I recently was inspired to completely makeover the suite of events I run. It’s one of those times where I can barely believe how uncalibrated I was before. On the other hand, sometimes when you’re starting out, calibration doesn’t get you anywhere and you just have to fight for every inch of forward progress. It’s all a process of learning.
The way I was doing it before was very cerebral. I was planning events such as at the highest altitude bar or the very closest to the water. I was trying to offer things that made other groups look worse by comparison.
I think the problem with this is that those events don’t necessarily feel good. It can feel a bit empty to plan out going to the highest altitude bar and expecting it to hold some kind of promise because it’s the most of something. I think it’s still good to do these things, but they’re like the icing on the cake.
I kept my Saturday night thing the same. It’s one of the few that doesn’t change week by week. I like it because it’s kind of dominant oddly enough. Something strikes me as weak about always frittering about all over town. Never just planting your feet somewhere and just saying “this is where we’ll be at this time”. It’s right in the centre of town too.
I changed the approach to Friday night bar crawls quite dramatically. An epiphany I had recently was that an element of spontaneity or whimsy is a good thing on a night out. Adventure. So what I’ve tried to do is just set the meeting point, at hotspot in town. I’ve noted that it’s a bar crawl, but that’s sort of contradicted a bit in the communications. I’ve left a few suggestions about where we can head out to. What I’m hoping will happen is that people will rock up expecting an unexpected adventure and that’s what we’ll do. It started to seem so boring knowing exactly what I’ll do every Friday night.
I also rewrote the descriptions. I created facebook events for the private group. There’s only a few responses, if any, but I like that because everyone gets an invite and they’re already kind of warm, involved. Perhaps most importantly I changed the venues to ones I actually like. My Friday nights are looking awesome now and I hope others feel the same. What would make it really great is if 100’s of people started coming. Young, attractive people preferably. Travellers, students and miscellaneous. It’s getting there. For me though it’s a bit like the watched pot that never boils.
I went another direction entirely with Sunday morning activities. Recently I moved them from noon to 11am. I like it because it forces me to get out of bed, improving my chances of getting to bed early before Monday. Hopefully others will find similar value in it.
What I’ve done is monthly events happening on Sundays. There are four of them in consecutive weeks. I hope that makes sense. It goes like this:
– ‘bay trail walk’ st kilda.
– ‘coffee & art’
– ‘Yarra trail walk’
– ‘Melbourne laneway walk’
For one thing notice that it goes outdoors then culture and so it continues.
You may notice that these sound kind of branded. That’s the big change. I took the kind of messy seeming events that were already running and I gave them a branded name. I defined their central nature and made them like a product. An experience. For example st kilda walk is to Ormond lookout which is a great photo op. Laneway walk has 7 laneways. Yarra trail sees the convent, children’s farm and boathouses. Coffee and art meets at a definite cafe and then promise to explore a gallery in the art precinct. So I created definite experiences and gave them a name, a brand. I also ensures there’s an element of spontaneity, perhaps in what to do afterwards for example.
As soon as I created this I had a strong compulsion to get the word out. It seems like if you have an idea it’s in the ether and someone else soon comes up with it. So I posted the four beautiful images I made for them on backpacking groups. Sure enough, 10 minutes later the guy that manages Melbourne social posted something as well. Basically trying to steal my thunder. He’s the one who removed me from their group I think. They have 20 times as many members it’s a bit curious that he seems so threatened. I feel like I’m playing with the big dogs now. It’s pushing the limits of my communication skills, sometimes I just don’t understand the nuance behind what they do but it seems to work. They have a marketing guy, media, sales, and more. I think my strongest angle is as a writer and to be honest I think it trumps all that. Maybe that’s why the narrative seems to favour me. I should come up with a story, an authentic yet compelling one.
Perhaps my story could be that I wanted to live a great lifestyle and build a sense of community around that. A bit abstract maybe. That’s something to think about though, I will come up with something.
My cause is that I want people to be able to be cool even without any friends. They’ll have something high-status to do every Thursday through Sunday. Clubs to go to. Pictures to take. They can approach women, put guys in the friendzone (if they must), learn to dance, go on adventures, go for coffee. That’s like 50% of what unfortunate people miss out on in this society and it bares so much on their happiness and wellbeing. It works for me to provide this service because I’m in need of the same thing. How do I put that in an elevator-pitch-sized story?
Finally I should note that I made good inroads to the areas I wanted to represent. Melbourne social is a bit too big to rebrand itself to be about these things. Same with Newbies and New to Melbourne. Art, live music, laneways, crown casino, cafes. Every month I have something on related to these and it fits like a glove. It gives the whole group this incandescent glow of Melbourne, young people, fun, creativity. Even badassery. I posted on most of the University Facebook groups. 200,000+ young people could see what I wrote in 2 minutes. I used to be afraid of the opinions of students but I’m not anymore and I think some percentage would appreciate it. No one else seems to be doing it. So far in my life this is my legacy. I hope my blog, travel, love life and business shine brighter as well. It’s all part of the same thing. The place I’ve been when I was daydreaming all these years.