Biz Tips: Why Startups Can Build Community By Hosting Events

Biz Tips: Why Startups Can Build Community By Hosting Events


Why Startups Can Build Community By Hosting Events

Startups aren’t usually known for being community-oriented businesses.

Most people assume they’re focused on perfecting a product, marketing to the masses, and building an empire. That schedule doesn’t leave much time for meeting the neighbors and working with civic leaders.

But the truth is, it’s important for your company to connect with the community you’re operating in.

You want people to be familiar with your brand, to spread the word, to be proud you’re based in their city.

And the only way to do that is by engaging with the community and letting them know who you are and how you’re making their city or neighborhood a better place.

For example, our main office at ThirdLove is in San Francisco. But we recently opened a customer experience office in Chico. To celebrate, we organized an event and brought our San Francisco team there for a big community party.

Everyone had a great time, which was the main goal. But the event also helped me realize why it’s so important for startups to engage with their communities.

Getting people together helps you integrate into the community.

Chico isn’t a huge city, but with about 90,000 people, it’s fairly easy for a company to set up shop and fly under the radar.

Instead, I wanted our team to get out and engage with the city. Let them know our company is dedicated to growing our presence there and supporting the community.

So, I asked our Chico employees to invite at least one person each who might be a match as a future employee. We also asked small businesses in the area like a local brewery, food trucks, and even a Chico-based band to participate.

(Surprise twist: I found out later that one of our fit stylists at the Chico office is actually the lead singer of the band).

These might all seem like little things, but together they add up to a real connection with the city.

And that’s what you’re really looking for — a connection that helps you integrate and become part of the community, rather than just a new office that’s sprung up somewhere without any real effect.

The benefit of coming together in a smaller town is engaging with people and showing them how your company makes an impact.

A relaxed atmosphere allows people to get to know your brand and your team.

Good food and plenty of drinks will loosen up any crowd. Which is great when you’re trying to spread the word about your business and keep your company at the forefront of everyone’s job hunt.

A new office needs new hires to operate it. And while the event wasn’t specifically for scouting talent, it did bring in a lot of people from the community.

At an event like this, recruiting comes more naturally.

It’s a place where potential employees can get to know your team and your brand in a stress-free environment. No one was being interviewed or screened at the event, but we did get a chance to meet some potential hires. And we did see an uptick in applications within the first week after we held the party.

A community event should be a casual environment where locals and employees can mingle.

But it can also give you the opportunity to meet a few company goals, like furthering the cohesiveness of your teams.

For instance, we bussed out the entire team from San Francisco to Chico for the event. The San Francisco team had time to bond during the three-hour drive. And once everyone arrived, the two teams were able to meet each other, mix together, and gain inspiration from each other. Many were meeting for the first time.

It’s always exciting to meet people you’ve only spoken to on chat or exchanged emails with.

More than just putting a face to a name, you get an opportunity to talk with them on a personal level, ask questions about what they’re working on, and really get to know them.

The same rings true for meeting people in the community you work in. Whether you’re trying to build bonds within your team or with potential candidates, sometimes you just need to step back, relax, and throw a party.

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