At a special Walkabout Singapore startup edition of Backstage Pass by Peatix, a community event for organisers, three speakers shared their thoughts on the startup landscape in Singapore and Malaysia, and how you too can be involved in the local startup community or build your own using events.
Being a startup, we’re often working under limited resources of both time and money, so some of you might query the notion of spending both those resources in building a community in the first place. 500 Startups gives seven compelling reasons why startups should care about building community. In sum, community building is a long-term investment that can lead to authentic relationships and love for your brand beyond just products and features.
So, how can you leverage existing resources or host your own event to build a community in Singapore and Malaysia? We rounded up the top tips from our three speakers.
Joseph K. Ziegler of startup accelerator, muru-D Singapore
New to Singapore? Here are four ways you can be involved in Singapore’s startup community through events.
1. Scout for events hosted by local accelerators and venture capitalists such as at JFDI.Asia or muru-D Singapore. You’ll often find quality content localised to the Singapore context.
2. Join and meet the startup community at events hosted by startup thought leaders like at NUS Enterprise.
3. Attend or host your own event at co-working spaces that purposefully builds a community of like-minded companies. For example, The Hub Singapore has a focus on building a community of social entrepreneurs, or The Working Capitol with a community of creatives.
4. Sign up to event listings about startup events or get the word out about your event through them like thelist.sg.
Lais de Oliveira of Startup Grind Kuala Lumpur
Use events to build a community around your startup in three ways:
1. Be the organiser, own the event – its objectives, content, and target audience in building a community for your startup. Draw your community in by providing something they’ll value. Food’s always a great crowd pleaser.
2. Be a supporter, it’s hassle free, and gives attendees the opportunity to experience your startup’s product. For example, MyTeksi in Malaysia (better known as GrabTaxi in Singapore) supports events through sponsoring free rides and hence drawing people into their community of users.
3. Be the host, and build relationships. All you need to do is to open your space to events, and in so doing, expose your brand to those who attend. That said, as a venue host, you have the freedom to curate the events you host to be in line with your branding and the community you want to build.
Claire Ding of Peatix Singapore
Ask yourselves five questions before hosting your startup’s first community event:
1. Who would make up your startup’s community? Figure out which group of people would share similar goals or passion with that of your startup’s.
2. Why do you want to host an event to build a community for your startup? Defining your objectives will help to shape decisions in planning the event and to measure the success of it.
3. What will your community want or value? Place yourselves in their shoes and figure out what value they will want in exchange for their time and money invested into attending your event.
4. When and where is the most convenient or fitting for your event? Think about what a typical day or week is like in the life of your community and set your event at a time that would best suit their schedules. Host your event at an accessible place with a vibe that complements your community.
5. How can you get the word out to your community? Create an event landing page that conveys the value your event will bring to your community, and promote it on channels that your community will look for information on be it social media, online or print media and so on.
Events when done successfully in providing value to your community, can be a powerful way for your startup to build meaningful relationships offline.
Have you used events to build a community for your startup? Share your ideas with us!