How To Build Community-Led Events Fans Love

Welcome to How To Be A Host podcast, hosted by Charles Ewudo. The show features experts, veterans, movers, and shakers in the nightlife and hospitality worlds here to show you everything you need to know about hosting a party.

Meet Kimia Hangafarin, founder of Shadow, a digital social club for creators and influencers to find events and network discovery. Kimia is an expert community builder who explains what it really means to have a community and how she built one of her own. In this episode, we discussed the concept of community building through digital social clubs, emphasizing the importance of quality and exclusivity. 

Kimia’s theory is that event discovery, community, and networking should be all in one platform, and that’s why Shadow is as much networking as it is event discovery. She also shared her experience creating Shadow Houses–luxury accommodations for Art Basel and Coachella attendees. Kimia highlighted the unique experience of meeting new people and the cost-effectiveness for solo travelers. 

In this episode, we also discussed Shadow’s approach to creating a community through carefully planned events, including identifying the right audience and creating a space for connection. Kimia emphasized the importance of finding common ground, creating a blend of online and offline interactions, and nurturing relationships. “I’ve heard communities being defined as, something that everyone can participate in, whereas an audience is where someone, a leader or whoever you’re watching, they are doing something, and then the audience is just watching and taking part, but a community is where there’s a topic the whole community is participating in.”

"I've heard communities being defined as, something that everyone can participate in."

We also discussed how Shadow collaborates with their creators to produce better experiences and community-led events. Kimia highlighted the importance of having the right people in a community, and how it can make or break an event.

“I think there’s like a minimum threshold of qualities that you can have in common with someone in order to, like, create a community.”

Highlight: Nightlife could be a really good strong tool and a strong driver, depending on your strategy and how you are approaching what you want to get out of it. Brands need an effective nightlife strategy in order to achieve business objectives and see the return of investment. Kimia emphasized on how doing something unique and creative is the best approach.

“One event that we did, we partnered with Dom Bresky, the DJ. And we took over Kiss Kiss Bang Bang in Koreatown. And so that was like a huge success because obviously you know Dom Bresky. He’s an amazing and amazing producer and DJ. And the space is like gorgeous over there, it has all these neon lights and sequins and stuff and, and so having a disco party at that venue with the amazing Dom Bresky and then inviting shadow members and just that was like really unique.”

This episode explores how Shadow uses the power of community to fuel events, listen now. Check out more thought-provoking conversations on How to be a Host hub.

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