Eat Out Madrid: How a whole Community was built around Food.

Eat Out Madrid: How a whole Community was built around Food.

Valentina Ruffoni moved to Madrid, Spain in 2016 from the UK. Madrid is famous for its beautiful food, incredible restautants, and seemingly endless options for where to eat out, and when Valentina arrived in the city, she was overwhelmed by the number of places to go for a meal and have a drink. She wanted to know where to go to find the best food and best restaurants, and definitely didn't want to get stuck in any tourist traps where the food quality is low and the price tag is high. She wanted to ask the people who actually live in Madrid for their recommendations, opinions, and suggestions.

Valentina Ruffoni, Founder of Eat Out Madrid, and CMX Connect Host, Madrid Chapter

What is it?

Eat Out Madrid was born in August, 2016. This community fulfils the need for foodies in Madrid to connect over food, talk about restaurants, and recommend their favourite places to each other. Valentina built the community from scratch. "I had no experience or idea what I was doing," she said, "building a community is hard work, it takes passion, motivation and time. Without passion, you are unable to connect with your members." Now, Eat Out Madrid boasts 5000 members. Members can post questions and ask for recommendations in the discussion pages, and others will reply in minutes. Eat Out Madrid is not just an online community either. Valentina committed to a monthly in person event too. Usually, this event can be drinks, a dinner, or a food-related experience to give community members an opportunity to meet in person, and outside of the online space.

The Challenges

The two challenges Valentina has faced, and still faces, are 1. Getting people to join the community 2. Encouraging them to engage. There are so many strategies for both, and Valentina is constantly experimenting and testing to get maximum engagement. She is always keeping up with weekly posts and content creation in order to get her members talking, as well as replying to messages and comments. "It really is a full time job" she said.

The Successes

Almost three years later, and Valentina has built an incredible community she was once overwhelmed by. "I have made so many connections with other foodies now and my network in Madrid is very strong," she said. Valentina, a self-proclaimed foodie, fits perfectly into the community. One of the perks, of course, is being contacted by restaurants and other people in the industry. "This is an amazing feeling!" she says. People invite her to try their food, come to their restaurants, and ask for her to attend special events.

Check out Eat Out Madrid and the incredible community Valentina built from scratch.

CMX Connect

On top of running Eat Out Madrid, Valentina is a CMX Connect Host too. She is building the community for community managers IRL in Spain. CMX Connect could not be possible without the incredible power of Connect Hosts like Valentina. This extraordinary team of people are building and growing community offline and IRL. Being a Connect Host can be totally exciting, and kind of stressful, and incredibly rewarding! Join the team and bring CMX Connect to YOUR city! Apply to be a Connect Host!

What to read next:

With Bevy and CMX powers combined, this in person events program will reach more people, make more meaningful connections, and deliver the kind of resources that the community needs. This is CMX Connect, and Here's Why You Should Get Involved.

About Author

Beth McIntyre

Community & Events Marketing Manager at Bevy! Passionate about building our community and connecting with members. When I'm not writing for the Bevy Blog, I'm writing about my global travels!

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