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Community Building with Impact

Sead Ahmetovic, CEO and Co-Founder of WeAreDevelopers joined SlavConf Virtuality and shared how they created their community of developers over the years and how they keep it growing and reinforce it each year.
For him the community aspect of their events is the most important one, as the audience interacts with each other and creates value for one another:

“For me both from a professional and personal perspective, communities are larger than anything else. They are larger than businesses, products, social networks, brands and single individuals as well. Because they provide you with opportunities that you can take or not take, but if you take them they can boost you professionally and personally. They can make your life better.”

He explained that the live interaction is not crucial for the community, which is something they discovered during the COVID pandemic:

“Even during COVID when we couldn’t do any in-person events, we realized it’s not the events – it’s the community. We did 80 virtual events in two years for the community where they still got great content with amazing people. That was astonishing to us because even if it wasn’t in-person the community was still loyal because they get some value, they can engage with each other and share knowledge.”

WeAreDevelopers have built their community with the mission of being more than educational events, which Sead believes is what the market was missing:

“Our mission today is to help developers level up their professional careers, accelerate their personal growth and improve their quality of life in general. This requires more than just educational content. Communities are not just about providing content, obviously. It requires a community based on common values and interest, which is engaging, which enables interaction and enables people to meet and connect. Ultimately, it creates new opportunities by the members themselves. They can be business-related, they can be educational, they can be new friendships, love relationships, etc. But the organizers provide the platform.”

Sead explained creating a community or even joining one takes effort and persistence to make a valuable contribution and meaningful connections. Communities are able to provide numerous opportunities for the members who are actively participating and engaging with the activities offered by the organizers or by the other members. He shared that the good community is like a living organism which at times is self-supported and self-developed, using the platform provided by the organizers:

“If you want to run your own community or even if you just want to be a member of one, it takes some effort, but it really pays off. It can really have a significant impact on both individual members and the industry as a whole.”

Sead listed and explained his 5 key takeaways for those who are eager to start their own community:

  1. Establish your purpose and goals
  2. Create a strong foundation
  3. Foster a sense of belonging
  4. Encourage inclusively, engagement and collaboration
  5. Choose the right platform

An event, according to Sead, can be much more than just a gathering of people from the same industry, when there is a strong community to reinforce its significance and impact:

“What started as a simple need to find more like-minded people grew into an event attended by world-class tech leaders where the audience comes to find out the latest happenings in the industry and genuinely to connect.”

Read the full materials in the upcoming Impact Report 2022

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