It’s a whole lot of one thing: work. Work prepping the space beforehand, sending out invites, making sure everything’s set, oh hell I forgot to get bags of ice, people will be here any minute.
Work during the party. Does everyone have beverages? Is anyone bored? Cups are everywhere. Must tidy. Did anyone go to pick up more ice? What do you mean we’re already out of hors d’oeuvres?
Work after. Time to tidy. Time to get that last schmuck who won’t stop talking out the damn door. Time to wrap up and put away the leftovers. What the hell do I do with all of these enormous pizza boxes?
You get my point. It’s no small task to be the organizer and the host.
I’ve done my fair share of it.
You know what I like a lot better?
Being the organizer OR the host.
When I host, I have nothing to do with the content. My job is to make sure things are going smoothly. When the programming’s happening, I can eat, read, tidy, chill.
When I organize, I’m focused entirely on the people and the experience. The rest of it is taken care of.
They’re two different workflows, requiring separate energies. One is interpersonal; one is logistical.
There’s nothing wrong with doing both, but if you can steer your efforts towards separating these capacities, you’ll likely find things running more smoothly.
If you’re running a space, you’re definitely already the host.
You can hire others to handle hosting duties, but until then the job falls to you. If you came into this role as someone who is used to being the organizer, this can be a difficult thing to come to terms with.
You can, of course, always continue to organize a group that you feel passionate about.
In the long run, however, your ultimate goal is to be facilitating the organizing of many groups. Developing this kind of an ecosystem will ensure you’ve got something built to last.
If you’re starting a coworking space, or running an existing one, consider your strategy for convening not just people, but fellow organizers. Your job gets a heck of a lot easier if you’ve got like-minded people forging new ground alongside you.
Members of the Organizers Club will have a chance to work through exercises to identify and work with local leaders. Learn more about membership here.