An Event-Full Week

Neart Coffee - beans in Younique by Thea mug...

An Event-Full Week

This has been an interesting and eventful week so much so given that it was so full of events, I thought I would write a blog about it….

Neil and Thea in Largs - Feb 2017

I had my dear Neil visiting from Germany for the weekend. It’s always a pleasure having people come to stay, and to be able to show them around Scotland. Last visit, I’d taken him to some of my favourite places, so this time, I had to come up with a few different ones…namely Largs and Troon. Both were wonderful in their own way (in spite of the rain!) In any event, (there’s that word again), it was good to get a break from work for an actual weekend (which, as a “solopreneur”, I rarely do!)

The New Week Begins


Getting back into work on Monday, after taking a weekend off for a change, was a little challenging. On Monday night it was off to the Corinthian Club for a talk hosted by an associate of mine, Relationship Expert Dr David Fraser. For this month’s meeting, he had Gilad Tiefenbrun, the Managing Director of Linn Products sharing his experience and pearls of wisdom.

It was so refreshing to hear search frank honesty from the leader of such a prestigious, family-run, Scottish company. Loved it. His talk was very inspiring and often funny as he shared some lessons learnt through painful mistakes along the way (and have it we all been there?)

Tuesday was an excellent day, but not for any reasons which will be shared on my blog, so moving right along to…
Wednesday was spent at the Glasgow SEC (now rebranded Scottish Event Campus, did you know?) for the Gathering. The Gathering is a two-day, third sector event discussing all things charity, so there were charities of all descriptions, shapes, sizes and causes in attendance. As I’ve been considering a move out of Social Media Training this year into a charitable role, I thought it might be a good idea to go and have some conversations and see what efforts are being made and if anything resonated.
Attended a few talks with the first being the best and most notable: Richard Clifford from Mac Labs and Michelle Carruthers from Food Train. Other talks I went to were a bit meh. One seemed like just a sales pitch for a certain kind of software. Not what I went for or what I’d expected so I left.

Gathering Inspiration

I also had a few helpful, relevant conversations with some of the exhibitors – pertaining to the coffee, and finished off my day there with a free, fifteen minute massage from Hazel from Lifelink. In some ways, that fifteen minutes could be the most important of the day for me.

As I took my seat in Hazel’s chair, she placed her hand on my left shoulder and softly said “to begin, take a few deep breaths to relax.” She paused and said “tune in to you”. Whoah! As soon as she said that, a cartoon light bulb went off over my head. You see, I have been working on copy for my coffee website (or trying to) but have been stuck. It’s not always easy to come up the right wording, which will resonate with the most people. Those words she said are what I’m trying to achieve with the coffee. Make your coffee, sit down, tune in to you.

Do you need a pick me up or a calm me down? Do you need focus, self confidence or something else? Take ten minutes out for yourself and make that happen…with Neart.

Radio Days

Yesterday I was due to go to Edinburgh for Digital Transformation, but cancelled in order to work at home instead. Turned out that we were due to be hit with Storm Doris, but in spite of the morning snow, she never amounted to anything, here in Glasgow anyway. So I had my mid-day swim, came home, and got ready to go to a radio event – “Doing the DAB”.
29 Glasgow - Supper Club
I walked in the door the Supper Club at 29 Glasgow and it felt like I was walking into a High School Reunion. There were people there from every station I have ever worked out for the last twenty-five years…
It was beautifully nostalgic to see so many of my former colleagues – all under the same roof at one time – from the guy Bob who gave me my first radio job (Q96) to some other guys who run the most recent station I was at Celtic Music Radio (may even go back and do the odd show there soon, watch this space).
I came out of that event buzzing throughout my entire being. I was positively euphoric, and it makes me realise just how much I love radio and need to be doing more of it. There is the possibility of even launching a new station later this year.

Getting Creative in Glasgow

That brings us to today. After a lateish night last night (I ran into a friend on my way home from the event), I will admit that it wasn’t too easy to get up at 6 a.m. to attend Creative Mornings Glasgow at the Whisky Bond building. Turns out, I was glad that I did. Not only were there some fantastic, lengthy conversations to be had (with old connections and new) but the speaker was goo.
Today was the first proper CMG and Tony Webster, a Belfast born Glasgow based photographer from Big Bad Lama was tasked with launching it properly in Glasgow. It was his first presentation so his nerves got the better of him, until he found his flow, then there was no stopping him…
The topic was “Moments” and he shared his at breakneck speed, so after the presentation was over, I asked him to reiterate some of them again. He had some touched upon some stand out moments – about coming out, going back in, being “born again”, coming back out again, and even getting Cancer…all this and he’s not even thirty!

Here’s to the Weekend!

Now that my event-full week is over, am ready for the weekend. That said, with so much to complete on the coffee website, it won’t feel much of a weekend regardless.
Neart Coffee - beans in Younique by Thea mug...
Maybe, if I can get my act together, Neart Coffee will be live by this time next week, I live in hope.

Networking in Glasgow (part 2) – Past & Future

Over the years I’ve done a few posts about networking in Glasgow. A recent one was over on Linkedin and and another much older one was a post that was a “part one” which still gets a fair bit of visits. So I thought it was high time to update it with some broad options for places to Network in Glasgow or near by.


Collabor8 - Networking and Co-working in Glasgow

This morning was an event run by Collabor8te in All Bar 1. It’s a FREE monthly event and worth popping into if you run a Scottish business. They run periodic evening events (Educa8) and have a wonderful co-working space in the Merchant City for those home-based business owners (like myself) that would like an office to go to now and again without the cost of having an actual office. There are a few different options according to different budgets and needs and there’s new plans on the horizon for a new space too.

