The coronavirus lockdown has meant many businesses find themselves in a new and unexpected situation. For the Crypto Curry Club business networking community, it meant valuable in-person events had to cease almost overnight. How could the organisation adapt? And what infrastructure and support would they need?
Despite the global nature of emerging technology, finding locally-based contacts in your field is hugely important. The Crypto Curry Club is one of the UK tech and fintech sector's best opportunities to connect, running events in London, Bristol, Oxford and Cambridge. As they made the switch to video webinars, we were pleased to support them in developing their inbound marketing strategy.
Read on to learn how we helped Crypto Curry Club to keep doing what they do best!
Getting technical: taking the value of an in-person network online
Erica Stanford set up the Crypto Curry Club in 2018 to bring together key people in blockchain. She now offers highly regarded networking and educational events for the technology world, including the fintech and emerging tech communities. Rather than being promotional, business leaders and industry disruptors get together for a curry, share ideas, learn, and build connections. It's no wonder that these relaxed, monthly events have become a 'go-to'; attendees describe them as "thoughtfully curated" and "likely to benefit [the emerging tech scene] for years to come."
Ever since we first attended one of the ‘Curries’ to learn more about blockchain, our organisations have found ways to support each other. You'll sometimes see us mentioned in the Crypto Curry Club newsletter, on LinkedIn, and speaking at their events. We provide support for HubSpot, strategy, and newsletter content. When the coronavirus lockdown brought the in-person Curry Clubs to a halt, we stepped up to help Erica adapt to the situation.
One of the ways in which we help organisations like Erica's is to help them understand a key question: "how can this business add value?" What is their value proposition, and how can they act on it and communicate it best? It's all about helping our clients to help their customers – an ethos that's at the centre of how we work. For Crypto Curry Club, we understood the value of their offline events and translated this into successful online versions.
How to get your webinar set-up right (plus tips for running a webinar on Zoom)
Faced with a fundamental shift in the way the Crypto Curry Club operated, we worked with Erica on how to continue adding value for the UK’s tech community. This meant unlocking the power of digital channels to expand the network and adapt the business.
Even pre-coronavirus, Erica wanted to find out if webinars could open up the community to new attendees. We helped her answer questions like:
Are webinars the best way to get people involved?
How many webinars should you have?
How do you set up your webinar so it's open to registered guests only? (Answer: set up password protection for your webinar, as we did for the Curry Club).
Although Erica is a master at bringing people together, she was new to running webinars. We helped her meet the challenge, starting with coaching on how to construct and conduct an effective Zoom webinar. This included tips on platform basics, through to video call 'foibles' (like muting on entry to avoid disruption).
Webinars can have a lot of great functionality that you might not know about. In Zoom, you may benefit from the ability to break out into different 'rooms' for separate discussions, and you might want to send polls to participants during your webinar.
From the important perspective of lead capture, all registrations can be collected via Zoom (cutting the admin time of switching between different platforms). Zoom also integrates with HubSpot. Alternatively, you could choose to collect registrations via a HubSpot landing page.
Crypto Curry Club is getting value from webinars by opening up to a broader audience. They're now set up to share videos with followers (for extra functionality and an offering that's unique to being online). Webinars also allow the Crypto Curry Club to host international guest speakers more easily, and so far there have been several joining from Silicon Valley and Canada amongst others.
In addition, since the crypto and blockchain communities put a high value on security, we were able to offer reassurance in terms of the secure nature of HubSpot. We also took steps to ensure we implemented best practices for securing the Zoom webinars (such as preventing disruption from uninvited guests, known as ‘Zoom-bombing’).
Finding the true value of webinars
Crypto Curry Club needed an agile partner to help it react to unexpected events. We helped adapt its approach quickly, while also taking the core value of its offering — in-person events — into the digital sphere.
For me, the real story here is not about webinars in isolation, but in developing an effective communications and inbound marketing strategy. We stepped in to help Crypto Curry Club develop their digital marketing set-up, not just webinars alone.
Step one for Crypto Curry Club was connecting up their CRM infrastructure to enable better recording of data. This equipped them with contact and activity information, plus easier access to it — everything they’d need to support more data-driven marketing and sales.
It's easy to get excited about the details, like putting on a webinar or getting great interaction on LinkedIn (and Erica is no slouch here either, with an impressive following!) However, even more can be gained from thinking at a different level, one where we get strategic as well as practical. Using our combined BabelQuest knowledge and experience, we're helping to develop marketing strategies that assess what's needed, what can be delivered, and how the platform can be implemented and optimised. What the results tell us can feed into a clear, effective direction for continued growth.
There's a line in the Hitchcock film 'Rear Window' where Grace Kelly's character is talking to James Stewart. He's broken his leg and is stuck in a plaster cast. Previously uninterested in what Stewart has observed from his window, Kelly realises that he may actually be right about witnessing a murder. "Tell me everything you saw," Kelly says, "and what you think it means."
In this moment, a difficult situation changes for Stewart: he has allies who believe him. They take the next (physical) steps when the immobilised Stewart can't, and are on his side to support him – with their presence and their ideas — when things get challenging.
In a way, this pretty much sums up our work with Crypto Curry Club. Although hardly out of the game, they were affected by temporary changes and a different kind of mobility problem. However, it's easy to believe in an organisation that brings so much value. Being able to understand where they might go next — and how we can implement it — means we can help this organisation go even further in its aims.
The real lesson of using webinars is not just about going digital. It's about offering your customers value (and working out what value you can offer). We like to think it's also about finding a Solutions Partner who can help you see exactly what you need to enable you to hit your objectives and grow better.
So the next question is, are you ready for your close-up?