May 18-19, 2016

CMX Summit East 2016

The future of business is community.

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CMX Summit East 2016 About Speakers Workshops Schedule Register

The future is now.

The community-centric company is no longer a far-off future ideal. It’s happening right now, all over the world. Airbnb, Uber, Apple, LEGO, Salesforce, Cisco: they’re all driven more and more each day by their communities. And the frameworks, best practices, and strategies for successful communities are evolving faster than ever before. It is essential that you keep up so you can poise your organization for long-term success.

The best community professionals are always learning.

CMX Summit is your opportunity to tap the brakes, pull back from your day-to-day, and apply a wide range of advice and experiences to your current work. You’ll learn from everyone from your community peers and idols to community-centric founders to those studying the human mind.

You’ll leave CMX Summit refreshed, inspired, and armed with the things you need to take your work to the next level.

This is your community, and this is your community event. We take pains to make CMX not just informative, but deeply rewarding and fun.

At CMX Summit, you will:

1. Learn the specific strategies developed by the world’s leading community experts.

2. Connect with hundreds of the world’s most ambitious community professionals.

3. Gain a deeper understanding of the future of business and the direction of the community industry.

4. Walk away with tactical, strategic insight for building your community strategy.

5. Feel the support and enthusiasm that reminds you why you chose this path.

“As a community manager, I want to build a big, bright fire, and I always leave CMX Summit with a can of gas and a box of matches.”

– Holly Goldin
Manager, Community Programs, Salesforce

CMX talks are carefully selected based on our incredibly high speaker standards. CEOs and community leaders have taken the CMX stage representing organizations like NASA, Airbnb, the FBI, Burning Man, Lyft, Apple, Facebook, the Navy, Salesforce and more.

CMX Summit East 2016 will take everything–and you–to the next level. Don’t miss it!

A Glimpse into CMX Summit

Event Details

Day 1 – May 18th

Location: The High Line Hotel (180 10th Ave, Manhattan)
Time: 8:30am-4:00pm

Welcome Meet-Up
Location: The Whiskey Brooklyn (44 Berry St, Brooklyn)
Time: 7:00pm

Day 2 – May 19th

Location: Brooklyn Bowl (61 Wythe Ave, Brooklyn)
Time: 7:30am-5:00pm

salesforce logoCMX Summit After Party sponsored by CMX Global Partner Salesforce
Location: Radegast Beer Hall (113 N 3rd St, Brooklyn)
Time: 5:00pm-7:00pm

Book your Hotel Today

Hotel Le Jolie – SOLD OUT!
We’ve reserved a block of rooms at Hotel Le Jolie on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday nights (May 17th, 18th, and 19th).

McCarren Hotel
While we don’t have discounted rooms available here, we recommend checking out this hotel as it’s quite close to the venue.

  • Jeremy Bird

    Jeremy Bird helped launch 270 Strategies after serving as the national field director for the 2012 re-election campaign of President Barack Obama. 270 Strategies helps campaigns, companies, and causes build winning campaigns and put their ideas into action.

    Dubbed the Obama campaign’s “Field General”, Bird’s contributions to this groundbreaking organizing model led Rolling Stone to recognize him on its 2012 “Hot List,” calling him “the Obama campaign’s secret weapon” with “a massive army of staff and grassroots volunteers for which Romney has no answer.”

    Jeremy is the founder of Battleground Texas, serves on the Board of Directors of iVote, and has been an advisor on several mayoral, gubernatorial, and Congressional races. He also works on issue campaigns, like the Scouts for Equality’s push to reverse a decades-long anti-gay discrimination policy by the Boy Scouts of America.

    The Wall Street Journal described Jeremy’s theory of organizing as “one part data, and one part emotional connection. He keeps close track of which states are making their targets each day, but also preaches the value of relationships – between the campaign and its volunteers, and between volunteers and voters.” Jeremy will be speaking about his revolutionary approach to volunteer management with the Obama campaign and beyond.

  • Ashley Gallman Williams

    Ashley Gallman Williams leads the US Community Team at website platform, creating nationwide initiatives to connect with target communities and increase user engagement. In her 4 years at Wix, she has helped build and develop the Wix Community Lounge in NYC, the Wix Developers Lounge in San Francisco, and a user meetup series that has expanded from New York to 5 major US metros.

    Her unique background combining art business and technology has given her extensive insight into the innovative methods that can be used when marketing to creatives of all kinds. Before joining Wix, she began her career at international auction house Sotheby’s, working in Client Development, and Hawthorne Fine Art, an Upper East Side art gallery.

