KRUSH : People network better face-to-face

KRUSH : People network better face-to-face

Photo : Josh Gutteridge and Manuel Ursprung, Co-Founders of KRUSH

Flatmates Josh Gutteridge and Manuel Ursprung were inspired to launch networking community KRUSH due to them feeling there was a lack of opportunities for LGBT+ people to network face-to-face. With our use of mobile and online apps increasing, is it time to put down our phone and chat to more people in the flesh? Josh tells us more about KRUSH and what they have planned.

We’d love to know more about KRUSH. What is the concept and where did the idea come from?

KRUSH is a community that brings everyone who identifies as LGBT+ together in one room for face-to-face networking.

  • We love people and we believe that people network better face-to-face.
  • We want to provide support networks for those who have recently come out or may not be out yet.
  • We want to provide friendship groups for those who have recently moved to London.

    The inspiration came from my upbringing as a Jehovah’s Witness and being disowned by my parents because I was gay. I realised that I needed a support network and that was hard to find. So my flatmate Manuel and I created KRUSH to create a nice laid back environment where anybody can come and make some great new friends and conctacts, whether you’re out or not!

    Apps and online socialising aren’t all bad are they? What are the benefits of face-to-face networking?

    Not at all. Apps have their place and we have both made great friends over apps. Face-to-face networking is just another avenue to make friends and we think this is lacking in the LGBT community.

    The downside of apps is people become more replaceable and most aren’t bothered to put effort in to building relationships with those contacts.

    How did you turn an idea in to a reality?

    We sat down and brainstormed ideas. I run a web and branding agency www.regencycreative.co.uk so it wasn’t hard to get the branding and website development turned around fast. Within two weeks we had launched and within a further three weeks we’d already had a reach of 3+ million people.

    Where did the name ‘KRUSH’ come from?

    We decided to do a play on the word crush (as you can probably guess). But we wanted to use a “K” and put it in capitals to step away from conformity. In a way, we wanted to create the idea that this can be anything you want it to be. Whether you’re looking for a new friend, a partner or just generally to get some advice.

    Your first event is in London. Any plans for KRUSH events around the UK?

    Yes, once we’ve ran our first few events in London we are looking to map the idea to other cities in the UK and eventually worldwide. We’re encouraging people to join our mailing list to keep posted on where we’re going next – www.krushnetwork.com/#join

  • “KRUSH is a community that brings everyone who identifies as LGBT+ together in one room for face-to-face networking.”

    What do you consider when choosing a venue to host your events?

    We have been to a lot of straight and LGBT networking events in London and we concluded that most get the choice of venue so wrong. For example, some venues were super “posh” and attracted pretentious people only. Other venues were held underground in clubs with the music so loud you couldn’t hear yourself speak. We have carefully picked our venues on location, atmosphere and price…to make sure that everybody has the best experience and for us to keep the ticket price as low as possible.

    Why should someone reading this come along to one of your events?

    It’s an opportunity to try something new. Sometimes it takes just one person to change your life for the better…do you want to take the opportunity of missing out on that person at our event?

    How will you work to ensure the attendees at your events are representative of the LGBT+ community and don’t just attract a predominantly male audience which is common with many LGBT+ specific events?

    We don’t aim to control exactly who will turn up. We are merely the catalyst for helping people to make new friends and connections. However, we are making sure that we publicise the event through all kinds of avenues to attract all kinds of members.

    What are your hopes for KRUSH?

    We hope that within 6 months we’ll have a nice collection of real life stories to tell where people have benefitted from networking face-to-face.

    What would your Top3 tips be for getting the most out of coming to a KRUSH event?

    [ 1 ] Don’t panic. You’ll receive a warm welcome on the door and we’ll do our best to introduce you to somebody.

    [ 2 ] Take advantage of the free drink to calm any nerves.

    [ 3 ] Don’t stand in the corner on your phone – make the most of the networking opportunity!

    The first KRUSH networking event takes place at Boudoir of Bar Soho, London, between 6.30pm-11pm on 12th May. Tickets cost £15 and this includes a welcome drink. Tickets are limited so be quick! See link below.

    KEEP CONNECTED WITH KRUSH :

    www.krushnetwork.com

    About The Author

    Thomas Anderson

    Founder and MD of Inclusive Networks. Thomas was Chair of the award winning LGBT network for The Co-operative Group, ‘Respect’ (2011-14). Thomas named the network and designed and managed all of the branding, communications and engagement until he stepped down from the role of Chair in March 2014. He also created the branding, name, was Editor of the quarterly magazine and developed the launch of the UK’s first Inter-Retail LGBT network ‘CheckOUT’. He contributed to the Stonewall Workplace Equality Index 5 Year review. In recognition of his work in the diversity field he was shortlisted for ‘Diversity Champion of the Year’ at the 2013 European Diversity Awards, shortlisted for ‘Role Model of the Year’ at the 2012 Lesbian & Gay Foundation Homo Heroes Awards and shortlisted for the ‘Positive Action’ award at the 2013 Asian Fire Service Association Fair & Diverse Awards. He also won the 2012 ‘Pride of The Co-operative’ award. He was a judge for Scotland's biggest diversity awards, The Icon Awards in 2016, 2017 and 2018.

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