We ran a survey to community group leaders to learn what tools they use and like to manage groups.
In October 2020, the Autodesk Group Network ran a survey to community group leaders to learn what tools they use and like to manage their communities. The goal of the survey was to help new (and existing) group leaders choose the right set of tools to make their group work easy and successful, and decide whether to pay for certain services.*
Groups use tools to do all sorts of things. We surveyed groups about their use of 36 different tools across several broad categories: group platforms, event management/ virtual meetings, discussion/ chat, websites/ knowledge management, and group admin.
Some top-level insights are below, and more specific insights from the survey are integrated throughout this Tools for Groups section.
Top Tools that Groups Use
It’s important to note that the survey was designed to get a quick and rough sense of tool use by group leaders. The survey does not provide deep insights on the nature of use by groups and group leaders (e.g. does the Group have a YouTube channel, or just use and share resources from YouTube).
Groups do pay for some tools and report getting good value
About half of the groups pay for some of the tools they use: 45% pay.
Of those who pay, everyone either strongly agreed (78%) or agreed (27%) they were getting good value for their money.
The tools that groups report paying for are: Zoom, Microsoft Teams, their website, MailChimp, Discord, Slack, and social network ads.
There’s no one answer, single winner, or any big losers in this survey. Several of the responses from group leaders echo the general guidance on the Community Dojo to “keep things simple and grow organically.”
A leader from the Edmonton BIM Community (eBIMc) said “Keep it simple, and do not over complicate things”
Another leader said “No tools are perfect, finding what will be good enough for your group is key. Adoption wins over features every time.”
* This is in support of the Autodesk’s Group Network’s mission. Specifically, underpinning the community with resources to help leaders adopt new and better ways of working, and manage their user groups.
Full Survey Results
Tools were broken-out into broad categories
For each tool, respondents could choose: Don’t Use, Dislike, Neutral, Like
“Don’t Use” responses were removed from this chart
Full results from the 2020 survey on Community Tools by the Autodesk Group Network
33 responses, from people around the world with deep community experience
The majority of respondents are leaders within the Autodesk Group Network, across industries and products
What is your connection to Autodesk groups?
Please select your industry focus.
Paying for Tools
Do you pay for any of the tools you use for your user group / community?
In general, the cost of the community tools I pay for is worth the value I receive. Number of responses: 15 responses.
Community Conversation Tools (including Social Media)
Events/ Virtual Events & Meeting Tools
Group Leader Work/ Admin Tools
Websites and Knowledge Management tools
Verbatim tips from group leaders
We manage multiple touch points to get people interested in participating because not everyone likes this tool or that service. Also we don’t limit membership to only our local area. Making connections and supporting our peers is more important that where you live.
Google tools are great. They're free, simple, powerful, and work well together.
MS PowerBI for analizing online group statistics
Be active on social media as much as possible to keep the group visible.
We are making 2 virtual meetings per month, using Google Meet, and we record it and make the video public in YouTube, but we don't have a group channel
No tools are perfect, finding what will be good enough for your group is key. Adoption wins over features every time.
involve people and listen to them
Moderate and create threads regularly, at least 1 (one) per week.
It is not cheap, but consider buying some kind of system that joins a physical meeting with remote attendes (both audio and video)
TEAMS has worked well for our group, we can add files, chat, record, and share screens. The issue is getting non-admin people to post and share. We have invited Autodesk folks and presenters to our group as well.