We are starting a community space.
We don’t have a location yet (or even a name) (Update: We have a location), but we’d like to share what we’re going to be doing.
To fellow community organisers
There is so much that goes into making a vibrant community happen that every organiser has to do - from administration tasks like logistics to marketing, to personally keeping motivated and juggling their day jobs. Building something that’s sustainable and exists beyond one or two people volunteering time is hard and often a lonely challenge. We know this from the 8 odd years we’ve been running ReRoll Board Games and Puzzled Pint Bangalore. To put it simply, we are setting out to the be the partner we wish we had back when we started in 2016.
We’re solving the infrastructure problem for community organisers - that is literally the walls and flooring, but also the support system around it. We want do some of the heavy lifting so you can focus on what actually important: filling the space and making it your community’s home.
We’ll understand what tools and support you need and tailor it accordingly. Managing communication on social media and email newsletters? Helping understand your audience and how to price your tickets? Provide you with good photos/videos of the event? Connect you with potential sponsors or partners?
It’s also important to reiterate that this is your community. We want you to work with us because it’s valuable to you and your community, not because we’ve blurred the lines for attendees on whose event it is. We want to be in the background as much as possible (no logo in your event posters needed!)
The “model” is simple - we want to make a case for you to share a minority portion of the revenue you generate from your event (via ticket sales, sponsors, etc) so we are both incentivised to make an event that many people want to attend and support. We’ll negotiate this with each organiser independently, as it’s important to us that we have the flexibility to give away the space for free to those that are still very nascent and have the bigger communities subsidise the space for others.
We intend to first cover our costs (mainly rent, maintenance, furniture, etc) but we’re not quitting our jobs to run this full-time, and won’t be depending on this as our sole income source - at least in the short term. We will try to talk openly about where we invest our money and how it ultimately makes it a better space for your community and others.
We think that communities can’t be hinging on a few people’s motivation, dedication, and time. It has to be sustainable if it has to last. We want you to be able to be compensated for your work and time and encourage a culture where attendees contribute to the community’s upkeep - whether that’s through volunteering, buying tickets, or whatever else in between.
To those who attend events
Welcoming and inclusive spaces are hard to come by. Making friends as adults is hard. Finding a place where you can disconnect from day-to-day life and indulge in something is invaluable.
We want to be the best place to participate in thoughtful, kind, and interesting events. Communities around hobbies and interests - run by people who are passionate about them. We’re going to be very picky with whom we work with to ensure every community that we host stays true to this philosophy.
We are decidedly not a cafe with food & drinks that’s open every day. Everything we do will be scheduled with a start and end time.
To Bangalore culture
Well, at least Indiranagar culture to begin with.
We want to have something interesting happening every weeknight. In our experience, getting people to do something regularly after work is the key to making it a part of their lives and schedules.
We’re tired of the default social hangout being a bar or pub. It’s noisy, it’s expensive, it’s repetitive. We want you to try new things, help you meet new people, and have a richer, fuller life as a result.
You deserve a better answer to when friends ask you what you do outside of work.
There is a beautiful term for this in sociology called third places which I think encapsulates what we want to be.
What’s different about us?
Hopefully a lot! We know there are already many community spaces in the city, from small cafes to dedicated event spaces. We’ve probably done an event at many of them (and will in the future!)
But there is plenty of room under the tent. We believe that growing the community for these events is the real work - it’s not a zero sum game. We’re taking a bet that our sensibilities and approach will make people want to work with us - but ultimately the more options organisers and audiences have, the better it is for everyone.
You can also read other posts about this project.