Business, Community, Non-Profit Organisation

How the ‘NEAR Foundation’ uses Airmeet to foster virtual crypto communities

Ishani Appaya
• May 13, 2021
University of Arkansas
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The NEAR foundation is a non-profit foundation headquartered in Switzerland. NEAR is a community driven, developer-friendly Proof of Stake (PoS) blockchain platform. The NEAR foundation is responsible for contracting protocol maintainers and funding ecosystem development.

The core of what NEAR does is to foster and grow their community outreach online to bring together leaders, influencers, communicators, experts, problem solvers and learners on a single platform to continuously share ideas, innovate and learn, together and from each other. The community’s core objective is to ensure that anyone who wants to build on NEAR have the financial, educational, and peer support to do so.

They do this through ‘Createbase’, their community guild whose core purpose is to bring together multiple guilds or communities, via incentivized partnerships: ie incentivizing members to bring a friend or to spread the word within their community. Createbase acts as an aggregator community for all aspiring projects and teams that are planning on building on NEAR platforms. Createbase is a very important piece of NEAR’s strategic growth plan as it supports community members by distributing funding from NEAR to community members who take initiative in building the Createbase space.

Read on to learn how the NEAR Foundation used Airmeet’s social webinar features to grow its community from 30-member meetings to a global multi-community hackathon!

Chloe Lewis

Challenges (& Solutions)

Challenge: To provide an active & accessible platform to a growing community

While developer communities are always run and managed online, they aren’t always synergistic in a group setting. Chloe Lewis works with NEAR foundation on its Community Team. She leads their Createbase guild and is tasked with running different events, building the community and extending this into collaborative projects between different guilds. Being part of a community is a big part of any blockchain developers life. As community manager, Chloe’s goal was to create a valuable community that is accessible, active, collaborative, interactive and valuable. One, that would attract and engage developers from across the globe enough, to have them keep coming back and actively participating. 

Airmeet served as the perfect meeting space for Createbase community’s fortnightly meetups as it proved to be 

  • An intuitive, easy-to-use platform: Setting up their event on Airmeet was easy, quick and efficient. It provided such a seamless experience for participants, speakers and attendees, that they quickly replaced their earlier modes of collaboration with Airmeet. The fact that there Airmeet requires no download, is supported by all browsers and available on mobile devices for participants, made it easy to get people onto the platform, thereby increasing attendance numbers and engagement.
  • An easily accessible virtual environment: Airmeet provided a robust and accessible virtual space with a strong privacy and security architecture. The guilds were able to  easily inform participants when the space was open, giving them a space to work collaboratively on projects or to catch up over their lunch breaks.
  • YouTube streaming: The ability to stream HD quality, seamless lag-free audio and videos, enabled them to grow, engage and expand their community reach further and beyond just their registrants and attendees.
  • Recorded sessions: Chloe found that often attendees were not experimentative with event and meet-up platforms, thus creating a barrier to attendance. They were thrilled about the recording option that allowed them to view the sessions at their leisure. 
  • Option to upload pre-recorded videos, manuals and documents: It was really handy that presentations or videos could be uploaded in advance by allowing the speaker to have all his material ready on the platform, as and when he required it.

Challenge: To provide a multi-faceted platform for secure and private conversations and group interactions

Chloe’s vision was to create an interactive and collaborative space for multiple guilds within the community. A space where developers can ask for help and hash out problems with peers or even competitors. A space where audits are sought, problems and security weaknesses discovered and aired, to seek collaborative solutions. One where members could meet up for a 1:1 discussion, or to listen to speakers, ask questions, hear about the latest updates from the foundation and also have a platform where they could present their ideas and projects, ask questions openly and catch up on all the latest news and developments.

She needed something that was a mix of a conference-type set up and table-type set up. Most of the platforms that she used in the past were purely conference or webinar ‘one-way’ communication; speaker to audience mode. Zoom was efficient as either one or the other but not as both and is not scalable.

