Last Friday saw the Workplace by Facebook UK Transform Awards. One of several customer centric gatherings to celebrate achievements and inspire existing and prospective Workplace customers. Award ceremonies are so often associated with impersonal hotels with a sprinkle of glamour designed to make everything feel that little bit special.
Bucking that trend this event was of course hosted in Facebook’s London HQ ( still so new you can smell the paint!) where the ‘special’ doesn’t come from table settings and celebrity hosts but from being able to soak up the energy and atmosphere of a place where people really make stuff happen. Love them or loathe them Facebook are undoubtedly phenomenally good at what they do and that really does seem to permeate the very bricks and mortar ( or lego and glass!). Watching senior leaders of some of Europe’s biggest brands, star struck and snapping photos of the Workplace values present on every wall. One thing was apparent, we were there to be inspired.
One thing front of mind for me was that customers, and more accurately, successful customers are at the very core of the Workplace product. Pitching Workplace as a “Facebook for work” just doesn’t cut it in the battle for a share of the enterprise community space. The story of Workplace is bought and sold on the basis of the changes you can make in your business by using it. The team at Facebook realise this and the core of the event was a showcase of truly excellent customer stories, told by those who have seen it deliver change. The enthusiasm and pride was infectious and a glance at people capturing shots of slides or furiously scribbling notes tells you the objective of showing just what’s possible was being met.
It wasn’t a show and tell session though, a well considered round table exercise got everyone sharing their thoughts and ideas on key adoption topics. Challenging questions and healthy debate left everyone with at least one little gem!
The product team ‘open mic’ invited “Hard Questions” and left you feeling you knew at least the general direction the product was heading. And of course there was no hiding the ‘elephant in the room’ and the recent security issues facing Facebook were faced head on and the assurances given were accompanied by what felt like a genuine apology for any difficulty this caused Workplace customers – ( Note the Workplace product is entirely unaffected).
We also had the opportunity to ‘take the stage’ being privileged to be asked to share the value that a Workplace Partner like Sei Mani can bring. Every organisation without exception can find value from Workplace but that value can be greater, faster and simply easier if you take advantage of our experience and expertise. We shared how at any point in your journey we can advise, guide and support you in reaching high levels of engagement and creating real change for your company.
We were also incredibly proud to be there to see one of our clients collect a coveted award. It really does show what can be achieved in a short space of time with the right people and expertise.
Events like this, primarily for customers you’ve already converted are a big investment in time and energy. But the Workplace team have got it right. The people who give us a community platform know that having a community themselves, built of natural advocates, partners and an open and transparent product team will help deliver what they need to continue to grow… real stories of real success we can all relate to and achieve, an ecosystem where help is close at hand and everyone is invested in making change happen.