Since 2020, it has been heartbreaking to cross paths with fellow Tribers and not be able to extend a warm welcome to meet up with the Chapter. We were afraid of COVID outbreaks, how new cases might impact local communities and everyone’s Chapter experience.
Now, with loosening our COVID restrictions and restarting the visitor policy for partners and loved ones, we’re ready to reintroduce the option to meet up with a Chapter when we’re all in the same place.
This is a theme that many of you have asked me about this year: Can I visit a Chapter if I’m in town too?
We were waiting for the pandemic to ease up before creating more opportunities to connect and see old friends. During this time, the team took the chance to reflect on the old policy, known as Bonus Tribing, to figure out how to both protect the Chapter experience and make it easier to see each other.
In this post, I’ll give a behind-the-scenes look at how Bonus Tribing has evolved into new ways to connect with the Chapter. When mulling over bringing this option back, we wanted to make sure we didn’t bring the problems back with it.
So we decided to split it up into two ways of connecting with the Chapter and completely detach them from each other:
- If you’re in town for a short time, reach out to the Host or a friend on Chapter to join dinners or activities to meet everyone and catch up with old friends
- Or, you can get fully involved in the Chapter and still stay in your own accommodations using a Chapter Pass
To start us off, let’s briefly chat about the old days…
Pivoting from Bonus Tribing
This is what “Bonus Tribing” used to be: Members who didn’t manage to get a spot on a Chapter had a second chance to join and still get the full experience by paying a weekly fee and getting their own accommodations. It allowed Tribers to meet up with a Chapter which was a great thing, but it also came with some struggles.
Unfortunately, weekly Bonus Tribing didn’t work well for the Chapter experience. It was disruptive having members arriving at random times throughout the month. For those who were on the Chapter, it felt overwhelming to have people coming and going – like a revolving door at a hostel – and made it difficult to really invest in building deeper relationships.
Weekly Bonus Tribing was chipping away at the community vibe and the feeling of togetherness, so it’s time for some tweaks.
Connecting with the Chapter when you’re in town
You happen to be in town when a Chapter is running there and you’d love to meet up with Tribers for a few days. During the pandemic, it was tough to navigate what was allowed but now that’s changing.
If you’re in the same place as a Chapter and want to meet up for a few things, we’d LOVE to see you, give you a hug, and catch up. Just reach out to the Chapter Host or a friend who’s on the Chapter and they’ll invite you in for the next group hangout!
You can meet up with a friend on Chapter to catch up over dinner and meet the rest of the Tribe. Join Tribers at a cafe to cowork for a while and then tag along for happy hour. If there’s a big night out happening, go live it up in the city with the Tribe for a night.
When visiting a Chapter, I only ask that you please help us take care of the experience.
What do I mean by that? Well, here’s the thing…
The mission of the Chapter is to foster a strong sense of community on Chapter with everyone who has set this month aside to (re)connect with the Tribe and explore a new place together.
We found that, when groups of friends who already knew each other were in town, they’d naturally want to spend lots of quality time with their friends who were on Chapter, and would, unintentionally, pull them away from the experience.
For that friend who was pulled out, it often resulted in them missing out on really connecting with their Chapter and not getting what they wanted out of the experience.
For everyone else on the Chapter, it meant that we wouldn’t get to know a few people from the group. We missed out on many serendipitous moments to connect simply because that member was around less often.
Can Chapter visitors join weekend trips?
Our weekend trips are usually the most bonding and communal moments of the Chapter. It’s when everyone takes time off to spend it together and share an adventure or an experience.
Unfortunately, we noticed that when people who aren’t on the Chapter join a weekend trip, it often disrupts that intimate dynamic and makes it feel overwhelming, dispersed, and disconnected. From the perspective of someone on the Chapter, unless they already know the person visiting, it doesn’t make much sense to invest time connecting if the person will only be there for a few days.
It can also create more organizational effort and complexity for the members planning the trip to add several extra people who want to join.
For these reasons, and out of fairness to those who booked the Chapter, we ask members who are visiting a Chapter to not tag along for the group’s weekend trips.
Of course, if you already happen to be in the location where the Tribe is going on a particular trip, just reach out to a friend and we’ll find a chance to catch up!
What about access to the Slack channels?
The Chapter’s Slack channels are specifically for the members who are on the Chapter. Similar to weekend trips, it can be disruptive to the experience and the mission of the Chapter when people pop in and out as they arrive in town.
Learning as we go
We’re still learning and trying to understand exactly how all of this might impact the Chapter experience. We will keep tweaking things and we’ll keep you in the loop with what we learn as we go!
All this to say: drop in, meet the Tribe, catch up with your friends, but just please keep the Chapter’s “mission” in mind too. If we all do this, everyone will be able to have incredible experiences and connect deeply as we build this community together, one Chapter at a time.
So what happens if you want to get fully involved in the Chapter and have the full experience? It’s time to introduce the Chapter Pass.
The Chapter Pass
The purpose of Chapter Pass is the same as it was with Bonus Tribing: to give a few Tribers a second chance at joining a Chapter when they missed out on getting a spot.
The Chapter Pass does what it says on the tin: it’s a pass to participate in the full Chapter experience; Slack access, get involved with everything we do including any/all the weekend trips that you want to join. Basically, be fully in the loop and join for everything.
The only difference from the typical Chapter experience is that you won’t have accommodation with the Tribe. This means you’ll need to put in more effort to participate in the Chapter, as you won’t be around everyone all the time and might miss out on some of the serendipitous moments that help us connect more quickly and on a deeper level.
We’re still working out the details, as well as identifying the upcoming Chapters would work best for the pass and we’ll release more information on this soon.
In the meantime, here are a few quick bullet points to give you and idea of what it will look like:
- Only for experienced members who’ve done 3+ Chapters: We believe that members with Chapter experience under their belt will help carry our traditions forward so our culture stays strong.
- Only possible when the Chapter is fully booked: The point of the Chapter Pass is to give members who didn’t manage to get a spot on Chapter a second opportunity to join.
- For the full duration of the Chapter: In order to keep the community strong on Chapter, we want to encourage Tribers who are considering this option to stay for the full duration.
PS: Why are we calling it Chapter Pass instead of Bonus Tribing? There was some negative stigma around the term “Bonus Tribers” and it created a bit of separation between members who joined the Chapter in that way and the rest of the Chapter group. To us the Chapter Pass is just that, a pass to the Chapter experience, with no further identity or meaning attached to it. And we want whoever chooses to join in that way to feel like they are 100% a part of the Chapter.
That’s a wrap
I hope that loosening our COVID restrictions, restarting the visitor policy, and bringing new ways for Tribers to reconnect with old friends again will keep bringing us all closer together.
Feel free to reach out if you have any questions or drop some feedback in the Slack thread here.
I look forward to meeting you somewhere in the world soon!
Safe travels – Diego