session Duration: 9:44 mins

The Merger of Community and Social


Alok Ramsisaria CEO at Grazitti Interactive

Alok has over 25 years of marketing, building, and consulting experience for the largest online marketing companies and the most complex software products. He is the chief participant at Grazitti and provides mentoring and marketing momentum to team Grazitti.

Alok, in his signature storytelling fashion, took us through the history of Grazitti and why online communities are of immense importance to us.

Here’s what you’ll learn:
  • Grazitti’s history
  • Adoption of online communities and its gradual growth
  • How communities are a key differentiator in a brand’s engagement strategy
  • Crafting next-gen customer experiences by integrating social platforms with communities
session Duration: 52 mins

The Predicted Rise of Community and Fall of Traditional Tech Support


Marlene Lee Summers Global Head of Product Support for Salesforce Industries at Salesforce

Educated as a software engineer, now operating as a technology executive, Marlene combines technical aptitude with business presence and a passion for driving measurable outcomes.

Marlene brought in ‘technical nostalgia’ of the best kind and dove into her predictions for the future of communities.

Here’s what you’ll learn:
  • Evolution of the software industry and key future predictions of online communities (AI, Automation, and Big data).
  • How communities have transformed customer experiences and eliminated the need for traditional tech support
  • Mega trends 2030: Exploring the four worlds of work
  • Why should communities prevail and analyzing your customer’s pain
session Duration: N/A

Community Incentivization


Holly Firestone Head of Community, Venafi

Online communities are now mainstream business tools and everyone's looking to make the most out of them. Holly makes it happen!

In her session, Holly talked about building programs that not only allow you to invite community members into leadership positions within your community but also empower them to have ownership.

Session Insights:
  • How incentivization is a key element in driving community engagement
  • Dissecting the SNAP framework and tips
  • Why is distributed ownership your key to success?
  • How intrinsic motivation is the foundation of a community
session Duration: 28:44 mins

The Value of Incorporating Business Data in Your Community


Cesar Castro Sr. Director, Adoption and Engagement, Salesforce

Cesar focuses on customer success, sharing best practices, developing content and frameworks for community and portal success. He also conducts outreach to community management organizations and helps develop content for Salesforce Community Cloud Accelerators.

Cesar spoke about how tying your online community with business data makes your efforts more impactful and measurable and how it makes your life, as community professionals, simpler and easier.

Here’s what you’ll learn:
  • Why should core business processes be integrated into your community?
  • Peer-to-peer collaboration: The absolute necessity for a community.
  • Delivering value: The importance of creating seamless customer experiences.
  • Getting started: Ideas and suggestions for practical application
session Duration: 44:48 mins

15 Ways You Can Improve Your Community

richard milington

Richard Millington Founder & Managing Director, FeverBee

Richard Millington is the founder of FeverBee, author of Buzzing Communities, and a frequent speaker at online community events around the world. His unique focus is on cracking the 'social code' behind successful social groups.

Richard gave us some stellar tips to start making your community vision a reality. Amongst other awesome tactics, he pressed upon the importance of boiling your strategy down to a one-page roadmap and updating your member personas with great research.

Here’s what you’ll learn:
  • Building a crystal clear strategic roadmap for your community.
  • Increasing community engagement by conducting qualitative data analysis.
  • Empowering community members to ask the right questions
  • Extracting maximum potential from social
  • Why is setting high engagement standards a must?
session Duration: 20:49 mins

Building Brand Communities


Carrie Melissa Jones Founder & Chief Strategist at
Carrie Melissa Jones, LLC

As the founder of Gather Community Consulting and co-author of Building Brand Communities, Carrie helps brands create new communities, select technology, envision community roadmaps, and think strategically.

John Summers

John Summers Senior Manager, Community Practice at
Grazitti Interactive

John is an accomplished marketing and community operations professional. With extensive experience in the development and implementation of key strategies, he is equipped to assist organizations in enhancing the efficiency, effectiveness, and growth of their communities.

In her interview with John, Carrie highlighted the importance of measuring the success of brand communities and ensuring that people get a sense of belonging within the community.

