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If You Bake It They Will Come

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I have a lot of theories when it comes to building culture and improving interactions between your members, but this might be my most pinterest-y one of all.

If you bake it, they will come.

By bake it, I mean make something. Something sugary, delicious and ideally coated in chocolate and calories.

I’ve talked a little bit about how our member meetings were lacking attendance, and how we later realized it was in talking with our members and having those in-person interactions that we started seeing considerable growth. Well, I want to share with you the other thing I tried that has become one of my secret weapons.

They are called Kayballs (the name was not my idea, but the members’). They are mushed up oreos and cream cheese dipped in chocolate and served cold. They’re easy, small and insanely great.

The first time I made them for a member meeting there were probably five people and 30 Kayballs. When the meeting concluded, there was nothing left. Nothing! Since I was still in the ideation stage of how to fix the attendance issue, I asked the 5 people in the room what they wanted out of future member meetings. Amidst their many ideas came a funny response: “more Kayballs!” Now, something to note, the person that said this had never attended a member meeting before this one, so I paid close attention. We all joked about his response, but everyone agreed. They would be excited if I made them again.

Flash forward five months (time to bring the point home). We’ve had member meetings with and without those little chocolate covered balls from heaven. We’ve had popcorn, hummus, root beer floats, and any snack you’ll find at your nearest convenience store. Everybody’s happy because there’s free snacks for the taking. But when I create a Member Meeting event in our internal membership group and at the very bottom write “there will be Kayballs” the communication before the meeting is out of control. We have polls on the types of flavors to have, dance around a little bit while distributing them, and it serves as a great conversation starter for the whole thing.

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I understand that baking something isn’t necessarily profound or genius, but it sure as hell gives your members something fun to look forward to. And while it might not sound like a priority next to your other five million tasks you’re currently juggling, think about the last time someone made you something. It was really nice, wasn’t it? They put time and effort into it when they could have been doing something else. Obviously they cared. When you take that little bit of time (ahem… these take 30 minutes and cost $8) to make something for your members, it makes them feel like family. They know you care.

Trust me, if you bake it they will come.


About Author

Kay is a Project Coordinator and Community Manager at CO+HOOTS in downtown Phoenix, AZ. She's also a word magician and lover of all things Phoenix. She was introduced to the coworking scene while writing a story about CO+HOOTS and has been passionate about its growth ever since. She has coordinated 24-hour hackathons for students learning to code, 24-hour create-a-thons where creatives build teams to revamp a nonprofit's website and strategy, startup competitions, and meetups for women in the startup community. She's freakishly passionate about culture and community- namely in how to build it and retain it. Community outreach, event organization and culture building is the name of her game. Chat with her at [email protected] or follow her on Instagram @kaytranstrum.

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