CMX Summit: More Than Just Community
OneTable’s Jonathan Eisen spent time at the CMX Summit 2016. Read on to discover what he learned and how you can apply these skills too.
As a professional community builder my number one goal is to help others make connections and feel a part of something bigger than themselves. During the first few days of November I attended the ultimate community building gathering: the CMX Summit in San Francisco.
If you don’t know about CMX yet – you should. CMX is the hub for the community industry. It’s a community that inspires my work, makes me think critically, and provides insight into the questions I ask myself every day: How do you build a thriving community? How do you support your community and manage sustainable growth? What connections are important to help your community move forward?
At OneTable, our mission is to help people create community around the Friday night dinner table. We give hosts the opportunity to become active producers of Jewish experiences, rather than passive consumers of a Judaism that is produces by someone else. By utilizing social dining technology to support a community-first platform. After testing our model across the country, we are extending our network and hope to inspire other communities to try what works so well for us. Participating in CMX West 2016 was my chance to do just that.
COLLABORATION AT CMX
While peer to peer Shabbat dinners are our primary focus, OneTable also provides community building workshops that we call “nosh:pitality” gatherings: hospitality gatherings focused on enhancing skills around hosting (cooking classes, mixology workshops, pickling, etc.) while also incorporating relevant Jewish content. The information shared from an educator at these sessions provides accessible and applicable resources to make Jewish wisdom part of their lives. These monthly gatherings are designed for hosts to learn skills that will enhance their hosting confidence and outcomes, such as cooking, challah baking, cocktail making, and ritual facilitation.
The conclusion of Day 1 at CMX was an ideal opportunity to keep the conversations going and teach a little hospitality. With support from OneTable’s Bay Area manager, Analucía Lopezrevoredo, and CMX’s Director of Community, Evan Hamilton, we provided attendees with a chance to connect, share stories, and of course… nosh.
HOW TO THROW A NOSH:PITALITY
Choose your own adventure! Here are four steps to do it on your own:
1. Choose a topic within the hospitality realm such as creating intentional spaces, elevating table scapes or more culinary focused like fermenting or wine and cheese pairings — and do some research: Who is doing it well? What are researchers and social psychologist commenting on? What’s trending on the issue?
2. Mix it up with libations and snacks: We suggest hiring either a professional bartender or mixologist — someone who can help facilitate and lead a hands-on session for your attendees.
3. Set up your space for some lounge optimal conversation and connecting: We love using spaces at start-up offices or galleries where people can relax on couches and also move around chat with other participants.
4. Give your guests a valuable take-away: At CMX we provided snack bags. For your event it can be food, recipe cards, or follow up with guests and include the learning materials you shared with them.
OneTable is an incredible platform to inspire community, whether it’s within someone’s home or out in the world. Keep up with our blog to see what we try out next nationally and in our NYC, Chicago, Denver, Bay Area, Atlanta, and DC hubs. Our goal is to bring people together, extend relationships, and create more open and accessible Shabbat dinners.
Thank you to my team at OneTable and to the ROI Community, a program of the Charles and Lynn Schusterman Family Foundation, for making it possible for me to attend CMX and share a little hospitality love.