Smart Meetings is the go-to source for anyone involved in the event industry—event and meeting planners, venue managers, caterers, and others. Started as a print industry trade publication, today SmartMeetings.com considers itself more of a community of meeting professionals.
Of course, like many industries, the global meeting industry has been hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic. Valued at over $1 trillion globally, the industry has put many of its regular events on hold this year. SmartMeetings.com is no exception; they have translated some of their 12 in-person events into virtual get togethers.
“Smart Meetings is a community of engaged meeting professionals operating at the highest levels in the industry.”
Engagement with subscribers and event attendees has always been a top organizational goal for SmartMeetings.com. The firm had been using LinkedIn groups, but found it difficult to police all of the spam. There was a decent number of introductions, but Smart Meetings felt it wasn’t quite hitting the right level of engagement and exchange they were after.
Despite having a well-established and active social media presence, the company wanted a place where it could interact with its audience directly and privately, without the noise that most social media sites offer.
That’s when they turned to Zenvoy to help them craft The Smart Connection, their white-labeled Zenvoy community dedicated to the free exchange of industry news, tips and valuable insights.
While Zenvoy is excellent at connecting subscribers to each other, its community features really drive The Smart Connection. Launched in March 2020, The Smart Connection already has over 5,000 users on the platform—and expects to grow this as time goes on. Thanks to Zenvoy’s plug and play setup, onboarding new users couldn’t be easier. What’s more, The Smart Connection is open to anyone in the meetings industry—not only Smart Meetings’ subscribers. That places it squarely at the center of the industry, giving it a distinct advantage over competitors as well as other social media sites.
More importantly, though, editorial director JT Long sees Zenvoy as a place where community members can talk to each other and for SmartMeetings.com to talk to its audiences. According to Long, members love the Q&A and polls aspects of the platform because it allows them collaborate and solve problems without having to deal with spam from members.
“The Smart Connection is a safe place for our community to have conversations with colleagues,” says Long. “We’re finding it’s great for helping us to provide mentorship, source stories for the site and publication,… and also to elevate members in the community.”
Like many organizations, SmartMeetings.com is working hard to adapt to the new reality the pandemic has created. As part of that, they’re exploring new ways to use The Smart Connection platform. That includes holding video chat meetings directly in the platform. These bi-weekly chats on mentorship, resilience, and growth bring Smart Women in Meetings award winners together to share experiences and advice. The events will be recorded, and community members can watch the conversations at their convenience.
And that’s just the start of things. Pandemic or no, Smart Meetings is using Zenvoy to find novel ways to grow its community and engagement with industry leaders!
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