Last week, I hosted my first Business Meet Up at the gorgeous Gateaux, in Tusson. Thank you so much to Lydia for letting me host the first one there. I was so excited to finally host a Business Meet Up after thinking about it for so long, and I am really pleased with how it went!
There were 14 of us attending, and between us covered a wide range of businesses from gite and B&B owners, gardeners, photographers and graphic designers, coaching and creative makers.
As this was the first one, I kept it simple. We went around the room introducing ourselves and our businesses, and providing a little background concerning our moves to France. Between this and the forms I had going round, it gave me a great insight as to why people had signed up for the event, and what they were hoping to get out of them.
Attendees travelled from the Charente, the Vienne and even Charente Maritime!
I received such lovely messages after the event, here is some of the feedback from the attendees:
A huge heartfelt THANK YOU to you for thinking of, planning, making happen, following up a fabulous business meet up!!
It was fantastic and inspiring to meet and hear from so many people living their dream in France and amazing to hear about all the creative ways people are using their skills and passions in business.
It has been the missing link here for me and it is so good to know that there are like-minded people out there. Thank you so much for bringing us all together!Tracy
Hi Fiona, just wanted to say a quick thank you for organising today, got to speak to some lovely people who have put my mind at rest about making my new home in France.
I’m already looking forward to the next meeting so we can chat some more and share ideas.Graeme
Thanks 😊 very much for today and your time. It was great to get together and speak to others with a vast range of knowledgeRachelle
WHY SET UP THESE MEET UPS?
When I started my own business back in 2015 in the UK, attending similar events really helped me and my business.
On a personal level, they helped me get out of the house, dress up and show my face.
It allowed me to meet other business owners, and make connections.
At the time, I was fairly new to the world of self-employment, and my friends and family were for the most part, not self employed. Meeting people who understood what it was like running your own business helped me more than I could say.
They were also a great excuse to go out for cake and a coffee!
On a professional level, attending these meetings and events had numerous positive points. Networking with fellow creatives in the wedding industry lead to many new opportunities in my time as an Events Florist :
- From meeting other suppliers with whom I would collaborate with on photoshoots,
- finding a workshop space for my floristry in a shop of a supplier I met at a wedding fair,
- connecting with suppliers that would end up recommending me to their clients leading to more enquiries and bookings,
- connecting with other florists who would come and freelance for me when I needed an extra pair of hands and vice versa,
- and even just to making new friends.
Attending these events would also lead me to feeling motivated and inspired on new projects, and I would usually get to work the moment I got home!
LIVING + WORKING IN RURAL FRANCE
Since arriving in France in 2018, although my family and I have settled well into our rural French living, one of the things I have missed the most is meeting up with people who see business the way I do. Meeting people who inspire and support each other, and help each other move forward. It’s been on my mind for a long time, and the Business Meets Ups finally saw the day in September 2021.
WHAT TO EXPECT
The Meet Ups may vary a little from one to the other, but on the whole, it gives you an opportunity to introduce yourself and your business to other local business owners, and to mingle.
If you have a venue and you are happy to host a Meet Up, please do get in touch with me on : firstname.lastname@example.org.
There is a small charge of 5 euros per event, per person to cover administrative costs.
This does not include food and beverages at the venues hosting the meet up. Kindly note the venues may request a mininum spend per person, ie: 5 euros mininum spend (normally covered by a coffee or two, and a slice of cake). Details for each meet up will be share in advance.
TRAINING / WORKSHOPS
I am looking to organise specific training / workshops on topics relevant to running a business such as a workshop on creating a website, and wellbeing advice whilst running your business. If you would like to participate and make a presentation on your area of expertise, please contact me on : email@example.com.
If you have specific topics you would be keen to find out more and attend training on, please do also let me know!
There might be an additional cost for these events.
By attending a Meet Up, you then get access to the private Facebook group. This allows you to connect with the people you met at the event, as well as with those who have attended previous ones.
In this group, we will continue to support and inspire each other in between meetings.
SOUNDS GOOD? SIGN UP TO OUR MAILING LIST
To be added to our mailing list, either drop us an email or sign up via our Facebook page : facebook.com/FionaLafonBusiness.
I look forward to seeing you at the next one!