19 November 2009

Building Authentic Customer Communities: American Express & Meetup

During the WOMMA Summit in Las Vegas last week, I attended a session with American Express OPEN to learn about their nation-wide Meetups geared toward bringing small business owners together to learn, share and grow.

With over 7 million registered users, American Express OPEN Forum is an online "trading post" bringing together small business owners to share advice, insights and ideas to facilitate the types of connections needed to re-energize the economy. Of course, the more small businesses grow, the better American Express fares, too.

Despite featuring content by Guy Kawasaki, Anita Campbell and Mashable, OPEN Forum wasn't seeing large adoption among its target audience, so American Express partnered with Meetup to provide 30 local small business Meetup groups across the country with curriculum and financial support to help them perform better in a down economy.