At VersionOne, we’ve always been committed to connecting and energizing with our community of agile software development and project management professionals. Here are a few keys as you look to build community within your organization and beyond.
1. Let them run the show.
At VersionOne’s AgilePalooza conference, we’ve successfully brought Open Space back to the program. Open Space lets the audience/attendees drive the conversation. Peers answer their questions in a non-intimidating, informal setting.
You quickly get the sense of what’s important and meaningful for today’s agile development teams by watching them put sticky notes on the wall. Teams and groups then form to excitedly, energetically and passionately discuss how they can improve. And you watch future leaders grow and develop as fierce, healthy debates ensue over their team’s most pressing problems.
2. Inspect and adapt.
Despite every bride’s intentions, something always goes wrong at the wedding: the napkins aren’t correct, the cake isn’t the right size, a bridesmaid’s dress doesn’t fit. Amazingly, the shows goes on.
The same thing happens at community events.
You won’t deliver excellence every time. A glitch happens with a speaker’s presentation. The ballroom’s temperature imitates a sauna. The subway shuts down during morning rush-hour, severely delaying the majority of your audience AND speakers.
Play along as if it’s all part of the show.
Be prepared that your best plans won’t always be followed. Adapt. Be flexible.
3. Have fun.
Most of your attendees are thrilled to be out of the office for a day. Make the day one that they’ll remember when they are sitting back in their cubes tomorrow.
Keeping current customers is the best policy, right? If so, you have an obligation to deliver an exceptional event. Make the attendance decision a no-brainer when your event comes back to town.
Keep product demos fun, interactive. This isn’t a time to delve into details.
Genuinely show that you are thrilled to be there and extremely thrilled that they’ve taken time out of their busy day to attend your event. It’s a win-win for fun-fun.