Cornwall Social Media Cafe (#CSMC) was co-founded by Aren Grimshaw and Laura McKay in April 2009 as an informal get together for people interested in or using social media, with the aim of bringing those who may have met online to come together to meet face to face, socialise and share ideas.
The Cornwall Social Media Cafe was the first network of its kind to take place in the south west and it has now proved to be a huge success. With more than 100 different members, and meetings regularly attracting in the region of 30 people, the network has grown quickly and includes people drawn from the public, private and third sector as well as students, artists, politicians… or in fact, anyone looking to make the best use of social media in their business or personal lives.
The format of monthly meetings varies, from informal drinks in social media savvy bars to business presentations and lectures in business hubs and university campuses.
Past events have included informal meet ups at Vertigo in Truro, discussions on Local Enterprise Partnerships, business collaboration presentations and speed networking. Organisers of the CSMC also brought Lloyd Davies, the founder of the original Social Media Cafe in London, down to Cornwall to speak at one of the events.
One of the highlights of the Cornwall Social Media Calendar in 2010 was a joint event hosted at University College Falmouth’s Tremough Campus with Jon Morter, the man behind the campaign to get Rage Against The Machine to Christmas number one in December 2009. That event attracted more than 100 people and was broadcast live online for those people unable to make it on the night.
Regular attendees of CSMC are encouraged to play a role in raising awareness of effective use of Social Media among their friends, family and business associates. Many people who come along to CSMC also get involved with Twestival (Twitter + Festival). In fact the first CSMC took place just two months after the first Twestival Global event in February 2009. It was the buzz surrounding Twestival that sparked the idea for the CSMC and the rest, as they say, is history.
The group continues to meet on the second Tuesday of every month at a variety of locations across Cornwall. Anyone is welcome to come along to the events, join in discussions about social media activity, socialise and make new friends and put faces to the names of the online profiles.
Following many of the events members join each other at a local Curry house, for the now infamous, ‘Post Cornwall Social Media Cafe Curry Club’ (#PCSMCCC) led by Rob Edlin.
Thanks to Shelley Fletcher of Firegrass Communications for preparing these words.