Davy Sims talk's to Open Coffee Lisburns Andrew Gribben

Ex-BBC producer turned new media consultant, Davy Sims recently penned a piece on ’social business’ in Northern Ireland.

He speaks with Andrew Gribben, fellow co-founder of Open Coffee Lisburn.

There are Open Coffee events in Newry and Lisburn. They can all be found through Twitter or a blog or web site. Mark Nagurski of iddictive.com is one of the founders of Open Coffee Derry. “We started as an informal, relaxed environment where people with an interest in business, technology and social media could get together and share ideas. It’s been surprising just how positive the response from ‘traditional’ businesses has been.” Their events are held monthly attracting designers, developers, entrepreneurs and business owners from more traditional industries, keen to learn more about social media and emerging business models. “The feedback we get is that the informal style of Open Coffee – no name tags, no speeches and no dress code – makes it easy for the group to connect with people they might never have met otherwise.”

Real business is getting done both at the events and as a result of the connections made. “Business is, and always has been, about the people involved. The growing popularity of more relaxed, social business events is simply a reflection of that.

Lisburn Open Coffee meets every week, alternating between Tuesday evenings and Friday morning both at 7.15. Andrew Gribben is one of the organisers. “We get an average of around 10 people. Interestingly the early Friday morning is the best attended as people can call in on the way to work. It’s a mix of local business owners and employees, people passing on their commute and locals who just like IT and a geeky get together. Everyone comes back; I don’t think there is anyone who has only been once.”

The full article of Northern Irelands social and business networks can be found here.

Open Coffee Lisburn now meets every other Friday at 7.15 in Daltons Cafe Lisburn – all welcome. Our next meeting is on Friday 24th July, to keep up to date with what we are doing – you can follow us on twitter. (@oclisburn)

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