Fostering Connections in Your Community
A community is strongest when it is made of many connections between members, rather than mostly connections between organisers and members. Some ideas for fostering these connections are:
Meetings outside events - encouraging meetings outside the main organised events, such as:
Setting up an app like Donut, Shuffl, or Random Coffees in your Slack workspace to regularly match people with one-on-one calls. (Alternatively, you can sign-up to have people manually matched with one-on-ones
Create a community directory with people's contact information, job title and company, interests, and ways they can help or be helped by others (see EA UK's as an example).
Casual social events such as potlucks or games nights.
Meet people for coffee or a walk.
Encourage people to exchange contact information. Set the precedent by starting yourself.
Co-working sessions where people work on projects or study.
Personal invites- ask people if they know anybody who’d be interested in coming to your group's events and if they could invite their friends to attend them occasionally. Avoid doing this over a mass email though, as it is better to ask people in person.
Encouraging attendance -when you bring up future events, make sure that at least you and one other person say you’re attending to encourage people to come. Remind the people who come regularly to turn up and tell them once in a while about how important it is.
Connect people - Link people individually to organisations and people in the EA community who you think would be up their alley. If you think two people would find it valuable to meet, set them up with an intro email and a topic to talk about.
Image: EA Estonia