We don’t make communities. But we’re a community company. We don’t run communities. But we’re a facilitator of them. We don’t have an online community. But our community members sometimes gather online.
If you’re a Hautie, you’re part of a community that doesn't suck. Community means having people you can reach out to when you need them. Community means helping where you see help is needed. Community is a place, a feeling, and a gathering all rolled into the comfort of knowing that it's there.
Being part of a community creates a feeling of belonging. A warmth of friendship. A common ground. Communities are diverse in thought, expertise, experiences, and backgrounds.
Communities shouldn't suck your time or energy, but should energize you and value your insights.
When you participate in a Haute Dokimazo gathering or event, you immediately notice the warm welcome. The sense of belonging. The inclusive conversation. When you bring your whole self, devoid of title and ego, you meet new people on a human level.
For a brief moment in 2020, we thought we should create an online community. We tried it for about 30 days and… nothing. Why?
Online communities aren’t our jam.
People are busy and the last thing they need is yet another thing they have to put time and effort into.
There’s no pathway to really build relationships with other members.
But we’re a community company. A pretty successful one, actually, with a community of Hauties over 3,000-people strong. Why?
We know that a community is really just a sense of belonging. We attract and retain people who identify as a Hautie, and that’s all they need to do.
People are busy and they want to engage when they decide to - with no pressure, guilt, or expectations placed on them. We create gatherings that everyone knows are camera-on and anchored in conversation, so when people join, the expectation to engage for that moment is set.
Because we create shared experiences that evoke an emotional response and are anchored in conversation, we create genuine connections among the participants. If you ask some of our Age of Conversation participants what they loved about that virtual event, some will tell you it was the virtual trip to Thailand where they bathed elephants or that terrifying moped ride through town. Some will say it was the planning process where they worked together to bring the event to life. Some will say it was Rachel Sheerin’s unique way of doing a keynote presentation with multiple camera angles that no one had seen before. No matter what they say, it was an experience that evoked surprise, delight, intrigue, happiness, curiosity, or even fear (seriously, that moped ride was scary!) that marked the moment in time for them. And they had the experience together. And then they got to talk about it together.
Where do our community members gather?
Wherever they want to! Some meet up through industry associations that they are already part of. Some are part of a WhatsApp group that formed during our November 2019 Secret Family Reunion. Some are in a Slack channel that was created for the Age of Conversation Summit. Some are in online Facebook groups run by other organizations. And when they do meet up, when our Hauties announce themselves “Anyone else here a Hautie?” They find others. They even recruit others accidentally. You can see some of our Hautie community stories by following @hautedokimazo or #hautedokimazo on Instagram.
So as a "community company", here’s what we know: You need a vibrant offline community first. That doesn't have to mean that it didn't form online (we picked up quite a few community members this year remotely!), it just means that a message board is not the place to start.
Online communities don’t just spontaneously form. They start when people connect around a shared focus, then attract others with the same focus.
In 2021, we are very excited about the opportunities for communities to form - we’ll call them “offline,” even though many of the gatherings will still be digital experiences.
If you are in the event industry, you are part of our #HugLife community. You can find other Hauties gathering at event industry conferences like PCMA Convening Leaders and additional Haute Dokimazo experiences throughout the year. You can also join us at our first in-person event, Haute Dokimazo Secret Family Refresh, July 27-30, 2021 at the Atlantis, Paradise Island, Bahamas. We have 90 spots and registration opens on January 11, 2021!
If you are a leader of the marketing or sales organization at your company, you can apply to participate in Convo, a four-quarter research study and relationship-building program kicking off on February 23rd with quarterly virtual conversation-based summits. This program is limited to 400 participants for the year and is not only a proof of concept, but also a training and offline/online community of sorts for executives who don’t have time to be part of a traditional community, but want the relationships they need to succeed in business. It's primary objective is to be a research study seeking to measure the impact of shared experiences on pipeline generation and deal acceleration in a business setting.
Through these programs, we’ll attract more Hauties together in a non-invasive, personally and professionally-rewarding, authentic way that builds profitable relationships for participants. The world is a better place with more Hauties in it.
Welcome to the new definition of community.
Liz Lathan, CMP is co-founder and CEO of Haute Dokimazo, sparking profitable relationships through genuine connection anchored in shared experiences and conversations. Explore the #HugLife community for event professionals and Convo, a new year-long program for marketing and sales executives. Subscribe to our Journal of Human-Centric Marketing to get weekly content.
Haute Dokimazo is part of Haute Companies, a family of companies that believe in human connection, from events to media (podcasts, videos, and more) to direct mail to swag to entertainment talent management to strategy session facilitation. Contact Liz at firstname.lastname@example.org