7 ways to open the new year in your community

The new year is about to start, and you’re looking for a way to celebrate or mark the new beginning with your community members. Whether you operate online or meet face-to-face, here are some ideas.

New year in the community
Celebrate your members’ achievements or highlight their initiatives | Photo: Cottonbro

1. Organize a kick-start event

Organize an opening event for the year to gather your members and freshen up the vibes.

You can bring a keynote speaker or present a special workshop. You can also run an expert panel with your own community members. Why not collaborate with other communities or companies, or simply gather your members to network and have fun?

2. Share your plans

Share your upcoming plans with your members, to foster transparency and create excitement.

Running a customer community? Share what are the company plans in the next quarters, such launching a new, long-awaited product, highlight work on a new feature, and so on.

Gathering members around a hobby? Let them know what they should expect for the next few months: What are the upcoming events, courses, or other community gatherings?

When people have something to look forward to, it gives them motivation to stay in the community. They can see its value.

Just remember, share only what you are actually going to do. If you’re not sure yet, you can ask your members for suggestions. Involving your members and understanding their needs is always a good idea.

3. Encourage a New Year’s resolution

Make a space for sharing personal or professional goals, to support each other.
You can either create a thread in your online platform, or let your members tell each other face-to-face. Encourage them to find buddies to share their goals with and assist them.
You can even send them reminders during the year to reflect upon their goals and keep on working to achieve them.

I’ve seen community members sharing personal goals such as losing weight or running a marathon, as well as professional ones such as starting a blog and overcoming a fear of being in front of a camera.

Further planning for the next year?

Read: How to use monthly meetings to boost your community

4. Create a challenge

Start a new challenge to raise the members’ engagement in the community or in general, positive anticipation for the new year.

The challenge can be around the community’s topic, or a personal one. There’s nothing better than a community to support individuals’ challenges and overcome them.

For example:
21 days’ challenge: 21 days (or preferably 66 days) of daily meditation, workout, reading, and so on.

A competition: Are your members self-employed and looking to boost their business? Create a New Year’s competition of business campaigns for new customers’ leads.

Promote a social cause: Is your community gathering members looking to create a change? Challenge them to share the cause and increase the public awareness in their social media channels.

5. Refresh your community guidelines

Refresh your community guidelines, to make sure everybody’s in line.
Ask yourself:

  • Have there been any violations of the community’s code of conduct in the past months?
  • Did the community members recently suggest new ways to operate within the community?
  • Have there been new changes in the community that the members should know about?

If the answer to some of the questions is yes, then it’s time to go over your community guidelines. Once you’ve finished updating them, communicate the changes to your members. If there are any new guidelines, it’s better to explain them to your members. It will clear up any misunderstanding and decrease the chances of a violation of the guidelines.

6. Celebrate your members’ achievements

Highlight your members’ new initiatives or celebrate their achievements. It will open a door for members to get to know each other and cultivate networking opportunities.

Is your community a professional one? Celebrate those who were given a promotion, who have appeared in the news, or have published new articles.

Do you run a users community? Highlight the users that wrote the most replies during the year. You can run a ceremony with appealing awards, such as “the member who replied to the forum’s questions the most,” “the member who had the most valuable posts,” and so on.

Actually, consider applying this all year round, to create a friendly and cooperative culture in your community.

7. Create a common knowledge pool

Together with your members, create a common thread or document or page around an upcoming topic in the next year. This knowledge pool will be according to your community‘s interests, to encourage involvement and knowledge sharing.

Are your members entrepreneurs? List all the upcoming relevant events.

Is your community dedicated to self-growth? Create a selected list of books everyone must read.
Running a professional community such as a designers community? Start a thread of the best tools for designers for the coming year.

Your community’s pool can also include industry trends, experts’ recommendations, software tools, or any other relevant knowledge output that can bring value to your members.


How are you going to open the new year in your community? Will you be throwing a unique event or engaging your members in a creative way? Share your examples in the comments.

If you’re looking for further ideas or interested in brainstorming together, let’s talk. We’ll create a great year’s opening together.

This post is based on a short list I published on LinkedIn.



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