“Well done again on building a thriving community.”
That’s the sentence that’s had us thinking about what our little business has become. It was part of a rather nice email from one of the delegates following #rcnvs Social, which we’re not going to post because this isn’t about “Look at use, aren’t we great!”, it’s more of an eye opener for us that we wanted share our thoughts.
We’ve always considered ourselves to be a boutique event business. We run small, intimate, productive events. We’re that company. We connect HR to HR, HR to Supplier and even Supplier to Supplier at times. We’re that company. But this email last week really made us stand back and take stock of what we had become, and after days of talking it over, the realization is that we’ve become a community.
If, as a business, we put on 2 events a year, then yes, we would be an events business. But we don’t. We put on 2-3 events month, with 15-20 people, allowing us to quickly grow our community numbers, whilst encouraging people to come back. Having people coming back to an event for the 2nd, 3rd or 4th time not only vindicates the community, it also facilitates stronger relationships with other members, which ultimately strengthens the community. The format also encourages strong relationships. 1 person presenting to 100 people doesn’t build strong relationships. 15-20 people talking, understanding each other and allowing themselves to be understood, builds strong relationships and intern builds a strong community. Think about the term “Strong sense of community”. A strong community is one where the relationships between the members are strong. A weak community is one were there is little or no relationship between the members.
Reconverse is a community that starts off by people meeting offline at the our events, and then continues to strengthen long after the events are finished, both on and offline, sometimes in places we facilitate and sometimes not. What we’ve seen over the last 10 months is people dipping in and out of the events, but continually using each other for advise and support, which has been fantastic to watch.
We don’t own the community as you can’t “own” a community. A community is a group of people and you can’t own people. You can, however, own the facilitation of that community, and that’s what we’ve come to realize we are as a business, a community facilitator.
Now we understand that, we can direct our business accordingly, and we have some pretty cool ideas that we’ll be rolling out slowly over the coming months.