We speak with Neil Thompson, Founder of Delegate Wranglers, to find out all about the huge growth of the online community and how it helps event organisers.
Delegate Wranglers is an online community, specifically for event professionals, where the industry can come together to network, generate leads, and solve problems. The service was founded in 2014 by Neil Thompson and was initially created to solve the problems Neil was coming up against as an Event Manager: “We currently have about 25,000 members worldwide,” Neil says. “In 2014, I set up the group to help me do my job better. It was basically a place where when I needed some ideas or some help, I could speak to people. We all started helping each other, called it The Delegate Wranglers, and it grew and grew and grew.”
The community has spread through word of mouth to become a go-to resource for much of the industry: “It’s become a place that’s really well-known throughout the industry. Event managers go there to get their problems solved, suppliers come to make connections and do business. We see lots of live leads on there every day.”
The group is extensively moderated to ensure that it is a friendly and collaborative place for the industry: “We always wanted to make it a really positive place. It’s not one of those toxic spaces on the internet. We try to run it really fairly; we don’t allow negative posts.”
Since the service was established, it’s seen an ever-growing response: “I always liken it to pushing a snowball up a mountain,” Neil says. “You’re pushing and the ball is getting bigger and bigger, and the task is getting harder, and suddenly you’re at the peak of the mountain and it gathers pace on the other side of it. Everyone starts telling everybody else about it, and the number of people who come up to us and say that they’ve been told they need to join Delegate Wranglers is great. It’s just been word of mouth. We haven’t spent any money advertising it.”
In fact, the community has been so successful, it garnered attention from Facebook: “Facebook asked if we would become one of their community partners, so we have a working relationship with them. We then won a place on their
Accelerator Programme as they liked the way that we were doing things, and the engagement we were having. At the time we were having around 85% engagement, users liking a comment, starting a comment, or replying to a comment. As one the community partners, we were mentioned on the Community Summit, which is something that Mark Zuckerberg hosts. We also do lots of trials for them, and they help us by connecting us with the right people.
“Our place on the Accelerator Programme is separate to being a community partner, and that involves offering ideas. We go on forums with them, and I spoke to the VP of Facebook during COVID.”
Delegate Wranglers has various membership options, one of which is free of charge: “The free membership is really important to me. From the start it was never planned to be a business, it was just planned to be a tool for me and other Event Managers to use and to help each other with. We always wanted there to be a way that people can access it for free.”