GoGrow – Various

Another event worth considering is GoGrow in Glasgow. I’ve only attended one event hosted by Gary Eoghan at the Butterfly and the Pig, on what was arguably Scotland’s hottest evening, but it was a decent little night with a few women speakers (from Mo’s Cookie Dough and Yelp Glasgow). To add to that, I walked out with a Yell fan, and some free chocolate chip cookies, so what more could you ask for?

Business Banter – Thurs/Fri AM

Still among my fave places for networking in Glasgow is at Martin Jack’s Business Banter. It takes place in two places – Thursday mornings in Martha’s on St Vincent Street (8-10) and Friday mornings on Byres Road at Paperinos (9-11). If ever I am free, I do my best to make it along to one or both of those. The people are good, it’s a relaxed atmosphere and best of all for folks like me, it’s FREE.

29 Social

#29Social - Networking in Glasgow - hosted by Thea NewcombAnd I could not do a blog about Networking in Glasgow without mentioning my own event that happens every two months in 29 Private Members Club, Glasgow. They fall on a Wednesday night at the end of the month, usually and cost £5.00 to non-members and free to 29’s members.

The next one in September 30, 2015 from 6-8pm. All the #29Social events have a Social Media feel to it. Have now moved on from “speakers” to “panelists”. Last month’s event was held in the Apartment at 29, featured three experts in SEO and Social Media and it was relaxed, informative and fun. If you want to get on the mailing list for #29Social fire off an email to me here (thea at with “#29Social” as the subject line and I’ll add you. Proper mailing list subscribe box coming soon as poss…) Event link to be added once the event’s been created on 29’s site.

Networking Goals

In my personal experience Networking is not generally a “quick results” option for small businesses – whether that’s online or offline. It was probably a year of going to some of these events before I received any paid work out of it.  It takes time to build up that “know, like, trust” factor. Rapport is not generally earned after one meeting (though it can be).

So if you’re new networking – set some realistic goals, and prepare to be in it for the long haul and go in with an open mind. I would seldom write off any event after just one attempt. Some nights or days can be better than others. Luck of the draw. I say that both as an attendee and a hostess too!

Networking in Glasgow – part 1

Networking in Glasgow - The River Clyde, Hydro, CraneTYPES OF NETWORKING IN GLASGOW

Updated 2018:  A lot has changed and some links were broken so updated post accordingly.

It has to be said that Glasgow is a fantastic and vibrant place to do business networking. Actually, Scotland on the whole is, but since I mostly network in Glasgow, this post will be biased toward this city.

There are so many networking groups here in Glasgow that you could could literally attend business networking events just about every day here. (Today alone, I’m doing three, but more on that later…)


Some networking events are weekly, some are every other week, some are monthly, some are quarterly and finally some are even less than that (e.g. sporadic).

There are networks that are brand new, and some have been running for years. Seems as though there are new ones cropping up all the time. In fact, in the past week I’ve been to two, brand new ones.

Some networking events are FREE, some cost a little, and still others cost a lot. (I tend to steer toward the free ones, personally).

Some networking groups are even geared specifically toward women business owners – e.g. Wib (Women in Business – mentioned later) or SWIB (Scottish Women in Business).


Are you a morning person or a night time person? When are you at your best? Do you like bigger groups or smaller ones? It’s not easy to find the right one for your business, but it is possible through trial and error.

I know that there are some people who love to network really early in the morning, so something like BNI might work for them. I, however, am not wired that way, so I steer toward later in the morning events or evening ones.

Because there are so many opportunities to network in Glasgow, I think for this initial post I’ll just talk about the ones I’ve been to (or am going to) this month.

Business Banter (no longer running) has been one of my more favourite places to network over the years. These days it takes place in Martha’s (St Vincent Street), in Glasgow city center, on a Thursday morning from 8-10am.

Mostly SMEs, the people tend to be pretty friendly, it is free, and unstructured. That all appeals to me. If Thursday is no good for you then why not try Friday on Byres Road at Paperinos (West End) from 9-11am? All the same applies there too.

Southsiders in Business (2018 relaunched as First Wednesday) is another free, unstructured, drop-in type networking event that takes place at the Village hotel – every first Wednesday of the month from 9:30am.

It’s billed as “Local, Relaxed and Informal Networking” and it lives up to its name. There have been evening events in the past, and hopefully they will be resurrected again. Find more on the Southsiders in Business Facebook page (Update: deleted).

A new event I attended last week actually took place outside of Glasgow. It was the inaugural networking event of the East Kilbride Business Hub. They’ll be running that regularly, are free, and you can find more info here: (deleted link)

3-in-1 Networking Opportunities

As for today, it’s a busy day with three networking opportunities. The day started out early (for me anyway) at a new, weekly event run by DEG (Digital Enterprise Glasgow) the digital hub. (update: deleted link)

Glasgow Imax - Cool places for Networking in GlasgowAgain it was a free event that kicked off at 7:30 am, but one thing that was pretty good about it was there was a 1-minute-round for people to say what they do (in exactly a minute or less), and then there were three, brief 5-minute talks.

A nice event, in a picturesque setting (over looking the Clyde, the Imax and Science Centre).

After that, it was a stroll over to the aforementioned Southsiders in Business and later the Women into Business event.

Run by Business Gateway Glasgow these Networking events take place monthly at Glasgow’s Caledonian University. I had the pleasure of being a speaker on social media there at their March event, which was a total blast, and I look forward to tonight’s.

Though I have attended a few other networking events this month, I’ve run out of time. I need to head of to tonight’s meeting in town, so will write Networking in Glasgow Part 2 – as soon as I can. Perhaps after next week’s Business 50 in Perth (deleted link!) – which I aim to be attending with my associates Neil and James over at Indigo Social Media

In the meantime, feel free to tell me your favourite place for business networking in Glasgow and why.