Catalyst Suites Community Event March 2024 Case Study

Event Marketing & Management
Mar 14, 2024
Email Header from Event Invitation


Catalyst Suites is a coworking and private business suite commercial real estate building in the Pilsen neighborhood of Chicago. As the sole Community Manager of Catalyst Suites (CS), I oversee all aspects of community engagement and operations within our coworking space. I act as a liaison between our members, ensuring their needs are met and concerns addressed promptly. In addition to managing day-to-day operations, I manage sales, marketing, and other business functions.

Fostering a sense of community and belonging among our members is a passion of mine.

One of my key responsibilities is organizing events and activities designed to facilitate networking, collaboration, and social interaction. These events include networking mixers, workshops, seminars, and social gatherings aimed at creating opportunities for our members to connect, share ideas, and build relationships within our community. Through my efforts, I enhance the overall experience of being a member of Catalyst Suites.

Members networking.

Event Overview

The Catalyst Suites Cocktail Party was my second CS event. It was a purposeful gathering of our diverse community, filled with lively conversations, laughter, and connections. Hosted on March 14th, 2024, the event brought together members from various industries and backgrounds to network and unwind after a productive month. 

Me posing for a photo with three Catalyst Suites Members

Key Highlights

Attendees enjoyed delicious cocktails crafted by Up Elevated Cocktails and savory bites from Rubi's Tacos. The event was sponsored by Sweet, a tech start-up. The evening buzzed with excitement as members exchanged ideas, shared insights, and fostered new business collaborations. It was a delightful celebration of our community spirit and shared success, setting the stage for future events filled with camaraderie and opportunity.

CS members exchanging new business ideas.

Organizational Efforts

As the organizer of the March CS Cocktail Party, I orchestrated a memorable evening of networking and camaraderie for our diverse community. Leveraging my experience in event planning and community engagement, I coordinated with vendors like Rubi's Tacos and Up Elevated Cocktails to curate a delightful culinary experience for attendees. Up Elevated Cocktails offers a custom drink menu option, so I had to name the drinks after our most common member businesses. The drinks were called The Therapist, The Hair Stylist, The Esthetician, and The Nonprofit. I ensured that every detail was meticulously planned to guarantee a successful and enjoyable gathering.

Up Elevated Cocktails Bartender standing behind bar with the CS event poster and drink menu.

I schedule dates for all Catalyst Suites community events at the beginning of the year. This event was the first of the year, so I had three months to plan the logistics and make it happen. Originally, the event was to be hosted by a third party. This event was to be hosted by an awesome startup called Sweet that aimed to share its upcoming software with our members and gauge interest. I saw that this software could have immense value for many of our members and arranged for them to host and manage a happy hour as their event. However, as the event date drew closer, I realized I needed to step in. 

Sweet Co-Founders and Catalyst Suites members.

Two weeks before the event date, I offered them a sponsorship deal: they would cover a portion of the event costs and I would handle the event management and marketing. We planned to host these types of community events in SpaceISH each quarter, so the location was settled as soon as I contacted them. I met with one of our CS members, called DishRoulette Kitchen (DRK), and requested referrals for local F&B vendors from their team. They are a non-profit that assists Chicago F&B businesses and functions as a restaurant development center, so of course they would know the best caterers in town. 

CS Members posing for a photo including DRK staff.

A core value of Catalyst Suites is Community, so we place high value on giving back to the community in every way we can. I try to embody this by reaching out and working with members as much as possible in situations like these where we will be hiring third-party vendors. I ended up hiring Rubi's Tacos and UpElevatedCocktails after a discussion with the CS Managing Principal. They did a wonderful job and made the event that much more enjoyable for guests. 

Rubi's Tacos Staff and Owner

Marketing Strategy

Once the event logistics were settled, I began to create marketing materials and a project timeline for event marketing. 

Event Announcement graphic that was posted on social media.

What I Did:

  • Utilized HubSpot CRM to create email and SMS communications
    • Invitation email
      • Open Rate: 43.68% 
      • CTR to RSVP Form: 19.54% 
      • Successful Deliveries: 98.86% 
    • Reminder Email 
      • Open Rate: 31.77%
      • CTR to RSVP Form: 10.59%
      • Successful Deliveries: 100% 
    • SMS - Last Chance to RSVP
      • Additional RSVPs: 15
      • Successful Deliveries: 100%
  • Created print flyers with QR codes for high-visibility areas like the elevator and lobby areas to build awareness. 
  • Designed graphics and signage using Canva
  • Linked all communications to a HubSpot RSVP form
  • Created a post-event Instagram reel and an email with a link to download images and sign up for the sponsor’s product launch waitlist.
    • Instagram reel
      • 4 saves
    • Post-event email
      • Open Rate: 43.31% 
      • CTR to Sponsor: 10.11% 

Messaging for these communications created a sense of urgency to RSVP and built hype around the event. There was an emphasis on getting to know your neighbors and taking a much-needed break.

CS members having a good time.

Results & Impact

The event exceeded expectations in terms of attendance, engagement, and overall satisfaction. With an estimated RSVP count of 60 attendees, representing a 20% increase from our previous event, the party was hailed as a resounding success by members and organizers alike. The event served as a catalyst for meaningful connections, collaborative opportunities, and professional growth within the Catalyst Suites community.

The party was a testament to our vibrant community and provided a platform for meaningful connections and collaborations to flourish. I continue to see the results of this event unfold as new friendships and business partnerships develop among members. I look forward to planning future events that foster a sense of belonging and opportunity like this one.