This article is based on a 3-Part Instagram Live series that Jenny Douglas, Revel’s Hosting Director hosted with Jen Rigley, a Revel Power Host and Curator of the Revel Chicago Community.
Would you like to take a more active role and expand your Revel community? In this post I am going to cover ideas for starting a community in a geographical area, creating an interest-based or topical group to find your unique friends, and ideas for creating and hosting an event if you aren’t sure where to start.
Keep reading if you are new to Revel, have never hosted an event but are interested in jumping in, or even if you have hosted but would love to find some new ideas!
Part 1: Starting up a Geographical-Based Community
This first topic includes ideas for starting a community in your geographic area if one doesn't exist (or there are only a few Reveler's signed up near you). When I first joined Revel - there was no Chicago Community at the time, but now we're getting together regularly!
The first step to take once you’ve joined Revel is to check out the Community tab to see if there is a local Revel Community based on your Town/City/State (use the Search function). If a Community hasn’t been created, here are some great ideas to get one started. Don’t be timid - there are other women just like you that would love to get together, you just haven’t found each other yet.
- Search on Revel in the Member Directory tab by geography (City/Town/State) to see if there are members nearby. You are likely to find at least a few women near you. Revel has a message function so use that to reach out to them. Introduce yourself and let them know that you are interested in starting a local group.
- Ask friends and family that fit the Revel profile to join. You might be surprised how many of your existing friends, co-workers or family members will be interested, and it’s great to get started with a few women you already know. Even if they don’t join right away, you can invite them to an event as a guest to get them started in the community.
- Post on your social media (FB, Twitter, Instagram, Stories, etc.) that you are looking for women to join Revel in your area (it's free to join). Facebook works well for this because we are often friends with people who may live nearby but we have never met in person (for example, a friend of a friend).
- Create an event to introduce yourselves - have some thought-starter questions ready.
- On the Zoom ask for ideas of what type of events participants might be interested in
- If geographically dispersed, ask for a few ideas for a central meeting place that people would be willing to drive. For example, Chicago is a large metro area, so we started with in-person events in the city but are now expanding to suburban areas where there are a few members.
- Ask about dates/times that might work for a recurring in-person or Zoom (1x a week or 2x a month works well).
- Ask if anyone would be interested in being a co-host/co-curator - the goal isn’t to do it all yourself, so encourage members to host their own events.
- Set up an in-person event - best if possible is a regular, recurring event such as a walk, hike, restaurant, etc. Continue hosting and you should see a recurring group of women, with a few new ones each time, that will start to form friendships For example, in Chicago, we host walks around the city parks - we aim for every month or so; coffee or lunch after is optional.
- Consider a Book Club or Book Discussion - virtual or in-person - this is another way to get to know people in the area.
- Once you have a group started and have hosted 5 events on the platform (or are already a Power host), Revel can create a Community so you are able to communicate on a regular basis with locals, continue to solicit ideas for events and encourage others to host events themselves.
- Other local event ideas: Potluck, Farmers Market, Brunch, Zoo, Dog Park, Theater, Comedy, Museum.
Part 2: Starting a interest-based or topical Community if one doesn’t exist with your area of interest
This topic includes ideas for starting an interest-based or topical Community. For example, if you have a keen interest in Macrame, you can create a Community just for that topic.
Some examples of unique Revel groups: Keto Club, Cat Moms, Documentary Lovers - if you have an interest that you want to share with others, there are very likely other Revel members that will be interested in joining you.
Be sure to peruse the Community listings first to see if there is an existing Community based on your interest. If you don’t find one, here are ideas to get one started:
- You may want to first host a few events (virtual or in-person) based on your interest. To host a Community you need to be a Power Host (or have hosted 5 events) so this will be a way to become a Power Host if you haven’t yet hosted those 5 events.
- Next, find a few Communities that might overlap with your interest. For example, a Crafting or Knitting Community might have members likely to be interested in Macrame. Let members know about the Community you would like to start. If you are part of a geographical Community, post there as well as you might find members nearby that not only enjoy your topic but could also meet in person.
- Ask friends and family who have a similar interest and that fit the Revel profile to join Revel and your Community. Even if they don’t join, you can invite them to an event as a guest to get them started in the community.
