Back in 2012, I invited a group of new friends to watch the chess boxing world championships conveniently hosted in London.
Frankly, it's a ridiculous sport (it was created by a cartoonist).
But it's a fun event to watch.
Since then we've jokingly shared the latest chess boxing news with one another. We mourn the retirement of our favourite world champions. We get excited when a title changes hands.
As dumb and frivolous as this sounds, it's actually tightened the group considerably.
We have a unique, shared, experience that has created in-jokes and a sense of connection with one another. When a newcomer joins the group, we enjoy explaining the importance of chess boxing to the group.
None of this was the goal when we first attended the event.
This is why unique, shared, experiences are so powerful.
They are the ultimate breeding ground for not just a fun time, but in-jokes, shared history, and a common narrative for the group. If you're trying to create a beater sense of belonging among any group, try creating a unique, shared, experience.
(We've tried other events since. I recommend the Air Guitar world championships).
On October 29th to 30th, the world's top 250 community professionals are going to SPRINT in San Francisco. Will you be one of them?