This approach has been the closest thing to a marketing strategy that we’ve ever had at The Skiff.
We were regulars at a bunch of local (mostly web/tech) community events for a couple of years before we started. The organisers of the events were always struggling to find venues they could rely on being regularly available while also being free of charge. When we took on a space it was natural for us to make some of it available to the organisers. We actually started doing that before we started thinking of our space as a coworking space.
This approach can quickly become a massive pain if you feel you have to be at every event. We decided to effectively make the organisers of the community meetups honoury keyholding members. All we asked is that they return the space to the way the found it (or better) when they leave. I do make sure that I’ve personally taken some time to get to know the organisers or get recommendations from existing members before giving out keys. If that’s not possible we ask for an existing member to volunteer to host the event.
Most of the community organisers have gone on to become paying members, and advocates, of the community of their own accord.
There have been a few late night calls when they forget how to lock up. There have also ocasionally been complaints from members that find the space hasn’t been returned to its usual state. The organisers are always very apologetic and quick to learn after getting it wrong once or twice
At the begining at least 60% of new members came directly from learning about The Skiff through these events. Now it’s probably closer to 40% but I think that’s an indication that we should support a more diverse range of events.
Hope this helps,
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On Tue, Nov 4, 2014 at 6:50 PM, Anfernee Chansamooth [email protected] wrote:
Hi Coworking Community,
I’m wondering if any of you have been successful with using venue hire/events as a strategy to bring in potential members?
Strategy: partner with a company/organisation to deliver events out of your space - you supply the venue (and staff & resources to set it up and manage it), and the partner brings in the people - ideally a match for the type of people who might eventually become members of your space.
Has anyone done this? Curious as to how you’ve managed to make it work, or what challenges you’ve faced if you couldn’t get it working.
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