How Halloween Can Grow Your Coworking Community
One of the perks of being a small team or independent professional working at a coworking space is that you can enjoy the best of the ‘big office’ without the politics of a corporate company … so you want to grab a beer at 4PM, hell go for it! At Workbar we’ve celebrated birthdays, member company milestones, holidays and “wins” of all sizes. These social events, while relatively simple to execute, are very important to our mission. They are a key to building a community within our membership, sparking friendships and business relationships, and making our members feel like they’re a part of something larger than just their desk space.
Halloween is a great opportunity to beef up your community spirit and give people a chance to bond (as in Bond, James Bond…). We’re sharing a few of our favorite ways to celebrate the holiday and grow your coworking community in the process.
1.) Give Back: When you think of Halloween you typically don’t think of charity, which is why it’s the perfect time to give your community a chance to do something good together. Check out WeWork in NYC, they’re throwing a big bash this year and donating a portion of the profits to Water, a non-profit organization bringing clean, safe drinking water to people in developing countries. They’ve created a tiered ticketing system where guests can choose their donation, an amount WeWork will match dollar for dollar. An all around feel great way to bring your community together and support a great cause – together!
2.) Coworking Roast: The whole point of building a community is to create a fun and friendly atmosphere where people can laugh, joke, grab dinner or drinks, and work among ‘coworkers.’ As a member of a coworking space, the fun really begins when you can turn to your desk neighbors and bust their chops or form running jokes together. It’s likely something you could not do working from home and a reason why coworking is much more of an experience than it is a workspace. Host a roast with your members this Halloween and give everyone a chance to let loose! How to host a roast.
3.) PR Stunt: Doesn’t everyone appreciate a company who doesn’t take itself too seriously? Have some fun with your brand and give your community something to talk about. It’s the only time of year when you can reference murder, gore and evil spirits and get away with it. Check out NextSpaces’ press release from 2011, “DeathSpace Opens New Portals to Coworking Hell.”
4.) Group Planning: At Workbar, we’ve found that our community is much more committed to any idea when they are part of the process in bringing it to life (muahahaha). Some of our most popular programs were started by and continue to be run by our members. Give your community a chance to be involved –- it can be as simple as giving them the power to choose. Office 55 is asking their members to help plan their 2012 Halloween party by voting on the party theme.
5.) Old School Fun: An oldie but a goodie – literally. Take it back a few decades and in the name of all that is 1970s, 80s, and 90s scary, watch a classic horror film. Why is this a great option? It lets you transform your space into a movie theatre (cool!) and it’s a creative way for members to physically connect with the space beyond just working at their desk. Use this helpful ‘Classic Horror Films for Halloween’ infographic guide to choose your feature film and don’t forget the popcorn and candy!
6.) Geek Out: Why is Halloween different from every other holiday? Because you can geek out and come to the office dressed like Batman and no one will question you or your choice of outfit. Coworking spaces in their own right are flaunting their geekdom well outside the Halloween season. Workbar recently started an email thread titled “Full Frontal Nerdity” to organize regular game nights (yes!), which means that Halloween should be the bar to raise. IndyHall in Philadelphia threw a Halloween party last year where they awarded costume awards to the best dressed villain, internet celebrity, geek and hero. Luckily for us, they made a video recapping the fun.
Halloween fun can be professional too! Looking for a daytime option that’s a bit more professional? Let’s talk about the Halloween Industry. Have you heard about the 1970’s Candy Scare? It’s claimed to have started the multibillion dollar adult Halloween industry which continues to grow each year. Learn more about How the Business of Halloween Grew Up at Inc.com.
Hope you feel inspired and energized (and not spooked!) to take this opportunity to bring together and grow your community! Have fun, get creative and let us know how you celebrate.
About the Author: Evona Niewiadomska is the Events and Digital Media Manager at Workbar. As of January 2013 she is an independent Digital Media & Design Creative with a specialty for infographic design and social media strategy. Check out her website, evonawiktoria.com or contact her via email firstname.lastname@example.org or twitter @evonawiktoria.