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Shifting Revel, a Community for Women Over 40, from In-Person to Online Overnight

As community practitioners, we often serve communities that we don’t necessarily belong to. But how would you approach designing a community platform, events, and policies for a demographic that you don’t belong to? Alexa Wahr, the COO of Revel, a community for women over 40, says that she and her co-founder build by putting their community first. “We absolutely listen to our members. We don’t try to pretend like we know what exactly our members are going through or what it’s like to be a woman in their life. That doesn’t mean that we can’t help to build the community and build the tools that help them connect.”

In this episode of Community Signal, Alexa shares how the policies that govern the platform, Revel’s approach to safety during the pandemic, and Revel’s acquisition of The Woolfer, are all grounded in putting their members’ needs, safety, and experiences first.

Alexa also discusses how Revel, an in-person events-based community, shifted entirely to virtual events in light of the pandemic. Through this model, Revel members have continued to have meaningful interactions, build friendships, and support one another through COVID-19.

Alexa and Patrick also discuss:

  • How Revel is encouraging their event hosts to stay safe now that in-person events have resumed
  • Revel’s plans to introduce paid events into their community
  • The differences between the Revel and Woolfer communities and how they’re balancing the needs for both
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Big Quotes

Building the Revel community with member needs first (5:10): “We don’t try to pretend like we know what exactly our members are going through or what it’s like to be a woman in their life. That doesn’t mean that we can’t help to build the community and build the tools that help them connect.” –@alexawahr

Virtual events are impactful and here to stay (12:20): “We’ve seen that over [virtual meetings], you can actually form really deep connections. We now have members who have formed really great friendships across the country. Can’t wait to travel to meet one another. … [I’m] happy to say that virtual events are definitely here to stay. We have yet to see what the final balance of in-person versus virtual events will be at scale, but certainly, a large percentage of our events will continue to be virtual.” –@alexawahr

Fostering the events that Revel members want (14:50): “If our members start to perceive that going to a Revel event is being pushed products or services in a sneaky way, they simply won’t come back. We take it very seriously and really err on the side of our members first and our hosts secondary when it comes to violations like that.” –@alexawahr

On the future of Revel (24:40): “[Revel is] a community for women over 40. The community shares that identity and we’re about making connections, finding friendships, supporting one another, and really bringing light to women in midlife and all of the amazing things that they’re doing. That doesn’t mean that women within the community don’t have their own interests, feelings, and identities and allowing every woman over 40 to join Revel, but then find her niche, her group within the community, is also something that we think will be a big part of what Revel is and [we’re] excited to build that out.” –@alexawahr

About Alexa Wahr

Alexa Wahr is the co-founder and COO of Revel Gatherings. Previously, Alexa was a senior director in operations at health insurance startup Bright Health. Prior to Bright Health, Alexa worked in strategy and business development for Target and was an healthcare investment banking analyst at Piper Jaffray. Alexa has a BBA from Emory University and a MBA from Harvard Business School.

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