Circles of Ask & Give, and Building your own Community Masterclass 🏘

Facilitating conversations, support and connection

Last Friday I held another in-person event for our #linkedinlocal Coffs Coast community, and there continues to be an enormous relief being back face to face and having real conversations again here in Australia. I wrote about this in the last newsletter, which you can check out here in case you missed it.

The purpose of this email though is to share an idea that has been working really well for me in person, as well as something that I have replicated online in Zoom breakout rooms in the past. Icebreakers were always one of the most requested topics when we ran a close-knit host community. Its an idea Patrick Ward explained to me that happens at the #linkedinlocal events in LA; Circles of Ask and Give.

My events have always typically been quite casual, so after 45 mins of open conversations and arrival, we split up into groups of 4, based on a coloured dot assigned on arrival (at random). On each table are instructions, which is to ask a question, and give advice or ideas. The instructions look like this,

Running this activity resulted in a number of collaborations and local business problems being solved. At a time when we so many are struggling in some capacity it was a great way allow people the space to ask for help, without it being too intimidating an environment. It also keen the events pitch-free but yet supports attendees goals. If you want to replicate this idea I’d recommend;

  • Providing instructions as to what is going to happen pre-event (eg on the registration page)

  • Encourage people to ask anything, ie not necessarily work related. The table I was at discussed fitness opportunities for the local population aged 50+, as well as a need for sustainable business forums

  • Have one person in each group as an informal chair, such as event co-hosts, to encourage people to share and also prevents one person taking over

For those in cities where it isn’t safe to be offline yet, this could easily be replicated online without the dots, but assigning people to Zoom breakout rooms with some instructions on screen.


What have been your favourite activities at events? Please leave them in the comments below this article, and don’t forget to show some support by clicking ❤️ if you found this idea helpful.

💙 Anna McAfee


Are you looking to build your own community?

This is your last chance to register for this online Masterclass tomorrow. It is designed for new and former #linkedinlocal hosts looking to start (or re-start a group), or anyone looking to build their own chapter based community for another brand or idea. A replay will be available for those who register and are unable to attend live. Event details and registrations here:


Born out of the #linkedinlocal movement, LocalX was founded to help businesses grow and share our methodology and experiences on nurturing and scaling communities and virtual inclusive villages both locally and globally.