Every year, the CMX HQ team steps back and reflects on the last 12 months. With over 15,000 members, our community continues to grow and flourish, and it’s so much fun to be steering this ship. Here is CMX 2021: A Year in Review!
The 2021 Community Industry Awards
We began 2021 with our annual Community Industry Award ceremony! Every year, we host the LIVE awards ceremony on Community Manager Appreciation Day (CMAD), the last Monday of January. On this day, we awarded 21 incredible community builders and community-focused organizations with the recognition they deserve. These community managers have been recognized for their excellence in community building and collaboration at the 2021 Community Industry Awards.
Community Health Survey
In March 2021, we ran the first-ever CMX Community Health Survey. Our goal was to hear from as many CMX’ers as possible about their experience, and take away some actionable next steps for the team.
We’re committed to making CMX a helpful community of peers, an incredible resource for community builders, and an inclusive space for all. To that end, we took the insights from the health survey, and took steps towards improving the CMX Community.
My personal favourite takeaway was that the majority of CMX’ers thought that if animals could talk, dolphins would be the most interesting (27%). But dogs were a close second (26%)! We had one respondent say “Whale, duh,” and another who said “Snails have seen some shit,” which made the CMX team start looking at snails a little differently.
In the spring, we hosted CMX Spark, our first ever virtual conference focusing on the incredible voices from community leaders and experts in Europe, the Middle East, and Africa (and hosted at an EMEA timezone friendly time!).
At CMX Spark, our EMEA CMX’ers were able to join live and learn first-hand about building thriving branded communities, measuring community value, and scaling communities.
The CMX Communiteers
In May, 2021 the CMX HQ team built and implemented the first-ever moderator program into the CMX Community. We call them Communiteers.
Communiteers are super-members of the CMX Community that use their enthusiasm and community building experience to help other members of our community succeed. In May, we onboarded a fierce team of 13 Communiteers, and their passion for community drives so much engagement in the space CMX, and has helped countless members.
The Communiteer program wouldn’t be where it is today without our incredible founding members. A very heartfelt thank you to our CMX Founding Communiteers.
Learn more about how we built our first ever moderator program!
We launched the CMX Apprentice Program
This year, we opened up the very first CMX Apprenticeship program. We created this program to help more people break into the community industry, to give new and budding community managers a breadth of experience working on a community team, and to get them plugged into the CMX network.
We hired three part time Apprentices, and each of them individually has had a huge impact on the CMX Community. As their 6 month contracts come to an end, and we say goodbye, David, Ann Marie, and I are so grateful for everything they have contributed to CMX. They’re each leaving their mark on the community, and will be missed.
We are hoping to open the next round of Community Apprenticeships in early 2022! Subscribe to the CMX Weekly to know when the roles open. The program is open to all, and puts a focus on giving more opportunities to candidates from underrepresented groups to break into the community industry. This is a paid opportunity.
This really was the year of trying new things! We also took a turn on TikTok, creating community-centric content for our audience. Ann Marie’s video got the most views (no surprise there), and it was fun to come up with content. While fun, we realized that our audience prefers to hear from us on other platforms. We are going to slow down on the TikTok content creation for a bit, but if there are any CMX’ers out there who want us to kick things back up, let us know!
CMX Summit 2021: Rise
CMX Summit remains one of the most beloved events among CMX’ers. This event was incredible. On top of the 80+ sessions, workshops, and fireside chats with learnings from the industry’s best and brightest, the numerous real-time networking opportunities, and the action-packed Agenda (that included live chickens…), CMX Summit 2021: Rise was an opportunity for CMX’ers from around the world to come together and learn, grow, and connect.
For the first time ever, CMX Summit 2021 had an overarching theme: Rise. We celebrated the rise of community, the growth in community-driven business, and most importantly, elevating community professionals.
These are my personal favourite memories from CMX Summit 2021: Rise
- Ramel Wallace performing his poem on Day 1, “This is CMX in Harmony”
- When Jeff Hudson, CEO at Venafi said “The [community team] doesn’t have to go and report to [other teams] what community’s doing for them. They have to report back to the executive team, how they’re helping build the community.”
- When Aaron White wrote a CMX sea shanty… Check out SeaMX Summit: How CMX’ers came together to sail-abrate
- Watching the recording of Shana Sumers speak about building diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging into every facet of a community
- Listening to Seth Godin and David Spinks talk about the power of community-driven business
It was also the largest CMX Summit we’ve ever hosted; we had more RSVPs, the largest global attendance, and the most diversity on stage in CMX Summit history. This year, we offered a hybrid component as well. We tapped into the incredible passion of our CMX Connect Hosts to host in person watch parties around the world. CMX’ers got together in person in Lagos, Nigeria, Madrid, Spain, Denver, CO, USA, San Jose, CA, USA, and more!
Check out everything that happened Behind the Scenes at CMX Summit 2021: Rise!
In Person Events!
In 2020, our once solely in person event program, CMX Connect, turned 100% virtual. Our CMX Connect Hosts around the world brought their local communities online, to meet virtually. This virtual trend continued into much of 2021, but in the summer months we started to see in person CMX Connect events popping up here and there.
Following local restrictions, and listening closely to local health authorities, a handful of CMX Connect Chapters met in person again for the first time in over a year.
Serena Snoad, CMX Connect Host London Chapter:
“In August we took advantage of the warmer weather to host our first in-person ‘peers with beers’ gathering at a traditional British pub. We kept things casual and friendly – no preparation, no agendas, just peer support. It was such a special time for us – we brought together CMX London regulars, and welcomed new CMX Londoners including people new to community management and experienced veterans in the profession.”
