So nearly a year on from starting Shropshire Jelly, I wondered if my original blog post on the benefits of attending Jelly after hosting the first Shropshire Jellyin April 2010 still held true and what’s changed.
I would love to hear what your thoughts are as each Jelly has such a different dynamic and will evolve in a different way.
Jelly has been amazing for:
* Beating those isolation blues
* Meeting new people in an informal way
* Getting free advice
* Getting free support
* Reduce distractions of working at home
* The possibility of finding collaboration partners – see this recent article on one Jelly success story.
What I didn’t foresee a year ago is:
* Being part of a support network – there is a very strong bond & great support being shown between all Jellyers, especially the regular attendees.
* Being part of a referral network – I’ve seen over the last year that people are now getting work as a result of who they know through Jelly as their relationships have been advanced and there is trust building rapidly between them, especially where they use twitter to reinforce relationships formed at Jelly.
* An opportunity for corporate & public sector people to work in a different environment – I think this will be a big growth area for Jelly over the next 12 months, such a powerful way to bring together different people from the same (or different) organisations, it really could be very powerful stuff!
And even ….
* Environmental impact – during the weather particulary you have (say) 20 people using one room & facilties, rather than everyone at home using their heating, lighting, kettle, oven etc. There is car sharing that now happens too so overall I think our carbon footprint is a good one.
* The challenge – who misses being challenged intellectually by people if you used to be in an office environment – you get it in spades at Jelly, some really lively (and just the odd trivial) conversations and debates take place.
* Finding a supplier for your wedding – I kid not, anything is possible at a Jelly – here’s a story from Ludlow Jelly attendee Charlie Oakham:
“I must hold the record for being the latest person to visit a Jelly! I arrived a full 6 hours late for Ludlow Jelly – three hours after lunch, which Heather Noble of Salt Solutions was kind enough to leave out for me. I had arrived for the last hour and a half and quick met and chatted with everyone in the room. I would not have gone if Heather hadn’t said she’s left out my lunch. In fact it was a long drive to Ludlow from Chester and I could have quite easily left my excuses and headed home.
But I am glad I went, because at the Jelly was Tanith Harvey-Smith of Masque Boutique. Tanith makes amazing Venetian masks – the kind my fiancée and I were looking for, for our wedding next year! Tanith sat with me and we looked through the collection of masks she had made and the masquerade balls she helped organise. I was very glad I went in the end!”
At a time where there is so much doom and gloom abut the economy and how tough times are, break away from that negativity and get a shot of inspiration and motivation at a Jelly event near you (and if there isn’t, just set one up!). There are ‘virtual agencies’ full of like-minded people springing up all over the UK, and worldwide.
Please share what benefits you have found from Jelly and how you think it could evolve – the main reason for doing ‘The BIG Jelly‘ in March is to continue to raise the profile of Jelly in the UK and bring 300 like-minded people together for one very special day.