Homegrown Business: Laura Wong-Thompson, Founder of RSVPlist
The RSVPlist is a social club for people in Vancouver to make new friends and enjoy the city together. We spoke with Founder Laura Wong-Thompson to learn more about what they do.
What is your business called and what does it do?
The RSVPlist is a new social club for people in Vancouver to make new friends and enjoy the city together. We form mini groups to connect people for meals, local events, book club chats, and other mixers.
What made you want to do this work?
I started organizing events as a way to meet people. People really enjoyed the events, and gatherings had an amazing energy of people excited to connect. I realized there were so many others looking to find their people, and I wanted to continue helping make those connections.
What problem did you want to solve with the business?
I wanted to eliminate some of the friction of meeting new people, making plans, and forming friendships. You can browse to see what’s going on in the city and book in to join a group. You already have the place and time landed, so it eliminates the usual back-and-forth of planning. I send a group introduction email to help welcome everyone and include an optional WhatsApp group link in case you want to keep in touch. I just want to help connect the dots.
Who are your clientele/demographics?
My original one-off events in my search for girlfriends attracted women in their 20’s – 40’s. The goal with The RSVPlist is to expand and include any age and gender/identity.
How does your business make money? How does it work?
Standard events are groups formed to check out local events, restaurants, etc. on a specific date/time. People pay a nominal participation fee to get connected to a mini group, and then pay the cost of the event/activity when onsite at the vendor. You can pay per event, or become a member for unlimited standard events ($7.99/mo). For premium events, I partner with local businesses to build and offer group packages that would not otherwise be available to individuals, and the cost of the activity is included with the booking.
Where in the city can we find your profession?
I’m currently forming groups for Vancouver activities and will expand to other Metro Vancouver cities with interest.
What is the best question a prospective customer could ask a member of your profession when comparing services? Give the answer as well.
There are lots of different initiatives for making friends in Vancouver, so I think it would be good to ask “What kinds of events do you have for me?” Get a sense of the culture of a group, the demographics they include, and the interests they explore. That’s how you will find your group and your people. I have big goals for The RSVPlist to be where everybody can find their people, and in the meantime will be growing based on interest. So if you don’t see the age group; location; or interest you’d want available, just reach out.
What is the best part about what you do? What is the worst part?
I love getting tagged on Instagram and seeing that people had a great time at an event. Or I love hearing that someone is still in touch with people from an event.
I think some people may underestimate how much work goes on in the background and all the moving parts. But if I make it seem easy then I must be doing something right.
What is your favourite joke about your own profession?
I was so surprised when I found out people call Vancouver a “No Fun City” because I feel like there’s always something to do and check out. I hope to highlight the fun the city offers, and I also think finding your people is what makes a city.
Where can we follow you?
Instagram | Facebook | TikTok | Twitter
PAY IT FORWARD: What is another local business that you love?
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