    Ashley will be sharing how she helped the community programs at Wix and measure value.

  • Alexis Ohanian

    Alexis Ohanian is the cofounder of Reddit, tech investor, and author of the national bestseller Without Their Permission.

    Born in Brooklyn, Alexis grew up in the suburbs of Baltimore, MD where he slowly realized his desire to play professional football would potentially not pan out. So, after graduating from UVA, he turned his efforts towards making the internet a better place. While he is still patiently awaiting the news of his starting position in the NFL, he currently spends his free time investing in startups, passionately cheering on the Washington Redskins, and facetiming his cat, Karma. His mother always told him he was special.”

    Alexis will share his experience co-founding Reddit and building one of the largest communities in the world.

  • Bijan Sabet

    Bijan is a founder & general partner at early & growth stage venture firm Spark Capital, which has proudly backed companies like Twitter, Oculus, Postmates, Slack, Wealthfront and more. Bijan primarily invests in digital canvases and online communities for people at work and at play. He typically invests in startups after becoming a passionate user of the product. In particular, he looks for new approaches to building communities through the sharing of ideas and interests. Bijan led early investments for Spark in Trello, Stack Exchange, Lily Robotics, Crowdrise, Foursquare, OMGPOP (acquired by Zynga), thePlatform (acquired by Comcast), Runkeeper (acquired by Asics), Tumblr (acquired by Yahoo) and Twitter (NYSE:TWTR).

    Before becoming an investor, Bijan led product management and/or business development at GameLogic (acquired by Scientific Games), Moxi Digital (acquired by Digeo) and WebTV Networks (acquired by Microsoft Corporation).

    Bijan holds a B.S. degree from Boston College. He lives in Boston with his wife and three kids and is a passionate amateur photographer.

  • James Surowiecki

    James Surowiecki is the author of “The Wisdom of Crowds: Why the Many Are Smarter than the Few and How Collective Wisdom Shapes Business, Economies, Societies, and Nations” and writes The Financial Page for The New Yorker. He came to The New Yorker from Slate, where he wrote the Moneybox column. He has contributed to the Wall Street Journal,Wired, the Times Magazine, the Washington Post, and Lingua Franca, and has written on subjects ranging from Silicon Valley to college basketball. He lives in Brooklyn, NY.

    James will be speaking with us about why humans are so much more powerful together.

  • Joel Gascoigne

    Joel Gascoigne is co-founder and CEO of Buffer, a social media SaaS platform which helps over 50,000 customers to have the voice they deserve and a wider reach through social media. Buffer provides solutions for companies around social media marketing and customer service generates $9.5m in annual revenue. The startup is also known for its unusual business practices such as radical transparency and for its focus on company culture. Buffer is a 90 person team which is fully distributed across 55 cities on 5 continents, with no central office.

    Joel loves to communicate with customers to discover how Buffer better serves their needs, exercise, travel, and help other startup founders.

    Joel will be sitting down for a fireside chat with CMX’s CEO, David Spinks, to discuss company culture, radical transparency, and how to develop a community driven brand.

  • Bassey Etim

    Bassey Etim is a journalist and musician who runs the Community Desk at The New York Times. He is a child of Nigerian immigrants, was born and raised in Milwaukee and lives in Brooklyn.

    In 2011, Bassey released his debut novel “The God Project,” with WorldLive Mobile along with a cinematic sound track with the bands Sleep Station and New London Fire.

    Bassey is currently working to build the next generation of Community at the Times and on strange music with his band Minus Pedro.

    Bassey will look at how communities evolve and the best ways to react to these changes, all through the lens of his 7+ years building community and moderation programs at The New York Times.

  • Elizabeth Milch

    Elizabeth “Liz” Milch is the Deputy Director of Content for Genius, the Internet’s largest home for lyrics and crowdsourced musical knowledge. In this role, Liz oversees the creation and distribution of Genius’s content. Liz came aboard Genius in January 2014 as its first Senior Community Manager, scaling the site’s mission and working with talented Genius scholars to annotate millions of songs.

    Elizabeth will talk about how she mobilized community volunteers to create the user-generated content that makes Genius the destination for musical knowledge online. From bootstrapping to massive success, Elizabeth will cover how to scale your community.

  • Poppy Liu

    Poppy Liu is a performance artist and culture creator. She exists in the space where art meets activism. Poppy has appeared on the NY stage at The New Ohio Theater, Interart Theater, The Box, The McKittrick Hotel, The Wild Project, Irondale Center, Theater for a New City, New Oxford Space, and The Drunk Shakespeare Lounge to name a few. She is the founder of the storytelling movement The Collective Sex which hosts monthly performances in Williamsburg featuring a network of first-person stories on the topics of sex, vulnerability, relationship, and body.

