• Sarah Robinson

Managing Your Pop Up Communities


You know you have them, right? Those communities that come together for a  short time and then disband once a thing is accomplished, with members moving on to other communities. Here a few examples of what I mean. Do you host events? The participants in that event are part of a pop-up community. Do you host an online chat or regular webinar? The participants are part of a pop-up community. Do you have teams that come together to work on a specific project? Those team members are part of a pop up community.

You may not have thought of these groups as “communities” before, but they have all the characteristics, needs and functional aspects of a communities. Once you understand that, it becomes easier to get your arms wrapped around how to manage them in an effective way. Here are some tips to help you do that and enhance your ability to rapidly move these short-lived communities into Fierce Loyalty:

  1. These communities have a short life-span.By remembering that, you can plan for a steeper and more rapid orientation. With more traditional communities, you have time to roll out structure, connection points and support points and build in belonging, recognition and safety. In pop-up communities, all of that must be in place from the minute you hit go (or even before.)

  2. Participants need more help more quickly to feel a part of the community. Again, because of the fast-moving nature of pop-up communities, there isn’t a lot of time for natural connections and engagement to happen. You want to help members and participants do as much of that as possible from the very start. Proactively establish avenues to get people connected and engaged with other and/or assign that role to your best ambassadors so that no on feels left out.

  3. In Pop-Up communities, predictability is more critical than ever. Participants need to know how things work and to be able to depend on that throughout the life span of the community. Post schedules, contact information, maps, etc. as far ahead of time as you can. Decide how people will be able to connect with each other before, during and after the pop-up community and let participants know that information. Without a guiding structure, the community will feel chaotic and it’s hard to have warm, fuzzy feelings in the midst of chaos. 🙂

I’m thinking and writing a lot about the idea of the Pop-Up Community right now, so I’d love any thoughts or ideas you’d like to share about it. Have you been part of a Pop-Up Community recently? What was it like? What would’ve made it a better experience? I’d love to talk about all of this in the comments!

PS. These trends and how you can harness them will be one of the topics we cover at my DC workshop on November 24! Click http://fierce-loyalty.com/fierce-loyalty-workshop-dc/ to learn more and grab your seat!