- Post on your social media (FB, Twitter, Instagram, Stories, etc.) that you are looking for women to join Revel (currently there is no charge to join) that have a similar interest (Macrame). What’s great about this is that you can hold virtual events through Revel so it doesn’t matter where they live.
- Create a virtual event in Revel to introduce yourselves - have some thought-starter questions ready.
- On the Zoom ask for ideas of what participants might be interested in (for example, hourly Macrame and chatting Zoom each week; an online Macrame class, presenting each person’s projects, etc.)
- Ask about dates/times that might work for a recurring zoom (1x a week or 2x a month works well)
- Ask if anyone would be interested in being a co-host/co-curator.
- Once you have a few women you’ve identified with a similar interest, Revel can create a Community so you are able to communicate on a regular basis, continue to solicit ideas for events and encourage others to host events themselves.
- Start hosting regular events for all the members that expressed interest - you’ll soon find a group of women that attend regularly and you have your special interest Community off and running.
Part 3: Event Thought Starters
Would you like to take a more active role and expand your Revel community but are not sure what type of event to host? Or are you out of ideas and need some thought starters? These are good tips for creating that next event.
- Spend some time on Revel looking through all of the events - this might spark a great idea, or a twist on an idea, or a local in-person event sparked from a virtual event. The local book workshops in Chicago were each sparked from looking through the Events.
- Think about topics or activities that you are interested in and make a list. For example: full moon rituals, art, cycling, powerlifting, making memory books….chances are there are other Reveler’s who might have an interest as well.
For in-person events survey local members and ask about their favorite activities and go off of that:
- Favorite brunch spot (a monthly brunch gathering is a great idea).
- Best walk or hikes (or secret walks - in Chicago we were able to explore some “secret” pathways that a member was very familiar with.
- Ask “what is something (or someplace) in the area that you’ve always wanted to visit but have never taken the time?”
- Museums - of course, the major ones but often there are neighborhood or local museums for free or low cost that can be very interesting and informative.
- Neighborhood tours - yours, or have a member give a tour through their community.
- Food tours - There are some in NYC that are fabulous; many cities have them but you could also create your own - pick 3 restaurants and visit each for a small bite.
- Pizzarias, breweries, wine bars, dessert bars, ice cream shops - make a list of the top 3-5 and have a series of events to visit each one.
- Potluck, rotate homes and everyone brings something.
- Book Club - find a recommended book on Revel and coordinate a book club meeting around that book; even better, find a local author and host an in-person book discussion with the author.
- Entrepreneurs gathering - in-person to discuss business-related topics (maybe each participant takes a turn presenting on a topic - or - share an issue that they are trying to tackle and get support & feedback).
For Online Events:
- Survey members (I’d like to host an event about XX, would you be interested?)
- A series of events based around a specific topic (for example - living your best life in midlife, how to eat more plant-based meals).
- A book club (1x or series) - select a book (check with the author, they will often agree to join an online book discussion) and then lead a book club discussion (guides can often be found online). For example, you could co-host a 1x in person and 4x online series event with a local author.
- If you meet someone in an event and hit it off, reach out and see if they’d like to co-host an event with you.
- Virtual tours - a lot of museums and places of interest have added virtual tours, you can do one on a zoom all together and then have a discussion.
- Host an online dinner party - 1) send out recipes and everyone makes the same meal or 2) everyone makes something and discussed the dish & recipe on the call (then send out recipes) or 3) everyone has whatever meal they want and the event is focused on dinner conversation or pulling questions from a deck [can do this as a cocktail party as well].
- Entrepreneurs gathering - online support & accountability business-related topics (maybe each participant takes a turn presenting on a topic - or - share an issue that they are trying to tackle and get support & feedback) or virtual coworking sessions.
Hosting on Revel is great fun, allows you to more deeply explore your interests all the while meeting and making new friends, whether online or in-person. I hope to see your event soon!
Jen Rigley is the Founder and visionary of the brand Flourishing Over Fifty. Her passion is empowering women of any age to live an inspired, intentional, joyful life. She is a Revel Power Host and is the host/curator for the Revel Chicago Community. You can find her blog at https://flourishingoverfifty.com and follow her on social media @flourishingoverfifty.
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