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When collective platforms make sense!

This post is written as part of the launch of a series of Free Webinars organized by Campus Fanslab in collaboration with our engagement experts. The mission of the Fanslab Bootcamp is to help event organizers and managers of networked organizations define themselves as leaders of change, and to guide them in building resilient strategies to build communities that generate more value.

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A fundamental observation is that people live together in order to exchange, learn, contribute and, ultimately, accomplish collectively what could not be done individually. Physical gatherings are often the main engine for creating meaningful connections within communities.

 

In Quebec, organizations, in collaboration with dozens, if not hundreds of partners, are dedicated to organizing gatherings of individuals, professionals, and enthusiasts, with the goal of creating these opportunities for spatial and temporal proximity to mobilize as a group towards a common mission – that of significant human value to the community.

 

In a climate of unprecedented uncertainty, community managers and event organizers must suddenly assume a more strategic role and rethink community beyond physical boundaries, at a time when the power of collaboration and sharing becomes more essential than ever.

 

Virtual collaboration, a trend already on the rise

As the world is “put on hold”, virtual solutions that allow teams to continue working and interacting together, decision makers to continue making decisions, and organizations to continue moving towards their respective missions are suddenly becoming the great heroes of the crisis, highlighting a trend that was already on the rise: that of building smarter communities that are better supported by digital technologies.

 

In recent weeks, we have heard about a multitude of tools that promote connectivity and reduce the impact of the crisis in our highly knowledge-based economy. Tools such as Slack, Hangouts, G Suite, Zoom, and a very long list of other solutions have emerged over the last few years in response to a growing demand from a new class to adopt more flexible working conditions, proven to be conducive to productivity and creativity. The agility of today’s employees to work in these less rigid contexts and to master digital solutions is easing the current crisis; organizations with engagement strategies supported by the right tools are relocating remotely and continuing their operations.

 

Permanent changes?

As the full potential of collaborative platforms is suddenly brought to the forefront, some fear that some of the changes will be permanent. Indeed, the disruption caused by the crisis highlights the potential of platforms for network management and collective intelligence creation.

 

These solutions that suddenly position themselves as indispensable will certainly lead managers to rethink their structures, strategies and tools; particularly in organizations where the structure does not favor collaboration in the suddenly imposed “remote” model.

 

And if the short-term climate looks difficult for many organizations, this is not the time to rest on one’s laurels, but to take a step back, rethink a weakened model and strengthen it, or even transform it! Those who do so will emerge victorious. After all, leading companies such as Apple, IBM, GE, Disney, Microsoft, CNN have built on recessions by demonstrating resilience in the face of unpredictable impacts…

Empowering the community

Collective intelligence is a concept that goes back a long way before the emergence of digital technology, and which has been limited in recent history by the widespread adoption of hierarchical structures within organizations, limiting the individual contributions of members. The recent movement towards a return to horizontal structures, in a context of increasingly complex political, economic and social issues, is leading to the appearance of new digital solutions that support this change and maximize collective capacity by allowing everyone to benefit from their personal expertise.

 

The organization, or smart community, is one that takes advantage of these solutions. Platforms such as Fanslab’s Intelligent Community application open up new opportunities for collaboration, offering content discovery, learning, networking and collaboration capabilities, recreating in a virtual world the proximity of gathering and relying on artificial intelligence components to stimulate the development of the common brain. While many organizations are already using such tools at the core of their strategy, now more than ever is the time to evaluate the potential of such connectivity.

 

Great social experiences at a distance

In the last few weeks, several giants have cancelled their events, while other more daring ones have decided to push the virtual experience to the maximum by bringing events that traditionally gather thousands of participants completely in digital.

 

Indeed, major Tech industry events such as Build by Microsoft and Collision by Web Summit have pushed the audacity to the max by deciding not to cancel the conduct of their summits, but rather to move them to the virtual world. Algorithm-based engagement platforms provide participants with content and meetings based on their interests, industry and existing connections, while a multitude of other features such as live feedback systems, messaging and live forums help recreate engagement and provide opportunities for collaboration between participants, some of whom may be located in different countries! Conferences are streamed and have built-in feedback feeds for expressing opinions and exchanging views on specific topics.

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While some of the big players in the event industry have been able to turn around quickly and be resourceful in their crisis management, there are also solutions for local event organizers, such as our Digital Event Platform and its brand new LIVE Stage feature that allows real-time audio or video streaming, in addition to including a set of networking and knowledge sharing features. The transition to an Intelligent Community Platform creates a continuum of human value beyond the boundaries of the event, whether virtual or real.

After all, in today’s context, when the world is forced to slow down and the instruction to follow suggests confinement at home, a great opportunity to explore and learn arises between a meditation session and a workout at home?

 

– Marilou Alie, Marketing and Communication Consultant at Fanslab

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