Maker Party 2015: The Evolution of a Year-long Party

The party don’t stop (that’s always been one of my favourite lines to say!). For 2015 our Learning Networks team decided to take a step back to evaluate how our beloved Maker Party could bridge the gap between a campaign and year long engagement strategy. In the past we’ve successfully thrown a two or three month campaign that allowed people around the world to celebrate the web with us, but our challenge this year was to truly show how we can go from a short campaign to a year-long party where people, community and partners were able to celebrate at all times. We started by first evaluating what we loved about Maker Party and was a ‘must-keep’ for us, thereafter applying those to our team’s yearly objective of increasing the number of Web Clubs and sustained engagement in cities around the world.

From July 15-July 31, 2015 the campaign will live as you have seen it in previous years, and though our community is encouraged to participate with people around the world at that time, they are also empowered to party in their city at all times of the year. We’ve outlined much of our thinking below but stay tuned for more information on how to join the party.

Maker Party Indonesia  Source: http://bit.ly/1BR9non
Maker Party Indonesia
Source: http://bit.ly/1BR9non

What made Maker Party a success:

  • Mobilized the community. We built momentum for our projects and products that helped mobilize the community.
  • Global action. It was done by people around the world; there was a sense of global success and encouragement.
  • Specified time frame. It has a short time frame with dates that enforced real action at a specific time.
  • People raised their hand. For people and partners that wanted to get involved, it was the first step to doing something that created greater engagement in the future.

What do we keep for the 2015 party:

  • Global action. Continue to have *one* time of year where *all* of our global community is called on to participate — but in a modified way.
  • Two-week kick-off campaign. Use a two-week “kick-off” to identify hot-spot locations. Then focus longer, year-long engagement plans on those places / communities, following the heat.
  • Brand. Keep the Maker Party brand as an event umbrella that can be used as a campaign structure by partners and community members.
  • Clear actions. Quick/fun activities and makes that help ramp up our community to complete future club models.
  • Ongoing local engagement. Create opportunities for designated areas to continue engagement all year long.
  • Tied to Mozilla Hive and Web Clubs. Maker Party activity is directly tied to larger Learning Networks team goals, focused on driving participation in clubs, Hives and engagement channels.

What’s different from previous years:

  • Bridge a one-off campaign with year-round, ongoing strategy.
  • Reduced overhead/operational support by having a single, packaged activity directly tied to Club curriculum.
  • Targeted outreach to teach community and partners instead of broadcast marketing (i.e. snippet)
  • Build a local volunteer apparatus. That we can use to extend relationships and reach in cities / locales. And build local knowledge for smarter localized campaigns.
  • Not tied into product goals. Though we will still leverage the events map as a location mapper, the campaign is not tied to product roadmap and launches.

2015 proposal (aka the plan)

Our community has planned — and some have already prepared — for the 2015 party. They’re starting to organize events, and integrate their community strategies to grow from their 2014 parties. To keep these communities engaged, and stay true to the heart of the party, the proposal is to continue a two-week campaign-styled strategy that serves as a kick-off point to a year-long engagement strategy and introduction to Web Clubs.

The two weeks will continue to build momentum on the ground, support our larger goals of getting city activity started, and up-level the successes of past Maker Parties. The call to action will be to complete a specified activity from the new Mozilla Web Clubs curriculum currently being tested globally. After two weeks, we will encourage participants to keep learning with us by organizing clubs and throwing their own parties throughout the year.

We will work with Club Regional Coordinators to throw week-long Maker Parties in their areas throughout the year to build momentum and generate more clubs. We will also work with appropriate partners and funders that will benefit from short local engagement/event campaigns in a specific area at points in the year.

Maker Party Iran
Maker Party Iran 

Engagement Peaks:

  • May-June: buildup to the kick-off campaign. Ask communities and organizations to organize events and activities for the two-week kick-off.
  • July 15-30: global celebration of Maker Party around the world.
  • August: sustained engagement by participants, continuing the party and creating clubs.
  • September-November: Web Club Regional Coordinators organizing Maker Party weeks in local cities. Local clubs kick off campaigns throughout, to build momentum and encourage new clubs.
  • On-going: potential partner or location-specific parties.

Production Plan:

Mozilla Engagement and Learning Networks team prepare marketing and action plan around two week kickoff campaign.

  • Update to existing Maker Party materials. Phasing party.webmaker.org out and rolling into new teach.mozilla.org [launching in April]
  • Packaging a single web literacy activity to be used, as well as optional lo-fi mobile activity
  • Create master messaging plan for the campaign
  • Content strategy for mailing lists, community channels and email engagement to our existing lists/community members
  • Tweaking images and design assets that can be transferable across site, communications and social
  • Targeted promotion in email, social, blog, Webmaker website(s), community channels and via select partners.
  • Strategic PR plan to use MP as an earned media platform for establishing thought leadership in global digital literacy movement and raise visibility around Web Clubs.
  • Content to post on outside networks for partners, community and networks to share
  • Collaborate with other teams across Mozilla to share communications through larger outlets and through Mozilla properties/teams
  • Ensure Web Clubs Module 1 and Mobile Module are ready for greater consumption

Plan for post-MP kick-off and year-round activity

  • Zero-in on local areas with heat.  Encourage sustained engagement through the year with Web Clubs.
  • Messaging and marketing outreach. For those that throw parties after the two-week kick-off, to level-up their event into a Mozilla Web Club. Identify specific times of year for engagement and marketing support that make sense in that city or locale.
  • Gather data from participants into funnel. Leverage for Web Clubs communications and other engagement throughout the year.
  • On-going work with partners and funders. To throw MP events in designated areas as ways to engage local community
  • Regional Coordinators throw week-long Maker Party events in their regions through Q3/Q4 to build momentum and create more Web Clubs
  • On-going channel and event support, with emphasis on club specific activity

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