2019 was a big year for Bang the Table, our 12th year and in many ways, a transitional year for us in which we passed the landmark of 500 current clients; hired our 90th team member; began the roll out of a newly engineered and much more efficient platform; launched our marketplace and partnerships with Balancing Act, Konveio and Granicus; launched our EngagementIQ services (which are being used by 94 clients already); released a completely rebuilt survey tool; hired our first New Zealand based team member and published 4 e-books, an Engagement101 series, and a major submission to the House of Lords. Phew!
Along the way, you (our clients) launched nearly 17,000 projects on the EngagementHQ platform informing 2.3 million people and receiving feedback from 600,000 members of your communities. A busy year for all of us!
For us, it was a transitional year because this was the year that our expansion into the UK, Canada and the USA matured in business terms with a full management team in place and a large and sustainable client base. This allows us to refocus our energies and resources on our EngagementHQ platform. We have a lot of ideas for how we will evolve over the coming years and we are just starting to see the first of these ideas take shape.
First year of EIQ services:
This year we launched EngagementIQ, a range of strategic support and coaching products and concierge services, to help with all stages of digital project delivery including project planning and tools selection, survey, design, comment analysis and reporting, and data visualization.
Why? Over our many years working with clients across government, we identified the need for more expert advice and strategy around executing digital engagement. Some of you choose to have us manage the site for you just as some like to do everything themselves. Our team has grown substantially this year, we now have a dedicated and established a global team of digital engagement professionals and we can now offer you the choice to use our services if you prefer to work that way.
Also, look out for services to add value to your online engagement experience. Demographics reports, specialist reports and dashboards, benchmarking reports and detailed reports on more technical issues like accessibility are all available from our team.
Close to 100 clients have already benefited from our additional services which are proving increasingly popular across all client groups and territories.
The eagle-eyed among you will have spotted the Marketplace in the admin area of your EngagementHQ site. Marketplace is where we will showcase partnerships and integrations. We recognize that we cannot build everything and that innovation in our sector will come from around the world.
Our commitment is to find and work with the best giving you the ability to plug in complementary technologies and use them right in your EngagementHQ ecosystem. With over 500 clients we are quite uniquely placed in the engagement industry to attract these partnerships.
Partnerships were announced this year with Balancing Act (Budgeting), Konveio (document activation and mark-up), and Granicus (for their Gov Delivery and CMS systems). Others are to follow. We also offer integrations with other systems such as Mailchimp and Constant Contact and are able to build most integrations on demand – just talk to us about your needs.
What can we expect in 2020?
2020 is an election year in the USA and is shaping up to be a bitterly fought battle. This will once again have pundits around the world throwing up their arms in horror at the divisions in our society and searching around for answers.
We all have a role to play in this. Consistent, well-executed, and honest engagement around meaningful issues and on a local level is a genuine antidote to the highly partisan environment in which we find ourselves. More than ever you need a direct connection to your community and not to be relying on the media with their tendency to sensationalize everything and to play on conflict; or on social media where mendacity, silos, and conspiracies will muddy your message and your feedback alike.
This means those of us who facilitate community engagement have an important role to play. For Bang the Table, our part in this is helping you in any way you can to engage more people in meaningful ways. Be it through software, services, or partnerships.
To do this we are refocusing resources from our new territory expansion (USA, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, and the UK is enough for now) to ramping up the innovation in EngagementHQ. Early feedback from the release of the new admin portal (just being released in beta to selected clients for advance testing) is very positive. This gives us an excellent base on which to build and to integrate with strategic partners.
We have strengthened our development team both in terms of numbers and experience and I expect to see the product take some significant steps forward over the next year. Our team and our clients are bursting with ideas large and small, we hope that in 2020 we will be able to bring more of these to life than ever before.
There will be more partnerships, more services and we will likely welcome over 100 new clients to the family broadening our collective experience from around the world.
That’s probably enough about our year and our plans except to say thank you to all of you, our clients. Every business relies on its clients but few benefit from such loyal, constructive and passionate clients as we do. We have been actively seeking your feedback on a rolling basis all year (sorry about those pesky surveys but they are so valuable to us). We love the positive feedback but it’s often when you are struggling or dissatisfied and take the time to explain why that we benefit the most.
We hope you have a fantastic holiday season and we look forward to working with all of you in 2020 and to breaking some new boundaries in community engagement.