    Ryan and Poppy will discuss how they’ve created, managed, and grown a unique collaborative space called Pure House, a network of co-living and co-creation spaces driven by shared values and aligned people, and how this relates back to building any online or offline community. They’ll touch on space design, values, member self-regulation (moderation), and activating growth by giving up power to your members.

  • Ryan Fix

    As an exuberant lover of humans, Ryan Fix employs his skills as a connector and catalyzer to promote a common good in the world. His passions are focused on how to use disruptive innovation, community organizing and values-driven principles for the expansion human consciousness. Ryan diverse background has taken him from finance on Wall Street to riding the first dot-com wave of entrepreneurship in the 90’s to being named one of the top real estate professionals in NYC under 30.

    Ryan and Poppy will discuss how they’ve created, managed, and grown a unique collaborative space called Pure House, a network of co-living and co-creation spaces driven by shared values and aligned people, and how this relates back to building any online or offline community. They’ll touch on space design, values, member self-regulation (moderation), and activating growth by giving up power to your members.

  • Alexandra Sofen

    Alexandra “Ali” Sofen is the Forums Programming Manager for the online marketplace, Etsy. She is passionate about Etsy’s mission to connect people from around the world, both online and offline, to make, sell, and buy unique goods. As Forums Programming Manager, she acts as a liaison between Etsy’s online community of 25 million users and staff of over 800 employees. She constantly strives to foster development between new and active members in the Etsy community, while keeping the Etsy Forums a safe and supportive environment for all.

    Ali will discuss how she and her colleagues created and implemented several unique initiatives that brings together the Etsy community of creative entrepreneurs through online engagement and in-person events.

  • Eleanor Whitney

    Eleanor Whitney is the Community Marketing Manager at Dev Bootcamp‘s NYC campus and nonfiction writer. She has also worked at Shapeways, the New York Foundation for the Arts, the Rubin Museum of Art and the Brooklyn Museum, where she planned public programs for the Sackler Center for Feminist Art and worked as a museum educator. She is the author of Grow, a practical field guide for starting a creative business. A strong advocate of creative community building, she has also published zines and played in DIY bands for over 15 years. She holds Bachelors Degree in Cultural Studies and a Masters in Public Administration.

    Eleanor will be speaking about how to build a safe, nurturing environment for your community the moment they walk in the literal or proverbial door.

  • Kim Pham

    Kim is the Head of Platform at Frontline Ventures, building a best-practice venture capital community of European tech founders. She’s been working in startups since 16 and graduated from NYU with a degree in Marketing and Computer Science. There, she was the president of [email protected] and founding partner of Dorm Room Fund NYC. Kim is also the founder of EU Internal Ecosystem Builders, a hub for 50+ portfolio gatekeepers in 9+ EU countries.

    When she’s not supporting the Frontline portfolio, you can find Kim attempting to befriend strangers’ dogs. She claims she is “made of the Internet.”

    Kim will be sharing her frameworks for evaluating potential new community projects and reviewing the success of projects after completion.

  • Lindsey Erlick

    Lindsey is all about engagement. As a Senior Manager at Pearson, she recently designed Pearson’s first advocate community, the Pearson Student Insiders, boasting 1200 members in the first three months.

    In addition to her day job, Lindsey leads CMX Series NYC and shares gluten-free finds online and with Instagram foodies. She’s also pursuing an MBA at NYU Stern School of Business.

    Lindsey will be speaking about how to build a community advocacy/ambassador program that delivers results for your company while increasing engagement with your members.

  • Jessica Malnik

    Jessica Malnik has a passion for community building, writing and travel. All three of her passions intersect in her current role as the the community manager for The DC, an exclusive community for location independent entrepreneurs.

    Previously, she honed her chops working for Bigcommerce, where she was in charge of the social customer service strategy, and scaled the community team from a group of one to four. She can also be found writing on her own blog centered around community management, marketing and social media.

    Jessica will be speaking about customer support-focused communities and how call deflection, the traditional metric for these forums, is flawed.

Don't Just Take Our Word For It

  • "I've been waiting 25 years for the conversations happening here at CMX Summit."

    Ellen Leanse, Apple's Original User Evangelist
  • "It was so exciting to finally meet other community professionals and learn about their successes, struggles and visions for the future. I'm so happy that CMX is leading the way in bringing us together."

    Andrea Diamond, Community Manager at Airbnb
  • "CMX Summit is simply incredible. If you're working in a community role or at a company where community is important, consider it mandatory."

