Events in the Flex
Why are events so important? There is an event happening in your community, wherever you are, every single day. Why do people take the time and energy to set up an event? For one, they are a great way for people to showcase what they are doing to people who might be in interested in it. They are a great way for people to meet other people, to network and learn about the people in their area. They pull in people into one space so they can talk to each other, which sometimes can be difficult to do these days. An event is a sort of social lubricant, as if the guests are saying to themselves, “Well, I’m already here; I might as well talk to people. (Food and drink tend to help this move a little faster.)
All this is a roundabout way of saying that events in a community are not simply just a product of a community that wants to engage more with itself. Instead events are what make a community a community, rather than a collection of people who happen to be in the same place at the same time. The engagement comes from the events serving the needs of the community members.
The 4M campus has this wonderful space called “The Flex”. Situated right in between our large coworking space, or conference rooms, and our production studios is a massive, multi-use area. At its most basic level, this is where the electric vehicles can park and charge. After that, there is only one rule for “The Flex”: No Gas-Powered Engines Allowed. EVER. That means clean air and tons of space for a crazy amount of different events.
Picture this: On Monday, the space is used for morning yoga, where the yogis stretch out on their yoga mats prepping for their day. In the afternoon, there is a live podcast show with seats all spread out across the space. The next day, there is a pop-up farmers market ready for the residents to grab some fresh food. Wednesday, we’ve got a catered networking event with guest speakers presenting on launching products faster. The next night there is a book reading from a local author. Friday is game night. There are all sorts of lawn games, cornhole, ladder-toss, and ping-pong going on. We set up the space for what the residents want or need, and the magic of the community spreads from there.
That’s the best part. “The Flex” is a space that is entirely flexible with what we do. We can set up events on the fly, create recurring events that seem to be a hit with the residents, or we can set an event once and learn that it wasn’t for our community. 4M is constantly learning how to better serve, and our spaces are designed to be proactive and reactive to the learning process.