Chloe had attended an event on Airmeet earlier and that had been an eye-opener for her in terms of event capabilities. As an attendee, she was able to seamlessly attend multiple speakers sessions, access material and network within the community. In a typical conference type set up she would never normally have thought to chat with folks in the community – even her peers who she interacted with on twitter or other forums. Here she was able to have short five minute catch ups or even hour long animated discussions!

Relating her experience during the event she attended on Airmeet

Airmeet “saved the day” so to speak. An event that I had attended planned a Team matchmaking exercise. They tried to place people in teams and send them different links to meet up as a team. When they realized how messy and time consuming it was they quickly pivoted back to Airmeet and labeled different tables and gave everyone table names. The chaos turned to calm instantly, eventually progressing to smooth completion of the event. It was great!”

With Airmeet’s social webinar plan Chloe was able to fulfil her vision and offer to the communities, a platform that allowed

  • Flexible, multiple uses: Whatever the need of the day, Airmeet’s features made it possible – be it a one-to-many webinar, a two-way interactive & participative workshop, team presentations or team table-type projects the guilds within the community could easily pivot owing to Airmeet’s robust features.
  • In-session engagement & option for participants to join the stage: The ability to have participants come up on stage and present their work allowed for a participative, interactive two-way learning space. In-session chats, Q&A and polls gave the audience multiple ways to stay interactive and engaged.
  • Social Lounge: This feature was particularly useful and allowed for
    • Post-event networking: In the past participants were hesitant to network and do much more beyond just listening to a speaker. The social lounge tables gave speakers and participants the option to freely mingle and catch up post/pre-event with peers from around the world, with some chats continuing for over an hour.
    • Interest-based discussions: Participants had the option to join labeled interest-based tables (eg: bitcoin table, ethereum table) for discussions, debates and brainstorming.
    • Team matchmaking & Speed Networking: The social lounge feature also proved useful for quick and easy team match-making collaborative project work, or for participants to get a little bold and enjoy some lottery system networking.!

Challenge: The need for a scalable platform for future events

The Createbase community focuses on non-fungible tokens, NFTs, social tokens or going into virtual worlds and building art pieces. The agenda of the events are fairly straightforward and well planned. On the event day co-founders go up on stage to spark the conversation, bring team members up on stage for five-minute “lightning talks”  to present their projects. This is followed by an AMA – ‘ask-me-anything’ where the floor is open for questions with the objective to educate community members to interact with and use the blockchain. Finally the social lounge space is left open for members of the community to chat.

However, the plan for the future is much larger. The goal is to grow the community in preparation for a global hackathon attracting hundreds of developers within the NEAR ecosystem, from around the world. Chloe wanted a platform that was scalable no matter the number of participants.

Airmeet’ s social webinar option ticked this checkbox as it offered

  • Scalable options: Whether it’s a 30 member community meeting, a 300+ high footfall hackathon that you have on the cards, Airmeet is easy to scale up and has the ability to host up to ten thousand attendees effortlessly.
  • 24/7 support lounge: Quick, fuss-free and instantaneous help for hosts, speakers and participants. In Chloe’s own words “I loved Airmeet’s 24/7 support lounge. It was so great to be able to just hop into the lounge and get help. It was so quick, easy and efficient.”
  • Post-event analytics: In Chloe’s words “This was really useful. It’s great to see how many chats happened, how many ppl were active and asking questions, how many ppl signed up and how many actually came. I use the tool a lot, and it’s definitely useful because I get asked questions by my superiors and I can get head over to the dashboard and answer them.” It also helps me with the information I need to scale up and plan my next event.

Said Chloe, “Airmeet is scalable even if I have say – 3000 participants, on Airmeet I am confident I can manage.”

Way Forward

For the launch of their latest platform Mintbase, Chloe is planning a global hackathon where community members of multiple guilds within the NEAR ecosystem will participate.

“I am definitely going to use Airmeet to scale up when I start planning our Hackathon. This is an important event as it’s a lead up to the launch of our Mintbase platform and I know Airmeet is where I’m going to be hosting it.” – Chloe Lewis.

Take a Demo and see how Airmeet can amplify your event!

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