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Newsletter #893: The “Bring Them Together” Issue

[Welcome back to the Damn, I Wish I’d Thought of That! newsletter. This is text of the great issue all of our email subscribers just received. Sign yourself up using the handy form on the right.]

Always look for excuses to bring people together. It’s an amazing word of mouth opportunity. Not only will they talk about the experience, but they’ll have the chance to create relationships with other fans — and that’s a key ingredient of long-term communities.

A few great groups you could bring together:

1. Students
2. Geeks and nerds
3. Fans of fun
4. Check it out: Awesome people hanging out together

1. Students

Students can be the perfect group to bring together. But look beyond the backpack-toting crowd you’re thinking of. Instead, focus on people who are fascinated by you or your industry and want to learn more about it all. Think like the folks at Molson’s Beer Academy in Toronto. They host in-depth classes on the ins and outs of beer. They teach you history, how it’s made, how to do a proper tasting, and what creates differences in various types of beer. The information is great and the samples are tasty.

The lesson: No matter what industry you’re in, you have skills and insight that people want to learn from. Could you host classes in your office? Online training events? Q&A sessions with your staff?

Learn more: Beer Academy

2. Geeks and nerds

Everything great (and plenty of not-so-great stuff) has a geeky nerd following. If you’re lucky, maybe you already have one for your brand. But even if you don’t, you can still get involved with existing ones. All summer at Steak ‘n Shakes around the country, for example, they host “Cruise-In” events where classic car buffs get together. These little rallies transform the parking lots into mini auto shows — and they bring people from all over just to check them out (and maybe get a milkshake too).

The lesson: Lots of fantastic groups need a place to meet. What spare room, empty parking lot, or open venue could you offer them?

Learn more: Flickr

3. Fans of fun

One of the best ways to bring people together is to just do something fun. It’s stunts, special events, or competitions. For inspiration, check out the summer camp Threadless set up. Through their “Camp Wannatee” project, they created four “cabins” that fans could pick from to join. Then they created a bunch of ways for fans to help out their cabin — things like suggesting cabin mottos, tweeting hashtags, and voting on shirts. The weeklong event culminated in the Camp Wannatee games, which the Threadless staff participated in (and everyone else watched via live stream). It was goofy, and it was a great way to activate their community with something a little different and a lot of fun.

The lesson: Look for something fun you could host that will bring people together. And hey, if nobody shows up this time — that’s OK. You can just try again.

Learn more: Threadless

4. Check it out: Awesome People Hanging Out Together

Speaking of bringing people together, check out all the great photos featured on this blog that show famous and influential people hanging out together.

Check it out: Awesome People Hanging Out Together

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