The Coffee Work Sleep Community was born out of a desire to find Lancashire based businesses and business owners to connect with in a more relaxed and organic way than the traditional networking events in my area currently offer. It wasn’t to rubbish the ones that already exist, I truly believe there is enough room and need for all of us. The business owners that come to our CWS Creatives Meet Ups find a home with us, and the other networking groups attract a different tribe and type of businesses.
Something I often get asked is,
What do you actually do at your CWS Creatives Meet Ups?
We’re not a secret society! I’m happy to share what our events are like! As I’ve said earlier the tone and feel of our meet ups is so different to other events that offer networking opportunities. I’ve worked hard to create a culture that is relaxed and as introvert friendly as possible. There are no elevator pitches, you don’t have to speak in front of the group, in fact if you just want to come and observe and only talk to one person that’s ok too! I want everyone that buys a ticket to feel comfortable when they walk through the door.
Thanks to the room we use at the co-working space, Society1, we have plenty of space to chat. You can walk around the room. You can move around the tables. Or just sit and let people come to you. If it’s your first time then I’m happy to introduce you to another member that I think would be a good connection or if you want you can just go mingle to your hearts content.
We usually have two mini slots that will either be someone sharing about their business or running a taster workshop from the front. This very much depends on the speaker or business owner that shares. We can tailor how they present to the group to fit their business. Each Meet Up is a little different from the one before as we grow and develop to meet the needs of our members. I love getting constructive feedback so I can work to make our Meet Ups as beneficial as possible.
We’ve even branched out into hosting Meet Ups that are child friendly so mum’s with little ones and limited child care don’t have to miss out. These are co-hosted with another local business, BabyLoved Family and held every other month.
Although we have a Facebook group, you don’t have to be a member of it in order to attend the Meet Ups. Members do get the ticket link first and a discount, so being in the group has it’s benefits! It also helps you to get to know people before you come along. We have name badges to help break the ice and theirs a huge sign in sheet that covers a table where we all write our names and businesses when we arrive. This helps you get to know the types of businesses that are there, if for example you’re looking to connect with a photographer.
i can’t even begin to list the amount of collaborations that have started from CWS Creatives, whether it’s joint ventures, products, skill swaps or commissions. Everything that has come out of our group and meet ups has been completely natural, there’s no orchestration, just a load of like minded people looking to work together to help grow sustainable businesses.
I’m fully aware that what we do doesn’t suit everyone, and their business needs but it’s cool because like I said earlier there are plenty of networking groups with a different style that may suit others more. I’m even happy to refer people on to them! I’m not worried about getting my slice of the pie. It’s a big pie. In fact there are infinite pies!
Whatever style of networking event you’re looking to attend I’ve got some top tips for you
-Take your business cards
-Think about how you want to present your business to people before you go
-Think about what you’re looking for, is it to meet people from a certain industry, to get connections, referrals, clients? Have some sort of loose idea before you go
-Don’t be salesy or pushy. I’d say this is especially true for our meet ups. People buy from people and if you push your agenda onto others your in conversation with them will soon shut down. No one likes to feel they are only being talked to as a potential sale or as a means to an end.
So there we have it, a little peep into the world of CWS Creatives Meet Ups. If you’d like to know more about Coffee Work Sleep Creatives then send me a message!
Here are our currently scheduled Meet Ups in the Preston, Lancashire area.