You will NEVER create a strong coliving community by hosting events. Surprised to hear that? I work with coliving brands around the world, and when I say this to my clients, I'm typically met with gasps. (Okay, maybe it's not quite that dramatic, but you know what I mean.)
Here's a little secret:
If you're looking to take your coliving brand to new heights, you need to harness the power of bottom-up community building. In this blog, we'll explore how you can spend less time and money on events while still fostering a stronger and more connected community.
Event Planning vs. Event Facilitating:
Before we dive into the details, let's get clear on one thing: event hosting and event facilitating are two different beasts. Event hosting is how things are typically done in the hospitality industry. An event is created, people show up, have a good time, and then they leave.
That's great if you're in the hospitality industry and your core audience is people who are on vacation and just want to have a nice evening. But, as a community-builder, you're aiming for something else - a more connected experience.
Here's What to Do Instead:
You want to move from Event Hosting to Community-Led Experiences. This is the ONLY way to build a true community, and every successful coliving brand in the world does it.
But, how do you do that? You can't just force your community to plan events for you. Creating community-led experiences is a process and it doesn't happen overnight. But, luckily, there's a framework for that process.
Here are three key principles you need to follow to move toward community-led experiences within your coliving space: Provide, Prompt, and Structure.
3 Keys to Coliving Community Building
First things first—give your members the tools to create their own events. Be the catalyst that sparks connections within your community. How? It all starts with providing them with a platform to communicate and collaborate with one another. Don't be a gatekeeper; open the channels of communication for everyone. One-way communication channels won't foster true connections. Instead, empower your members to engage, share ideas, and organize their own events by communicating with one another.
Train your Community Managers in the art of prompting gatherings. Opportunities for community gatherings are all around us if we know where to look. For instance, is there a local festival happening in town? Share the details in the group chat and let your members take it from there. By providing prompts and opportunities for connection, you ignite the spark for community engagement and organic event creation.
Creating a consistent framework for your gatherings is essential. This helps set expectations and gives your members a sense of predictability. For example, let's say that you have a weekly potluck dinner in the communal kitchen every Wednesday at 7pm. By establishing this framework, you create a foundation for your community members to build upon. Remember, your role is not to micromanage events; it's to create space and support for them to happen organically.
Building a thriving coliving community goes beyond hosting events. By embracing the power of bottom-up community building, you can create a stronger and more connected coliving brand. Provide your members with the tools and platform to create their own events, prompt them with opportunities for connection, and establish a consistent structure that sets expectations.
As a community-builder, your role is to empower, facilitate, and foster an environment where meaningful connections can flourish. Elevate your coliving brand by harnessing the power of bottom-up community building and watch your community thrive like never before.
Want to learn more about how to create your own community-building strategy in your coliving space? Check out my brand new course here: The Coliving Customer Experience Course