So you want to host a YamJam?

Microsoft

So you want to host a YamJam?

Follow this quick guide to get jamming. 


What is a YamJam?

A YamJam is similar to a “TweetJam” on Twitter or an “Ask Me Anything (AMA)” on Reddit, except it takes place on Yammer. It provides the opportunity for people to ask questions and have a discussion with a panel of experts around a particular topic. We use them on the Office 365 Network to provide an opportunity for Microsoft to connect with thousands of potential customers, partners, MVPs, and Office 365 pros, but you can use them to discuss company policies, brainstorm ideas, gather feedback, or anything else!

What you need:

  1. A subject or topic.
  2. A team of SMEs (Subject Matter Experts) and engineers who agree to participate during the event.
  3. A moderator to handle pre/post event messages as well as coordinating the flow of Q&A. Your experts and/or community members might not be familiar with Yammer, so the moderator will keep things going and help answer questions about the format.
  4. 5 hours of time (1 hour YamJam plus 30 minute prep). We typically host these in the morning so Europe can participate.
  5. Find a place! YamJams work best if the team answering the questions is all in the same room. This is so the team can coordinate answers, assign responders, and have some internal conversation if needed.

Run Up to the Event

Schedule It: Lock in a date/time, and invite your SMEs.

Announce it: Now you can send out the invites to your community. Include any relevant information and resources in the announcement, including a way for attendees to add the event to their calendar.

Yammer setup: Either select a relevant group for your YamJam or make a new one. Provide details letting attendees know the time and place.

 

Event Prep (Day of)

Step 1: Get access.

Make sure the group is open to the intended audience and that the panel and attendees have access.

Step 2: Set expectations.

Help your panel by setting expectations. Explain the type of questions, the audience, the purpose of the event, and any other relevant information to put them at ease. Keep in mind YamJams are supposed to be fun!  

 

YamJam Flow

Kickoff:  At the beginning of the YamJam, make an announcement that the event has begun. Ask folks to introduce themselves to get them comfortable posting and to see who is participating. The community will begin to post questions to the group feed.

Assigning Questions: The host or moderator can direct questions for team members to answer. If you feel you can answer a question or provide additional information to a question that has already been answered, feel free to do so. Expect more questions that your team can answer.

Answering Questions:
To answer a question, simply respond in the thread that the question was asked. Please note: in Yammer, threads with recent responses will move to the top of the group. Please remember to also scroll down to find questions that haven’t been answered. Toggle from “Unread” to “All” conversations to discover more.

 

Post-YamJam

Thank your attendees: Be sure to thank both the panel and the community for attending!

Make a YamJam Summary: It can be hard to follow all of the action in a YamJam as it is happening. Put together a summary and share it out so people who missed it can absorb all of the information easily.

 

I'd love to hear other ideas for YamJams and community events. As a bonus, attached are some free graphics you can use to promote your own YamJams! 

2 Replies

Thanks for sharing Mike!

 

Here are a few other great conversations on the topic: 

 

- How-To YamJam Guide and Resources

- Calendar Resource: My Event URL

- How to YamJam AMA (YamJam) Summary April 2016 

 

Thanks @Michael Holste, just what I needed for a planning doc.