What is Clubhouse and how could it change the future of industry events?

Brand Engagement, Content Marketing, Digital Marketing, Events and Exhibitions

March 30, 2021

Clubhouse is a new social media app shaping up to be the next big thing in social networking. It’s still early days and I know the insurance and financial services sectors are naturally slow to adopt new platforms, but I believe it opens up vast opportunity for the future of industry events – particularly in the post-pandemic world.

What is Clubhouse?

In a nutshell, clubhouse is an audio-only app where individuals can join and host conversations, a.k.a. “rooms”. Each room has a different topic for discussion, often hosted by an expert or pioneer in the field. Users can find and join these conversations, and can join “clubs”, which are spaces where users can host conversations with/for the community of their choice. Currently, Clubhouse is for iPhone users only and requires an invitation to join. Read more about Clubhouse here.

How is this relevant to the financial services sector?

Clubhouse is a place for audiences to learn, experts to share, and like-minded people to connect. These activities of raising awareness and networking with target audiences resonates with what all of our clients in the sectors are striving to achieve.

Profiling individuals is something we are seeing perform increasingly successfully on LinkedIn in particular. Social media platforms are all about connecting with people, which is also at the core of the insurance market. Business, in normal times, is so often conducted in a face-to-face setting, based on real conversations and building relationships. Clubhouse facilitates this, providing the opportunity to connect with your peers and/or target audiences, both within your current network and on a wider scale of those with a relevant interest whom you may not otherwise have the potential to reach.

How can financial services brands use Clubhouse?

1. Follow individuals and clubs that share insights and information on your niche. Use this to find relevant rooms to join.

2. Listen in – join the “audience” of rooms discussing topics relevant to you. Take notes on any information or tips shared and implement these for yourself/your business

3. Ask questions – make the most of the specialist knowledge available. When you’re in the audience, consider how you can get tailored advice or information through asking the hosts/moderators your questions. Do this by “raising your hand” – click on the hand icon in the bottom left of your screen and wait for a moderator to invite you up to the stage.

This will benefit you twofold – not only will you gain access to valuable advice and insight, you will also raise your profile each time which will trigger other relevant users to follow you, thus beginning to build new connections and relationships.

4. Position yourself as an expert by speaking in and/or moderating your own rooms. This will propel your profile to be seen as an expert worth following and connecting with -leading to business relationships and conversions outside of Clubhouse.

The more you can appear in and add value to these rooms, the more you’ll stay front-of-mind and become the go-to for any related questions or business enquiries.

What is the format of Clubhouse rooms?

They are usually either one of or a combination of a speaker discussion session and/or a Q&A. I see these as similar to panel sessions at industry events or live podcast episodes with an added interactive element.

So, do you see Clubhouse replacing industry events?

Absolutely not – there will still very much be a place for physical events and exhibitions as we emerge from lockdown restrictions. However, Clubhouse presents a tool that would complement a company’s attendance at these industry events of the future. Meanwhile, it provides a valuable space to converse and connect with those around the world and/or in your market while physical events are not an option.

The platform is still so new that these opportunities will no doubt evolve as the app rolls out wider and inevitably opens up to sponsorships and ads, but some of the ways in which I could see its current form performing successfully for businesses as part of their event marketing mix include rooms/clubs planned before, during, and after industry events to:

• source valuable expert speakers
• promote hot session topics and speakers
• gather key trends and questions for the event
• debrief between keynote and session speakers as well as attendees and any interested parties who are not able to attend.

My top tip

Even if you are still unsure, I would urge you to download the app and familiarise yourself with it. From a business perspective, it is always best to be an early adopter and make your mark as experts. From a personal perspective, there is so much value to be gained from the community already on there.

Need help – or an invite?

I’ve become a bit of a clubhouse addict and, as you can tell, have been thinking a lot about how to strategise and get results from it. Get in touch for how we can help you on [email protected].
And, as they say on Clubhouse… “This is Helena, and I am done speaking.”