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      • Creating a community: coffee shops are a natural hub

      • Two events coming up this week highlight great opportunities for coffee shops to attract groups of regulars: National Freelancers Day and The Great Get Together. Creating a community of like-minded people is a sure-fire way to achieve repeat business and coffee shops are a natural hub for social meet-ups and informal working groups.

        National Freelancers Day

        NFD lands on Thursday June 20th this year. It was set up by IPSE, the Association of Independent Professionals and the Self-Employed. And while IPSE holds an official event, it’s a day which the UK’s two million freelancers use to celebrate their businesses. Which makes it the ideal opportunity for coffee shop owners to demonstrate the suitability and availability of their coffee shops for local freelancer meet-ups. Lots of freelancers work from home and one of the common complaints is that they miss out on the social aspects of working in larger offices. Being the enterprising lot that freelancers typically are, they form Facebook groups and online forums to share ideas, ask questions and so on. An extension of this is very often the face-to-face social workday: a morning, afternoon or entire day when members of a local freelancing group arrange to work alongside each other for a bit of company. And that means finding a suitable venue. All the freelancing groups we know who do this…head for a supportive coffee shop. Frequency of those meet-ups vary, of course, from once a week to once a month to impromptu gatherings. Once they find a suitable venue, it’ll usually become their regular haunt.

        If your coffee shop has the space (and ideally, the WiFi and power sockets) to host a group of five or more freelancers, jump on your social media channels this week and invite them down for National Freelancers Day; incentives at your discretion… Make sure you use the hashtag #NationalFreelancersDay.

        The Great Get Together

        The Great Get Together runs from Friday 21st to Sunday 23rd of June. It’s a celebration of community togetherness, inclusivity and positivity. The GGT website shows almost 6,500 events planned around the country. They vary from charitable fundraisers to countryside rambles; all that matters is that they bring people together, often people who have never met or who spend too much time alone.

        There’s nowhere more social than your coffee shop. Whether or not you organise an official event and register it on the Great Get Together website, or just make it known that your café is a safe place for people to make new friends is up to you. You could just set up a talk-to-me table, where people who are happy to have a chat might choose to sit. To publicise the important message this event sends – and especially if you’re hosting – use the hashtags #greatgettogether and #moreincommon. To find out more, head to the website.