Online Community Technology Vendor Showcase – Chicago, Aug. 1, 2018

The deadline to register has passed, but you can still learn with us even if you are not in the room where it happens. My fellow COCP member, Keeley Sorokti, explains all in her LinkedIn article here.


@cmgrchi / Hashtag: #cmgrchi (We will be live tweeting so join the conversation there too!). Check out the Twitter lists we are curating to help each find who to follow in this space.


We are compiling content related to the event in a Wakelet story.


We connect online in a private network powered by Mighty Networks. All are welcome, whether you live in Chicago or not. Join us. We post our co-working days and other events in that network.


Now, let me tell you why online community professionals should pay attention to this…

Smart customers are always looking at their options, and I recommend undertaking an annual assessment of community platforms whether you are happy with your current platform or not. Being well-informed is always best because you will:

  • Be prepared if you find a need to make a change,
  • Gain leverage negotiating with your current vendor, and
  • Get new ideas from seeing how competing products address the challenges that matter to you.

There’s a terrific opportunity to learn with and from your peers at an in-person Vendor Showcase in Chicago on August 1, organized by the Chicago Online Community Professionals (COCP). COCP is a group of online community experts who meet in Chicago to share ideas and learn from each other. Our goal is to create meaningful conversation about enterprise collaboration. I am one of the founders of the group, which we started when I was leading McGraw-Hill Education’s internal online community.

We conceived the idea for a vendor showcase when we realized how inefficient it was for each of us to be arranging vendor demo calls and then trying to separately assess each one. How much more valuable would it be to have vendors come to us and then we could all share our questions and impressions as we assessed them together?

At the Vendor Showcase, you’ll hear from providers of both external community solutions and internal community solutions: Higher LogicIglooLithiumLumAppsTelligentSalesforce and Unily. My Paladin colleague, Ryan Rutan, and I will be there to provide insights on migration strategies, as will Social Edge Consulting. Not on the program, but planning to attend and be available for conversations will be representatives from: Coveo, an AI-powered search engine, The Understanding Group, an information architecture consulting firm, The Community Roundtable, which provides research, consulting and a peer network for community professionals, and Workgrid, an intelligent workplace platform and digital assistant. And the people you’ll most want to speak with are your fellow community practitioners in attendance, including COCP members Keeley Sorokti(Commvault), Patty McEnaney (Envestnet), Christy Zurcher (Newark element 14) and Kevin Swallow (SapientRazorfish).

This should be a terrific event. Our group does not hold back: expect perceptive and challenging questions and informed points of view from experienced community leaders who will happily engage with you and want to understand what you’re trying to accomplish. There’s no cost to attend, breakfast and lunch are provided, and we’ll end the day at a happy hour so people can really get to know each other and ask questions of the vendors. There will also be time and space during the day for one-on-one discussions with vendors or peers.

The event takes place in downtown Chicago on August 1, 2018. Advance registration is required — DEADLINE has passed! — and space is limited. If you work with online communities and are in the Chicago area, don’t miss this (and consider joining the COCP!). If you’re evaluating community platforms and are outside Chicago, I urge you to fly in to take advantage of this unique opportunity to assess options in collaboration with your peers. If you have any questions or want to learn more, please contact me:

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