If you look at the exploding global coworking scene and the kind of members that constitute spaces across countries, you begin to wonder as to how we can scale the concept of community. While some operators want to hold unit level events and engagement, others believe it has to be centralized to one location that is easily accessible to all.
Easier said than done. Handling community and its varied components at scale becomes a horrendous task unless you have an action plan in place. Let’s take the case of a coworking space with 25000 members across 10 cities. How do you manage these people, how do you maintain diversity, how do you enable inclusion and how do you build a standardized culture? These are just a few of the questions that pop up in a community manager’s mind.
Although there is no single answer, the most efficient way is to hand over the community as far as possible to your members. Let them own it, make it and drive it. This is and has been the case in most western countries. However, the attitude in India is a bit different where coworking is still viewed as an infrastructure business that sells chairs and desks. No one would want to throw out excess trash, conserve power or volunteer to host an event. Reluctant but that doesn’t mean, we as Indians aren’t ready for community 2.0.
Here a few steps that you can experiment with to scale your community effectively with the help of members:
- Involve your members in the design, market, execution and feedback stage of your activities.
- Ask them to suggest ideas and best practices that will benefit the whole group.
- Appreciate and reward the most active members.
- Reach out to your members for any kind of help in a specific area.
- Promote their businesses and products selflessly.
- Encourage them to invite friends and family for a tour.
- And lastly, be genuinely interested in what your members are building.
A community is nothing without the people. It can definitely be built in something greater with its basic component.