Meet Our 2024 Swarm Speaker: Evan Hamilton

 

Meet Evan Hamilton, Director of Community and Hubspot.

We’re so excited to have Evan Hamilton appear as part of our Swarm 2024 lineup. He’s been one of our most requested return Swarm speakers, and is a valued part of the Swarm community.

At Swarm this year, Evan will deliver one of our webinars on 30 August, with a presentation titled “Maintaining Quality Communities at Scale: Lessons from Reddit and HubSpot”.

Tickets are on sale now – grab yours!

We recently interviewed Evan to provide you with more insight into our San Franciso-based speaker and how he sees the world.

(Before you read further, we’ll remind everyone Evan is American, and we’ve quoted him verbatim. American spelling and all.)

Tell me about yourself and your community management history:

I stumbled into community through a Craigslist post about a MySpace page (just to date myself) and discovered that I had been waiting my whole life for such a role. I’m an introvert who loves understanding people, bringing them together, and creating joyful experiences for them. I was hooked, and I’ve been building communities professionally for the 15+ years since then.

 

What has been your favourite role/community?

I’m not sure I can pick a favorite role because they’re all amazing and hard in different ways. Leading community at Reddit was an incredible experience that I’m so grateful for (though it was also incredibly exhausting).

 

What’s unique about working on your current community?

HubSpot has always been on the cutting edge of SaaS and, unsurprisingly, is on the cutting edge of community. It’s really fun and exciting to try really different things but within the support and confines of a very big company. The work is definitely on multi-year horizons, but I’m really excited about where it’s going. If we pull this off, community will be a central component of most of our public-facing efforts.

 

What community platforms do you personally hang out on? (either socially or professionally)

I’ve loved Reddit since before I worked there and still hang out there quite a bit.

I’m enjoying Threads, though I miss Twitter (but I don’t miss supporting a terrible person).

I’m a part of a lot of small slacks and text threads that feel probably the most intimate and valuable to me.

 

What is your favourite aspect about your community (either on you manage or one you’re a part of)?

I love that HubSpot fans are so passionate and so smart. A big chunk of my job is just figuring out how we can get out of the way and let them cook, because when we do they create amazing outcomes like events spread across the globe, thousands of excellent answers in our success community, and amazing content on social.

 

How are you tackling the constantly changing social media space (i.e. The Twitter to X rebrand, Meta’s changing rules re: journalism, owned platforms vs social based communities)?

First, I try to build a core audience via email. I have an email newsletter called Community Manager Breakfast that goes out once a week and features 3 curated links about community building. Having that direct access every week is really important.

Second, I try new platforms all the time. I don’t invest deeply unless it’s a fit, but I want to be aware of what’s out there and move when I see an opportunity.

Lastly, always focus on quality. I’ve skipped weeks of my newsletter because I didn’t feel the quality was high enough. I might post 8 times in one week and then 2 the next week because I just don’t have anything of value to provide. Although the algorithm likes volume and consistency, I’ve found that PEOPLE want quality.

 

What are you reading/watching/listening to right now that all community professionals should read/watch/listen to?

The best things I find go into Community Manager Breakfast so you should definitely subscribe to that. 😉

That said, I’ve been really impressed with the insights on the Beginner Maps podcast and I will basically read anything written by Tiffany Oda, Brian Oblinger, Richard Millington, or Carrie Melissa Jones.

 

What do you love most about Swarm?

The people who attend Swarm are SO smart and thoughtful and passionate. I’ve had some of the most intriguing conversations of any conference at Swarm!

 

Tickets are on sale now – grab yours!

 

See all our speakers here!

 

Meet Victoria Cumberbatch, Founder & Principal of adventuresOFcommunity and community manager extraordinaire.

Victoria is a transformation leadership coach in Denver, USA. She helps people move from states of tension to states of intention. Her neuro-friendly and trauma-informed lens supports people through coaching, breathwork, and communal events.

At Swarm this year, Victoria will deliver one of our webinars on 14 August, with a presentation titled “Becoming an Authentic Leader at Home & at the Workplace”.

Tickets are on sale now – grab yours!

We recently interviewed Victoria to provide you with more insight into our Denver-based speaker and what makes her tick as a community manager.

Tell me about yourself and your community management history:

Within the past full year, I’ve pivoted from over a decade of serving in community building to coaching and facilitation. It took me nearly that entire decade to discern the golden thread that my form of contribution is through the lens of community building, management and design. I hadn’t realized that that was what I’d been ‘doing’ until the covid moment, where the community industry seemed to explode.

I got into community many moons ago, after graduating with a government degree and no job. I chose to do long term substitute teaching followed by long term backpacking, as a rotation, for many years in my 20s. When I would travel, I would typically do work exchanges, home stays or work at hostels and these environments are really where I began to gather people intentionally. Then with full time work, the titles morphed to ‘program coordinator’ or ‘program leader’ to inevitably, community manager or something more aligned with what I was actually doing.

My favorite role, albeit the most challenging as well, was leading a community of digital nomads around the world for a year with a co lead. We oversaw the experience and well being of about 50 adults for 12 months solid, including a few months of shadowing. Here’s what it was like!

 

What’s unique about working on your current community?

Currently, I am slowly building an in person community in Denver, where I now live, based around somatic work. I delved into embodiment work in the past few years of living here and became a breathwork facilitator, so I offer community breath experiences around town and I’m starting to attract regulars!

 

What community platforms do you personally hang out on? (either socially or professionally)

Very few, to be frank with you. Primarily, Slack, Heartbeat and Facebook Groups!

 

What is your favourite aspect about your community (either on you manage or one you’re a part of)?

One of the best aspects of a former community I managed was the permission to be creative with intrinsic level ‘perks.’ This allowed me to go wild with things like themed months, month long bingo activities, experimenting with different virtual ‘tea times’ and getting deep into discussion on dicier topics. That was fun to me and kept me motivated to keep envisioning new innovative ideas to keep people connected and returning.

 

How are you tackling the constantly changing social media space (i.e. The Twitter to X rebrand, Meta’s changing rules re: journalism, owned platforms vs social based communities)?

I’m not! With ADHD and working for myself, I truly can not handle the rate of change. So, I’ve decided to simply hang up perfectionism and do what I can when I have the energy for it. It’s something I preach heartily about now as well.

 

What are you reading/watching/listening to right now that all community professionals should read/watch/listen to?

I love to read April MacLean’s newsletters and body double with either of these apps: Groove or FLOWN.

 

What do you love most about Swarm?

I love how intentional Swarm is, whether it be with content, outreach, recognition of the land any team member might currently be on and so much more. This sort of thing, intentionality, gives me the perception that the people at Swarm care more about being in integrity than straight up capitalism.

 

Tickets are on sale now – grab yours!

 

See all our speakers here!