Read on to understand why I’m obsessed with event-first strategies for kickstarting communities and to grab my 📓Event Series Notion template (complete with my top resources for organizing an event)!
OK, so the title of this piece might be over-promising a little (I can see the tweets calling me out now!)––give me a chance to explain.
I’ve been working on the idea of time-bound pop-up communities over the past few months. What might it look like to start a community with a connection-focused event series? What might it look like to reenergize a community by gathering members in the same ‘sacred’ space week-over-week? Is this the best way to create an ‘instant-community’?
For this reason, I geek out when I see anyone talking about building a community or audience event-first. (I also geek out over nearly everything Anne-Laure does.)
I often see an events strategy added to a community after acquiring hundreds or thousands of members into a forum or chat-based platform. But what if we start with the gathering? What if we build the channels for chatter after a web of bonds has formed between our members during live online (or offline, one day soon!) events.
Certainly, meetups aren’t a new concept, but covid has made gathering challenging. Still, we need to be together, in the same space at the same time, now more than ever.
One note here: I do not mean to create a series of lectures or presentations for your people. There’s always a place for education, but these gatherings should mainly be a place where members can get to know each other and dream up ways to collaborate and support one another. As a community manager, your job is to create the space, facilitate the discussion, and then build future programming to support their ideas.
These events don’t have to be small, by the way. This work is scalable. There are tools popping up that support smaller, intimate, conversations between a handful of members. Check out a this new platform, Mixaba, it gives you a way to shuffle large audiences into groups automagically!
If you’re looking for more ideas to help you kickstart a community, check out this post I wrote for Rosieland: Still haven’t launched a community? Try a community container.
Ready to create a gathering of your own? Let me help!
I created an 📓Event Series Notion Template that can support turning the attendees of a series of events into a real community. This template will help you create a place for your community to gather, and has areas for:
🗓️ Event details (dates, times, descriptions, RSVP, Share)
🤗 About the host section
👋 Member profiles
💬 Conversations guides (These are the ones I've crafted that I find support a great dynamic between attendees!)
🗒️ Individual event detail pages (agenda, notes, links)
🔗A place to organize shared resources
Dig around the ‘Event Organizer Tools' section to check out the 300 icebreakers I’ve collected and ranked by vulnerability, and my top resources for event hosts and moderators.
Have fun out there and bring people together! We need real connection now more than ever. Reach out if you do, I’d love to hear about the events you’re testing, hosting, or scaling.
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