Q&A: A Happy Relationship with Wix.com by Rosalind Reisner, VP, Programs
We’re always looking for the right place to hold our events and one location has worked out very well: the Wix Lounge on 23rd St, run by website platform Wix.com. We’ve had several programs at Wix in the past few years; the panel about the novel Major Pettigrew’s Last Stand, the Young Adult panel, and the historical fiction panel come to mind. If you’ve been to any of those, you’ll remember the “old” Wix Lounge on 18th Street—a slightly funky, cozy space that served by day as a free co-working space for people whose work requirements are wifi and coffee. Now Wix has moved into a much larger and rather spiffy lounge, though still welcoming.
Wix’s mission has always been much more than providing a great way to build a website and free work and event space. I spoke to the events manager, Ashley Gallman Williams last week to learn more about what they do and how they came to be so successful. Since we’re having our self-publishing program there shortly, and Wix is providing the space for free, it seemed like the right time to tell you more about them.
Ashley: It began when the owners, on the way to starting a different business, realized how difficult it was (for someone without programming experience) to create a website, so they decided THAT was the business they needed to start: make it easy for people to create their own websites. We now have over 45 million people around the world who’ve created their websites using Wix.com.
WNBA: Where did the name Wix come from?
ASHLEY: It’s just a word that’s easy to say, spell, and remember! No special meaning.
ASHLEY: It’s really an extension of our mission to provide crucial free resources to entrepreneurs, creatives, and small businesses. We offer free space for people to hold events and of course we have the opportunity to be a part of the events to promote Wix.com. We also offer free space–with wifi and coffee–for anyone to come and work during the day. We’re very supportive of our users in the space as well. We offer free face-to-face support at the Wix Lounge and all the vendors we hire have Wix websites. Even the free coffee we serve every day is purchased from Pudge Knuckles, a great Wix user.
WNBA: If you’re offering all this free stuff, how does Wix make money?
ASHLEY: Our basic website service is free. We feature hundreds of customizable templates, an easy to use drag-and-drop editor, and phone or email support. We do charge for our premium services, which range from customizing your website’s domain name to creating an online shop.
WNBA: What kind of events have you hosted?
ASHLEY: We recently hosted 300 people for an event run by TimeOut NY; we’ve had events on using Instagram for your business, social media for job hunting, we have Wix users support groups, and meet-up groups. We’re open to almost anything related to promoting your business or your interests through online and social media channels. I’ll give a short presentation at your self-publishing event about our website builder. It’s really become the norm now for writers to have websites, so I am looking forward to sharing this great resource with the WNBA community.
WNBA: Thanks, Ashley! We’re looking forward to the self-publishing program at the new Wix Lounge, 235 W. 23rd St., 8th floor at 6pm.
Here’s more about the Self-Publishing Event:
How to successfully publish your own book: An Evening of Discussion with Industry Experts, a joint program with the Book Industry Guild of NY
Tuesday, March 11 6-8pm (Program will start at 6:30p)
Wix Lounge, 235 W. 23rd St., 8th floor
Free to WNBA, BIG/NY members, and students with ID (nonmembers: $20.00 at the door with credit card or you can register here: http://goo.gl/OfzOGW)
RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org
Is there a manuscript on your hard drive or in your desk drawer that you’d love to publish? Not sure if it should be published in print or as an e-book? How will you market and publicize it when it’s published? Just interested in learning what self-publishing means in today’s digital marketplace? Today there are many good reasons to self-publish that book and many ways to do it. Our panel of industry insiders and successful self-published authors will provide nuts and bolts information about the promises and pitfalls of self-publishing. Come hear what they have to say–bring your questions, too. There will be an opportunity for networking before and after the program.
Bridget Marmion (www.yourexpertnation.com)
Tim Anderson, author of Tune in Tokyo: The Gaijin Diaries and Sweet Tooth
Justine Schofield, VP Development, Pubslush (www.pubslush.com)
Matt Cavnar, VP, Development, Vook (www.vook.com/services/)
Andrew Conway, Fast Pencil ( www.fastpencil.com/)
Karen Strauss (www.rockstarpublishinghouse.com/) (http://www.straussconsultants.com/)