A group of a dozen strangers of at least 4 different nationalities 'went to work' in a coffee shop in Montpellier.
It was a very enjoyable and interesting day and I’d recommend Jelly to anyone that likes meeting people face-to-face and usually works from a home office.
Anyone can set-up a Jelly and it’s not as much work as you think!
Now, having had the real-life experience of organising and attending a Jelly in France - here’s my brief guide to getting started if anyone else on SFN would like to arrange their own…
- Find a venue. You can use anywhere that offers enough space (at no cost) and has free wifi available. You need tables and chairs & enough space to work. Jelly venues may be hotels, coffee shops, restaurants, colleges, B&Bs, community rooms or even your own kitchen table. Availability of coffee/water is advisable but let’s remember this is France and a café/bar is rarely far away (or people could bring their own).
- Decide a date and time. Plan your event at a time that does not inconvenience the venue and far enough in advance for you to spread the word. About 6-8 weeks ahead should be fine unless you already have a list of people you know are ready to Jelly at short notice.
- Start small. Co-working can be for 2 or more people so aim for 6-8 places and a half day Jelly and see how it goes.
- Go to http://wiki.workatjelly.com to register yourself and add your own Jelly details to the homepage and how to contact you.
- Get in touch with other Jelly organisers and let them know about your event. You will find Jelly people all share a great enthusiasm for supporting home-workers and promoting the co-working ethos. Every Jelly is different but you can still ask for advice and other useful hints and tips.
- Register with Eventbrite and add details of your event and how to contact you. Eventbrite lets you choose your URL (ie. http://myjellyname.eventbrite.com) so you have an instant (and free) Jelly ‘web site’ within minutes! (Tempting as it may be, don’t release tickets for your Jelly more than 10-14 days before the event takes place).
- Let people know. Many Jelly organisers use Twitter, Facebook and other online media to promote their Jelly events but you can also send a notification to your local paper, put a flyer in your boulangerie, send emails to your friends etc.
- Count the cost. OK it does take a bit of time to arrange the venue and let people know, but to organise your Jelly you should have spent approximately 0€.
I hope this is useful to anyone that might be interested in planning an event - there's a bit more about 'making the most of Jelly' here.
People in various regions of France are looking for new co-working spaces to hold a Jelly. If you have a place (or know of one) that can provide a good working environment and a free wifi connection, please post some details here.