as an nptech or NTEN expert to participate, therefore we'd open up the opportunity to for more folks to participate. Plus they'd have an opportunity to participate in the community without a large or long-term commitment.

    Thoughts on this? Has anyone participated in this sort of thing before? Tried this at events? Looking forward to exploring this more!

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    Bethany Lister
    Community Engagement Manager
    Nonprofit Technology Network
    bethany@nten.org
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    2020 Nonprofit Technology Conference Logo  w/ Baltimore Skyline


  • 2.  RE: Conference buddy programs

    Posted Nov 09, 2017 08:13
    I haven't heard of anything like this outright being organized, but love the idea. As a veteran of NTC, I'd be happy to join as part of this if y'all coordinate it.

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    Tim Sarrantonio
    Director of Business Development
    NeonCRM
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  • 3.  RE: Conference buddy programs

    Posted Nov 09, 2017 09:57
    Yes, I belong to another professional organization where this practice has been in place for years. I first attended their conference in 2003, and I am still friend with my "buddy."

    The program mostly works. Sometimes you hear about assignments that don't work, but for the most part, it is an incredibly positive way to enter a community and feel welcome in what can be a large room of distant strangers.

    Also, a great way to put the "Pac-Man Rule" into practice!

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    Larry Glickman
    Director Network Engagement and Collaboration
    Union for Reform Judaism
    New York, NY
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  • 4.  RE: Conference buddy programs

    Posted Nov 09, 2017 10:10
    @Larry Glickman, can you share any of project plans around it? How were matches made?​

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    Bethany Lister
    Community Engagement Manager
    Nonprofit Technology Network
    bethany@nten.org
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    2020 Nonprofit Technology Conference Logo  w/ Baltimore Skyline


  • 5.  RE: Conference buddy programs

    Posted Nov 09, 2017 18:14
    It's been a while, and I am no longer involved in the leadership of the organization. But, here is what I do remember:

    1. Announcements were made several months before the conference looking for people to be "buddies" to the first timers.
    2. During the registration process, people were asked of they were attending for the first time, and if so, would they like to be assigned a buddy.
    3. Assignments were often made on gender (men with men, women with women) and general region (I'm based in Chicago, and I was paired with someone from St. Louis).
    4. Buddies were encouraged to call their first timer in the weeks leading up to the conference to say hello.
    5. The first day of the conference, there was a "First Timer" reception. First timers attended with their buddies, and organizational leadership.
    6. Buddies were encouraged to invite first timers out with the to dinner, attend workshops, etc.

    Hopefully, friendships would be made. I did this a couple of times. Sometimes it worked out, sometimes it didn't. Overall though, I think it is a very positive program.

    I think that was about it...hope this is helpful.

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    Larry Glickman
    Director Network Engagement and Collaboration
    Union for Reform Judaism
    New York, NY
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    2020 Nonprofit Technology Conference Logo  w/ Baltimore Skyline


  • 6.  RE: Conference buddy programs

    Posted Nov 14, 2017 18:21
    ​I'm in -- will there be a special pin - LOL!

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    Tara Collins
    Director of Communication & Resource Development, RUPCO
    Kingston, NY
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  • 7.  RE: Conference buddy programs

    Posted Nov 15, 2017 09:17
    Brilliant! There absolutely should be a pin.

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    Larry Glickman
    Director Network Engagement and Collaboration
    Union for Reform Judaism
    New York, NY
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    2020 Nonprofit Technology Conference Logo  w/ Baltimore Skyline