#Cmgrchat – 12/21: Community Manager Travel

Excessive traveling for conferences, meetups, events, or face to face meetings can do a number of positive and negative things for a community manager and their community.  What are some of the strategies that the best CMs have in place for not missing a beat?  How do they keep up with their day to day and keep their finger on the pulse while they’re out and about?  Check out their answers in this week’s chat topic regarding traveling.

Q1. How much traveling do you do for work? What systems have you put in place to deal with travel days?

Historian Company hosts conferences, I travel twice a year to them. Work there just as I do here, just more focused on F2F interactions

Shananigans5  Travel within Canada quite a bit, usually let our followers know that we’re going somewhere for an event

jennyweigle Wish I had a better system, but so far it’s just taking my computer everywhere with me and trying to keep up when I can

JGfromOC  when I do travel, I count on my team to keep things moving. Smartphone is a must. Above all, keep the players informed

evanhamilton I travel a couple of times a year for work. I have customer service folks I trust with Twitter, and organized processes.

momnonstop  We do travel for work. We have backup team in place should something pop up needing immed. attn during plane rides or out time

JPedde  I try to take care of everything possible the day before travel. Notify team. Keep smart phone on me, check in daily

Q2. How do you handle personal travel while working as a CM? i.e. vacations (as opposed to Q1 which was travel for work)

Historian  I get vacations, but still check on things while away. It just feels odd not to check in. Habits die hard.

momnonstop We use similar systems and trust each other to keep the communities thriving and engaging. Trust is number one in our office

Nathan_Lattanzi  I think this goes back to having a smartphone available. Being able to quickly check on work is crucial. Content is constant.

JPedde  I completely unplug if I go on a one-two week vacation. Necessary to avoid burn out. Put a LOT of effort in planning though.

zenguin I’ll schedule tweets, but if it’s a holiday, I let the community know that I’m taking off. I’m always monitoring, though

shankell Some personal travel should be personal only. No one needs you “checking in on your community” in Vegas.

Q3. What opportunities/benefits do you see arising from the ability to travel?

JGfromOC  traveling give us new experiences and lets us meet new people. Fresh perspective and ideas we can take w/ us.

shankell Flexibility! We have killer conferences in TO, but I’d like to venture out. Knowing I can travel and still be engaged, key.

djfanco  I like to schedule meetups/parties with the local power users/members.

JGfromOC IMO, being a CM means building offline, internal communities within ur organization just as much as building ones online

jennyweigle Personal & professional growth, industry insight, networking…many many benefits to traveling for work!

Q4. How have you utilized different locations as part of your CM work? Target certain cities? regions? Virtual?

jcness  I’ve targeted specific cities, towns, and even university communities in my cmgr role. It’s a challenge, but results are cool.
cusecomm  for my brand I have visited specific stores in other regions that carry us it’s important to have real face 2 face time

valeriemorini I try to create location specific streams to see what is going on there & engage. Will search/follow industry & city & engage

KellyLux When we’re in an area with a lot of alumni (ie NYC), usually plan a tweetup to connect. Always a great time!

JPedde We look at where conferences or recruitment fairs are for the upcoming year and then let members know we’ll be there

Q5. What are the downsides to travel while working as a CM? What are you missing out on

hugeheadca none IMHO meeting new people and exchanging views is what I love about travel and what I love about social

Nathan_Lattanzi  In essence you may very well be missing out on real life experiences on a vacation if you’re plugged in the whole time

momnonstop I miss my team, collaboration and brainstorm sessions back, when I’m out for personal/vaca days.

Shananigans5  I always have trouble on long plane rides, no wifi is scary!

KellyLux When I travel, I miss out on those f2f interactions with community members (students) that keep my finger on the pulse

evanhamilton I definitely miss out on what’s going on /within/ the company while I’m gone. Internal community is just as important…


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About the author

Jenn Pedde

Jenn is a Co-Founder of The Community Manager and the Editor-In-Chief. She’s also an adjunct professor at the Syracuse University School of Information Studies. You can find her almost anywhere online, but specifically on #CmgrChat every Wednesday from 2-3pm ET.