First of all, we would like to take this opportunity to wish everyone a belated Happy New Year. We want to update you on what has been happening and how we are moving forward to put on more events for the First Friday and Fresh Light community in 2018. Our aim is to let you know how we would like to improve the events we put on for you in the future along with celebrating some of the successes over the past year.
Just over a year ago, a new team of us took on the mantel of First Friday from Tim and Liza, who had been running the group faithfully for the past four years. Rather than let the monthly First Friday meetup group cease to exist, our aim is to expand and grow the network so that we can bring more people together to; meet, chat and connect. All events are run by a team of volunteers and it has been amazing to see the community which has been created.
This time last year, we re-branded First Friday and tried a couple of new venues, although our aim is to ensure the meetups are generally around central London where possible. We had our first event under the new team last February and it was amazing to experience the community that is evident within the group.
What always surprises us about First Friday, is the diversity of the people that attend the events. Everyone is so friendly and the team of "hosts" on the evening, make it easy for others to be introduced to many new people in an evening, in an natural and un-forced manner.
It is really exciting to hear stories of people like Kate, who came along to First Friday and although she did not initially know anybody at the event, she was introduced to someone at the event and they got on well and have now become good friends. "It sometimes takes a little confidence to step out and chat to people, but it is fascinating to meet and chat with really interesting and friendly people."
First Friday's are now a part of Fresh Light events
Although First Friday has been very successful, it has had limitations, particularly with it's name, which means that it only makes sense events are held on the First Friday of every month. This is one of the main reasons that we decided to have Fresh Light as the overarching brand and First Friday as one of the regular events which we put on. This will not change anything day to day, but the reasons form this are basically so that we can put on more events aside the once a month First Friday Event. Some people however have had some questions, which we hope to answer below:
What does this mean practically, will it be organised by different people?
The format of First Friday will not change and you will not really notice much different, aside there will be links to the Fresh Light website, where there will be listings online and more of an online presence aside just using social media platforms to promote the events. There will also be a chance to subscribe to our mailing list/ newsletter.
Will the format of First Friday change?
The format of First Friday will not change at all, but we do hope to get more people involved in hosting and helping to build the community.
Will First Friday still be Free?
First Friday will always be free and the format will not change. Some extra events run by Fresh Light however may have a cost, but we aim to be as inclusive as we can.
The main reasons we are making these changes are to ensure that these social events continue when the current leadership are no longer involved directly in putting on the events. There are always costs involved in putting on these events and we would like to cross-subsidise and ensure the existence of First Friday, by charging for other events run by Fresh Light.
If you have any other questions regarding First Friday or Fresh Light, please email or contact us and we will answer you as best we can.
Fresh Light now has a website
Well, as you see this message, you will be aware that we now have an online presence aside out social media and Facebook presence. This is an important step forward as many people who are not on Facebook have struggled to find out about our events, so this ensures we are able to communicate better with our community. Along with this, there are limitations with Facebook and other Social Media Channels, which we can now avoid, by placing everything on our dedicated website.
Fresh Light and First Friday are looking for volunteers
As part of moving Fresh Light and First Friday forward in the New Year, we are looking to put on extra events, which means we will be looking to expand the team we currently have. We are looking to do more collaborations with different event teams, but to do this we also require more people who believe in our vision of creating a Community Experience through the events we put on.
We are particularly looking for more volunteers int the following areas:
Hosts (If you are naturally a people person, we'd love to chat)
Administration (If you are naturally an organised person)
Social media (If you have worked in social media or are keen to learn more)
Photographer (If you are able take photos on an evening)
Event organiser (If you have ideas and would like to help organise events and small breaks)
If you are interested or know others who may be interested in any of the above, please email email@example.com to find out more.
The next First Friday will be held on 2 February at Balls Brothers Austin Friars in the City of London. We will meet from 6pm, so come along and invite your friends.
Look forward to seeing you there.
Fresh Light and First Friday Team