The impact of attracting the right audience to your community
  • The impact of attracting the right audience to your community
  • A comprehensive analysis of the participation conditions
  • The key success metrics of optimal community engagement
  • The essentials of building brand communities
  • Empty vs meaningful engagement: An overview
session Duration: 50:14 mins

Panel Discussion on Community AI


Mikhail Opletayev Vice President, Applied Research at
Higher Logic

With 10 years of experience, Mikhail works relentlessly on applying AI, ML, and emerging tech to community platforms. He brings unique insight and a level of independence that inspire confidence in fellow team members as well as senior leadership.


Vishal Sharma CTO at SearchUnify

Vishal is a seasoned professional with over 10 years of experience in building and optimizing CRM, online communities, CMS, etc. His forte lies in identifying, assessing, and overcoming technical hurdles to improve customer processes and efficiency.


Venessa Paech Founder & Chief Consultant
at PeerSense

With over 20 of years experience building online communities, Venessa is an internationally-regarded online community strategist. She works closely with industry, government, and researchers to grow the reach and impact of digital community management.


Dave Evans VP, Social Strategy at Khoros

With collaborative technology and social media being his specialties, Dave is a frequent keynoter and panelist for social technology and measurement workshops. He is also the author of the best-selling books - 'Social Media Marketing: An Hour a Day' and 'Social Customer Experience'.

Our awesome panelists discussed how AI and ML allow community moderators to amplify the quality of their work and life, amongst other benefits of incorporating AI in your community.

Here’s what you’ll learn:
  • Facilitating natural interactions by integrating AI in your community and its future
  • How AI and machine learning help moderate community engagement
  • The importance of architecting dynamic and fluid community structures
  • AI and community amalgamation: Where to start
  • Sentiment Analysis Models: Accessibility and Usage
session Duration: 46 mins

Ask Me Anything


Adrian Speyer Head of Community at Vanilla Forums

Adrian has over 15 years of experience in building communities, online marketing, eCommerce, and product marketing. He brings his contagious passion to whatever he works on and is known for his enthusiasm for learning and creating strong relationships.


Dani Weinstein Community Builder & Strategist

Dani has extensive B2B and B2C experience driving global teams in community management, support operations, business development, and product management. His passion for community-building resides in his ability to connect on a personal level with customers.


John Ragsdale Distinguished Researcher,
Vice President of Research, Service
Technology at TSIA

John is a multi-talented individual from a technology and services background with a unique inside perspective of the industry. He is a well-known and highly respected industry expert.


Tessa Kriesel Head of Developer Community
at Twitter

Developer turned Developer Marketer, Tessa has been in the tech industry for over 12 years. She is a self-taught developer who is passionate about growing communities and customer advocacy programs.


Amber Cooper Jorez Customer Success Manager, Hivebrite

Amber has over 15 years of experience in communication and event management both on the American coasts and in France. She is experienced in a wide range of community use-cases within various industries including higher education, professional networks, and non-profits.


Varun Luthra Customer Success Manager at
Grazitti Interactive

With over 10 years of experience in working and building amazing communities, Varun helps brands effectively connect with their customers and provides them with strategies aligned with their business objectives.

Our amazing panelists talked about integrating community activity with CRM, making community an indispensable part in the organization, and several other questions that our extremely active and enthusiastic attendees asked them.

Here’s what you’ll learn:
  • Community 2030: A comprehensive overview
  • How communities are a core part of an organization
  • Why are customer success programs crucial?
  • Advocacy programs within communities: When to introduce them

About the Summit

Online communities have emerged as important spaces for marketers to deepen the brand-customer relationships. They are now at the forefront of customer engagement and retention.

We are thrilled to have been able to bring to you an amazing line-up of speakers who are practitioners and experts that see what is coming beyond the horizon. Leading our unique vision for online communities is our in-house community evangelist and the host of this summit – John Summers, Senior Manager, Community and Social Practice.

By watching these sessions, you can expect to come away with an understanding of:

  • 1 The major challenges impacting community managers right now
  • 2 The opportunities to align community outcomes to executive priorities
  • 3 Making communities a key differentiator in a brand’s engagement strategy

Here’s to building exceptional communities, until next time!
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