Welcome to our Ask the Expert conversation. On this occasion you will have the opportunity to ask questions, provide feedback or open up to make your thoughts available about this, your Ask the Expert program. During this discussion we aim to give you the power and allow you to let us know how we can improve. For the last 4 years this program has steadily been growing and we attribute the success to you our community members. Ask the Expert discussions are forums that allow community members and SMEs get on the same level and exchange information that can potentially help solve issues bypassing traditional EMC Customer Service offerings.
Our SME is available to answer any question in relation to this program. Additionally, we would like to know what to do to better serve you, have you found solutions to your issues on an existent ATE thread? Who would you like to see hosting an ATE event? Does our format work for you? What ECN communities do you feel isn't taking advantage of this program? Share your thoughts with us, help us help you!
Meet Your Experts:
Roberto is the program manager in charge of the Ask the Expert program on ECN. Three years ago he joined the Social team of EMC Customer Service to champion the creation of the Spanish Support Community and for the last couple of years he has also been involved in the coordination and promotions of ATE events coming from a variety of teams throughout the federation. His program is currently seen as "one of the most successful community-focused programs .. at EMC" and he's aiming on taking it to the next level by its 5th year anniversary in 2017.
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This discussion will take place May 2nd - 27th. Get ready by bookmarking this page or signing up for e-mail notifications.
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Thanks for the excitement. So this question comes from the requesting team, who is asking us to help them organize their ATE event, perspective. This is actually a common questions and one I'm greatful that you ask as many could benefit from this advice. It is however difficult for me to norrow down my answer to the top 3 things. As in with any type of virtual community events there are many factors that could potentially influence to the success of an Ask the Expert event. With that said, here is my take on what I believed has worked with us in the past.
Topic - As with any type of event, most people are interested in getting something out of the event they chose to attend. Either by learning something new, being able to solve a problem they had in the past or simply by getting the chance to be heard and acknowledged by an expert in the subject, the topic of your event needs to be interesting and trending. Coming up with a topic that is current and proven to be of interest for your audience is pivotal to the success of your ATE event. Something to consider is to observe any common themes on questions posted in your community. Later, once you figure it out you could broaden the topic a bit and make that the topic of your next ATE event. The way you present this topic on your title is also important, so be sure it portrays the essence of the topic while making it worthy of people’s attention.
Expert Selection – People follow their idols, those individuals who they heard from in the past at a conference, a blog post, or even the ones whom they received helped from in the community, someone they recognize and respect. When selecting the SMEs for your next event, be sure to select the ones who are socially active and are known for what they do. These SMEs are also most likely to be active on the thread, provide proactive content and give their own special secret ingredient that everyone loves in the discussion.
Advertising – This is the area where many may just rely on the premises of their community. Obviously, if your community is rather new and does not yet have enough followers you know you will need to be a little more inventive as to where to promote your ATE event. Even those communities that are well stablished need to go outside of their comfort zone to advertise the event. Advertising outside of your comfort zone isn’t only using social media to promote, but also email and lots of WOM are necessary. Once the event is live it should be featured in multiple communities and at least once you’re community followers should receive an invite on their inbox.
I hope this helps.
Thanks for the excellent info Roberto!
Following up on this, from a participant's perspective, what are the three things/tips a participant can do to ensure they get the most out of the event(s) they are attending?
Interesting question Bob., the reality is that most participants come to our Ask the Expert events from a variety of backgrounds and depending on the topic of the event discussion they will expect a diversity of responses. Most people, I would say, expect a direct answer to their question as most questions posted state a problem they’re trying to solve. People who come to ECN are usually technology savvy and expect technical experienced SMEs responding to their questions. Someone who is familiar with their inquiry and who’s able to come up with a complete and solutions driven reply is what most members of the audience will expect. With that in mind, when people participate on an Ask the Expert thread they need to ensure to do the following.
Thanks for your question.