When we approached CMX Summit West 2016, we knew we wanted to provide you with the best-curated talks possible, so you could learn exactly what you needed to know to succeed in your role.

As a result, we added tracks so you can go learn about specific topics that affect you. We added engagement lightning talks so you can absorb engagement tactics from four different speakers. And we expanded to five choices of half-day workshops.

Today, we’re announcing our final, full roster of speakers: a whopping TWENTY-SEVEN community experts. Some of the new additions include:

  • Derek Andersen (Founder and CEO, Startup Grind) Startup Grind is a global community of more than 400,000 entrepreneurs that connect in-person in over 200 cities across the world. Derek will share lessons from scaling this massive project from zero to 85 countries.
  • Gina Bianchini (CEO & Founder, Mightybell) Gina will return for her second CMX Summit presentation, focusing on measuring success and pitching it to your management team.
  • Paul Wilcox and Julianne Niemaszyk (Community Managers, Google) Together, these two have been at Google for a collective 15 years! They currently focus on one of Google’s secret weapons: their customer support communities. They’ll share how they go about keeping a group of super-users engaged and participating.
  • Claude Silver (Chief Heart Officer, VaynerMedia) Coolest title ever, right? Claude keeps the hundreds of employees at VaynerMedia engaged, happy, and productive. And she’ll share the strategy and mindset that allow her to pull this off.
  • Claire Arthurs (Director of Community & Member Success, SoFi) Claire works in the financial services industry. Boring, right? Except… not. Claire throws events across the country, ranging from happy hours to skydiving lessons. And the result is higher retention AND acquisition rates for the business.

A quick note: We’re sad to announce that Luke Sinclair of American Express will no longer be able to join the speaker lineup this year.

Find the Full CMX Summit West 2016 Schedule on the Summit Site

With All These Option, How Do You Choose?

Twenty-seven speakers means you have a cornucopia of amazing people to learn from. But choices can be tough. Which talks should you go to? Where are you going to get the most value? How are you going to avoid FOMO?

This guide is designed to help you choose which sessions to go to. This is merely a suggestion. At the end of the day, you need to follow your gut (or the amazing friends you make at CMX Summit). Thankfully, with the most speakers of any CMX Summit to date, we’ve got something for everyone.

Interested in measuring ROI and getting company buy-in?

Day 1 Workshops

Intro to Community Strategy – David Spinks (CEO, CMX)
David will walk you through our community strategy framework, giving you the A-Z of visualizing and pitching your community.

Building on Community Success – Shira Levine (CEO, Fanchismo)
Shira Levine is your quarterback. She’s been through it all and knows exactly how to get management to fall in love with your programs. She’ll work personally with you on your specific challenges. Another must-attend.

Day 2

Maia Josebachvili (VP of Strategy & People, Greenhouse)
Maia blew us away with her ROI presentation at Culture Summit, and now she’s bringing it to CMX Summit. While it focuses on employee engagement, you can use her framework to pitch any community project and blow your managers away.

Gina Bianchini (Founder & CEO, Mightybell)
Gina is returning for her second CMX Summit speaking gig to talk about how to measure ROI and pitch it to your management team.

Evan Hamilton (Director of Community, CMX)
Our very own Evan Hamilton will be talking about why retention is one of the greatest things community can do for a company and how exactly to measure it.

Interested in increasing engagement in your community?

Day 1 Workshops

Planning for Success – Scott Moore (Community Strategy Consultant)
Scott will teach you how to choose the right platform, modify it as needed, create the necessary rules & regulations, and then build on that to create a highly-engaged community. He’s worked on just about several hundred of them, so he knows his stuff.

Testing and Advancing Your Community Efforts – Jennifer Sable Lopez (Community Strategy Consultant)
Jen grew to prominence in a data-driven organization, so it’s no wonder she has a data-driven approach to engagement. She’ll teach you how to plan and measure different engagement strategies and improve your community with science.

Day 2 Talks

Jono Bacon (Community Strategist)
Getting someone to contribute to an open source project is a pretty intimidating task. But Jono has done it countless times before. He’ll talk about how to motivate participants in your community.

Engagement Lightning Talks
Of course, you can’t miss our engagement session! Engagement can be so unique to each community and nobody has tried everything, so instead of bringing you one speaker to discuss engagement, we brought four! These amazing speakers will share the varied programs, tactics, and mindsets that have led them to success. One even ran a one-week program that decreased the number of lurkers by 15%!

Want to grow your community?

Day 1 Workshops

Scaling Your Community – Holly Goldin Firestone (Senior Manager, Community Programs, Salesforce)
Holly has built programs that span continents – all without her community team inflating significantly. She’ll go into depth on how you can empower your community members to scale for you.

Day 2 Talks

Adriana Cerundolo (Program Manager, Google)
Add an additional case study to your bag of tricks. Adriana has built a global network of developer events that boasts over 100 countries, over 500 chapters, and over 4000 events in the last 6 months. She’ll share how she got there.

Derek Andersen (Founder & CEO, Startup Grind)
Derek built Startup Grind from nothing to over 400,000 members. He’ll share which things you need to hand off to avoid being stuck in the trenches – allowing you to focus on strategy and growth.

CMX Summit

Trying to choose a community platform?

