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Samantha Hulls: Melting Pot to Virtual Pot: Going Virtual

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Welcome to your weekly Coworking Values Podcast. For this episode we welcome back one of our friends from Melting Pot in Edinburgh, UK — Samantha Hulls. For the new listeners, Sam is the head of Collaboration for Melting Pot.

She did a podcast with us before — Coworking in Scotland and Other Good Ideas. And today she will be talking about the Melting Pot and how they are moving from physical premises to a virtual one. She will be delving on why’s and how’s of a coworking space moving from a physical address to a virtual one and how their community has responded to the change.

How did your Community respond with Melting Pot going Virtual?

I would say, very similar in terms of the initial enthusiasm of them they were all confined to our houses, it was very exciting to be part of a virtual community. And then we definitely saw a drop off in that, as things started to open up again. 

And I guess for us, our attention, also shifted, because, July, we raised the doll. The working space for three months or four months, so we had, we were kind of focusing our energies in both the virtual and physical web app stage. So we redid scale back slightly on the virtual. 

I would say that in terms of if we have those premises and again, the UK has gone a bit further into lockdown in the last couple of months. Yeah, there hasn’t been quite a return to the virtual community that we could have at the start of the year, but events are one area where we’ve seen people kind of really likes that as best they might not be on all the time on slack channels or checking in all the time but events have been a nice marker point for them to get involved again. 

So, I think for us, we were looking at it because, you know, running a virtual community is a very specific skill set and it is somewhat of a different skill set to running in person community, and it’s something that we as a team haven’t really done on any large scale level before so one of our projects for the next couple of weeks is going to be actually taking what we’ve learned in the last eight months of running this virtual community that was kind of like a prototype phase, and we’re just trying everything. 

They’re like, you know what, let’s give everything a go or like try regular events, I daily check in, like, do all these things and see what sticks. So we’re just going to do a little reflection, and we write one of the top three things that have worked really well, and let’s like narrow it down to those, and make sure we do less but do it really well in a way that will engage.

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Virtual Pot

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