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Anh Nguyen

Head of Community Engagement

twine

Anh expresses the importance of creating engaging experiences through thought-provoking questions that allow your guests to feel connected.

So I'm Anh Nguyen, I'm the Head of CommunityEngagement at Twine. So we're a virtual networking platform that is used to connect event attendees and remote teams, and I've been in the event industry for about 15 years, so started and still own an event planning company that has now pivoted to doing virtual events, but I've always worked in the industry, partnered with event technology companies and as of recently, joined Twine as their Head of Community Engagement. When the pandemic happened, I think what event planners and marketers and all of us learned is that you can take content and deliver it online pretty easily. So in a webinar or as a session, but the networking piece and the serendipity and the running into someone at the water cooler in your office, or running into someone at a coffee break station at a conference, that was really hard to reproduce. So what Twine does is, we match people for one-to-one or small group video conversations, and you're just sort of put into a group and there's questions that help spark meaningful dialogue, and it just kind of recreates that human connection and being seen and heard that is a little bit hard to create online. So we're working on solving the problem of connecting people virtually.

 

Creating strategy around tight COVID restrictions

So for 10 years, we did almost only strictly in-person events, and so in the last year, lots of folks in the industry, we had to learn multiple different types of platforms, lots of different kind of technologies, lots of different kind of event design to take event experiences online. So we're learning like everyone else, but the Delta variant that has come back has forced us to stay online a little bit longer, especially up inCanada, where I'm from, things are a little bit more conservative. So we've only had one in-person event this year, everything else virtual, so our team is learning every day about new technologies, new design ideas, new ways of creating engagement platforms like Twine, so it's quite the evolution for the industry, and I don't think it's ever gonna go back to the way we knew it pre-pandemic, but it's been a journey that has tested our resilience and our ability to just dig down and figure things out for our clients. So I speak for most of the industry when I say, it's still an adventure we're on, I think.

 

Sparking engaging conversations that matter

So I think we've all been to either live or virtual networking experiences where they try to do ice-breakers. And all of a sudden, you find yourself in a Zoom room with 30 people, talking about your favorite type of car, which is not really that engaging of an experience in terms of connecting with another human. So Twine has a bank of curated questions where, when you get into Twine, there's questions that just help dig a little bit deeper to give you an opportunity to tell your story. So one of my favorite questions is, "What has sparked joy for you this week?" So how somebody answers that, tells you a lot about who they are, what they value in their life, the things that are a priority, and so the questions are just meant to be a little bit more meaningful, dig a little bit deeper and get past over that transactional networking that we're used to doing. So we skip past the, "Who are you? What do you do? How is the weather where you are?"And get to some questions that make people feel connected, like what humans yearn for is to be seen and be heard, and the humanity aspect of our product isa big deal to us, so yeah. That's what we mean when we say meaningful conversations.