We said goodbye to CMX Pro
In October 2021, we announced that the CMX Pro Community would be closing. CMX Pro was our paid membership that we launched in 2017. We shared more about why we started it and what we learned in this blog post.
Saying goodbye to a community is hard. As community managers, we pour so much love, energy, and time into our programs, that we grow personally attached to them – the members, the stories, the conversations. It can be difficult to have to say goodbye.
We worked hard over the years to make CMX Pro a valuable offering but over time, it became clear that while the perks and benefits were valued, the community space wasn’t offering unique enough value from all the free CMX community spaces and programs that are available. On the business side, since the acquisition and teaming up with Bevy, we haven’t been reliant on membership revenue and have instead prioritized making all of our resources more freely available and accessible to our entire community.
A Behind the Scenes Look at CMX Reporting
A word from Lena Yue, Marketing Operations Manager at Bevy/CMX
Data is both a blessing and a curse: we need it and yet it can be hard to maintain. This year, Beth and I made improving our system integrations and data quality a top priority so we could have better reports. (If you’re wondering why this is a challenge, it’s because we use multiple systems and every system has its own rules).
It can be a grind, but it’s worth it because I got to learn more about YOU, the amazing members of the CMX Community. I learned that you are excited to vote for the Community Industry Awards, you are super interested in learning about Crypto, and you like finding us on social media.
Selfishly, I wanted to be able to take a victory lap and say “Look at all this data! Look at what we know about our community!” It’s so satisfying to see this work come to life in the form of charts and presentations and (most importantly) better programming to serve our community.
Data maintenance is an ongoing task, and I look forward to continuing this journey next year! See you in the spreadsheets!
CMX dabbled in Web 3.0!
The future is now, and at CMX we’re ready to embrace it… or at least getting there. Web 3.0 is an emerging decentralized ecosystem that has acquired a lot of attention as of late. At CMX, we figured it was time to bring the conversation to the Community Industry. We hosted our first ever half-day virtual conference dedicated to Web 3.0 for Community Builders.
We had four wonderful speakers, break down the theories, practice, and lingo of this new internet, and CMX’ers left feeling informed (and maybe a tiny bit overwhelmed). We’re excited to continue to offer resources and education about Web 3.0 for CMX’ers. Leave no member behind!
Check out what happened at Intro to Web 3.0 for Community Builders!
2021 in numbers
In 2021 we:
- Hosted 24 HQ events with over 11,000+ RSVPs and 7450 Check ins
- Welcomed 158 speakers to the CMX HQ stage, as well as 3 DJs, 1 chef, 1 model, 2 artists, 2 yoga instructors, 6 chickens, and 2 drag queens – it’s been quite a year for CMX Events…
- Published 44 episodes of the Masters of Community Podcast with David Spinks
- And, published 50 episodes of the Community Corner with Beth McIntyre
- Sent 52 issues of the CMX Weekly newsletter
- Published 57 blog posts written both by the CMX HQ team, and guest authors
- Welcomed 975 new members into the CMX Facebook Group and 725 new members in the CMX Slack Community (welcome everyone!!)
- Our CMX Connect Hosts hosted 194 local events, both virtual and in person. They had almost 2,500 RSVPs and 1660 Check ins
From the Community
I couldn’t publish a year in review article without asking CMX’ers about their favourite moments from 2021. Here are some highlights shared by the members of the CMX Community:
“I got scholarships for “The Community MBA” and “The C2C Event Program Playbook” courses. I have learned a lot and am super pumped about it!”
– Favour Chi, CMX’er
“My highlight was definitely getting to work with the CMX/Bevy team. Even though it was brief, I learned so much and have joined an amazing community of community professionals to keep learning from. I also got to work with some stellar folks and connect with other CMX’ers, who all made the experience all the better”
– Diane Yuen, CMX’er and past CMX Community Apprentice
“Super excited and honored to be a part of this year’s CMX Community Industry Awards as one of the judges for the Education Community Professionals category!”
– DeMario Bell, CMX’er, and 2022 Community Industry Awards Judge
“I have absolutely LOVED being a part of the Communiteer program and launching the Community Cafe Chapter. I have met so many amazing people who have encouraged me and helped me unconditionally. I am so thankful for this community!”
– Katie Ray, Communiteer and CMX Connect Host, Community Cafe
“The family here is amazing: Hosting the Back To The Future Panel with Marsha Druker FTW. Great Scott! Jamie Johnston is amazing! We scored a 10 NPS on our first CMX Connect collaboration event! Love the CMX Connect Book Club format he’s got, it is simply amazing! I hosted a LA LA Land CMX Connect event with Jenny Weigle. Unexpected memes I’d throw out at random. And lots I’m forgetting.
And finally, to all the CMX’ers and community professionals around the world taking this profession to new heights in new ways, that we all reap the benefits from. Thanks for all that you do! Community on!!!”
– Blake Ethridge, CMX Connect Host
“The events! CMX Summit, of course, but also the mastermind sessions, as well as the awesome CMX Connect events about chapter programs organized by Tali Vasilevsky and Eli van der Giessen!”
– Aaron White, CMX’er
Join the Community!
The learning, the resources, and the fun never stops in the CMX Community. Join the world’s largest group of community professionals, who are connecting with each other, learning together, and growing the community industry!