Catch up coffee

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Need to meet someone? Catch up for a coffee.

 

A Catch Up Coffee is an excellent, low cost way to network with other businesses in your area. As a visitor to a networking group you'll often pay $20-$25 for a breakfast meeting. A coffee however costs around $3.50-$4. Read more below on attending or even organising your own Catch Up Coffee.

 





 
 

Using the maps

Hover your mouse over a pin to see full details. Move around the map and zoom as required.

The location is the address of the cafe.

The Catch Up Coffee agenda

Catch Up Coffees are meant to be fun and enjoyable for everyone who attends. There's no expectation to do business and we simply get to know more about each other and have a chat. If something comes from the Catch Up Coffee great, but if not, great too.

I've found the following agenda works well as it enables people to more easily learn more about everyone around the table.

  • I turn up about 10 minutes before the Catch Up Coffee starts and make sure everything is organised.
  • I purchase a coffee at the counter and sit down.
  • As each person arrives they purchase their coffee. This works well as there's no trying to calculate money.
  • As people arrive we have a chat and I let people know we'll shortly discuss what each other does. I do this because often the first question we ask when we meet is "what do you do?" Since we'll soon all find out this helps avoid people repeating what they've said.
  • With everyone now seated I welcome the group.
  • The first activity is we all swap business cards.
  • Now starting to the left or right of me I ask each person to introduce themselves and take a couple of minutes to let everyone know what they do. There's usually a bit of chatting as people ask questions so at the appropriate point it is important to move on to the next person.
  • Once we all know each other everyone just starts chatting.

The business card swap and introducing generally takes around an hour leaving about half an hour of general chatting. It can be a bit tricky to go from structured to unstructured but it seems to progress fairly well.

Organising your own Catch Up Coffee

My approach to organising a Catch Up Coffee is I first organise to catch up with one person I know or wish to meet. People can let you down so one moment you have a full table and the next you may be sitting there alone. Locking in one person means no matter what happens, the Catch Up Coffee will have been worthwhile.

Next promote your Catch Up Coffee to a large group of business people such as a business group on social media. I say a large group because only a small number from that group will overlap your requirements at that particular point in time.

I let the group know about 4-5 days ahead of time of the next Catch Up Coffee. The day before the Catch Up Coffee I again invite people. Being closer to the day people are now more likely to know if they are going to be free.

My initial goal is to get a table of 4-6, but I've also allow for the table to grow to 8. There will be a maximum of 8. I feel above 8 and the group gets too large and less personal. If there's more then the extra people can have first option at the following Catch Up Coffee. That also helps start the next Catch Up Coffee.

Allow for cancellations. People get sick, work comes up and people simply change their minds. That's OK. This is a relaxed gathering and if people can't make it, that's OK. Just make sure the cafe can handle more or less if you let them know with sufficient time.

The ideal Catch Up Coffee cafe

As I organise Catch Up Coffees a couple of things start to become obvious in terms of the preferred cafe.

  • They need to take bookings as you need to organise a group in advance.
  • Parking spaces need to be sufficient as nothing can be more frustrating than running on time just to be delayed finding a parking spot.
  • Parking restrictions. A good location has plenty of 2 hour parking spots.
  • Public transport. Whilst most business owners will drive, some may need to use public transport. Determine if this is important for the group you're organising
  • If children attend make sure the place is suitable and the children can be entertained.
  • Some cafes just seem far to noisy. You need a cafe where surrounding noise doesn't drown you out.
  • Plan for a table size that starts at 4 but can grow to 6-8 without being a nuisance to the cafe.
  • If a cafe on the map is not suitable let me know. As I experience a cafe if they're not suitable I remove them. For example closed certain days, can't book, or bad parking.
  • A start time of 10:30 am to 12 noon seems to be a good time for a Catch Up Coffee. Limiting to 1.5 hours also means 2 hour parking matches well.


 

 

 
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