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Articles > Building Your Community > What does the future of community building look like?

What does the future of community building look like?

With COVID restrictions lifting, how have communities changed, and how can you continue to grow and engage members online and offline?

Over the past two years, the pandemic has affected the way in which we cultivate and grow communities, and how we interact with organisations and each other. With in-person contact off the table for much of the last few years, the ability to create new close connections and maintain relationships within existing networks has been difficult. However, community managers have worked hard to provide opportunities for networks to come together online, and digital trends have dominated the conversation around community building in the future. As traditional methods of engagement continue to be assessed, what can we learn about the future of community building?

Bringing international communities together is easier now than ever before

While many countries have eased restrictions within their own countries, it’s a slow process towards the world opening up, and international travel is still off the cards for many people. Instead, the pandemic has given people the opportunity to virtually connect with others living around the globe, enabling open discussions to take place on global topics such as climate change. Being able to share experiences and create connections with those living in places they wouldn’t normally travel to is an element of community building that many will be keen to stay. 

Members are benefitting from more frequent and greater access to their network

In some cases, formalities around building connections have been minimised, with many communities building an online platform that enables 24/7 access to networking opportunities, discussion forums and resources. Community members can now connect on-the-go via a mobile app, and receive notifications via email or their app to encourage regular contact. Community members are better placed to take advantage of all of the opportunities their network offers them, at a time that suits them. Online communities are here to stay, and what we can do with them will only grow overtime. 

Peer-to-peer learning is still one of the most important values for members

Peer-to-peer learning, whether in the form of informal conversations or presentations at a virtual conference, remains one of the most important ways of driving community engagement. Particularly in times of uncertainty, the camaraderie and reassurance of having others in the same boat has spurred on conversations and led to new connections being formed. Access to peers living globally has again proved insightful, though local contacts remain important. 

The pandemic has changed much about how we thought communities could operate, further reinforcing that physical distance might not have the negative impact on communities as we once thought. Instead, opportunities to learn about cultures, share ideas, and create solutions together online has benefitted many communities during this period of change. 

An all-in-one solution makes it easier to build your community, with a smart system to store data, segment contacts and encourage engagement. ToucanTech offers a private community hub for members to connect with one another, download resources, sign up to events and participate in forum discussions, and is fully integrated with a powerful CRM and database to track insights and manage memberships. To find out more, speak to a member of the ToucanTech team.

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