    Camille Ricketts, First Round

Conference Schedule

  • Wednesday, May 18th
    Day 1: Workshops
    The High Line Hotel (180 10th Ave, Manhattan).
  • 8:30a
    Breakfast & Registration
    Join us in the Refectory to grab breakfast, register, and meet your fellow attendees!
  • 9:30a
    Workshops: Session 1
    Head to your assigned workshop to absorb learnings from our seasoned community instructors.
  • 12:00p
    We've been drooling over this menu.
  • 1:00p
    Workshops: Session 2
    Head to your second assigned workshop.
  • 3:30p
    Workshops Wrap-Up
    Gather in the Refectory for an interactive session summarizing what we've learned from the day.
  • 7:00p
    Welcome Meet-Up
    Join us at The Whiskey Brooklyn (44 Berry St, Brooklyn) to meet your fellow attendees and try one of 50+ whiskeys while the tab is open. Save your strength, though - you still have one day to go!
  • Thursday, May 19th
    Day 2: Speakers
    Brooklyn Bowl (61 Wythe Ave, Brooklyn)
  • 7:30a
    Breakfast & Registration
    Show up early to connect with your fellow attendees, grab some breakfast, and collect your high-fives from our welcoming committee.
  • Section 1: The Evolution of Community-driven Business
  • 8:30a
    Keynote: Community as the Future of Business
    David Spinks, CEO of CMX, will welcome you to the event and explain how community is becoming central to so many businesses.
  • 9:00a
    The Formula for Connecting People
    Poppy Liu and Ryan Fix of Pure House will share the missing ingredient when connecting people and how they've used this to build - and scale - a self-sustaining co-living community in the heart of Brooklyn.
  • 9:20a
    Fireside Chat: What Makes Community Businesses Thrive
    Bijan Sabet of Spark Capital will sit down with David to discuss what has set apart some of the greatest social and community businesses (like Stack Exchange, Tumblr, Twitter, and Foursquare - all of which he's invested in) from those that have failed.
  • 9:40a
    Q&A with Pure House and Bijan Sabet
  • 10:00a
  • Section 2: Showing Community Results
  • 10:20a
    Building the Community People Want
    Bassey Etim, Community Desk Editor at the New York Times, will walk us through how they've built a profitable comments section and what the future of comments and community holds.
  • 10:40a
    Measuring the value of Community
    Ashley Gallman Williams, US Head of Community at, will share how she helped the community programs at Wix and measure value.
  • 11:00a
    Q&A with Bassey Etim and Ashley Gallman Williams
  • Section 3: Building Successful Movements and Driving Action
  • 11:10a
    The Power of the Collective
    James Surowiecki, author of The Wisdom of Crowds and columnist for The New Yorker, will explain why humans are so much more powerful together.
  • 11:30a
    Scaling Grassroots Movements with the Obama Campaign
    Jeremy Bird, former National Field Director for the Obama campaign and founding partner of 270 Strategies, will explain how grassroots movements are created and can be scaled to a massive size (2.2 million, in the case of the Obama campaign).
  • 12:00p
    Q&A with James Surowiecki and Jeremy Bird
  • 12:20p
    Grab some of Brooklyn Bowl's famous food and get to know your fellow attendees.
  • Lightning Talks: Community From Start to Finish
    Quick, hyper-focused talks from some of the fabulous members of the CMX community.
  • 1:20p
    Creating a Welcoming Community Environment
    With Eleanor Whitney of Dev Bootcamp
  • 1:25p
    Why Your Support Community Metrics Might Be Wrong
    With Jessica Malnik of The DC
  • 1:35p
    Building a Community Advocacy Program
    With Lindsey Erlick of Pearson
  • 1:40p
    Effective Community Project Planning
    With Kim Pham of Frontline Ventures
  • 1:50p
    Q&A with Eleanor Whitney, Jessica Malnik, Lindsey Erlick, and Kim Pham
  • Section 4: Community-First Companies
  • 2:10p
    How Genius Scales Its Community of Scholars & Hip-Hop Heads
    Liz Milch of Genius will share how they've built a massively successful site based entirely on high-quality user-generated content.
  • 2:30p
    The Power of Meaningful In-Person Community Connections
    Alexandra Sofen of Etsy will talk about how they leverage the power of in-person connections to keep their huge community of sellers happy and engaged.
  • 2:50p
    Fireside Chat: Constructing a Company Focused on Transparency and Positivity
    Joel Gascoigne of Buffer will sit down with David to discuss how he's created a successful company by sharing almost everything - including salaries.
  • 3:10p
    Q&A with Liz Milch, Alexandra Sofen, and Joel Gascoigne
  • 3:30p
    Breakout Sessions
    We'll help you organize into topic-focused groups with your fellow attendees to dig in on what you're working on, what you've learned today, and what you're going to do next.
  • 4:10p
    Keynote: Reddit and the Community Experience
    Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian will share his perspective from building one of the biggest and most controversial communities on the web.
  • 4:40p
    A few parting words before we hit the after party.
  • 5:00p
    After Party
    At Radegast Beer Hall (113 N 3rd St, Brooklyn).

