Yelp Virtual CM Week 2020

Last week, roughly 100 Yelp Community Managers from all over North America gathered for their annual summit. Things looked a little different this year; instead of meeting at Yelp HQ in San Francisco as usual, employees came together online for four days of learning and connecting at Virtual CM Week 2020.

The theme was Back to School, to signify the many changes to the landscape of community management since the Covid-19 pandemic brought life as we knew it to a halt. Community managers built their schedules with “electives” taught by their CM peers, plus a medley of presentations delivered to the group as a whole. Syllabus highlights included a session on product updates, a panel on diversity and inclusion, and a candid conversation with Yelp CEO Jeremy Stoppelman, COO Jed Nachman, and CFO David Schwarzbach.

This year’s guest speaker was Caroline Wanga, recent Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer and Vice President of Human Resources at the Target Corporation, now Chief Growth Officer at Essence Ventures. Caroline discussed her career path and diversity and inclusion, which resonated with the community manager audience.

Rounding out the week were a few fun surprises, including a Cameo appearance by Jerry from Netflix’s Cheer, a “Yelp Cribs” video of community managers in their home office spaces, and a who’s who featuring CMs’ high school throwback photos. Always the social butterflies of any group, the community managers also convened for a virtual happy hour which paid homage to the unofficial CM Week after party bar, Butter. CMs were in for one last surprise when they were shown a customized video made by Butter’s staff.

Finishing out the week was a presentation of CM Values Awards, a tradition that began three years ago in honor of beloved late colleague, Colleen Burns. Community managers are nominated by their peers for awards including Be Tenacious, Play Well with Others, Be Unboring, Protect the Source and Authenticity.

Though Yelp’s annual CM Week had a different look this year, the spirit of Yelp’s Community Management program shined through.