CreativeMornings is a fast growing global community that organizes monthly lectures aimed at the creative community. Each month, volunteer organizers in 99 cities around the world select a local speaker that fits with a common theme. The goal is to ”celebrate a city’s creative talent” and to “promote an open space to connect with like-minded individuals.”
Nexalogy founder and CEO Claude Theoret spoke about black holes at one of the first CreativeMornings meetings in Montreal, and since then we’ve worked with CreativeMornings headquarters in New York to analyze the social media data from close to a year of meetings.
We presented our findings and recommendations at the very first CreativeMornings Summit, which brought together organizers from over 30 countries,.
Below are three key insights we extracted about their community, using the NxLive data analysis platform. We also identified three related opportunities to help their community evolve and grow.
1. Keep Moving From Caveman to Community
Our first look at CreativeMornings (CM) data covered February to the end of April of this year. One interesting thing that jumped out right away was the shape of their network.
We generated an Interaction Map that shows how different entities (in this case individual and CM city accounts on Twitter) are connected to each other within the CreativeMornings community, based on their use of CM hastags.
The first Interaction Map looked like this:
That’s example of what network scientists call a “caveman network.” Each of the clusters shown above represents the mini network of a different CM city. It means that each of the cities is something of a community unto themselves. They’re off in their own “cave” and aren’t connected. The only point of connection is the main CreativeMornings account.
Simply put, in the early part of this year, CreativeMornings was a collection of discreet city networks. It wasn’t one community.
We looked at the Interaction Map again after gathering data from May to September. The change was remarkable:
This is more of a community, rather than a caveman network.
We see that CreativeMornings HQ is still at the center, but the caves for each city have largely been abandoned in favor of a more connected community. It’s remarkable progress.
Now, that’s not to say there isn’t still work to be done…
The Opportunity: Cities can still be much better better connected with each other, and the Summit in New York was a perfect way to forge in-person connections that can result in a closer digital community, and more coordination between chapters. We encouraged chapter organizers to learn from each other, and to figure out ways to cross-promote content and events in cities that are in the same state, province, or nearby country.
2. The CreativeMornings Experience Should Be Deliciously Creative
As part of our work, we analyzed the top hashtags, the most engaged Twitter accounts, and the top concepts that people spoke about. That data told us which chapters were doing a great job on social media, and on Twitter in particular.
But to understand what makes for a great CreativeMornings experience, we had to dig a deeper and look at the content people were creating and sharing while at the event. What moved them to tweet, to post to Facebook and to Tumblr? And what did they talk about?
Speakers were key. “Speaker” was in fact the third most talked about concept in the data from May to September. That was to be expected, but over and again we saw that one of things that moved people to share and talk about their CM experience was food.
When a chapter did something special with the food and coffee — breakfast tacos, anyone? — it resulted in engagement and appreciation. Food is an important part of the CM experience. We saw this over and again, with tweets and Tumblr posts pouring in when something delicious was on offer.
On that note, here’s a sample of some of the food offerings that attendees deemed photo-worthy:
The Opportunity: Invest in the small things that can create engagement and shareable moments. The overall CM experience is a combination of everything: the speaker, the venue, the food, and even small touches like name tags and other items of surprise and delight. Focusing on the totality of the event changes CM from a lecture series to an experience. This helps grow the online community, and increase the happiness of existing members.
3. Make Time for the Time Between Events
CreativeMornings are a monthly breakfast lecture event. That’s the core of the experience, and we saw it reflected in the overall pattern of discussion on social media. Here’s the Twitter activity graph for the first few months of the year:
The peaks come when cities hold their monthly events. The valleys are the rest of the time, with small bumps when chapters announce the details of their next event.
We saw a similar pattern from May to September:
There are more peaks during the more recent period because cities are no longer all holding their event on the same Friday of the month. There are multiple Fridays with events.
This data tells us that as of today CreativeMornings is very much an occasion, rather than an ongoing conversation. As a result, a lot of the social conversation has to do with getting tickets, scheduling, locations etc. It peaks and recedes. There is little, if any, talk in between meetings, aside from chapters announcing and promoting the next talks.
The Opportunity: CreativeMornings can build a constant, active community on social media by having a virtual event that continues all month long. the starting point for this is CM’s massive library of video from recent and past talks, as well as photos and other content. It’s a perfect catalyst to help kickstart online engagement. Videos from around the world can be shared from local accounts, sparking discussion and further connecting chapters to each other. Suddenly, the theme truly lasts all month long, and CreativeMornings is more than once a month — it’s all the time.