You’ve got to admit ‘networking’ conjures up an image of stiff, suited and booted executives working the room. It’s enough to drive fear into the hearts and souls of ‘introverts’ or anyone who wants to chill out after a day’s work. On the other hand, it can be music to the ears of the extrovert who loves speaking to as many people as possible.
My first experience of networking was at the British Embassy in Tokyo. To this day, I remember how uncomfortable I felt. The pack wore smart suits, with clipped, ego driven agendas. What’s worse, there were no trays of Ferrero Rocher to devour!
My friend (a self confessed extrovert), loved every second and boasted of collecting multiple business cards. Embarrassingly for me, I came away with one and convinced myself I was useless at networking. I came to dread it. I now know that one meaningful connection can be just as good, if not more important than ten.
Fast forward twenty years and ‘networking’ has become a somewhat dirty word. Today’s coffee shop based, portfolio careers and innovative side hustles require a different, more relaxed approach to making contacts. I caught up with Collab Writers’ Founder Partner, Elliot Grove of the Raindance Film Festival to ask why.
“For starters, ‘networking’ suggests ‘work’ and when it comes to meeting other creatives, chatting and playing writing games together – that ain’t work, it’s pure unadulterated fun! What’s more, the Library club is accessible, relaxed and non-pretentious.”
Still in their infancy, Collab Writers monthly meet-ups have already developed their own unique personality, that go beyond traditional ‘networking.’ Two months in, attendees have already paired up to collaborate on their work. As co-founder Anjali Alford said:
“It’s an absolute delight to see that we are bringing people together who might otherwise never meet. We started Collab Writers so creatives could join forces and collaborate, and it’s really happening.”
Five take-aways from Collab Writers meet-ups
Shared Ideas – The old adage, ‘Two minds are greater than one’ comes into its own at Collab. Ideas shared can multiply and sometimes just voicing an idea out loud can help its formation. Another person’s view or expertise can help to birth or develop it.
Collaborations – At our April event, the writer who can’t draw was talking to a photographer, who was talking to a filmmaker, who was talking to a poet and a screenwriter. The list goes on…
Play time – We take seriously the saying ‘all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy’. Jill too…so we ensure that there is plenty of time to play at our monthly meet-ups. Watching from the sidelines, creatives practice thinking together and brainstorming ideas.
Support – Our lives are definitely more fulfilled when we help others. And, if we, at Collab spot potential collaborations that might work we will do our best to hook you guys up, to encourage you to collaborate to co-create. If we can be of help, just ask.
Accessibility – Our monthly events are free to Founder Members and £10 if you’re not a Founder member. The Library Club is in central London. We’re hoping to hold events in New York and Canada later this year (and possibly Tokyo).
Poet, Founder Member and self-confessed introvert James Anderson has attended both networking events. We caught up with him after last week’s meet up to ask him how he feels about our community:
“It’s a more positive form of social interaction because you’re all trying to head towards a collective goal. It’s interesting how this diminishes what can sometimes be negative group dynamics if you don’t have that shared intention.”
As of today, the Collab Writers monthly event is being rebranded as a ‘mind meet up for creatives’ with a little play time thrown in.’
In our next blog, read how Collab Writers intend to recreate this ‘meet-up’ environment on-line to take it’s reach beyond London!
Collab Writers Founder Membership Offer
Why sit on the sidelines when you can join this vibrant group of passionate creatives? There’s a host of benefits, PLUS you can get free script and manuscript regisitration courtesy of Raindance. Enjoy our introductory offer while it lasts!