Our kick-ass Community Manager Allison tells us what she’s learned about making a community thrive during her time at Runway East. Since this blog was written, Allison has started a new chapter as Community Manager at our new London Bridge site – and she is making waves!
The first time I walked into Runway East I had been expecting to come for a sort of ‘practice interview.’ I had just begun looking for a new role after a long stint as an office manager at a music venue in central London. I had no knowledge of the startup world. I didn’t know the
difference between bitcoin and blockchain or what a Venture Capitalist was. When I stumbled upon the job posting, I just thought “hmm this place looks cool.” It was cool. I walked into a shabby chic building in the heart of Old Street. Young people in casual dress streamed in and out, checking in on an iPad. There was an energy about it that I instantly connected with and very quickly I knew it was an energy I wanted to be a part of.
Despite being warmly welcomed by the Runway East team, I was nervous that my background in hospitality, events, and music would not be enough to make me the great Community Manager that Moorgate deserved. Thankfully, I learned quite quickly that creating a sense of
belonging and providing a great experience for people is something that crosses over from one industry to the next. I was in fact, well equipped with the tools necessary to take on this role in the tech world! Here’s what I’ve learned people want when it comes to events, service and of course, community.
What a kick-ass community needs:
To feel valued
In my years in the hospitality industry, we were always urged to call our patrons guests, not customers. When working in a space with so many other companies and people, it can be easy to feel like a number. At Runway, we really put an effort into making personal connections with our members. We take them to lunch, invite them for after work drinks, ask them about their weekends and their families. Our members are our friends, not just people that rent desks from us.
To have fun
We know what they say about all work and no play… we always try to tip the scales in favour of fun at Runway East. Startup teams are always working around the clock to get their ideas off the ground. If we can inject a bit of silliness into their schedule and get them in
front of a film screen at movie night instead of their laptop, or gathered around a beer pong table instead of a meeting room, we consider it a great success!
To be heard
It goes without saying that we can’t make absolutely everything perfect (though we do try our best!). That said, we always take on board members’ worries and woes, and even if we can’t find an immediate solution, we always listen and let them know that their opinions and ideas are important to us.
To be given the room and tools to grow
Growth is the name of the game for startups. Anything we can do to provide valuable professional development is always well received by our teams. Whether it’s a workshop on how to perfect your elevator pitch, a Lunch&Learn session about how to balance wellness and work, or a startup speed-networking event that allows them to connect with each other, we aim to help our members grow and develop within our spaces.