When we first opened Cohere 4.5 years ago we had done a few weeks of community building in advance so we have 15 or so people already on the hook but some of founding members came during the very first month. I offered free coworking for a whole month to get things rolling. With the recent opening of Cothere a few weeks ago I only did the grand opening day as free but offered anyone who signed up ON THAT DAY a free upgrade to the next level of membership for a month. That was super effective and we signed up 7 new members right away. I think having a small window of opportunity to sign up was really helpful in getting people to pull the trigger.
As for events, the following have been super successful
Frank Fridays: started as a group field trip to a hotdog stand but then we got tired of hotdogs so it changed to just eating lunch together and each week one member would tell us about themselves and seek advice or help.
Potlucks: we’ve dabbled in pancake day, chili cookoff day and others. Food is important. Also Pizza. Because Pizza. People are always happy to pitch in a couple bucks too for Pizza. Because Pizza.
Monthly breakfast at the most delicious breakfast place. We’ve been doing this for 4 years. I limit RSVPs to 8 so everyone can hear each other. I prepare ONE question for the group (in the car, on the way to the meetup and it’s usually seasonally appropriate) and we go around and answer that after we order food. This event has been the most popular and longest lasting of any event. It is also evenly split between members/non-members. Example questions I have asked: What’s an awesome project that you’ve worked on recently? What’s a project you’ve declined and why? If you could go back in time and give yourself one piece of advice about freelancing, what would it be? When’s the last time you really fucked up? Who are you most thankful for? We often say that you trade one stress for another when you choose to freelance–what stresses have you traded? Tell us something you need help with. Here’s a link to that meetup–we also forbid ninja starring people with biz cards. http://www.meetup.com/Coherecommunity/events/188574532/
We’ve had a 14 class series completely developed and run by the members. That was amazing! Topics ranged from SEO tricks to self care.
Any member is welcome to use our meetup group to plan and market their own events as long as the event is happening at Cohere or planned by a Cohere member.
The most recent event we’re doing is Foregoing Home Connectivity for 5 days. The idea of this has actually caused a little conflict in the group which has been incredible…then they remembered that I can’t force them to do anything and they calmed down I am planning this event as a strategic way to get lots of bodies coworking for 5 solid days–to get them hooked again and remember why coworking is so great. Sometimes I feel that because Cohere has been around so long they get in a “oh, I’ll just go tomorrow” mentality so this is a way to invite participation and try something that makes us all a little panicky. ANYONE in the world is welcome to join us. It would be fun to get to know new people in far away coworking space as we share the experience. Here is the link to that one.
That’s just a handful of the 100 things we’ve done over the past 4 years. Generally, the most successful events are those that are thought up and executed by members for the benefit of the whole.
On Tuesday, June 17, 2014 5:56:27 PM UTC-6, Tamara Acosta wrote:
I am just opening the first coworking space in Merida Yucatán (mexico) (www.nodocowork.com)
We are just 3 weeks of starting with this great project but struggling with the first members to sign in. They come, they try the coworking, get great reviews from them but then I don´t get them to come pack and decide to pay. How did you all managed with this? We are starting to organize different events to create more community bunds which I hope it works.
One thing I am not liking is that when they come and try it out there is nobody but me working here so they don´t really feel like coworking. I was thinking to invite like brand embassadors to work from here during one week and on that week invite all the interested people on coworking to give it a try, to feel the real coworking effect and then “if you pay in the next few days you get a week for free” Any other suggestions? I am still waiting for the first coworker to open the dance floor!
Thanks a lot,