How to Activate Your Virtual Community

By Stormy McBride On March 12, 2020 In CommunityHealth and Well-being

Community Illustration

With flu and COVID-19 on the rise, we need to start thinking about how we can show value through virtual community and membership. Below are some of the ways you can activate your community without your members being in a physical space.

It is important that you position this as a value ad and additional resources—not necessarily as a permanent replacement for in-person community. We want to emphasize that these are great tools to use in addition to your coworking membership—however they are more important now than ever to help keep your members connected and healthy during this pandemic.

  • Virtual office and mail accounts- where you scan the mail to people, without them coming in. There are numerous services that have built the infrastructure for you to plug into fairly quickly. It’s a total value add.
  • Deals, discounts and perks tied to having a membership at your space. included.co offers a free integration for your website or member portal allowing you to start offering a range of member perks in minutes.
  • Activating slack, facebook groups, forums and community pages for people to chat amongst themselves on their own time as isolation becomes a real possibility.
  • Hosting virtual group calls- nothing too structured, just a place for members to catch up and see others faces. Think of it as the virtual watercooler.
  • Curate work sprint calls for your members. Not familiar with a work sprint? It’s where you get together, set your intentions and goals then go heads-down for a certain amount of time before coming back together to discuss your progress made. Its great accountability.

    Sprint is one timeboxed iteration of a continuous development cycle. Within a Sprint, a planned amount of work has to be completed by the team and be made ready for review. … Sprint literal meaning is a short race at full speed.” (Source: yodiz)

  • Host quick informal (Virtual) lunch and learns to show your members how to use “virtual communication tools” – this sounds simple stupid but we cannot assume anyone who coworks is already equipped and up to speed on the latest and great technology. Think zoom, go to meetings, crowdcast, etc. There are many free services.
  • Implement a roll over policy & give staff extra sick or work from days- encourage those who do not feel well to stay home so they do not spread their germs. If they are well enough to work remotely, have them interact via virtual tools to stay connected.
  • Offer free training, classes or entertainment online via a webinar for members to take advantage of if they are on quarantine or isolation measures.
  • Create a give/get page or group. Encourage your members to post the things they need help with or offer up their services.
    • Example: In need of someone to copyedit a 2 page blog post.
    • Example: Happy to review your checkout flow or website and give UX feedback!
  • Partner up with other coworking spaces to find virtual pen pals! Give your members someone else to communicate with. SO FUN.
  • Take advantage of connection apps (like Plainsight or bumble bff) to meet and connect with new people, virtually.