A few weeks ago, we hosted a private workshop event for members of a private community.
The community targeted elite members in a highly technical area. While activity had been ok, it wasn’t accelerating to the critical mass point and it was time to adapt our approach.
Alas, due to unforeseen circumstances, we had to reschedule the event at the last minute and reschedule the date for two days later.
Yet, amazingly, the event was still a great success. More people showed up and participated in an event than had been active for the past month in the community discussion areas. Better yet, since the event, the level of participation has begun to accelerate to the critical mass point.
There are two powerful takeaways from this.
The first is members who claim not to have the time to participate in a community will participate in an event (especially an exclusive event). In many spaces, events work because they set a fixed, limited, time to visit and participate. We’ve since decided to incorporate regular events as part of the community effort.
(p.s. sending out calendar invites to engage in a community at a particular time seems especially powerful)
The second is the more you can engage members in designing the solutions to the community challenges, the more they tend to take ownership of them (and thus the community).