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What is Jelly?
If you’ve never heard of one before, Jelly is an informal day event for freelancers, home workers and people running small businesses.
The idea is to get together with like minded people for a change of scenery, to chat, exchange help and advice, and work together.
Jelly is coworking, not networking, and is different from networking in that the aim is not to try to find new clients or to sell yourself or your business.
You’ll be very unpopular at Jelly if you don’t grasp that it isn’t a selling opportunity.
Where did Jelly start?
The first Jelly was held in 2006 by two IT freelancers in New York who were chatting one day about the drawbacks of working from home. Mainly getting sick of the same old four walls and missing the company of other people.
Wouldn’t it be a great idea, they thought, to get a group together in one place for work and refreshments.
So that’s what they did in their apartment. And it was called Jelly because they were eating jelly beans when they were struck by inspiration. (Thank goodness it wasn’t pretzels).
What happens at Jelly?
Normally people turn up at Jelly at any point from the starting time onwards, introduce themselves to the Jelly organiser and everyone else, plug in their laptops and access the wifi.
You’ll find that Jelly simply takes on a life and character all of its own, depending on where it’s being held and who’s there.
Usually Jelly starts off quiet while people adjust to the situation and get themselves settled and organised. Then somebody might ask a question, maybe about an annoying technical problem that’s been bothering them, somebody else will have an answer, and some chat will develop, either among the group as a whole or between individuals. And then people will return to work till the next round of chat.
One of the many joys of Jelly is that you meet people you wouldn’t otherwise meet. For example, people working in a specialised niche whose clients are not locally based or who don’t frequent networking events.
Jelly is a uniquely relaxed occasion, so don’t worry if you normally work alone – there’s absolutely no pressure to be entertaining. Obviously somebody might ask what you do, but they do so because they are curious, and expect you to respond on a social level and definitely not with a sales pitch.
Depending on the venue you can make or buy a drink at any time
and bring your own lunch or pop out for a sandwich.
There’s no obligation to be there from start to finish
so you can fit in Jelly around other commitments like the school run.
But before you leave, take the opportunity to say hello to everyone there
and find out a bit about them.
You just never know how you might be able to help each other out.
Enjoyed your day? The venue would appreciate a thank you email
or tweet extolling their virtues. Keep up with your fellow Jellyers
by following them on Twitter. And how about a Linkedin recommendation
for your organiser if they’ve done a good job?
- Fancy spam with your Jelly? Yuck! Don’t hit fellow Jellyers with a sales pitch during or after the event!
- Jelly is a casual coworking event – you don’t have to be there from start to finish
- Jelly is primarily a social occasion, but collaboration and new projects may well come out of it
- Leave your Jelly venue as you found it (hopefully clean and tidy) and they’ll be pleased to have you back!
- Keep in touch with your fellow Jellyers after Jelly by connecting on Linkedin or another social network
- Enjoy Jelly? How about recommending your organiser on Linkedin as a thank you
- Spread the Jelly love! Find several venues in your area so more people benefit & nobody gets tired
- Remember what your mother told you and send a ‘thank you for having me’ email to venue after Jelly!
Ready to join us for Jelly?
Can’t wait to see you there!
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