Day 1 Workshops

Intro to Community Strategy – David Spinks (CEO, CMX)
David’s community strategy primer will include thinking through what you need to accomplish your goals – a crucial first step before choosing any platform.

Planning for Success – Scott Moore (Community Strategy Consultant)
Literally about a third of Scott’s workshop will be focused on choosing a platform, which is appropriate because he’s done this for literally hundreds of clients. You’ll leave with a clear process for selection, including a handy spreadsheet.

Day 2 Talks

Platform Presentations
Our platform partners will be presenting during the lunch hour on Day 2 and will be around all day to answer your questions. These people know their stuff, and are not here to sell – they’re here to help you succeed at your goals. Be sure to make time with them!

Emiliana Simon-Thomas (Science Director, Greater Good Science Center)
Choosing features is easy, but thinking about what kind of environment you want to create is trickier. Emiliana will walk you through the psychology that creates positive, engaged, and self-policing communities.

Running a customer support community?

Day 2 Talks

Support Communities Session
This whole session is focused on customer support communities. This is your jam. And not only do we have relative unknowns who are doing amazing things in this space, we also have the big names in the space: Apple and Google. If there’s anyone to learn about support communities from, it’s them.

Acquisition Communities Session
Have you ever thought about what happens after your support community is successful? Quite possibly, based on many conversations we’ve had, it becomes an acquisition community as well. After you’ve filled up a page of your notebook with support community tactics, come here to fill up a page with what could be your long-term strategy.

Work with a community of developers?

Day 2 Talks

Developer Communities Session
We have a whole session dedicated to developer communities. So, yeah, go to that. Especially since we have speakers from Google, Github, and Slack.

Employee Engagement Session
A good open source community and a good employee community have a lot in common. Stop by our session on employee engagement for some tips that may be very applicable to what you’re doing.

Want to use community to retain and/or acquire customers?

Day 2 Talks

Acquisition Communities Session
You’ll spend this session learning all about how a variety of companies have used community to affect the bottom line: bringing more money in and keeping customers there.

Developer Communities Session
Developer communities face many of the same challenges you do: scaling growth, driving engagement, and getting buy-in. Drop by our developer session for some relevant advice.

CMX Summit

Trying to keep your employees engaged?

Day 2 Talks

Employee Engagement Session
Experts from Greenhouse and VaynerMedia will share their employee engagement tactics here. From figuring out how to wrangle salespeople to getting management to invest in development to how to conceptualize your community, we’ve got you covered.

Developer Community Session
Developer communities often look a lot like employee communities. Swing by the developer session to get some advice from your developer community brethren and hear how they deal with problems similar to your own.

Emiliana Simon-Thomas (Science Director, Greater Good Science Center)
Emiliana Simon-Thomas brings science to the workspace. She’ll talk about how to construct a space (both literally and figuratively) that increases engagement, decreases conflict, and results in a stronger whole.

Trying to figure out how to successfully moderate your community?

Day 1 Workshops

Planning for Success – Scott Moore (Community Strategy Consultant)
Scott has moderated and built moderation structures for an insane number of communities. He’ll walk you through how to set up your community for solid interactions and easy moderation.

Day 2 Talks

Alexis Ohanian (Co-Founder, Reddit)
It’s no secret that Reddit has had some challenges with moderation. But the work Alexis and the team have done in the last 6-12 months is making major strides. They even have an Anti-Evil team!

Emiliana Simon-Thomas (Science Director, Greater Good Science Center)
Emiliana will moderate your community with science. She’s done extensive work with Facebook and other organizations helping to create better self-moderation, communication, and collaboration between members.

Looking for high-level strategy and inspiration?

Day 1 Workshops

Intro to Community Strategy – David Spinks (CEO, CMX)
David will be sharing lessons and frameworks from his many years of building community. This is THE strategic framework you need.

Scaling Your Community – Holly Goldin Firestone(Senior Manager, Community Programs, Salesforce)
Once you have a community going, how do you scale it (and afford it)? Holly will fill your mind with thoughts about how you can take your community success to the next level.

Day 2 Talks

Keynotes
Keynotes are all about strategy and inspiration. And lucky for you, you get to see all of them!

Breakout Sessions
We’ll spend an hour in the afternoon with no speakers – just you talking to your peers. Turns out, they know a ton (especially since we have community pros coming from some major organizations). Be sure to take advantage of this time!

Mentor Sessions at the Education Station

This year, you’ll get the opportunity to talk one-on-one with some of our speakers and resident CMX experts about your unique problems. Swing by the Education Station to make your very own Community Strategy Canvas with our CMX Training Students and sign up for 15-minute mentorship sessions.


If any of these sound right for you, be sure to grab your ticket for CMX Summit West 2016 now – sessions are filling up quick!

Still not sure which sessions to go to? Wondering if Summit is a fit for you? Don’t hesitate to email us at [email protected] with questions.

Evan Hamilton

Evan Hamilton is the Director of Community for CMX, where he organizes CMX Summit and CMX Series events. He has been in the community profession for nearly a decade, having worked at UserVoice, ZOZI, and Coursera. In his laughable spare time, Evan organizes Community Manager Breakfast in San Francisco and plays music as Kicking Tuesday.