    Celebrate a full day of learning and let off some steam with your fellow community builders!

We'd love for you to join us!

Register Now

CMX Summit Workshops

CMX offers world-class, professional workshops that will take your community strategy to the next level.

Sit down with community-building experts in intimate, hands-on courses where you’ll learn a variety of strategies and tactics. Based on your feedback, we now allow you to take two different workshops on day 1!

At all of our workshops you will walk away with:

1. A clear plan of action for executing on your strategy

2. A set of worksheets and exercises that will allow you and your team to formulate your strategy

3. Answers to all of your specific questions

4. A group of peers who are facing similar challenges to you and can support you after the workshop

1. Intro to Community Strategy – SOLD OUT

David Spinks CMX East Speaking Circle

Level: Beginner to Advanced

Taught by David Spinks, CEO of CMX

This course came out of workshops that the CMX team has taught at some of the world’s leading companies and for students all over the world as part of our first Fundamentals of Community Strategy Online Course. We’ve tested and honed this workshop over 18 months to deliver models and frameworks that will allow you to set up an unbreakable infrastructure for community success in your company.

2. Community-Driven Marketing Strategy – SOLD OUT

Lauren Perkins Circle

Level: Intermediate to Advanced

Taught by Lauren Perkins, Author of The Community Manager Playbook and CEO of Perks Consulting

Building Community is critical to more effective marketing. But how do you integrate the two efficiently? How do you then attain and demonstrate the business value of community building without turning its member into detractors? Back by popular demand, Lauren will talk about the central role community plays in marketing and will address how to measure and communicate the ROI of community initiatives to your stakeholders.

3. Results-Oriented Moderation

Jenn Lebowitz Health Union

Level: Beginner

Taught by Jenn Lebowitz, Senior Director of Community Development at Health Union

Moderation is a given when it comes to community management – but there’s no cookie cutter model that works across all communities. What you actually do when moderating can and should vary depending on your purpose. So how do you execute in a way that aligns with your goals? In this workshop, you’ll learn high concept frameworks and down-and-dirty practical tools for moderating that help yield the results you want for your community’s organizational objectives and specific purpose.

4. Two-sided Marketplaces: Building Supply in the Gig Economy

Shira LevineLevel: Intermediate to Advanced

Taught by Shira Levine, CEO at Fanchismo

Whether it be for ideas, content, commerce, or gigs, marketplaces have commonalities that can be managed and measured effectively with special know-how. In this session, long-time community marketplace strategist Shira Levine will help you break down your community into addressable segments resulting in a strategy that will propel your entire plan forward. You’ll come out of this session with a department strategy that wows execs, unlocks product resources, and results in engagement and retention and whatever else you’re trying to accomplish with your community. All done with humor and heart–the hallmarks of Shira’s teaching style.

5. Building and Scaling Distributed Events – SOLD OUT

Sally Rumble and Lisa CifuentesLevel: Beginner

Taught by Sally Rumble and Lisa Cifuentes, Chief Happiness Officer & Community Manager at CreativeMornings

In this workshop, Sally and Lisa will cover how they built and scaled CreativeMornings, a globally distributed event series, from 4 chapters to 140 and growing. They’ll touch on how they get Hosts and Organizers engaged and sustain that engagement over time. From onboarding new organizers and communicating in multiple languages to walking the line of brand control versus chapter host’s creative freedom, they’ll provide a comprehensive set of resources to help your team build a local or global event series of your own.

– You must purchase a workshop ticket in order to attend one of the workshops.
– Space is strictly limited in workshops to ensure that each one is intimate
– You will select two workshops once all sessions are announced. Each workshop is a half-day.

To purchase a workshop, purchase a ticket that includes “Day 1”. We’ll be contacting you about choosing specific workshops shortly.


Register for CMX Summit

We have limited seats and they’re filling up quickly, so grab your ticket now! Prices increase May 2nd.

CMX Summit is Made Possible by

    CMX Global Partners

    CMX Summit West 2016 Sponsors

Have any questions? Curious about sponsorship options? Contact us!

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