Coffee? Check. Chalkboard cookies? Check. Creative people? Check. OK then. Let’s get this party started.

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On Sunday 14 September 2014, Simon Keily and I pooled resources and hosted a creative coffee morning at The Huddle which is located at the North Melbourne Football Club in North Melbourne, Australia. In the days leading up to this event we spent a lot of time on social media trying to get the message out. In fact, I don’t think our creative coffee morning would have been the success that it was if not for the fact that we both have a fairly extensive Personal Learning Network. Anyhow, during the week we attempted to engage with as many people as possible in the hope that people would sit up and take notice.

For three or four days we were on social media morning, noon and night. We were on a bit of a posting frenzy on Twitter, LinkedIn and Google+. We would get up in the morning and tweet about our creative coffee morning before we had even left for work. We did the same in the evening after we had had dinner. I even managed to do a bit of multitasking and sneak in a couple of posts during the day whilst I was hard at work. We were particularly active on Twitter where we tweeted at regular intervals about our upcoming creative coffee morning. As well as that in Twitter we sent direct messages to people we knew who we thought might be interested in joining us.

Where possible, we got people who were interested in coming along to fill out a ‘Creative Coffee Morning’ Google sheet so that we could get a bit of an idea as to the potential mix of backgrounds plus our good friend, Froggy from What Froggy Bakes was doing the catering and we needed to let him know the numbers. Slowly but surely names started to appear on our sheet. By Saturday night we had a really interesting mix of people including a writer, an educational designer and an architect. Suffice to say we were stoked. As Tim Brown would have it, we were “planning for serendipity” and it was looking very promising indeed.

The following morning we headed over to The Huddle to set up. I still wasn’t convinced that the people who’d put their names down would actually show up. I don’t know the exact number but I believe we had about 12 people who put in an appearance that morning including Charles Sturt University royalty in the form of one Judy O’Connell. By all accounts our creative coffee morning was a great success with some lively conversations over coffee around design, design thinking, makerspaces, learning spaces and Froggy’s delicious chalkboard cookies.

Although I was initially quite nervous (Isn’t that right Simon?) I ended up having a great time. I got to eaves drop and speak to some really interesting people some of whom have already expressed an interest in attending another creative coffee morning. So don’t be surprised if and when Simon and I decide to facilitate another creative coffee morning sooner rather than later…

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4 Comments
  1. I remember seeing all those tweets promoting your event. I was wishing I was in Melb to come & drop in. Looks like you had more success than Margaret & I did fulfilling the brief of this task.

  2. Nervous? Graham was so nervous I thought he might not attend. He is the cool, calm writer – an arena where I struggle. When in front of people I tend to be cool, calm and eloquent – whereas Graham is less at home. Our distinct strengths helped ensure this event was a success.

  3. Graham – Your event with Simon had me wishing I was in Melbourne! No need to waste energy being nervous when you have a buddy – a formidable team and I thoroughly enjoyed reading your post as well as reading and viewing Simon’s Storify. I look forward to reading about your next event.
    Patricia

  4. What a great initiative – and I’m really sorry I missed the “inaugural” meeting.

    It sounds like you had an interesting collection of attendees and I look forward to being one of these at the next meeting!

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