x-posted from NLab
CreativeCoffee Club has been going for about a year now. Local groups have met in London, Leicester, Liverpool, Bangor, Palo Alto and New York. The Leicester group has been especially successful, meeting consistently over the year with steady participation from local small businesses and visitors from further afield.
One of the great things about CreativeCoffee Club is that it doesn’t cost any money. It’s about finding a convivial, accessible spot in a local coffee bar or similar, arranging a time and date and letting people know about it – and Facebook has worked really well for that. I like the variation of the different groups – some meeting now and then, others, like Leicester, meeting more frequently.
I guess that, ideally, CreativeCoffee Clubs need to meet fairly regularly to enable relationships to grow over time, and to provide frequent opportunities for members to engage – not everyone is going to be able to make every time. Here are some of the factors that have influenced the success of the Leicester CreativeCoffee Club:
- Pre-posted events going forward for 2-3 months
We’ve gone further this year, and planned events for the whole season. My reasoning is that people know just where they are and can plan CreativeCoffee Club around other things. Posting the events well in advance means that members can add themselves to the guest list for a later event, even if they can’t make this one.
- Invites sent out at least 2 weeks before
This has probably been the most complex aspect of organising local chapters of a global Facebook group. Even with the introduction of mailing lists, we still haven’t got this quite right. However, what does seem to be important is the regular rhythm of invites for people to take or leave as they wish.
- Close proximity to/links with a large institution (De Montfort University)
Meeting within the DMU campus has certainly brought added value for CreativeCoffee Club Leicester. Members become aware of other resources available through DMU, and project managers have an informal, easily accessible way of connecting with local small businesses.
- Central location
It works in Leicester – people can travel into the City Centre easily, there’s local parking, and no one is making out of the way journeys. In a big city like London, I suspect it’s more complex and more difficult to find a focus. Wi-fi would be nice.
- Core of 4-6 active local members
There are different roles that need to be shared: organising events, getting the word out, encouraging people to come, meeting and greeting, introducing people to each other, and having enough people around to engage in conversations. Four to six people can share the work nicely and, hey, you look like a group already!
I’d be really interested to hear other people’s ideas and experiences, and especially, how the members of CreativeCoffee Club globally could get more value from each other.
Originally posted by Shanni Lee with 270 views