Photo : #ThisIsMe – Guests enjoying their Gusto prosecco | Photo by Carol-Anne Shaw

On the evening of 17th May 2016 over 100 people joined us at our sold-out #ThisIsMe ‘networking remixed’ event at Kiehl’s store on Buchanan Street in Glasgow city centre. The vibrant and informal event followed our popular workplace panel events in London and our inaugural Inclusive Networks Awards that took place in Manchester.

Our guests included representatives from a diverse range of organisations, including DELL, the Scottish Football Association, Scottish Parliament, Glasgow Airport, PPA Scotland and charity Stonewall Scotland – and many more.

Many local businesses, entrepreneurs and awesome people from the thriving Scottish creative sector also attended the event that many guests said was a ‘breath of fresh air’ to the current networking scene in Scotland and complimented the more established corporate feeling events well.

Derek Mackay, Cabinet Secretary for Finance and Constitution at Scottish Parliament, showed his support and represented the SNP and proudly had his photo taken with our #ThisIsMe branding and spoke to guests throughout the night.

Photo : #ThisIsMe DJ KRN & DJ Lucky Luciano | #ThisIsMe Derek Mackay | Photos by Carol-Anne Shaw

“I aimed to create an event that celebrated diversity and was accessible to everyone, from all walks of life, and one that didn’t attach a label to it.”

Thomas Anderson, Founder and Managing Director of Inclusive Networks said, “I created the new #ThisIsMe networking remixed events to add more fun and unpredictability to networking events that can often be a bit samey, cliquey and in the words of many people I’ve spoken to, ‘a bit dull’ – there are of course some exceptions to this.”

“I aimed to create an event that celebrated diversity and was accessible to everyone, from all walks of life, and one that didn’t attach a label to it. It was important to me that the event didn’t feel intimidating for people to attend, especially if they’re not from a corporate background or coming along by themselves, and the Kiehl’s store in the heart of Glasgow was a perfect venue. I worked hard to deliver a completely free event that was unlike any other and from the feedback, I’m happy this was achieved. Our guests enjoyed quality face-to-face networking where they met new people, caught up with friends and expanded their professional and social networks. The atmosphere was really buzzing.”

The event was kindly supported by global brand Kiehl’s and children’s charity Action for Children. The free event was a networking event with a difference, with guests enjoying free drinks, nibbles and entertainment over the course of the evening. These included a welcome glass of prosecco and sweet treats from restaurant Gusto, delicious rum cocktails (and mocktails) from Sugar Dumplin BBQ & Bar, colourful fruity vodka cocktails served by Keglevich and Coors beer and Rekorderlig cider generously supported by the Icon Awards.

Lisa Jay, Manager at Kiehl’s Glasgow store said : “Kiehl’s Glasgow were absolutely honoured to host the first #ThisIsMe networking remixed event. Recognising diversity and supporting our community is what Kiehl’s have celebrated since our humble beginnings in New York in 1851. It was a pleasure to welcome our new friends to Kiehl’s and we look forward to supporting Thomas with future ventures. A huge thanks to the incredibly inspiring and talented Mark Vice for his “Andy’s Lifeblood” art commemorating the event and Andy Warhol’s love of Kiehl’s. Huge thanks to our friends at Gusto, Sugar Dumplin and Keglevich for keeping our guests refreshed!”

Photo : #ThisIsMe supporters Sugar Dumplin | #ThisIsMe Kiera O’Malley| Photos by Carol-Anne Shaw

“The Inclusive Networks #ThisIsMe event was a fantastic opportunity to bring people together to celebrate diversity and strengthen relationships across organisations working to make Scotland a fairer, more equal country.”

Our awesome DJs, DJ Lucky Luciano and DJ KRN, spun the vinyl on the decks throughout the night and Edinburgh based artist Mark Vice exhibited a number of his amazing pieces of art, including his new ‘Andy’s Lifeblood’ piece that was especially produced for the event – a big hit with our guests. Our awesome host Mike Shy (he’s not so shy) did a great job too!

Here’s what some of our guests had to say about the event :

Hala Ousta, Diversity Manager at the Scottish Football Association, said : “Great time at the #ThisIsMe networking diversity event at Kiehl’s. Thanks for the hospitality and new connections.”

Sintija Bluzma of #Tartan Marketing said : “It was a great pleasure attending the #ThisIsMe networking event by Inclusive Networks. The event the set up was more than convenient, relaxing and energizing because of the conversations you have with all of these other positive minded people. On a Tuesday night, it’s a well-timed, gentle way to gathering future prospects, meeting new talented people and enjoying the good vibes.”

Catherine Somerville, Campaigns, Policy and Research Manager at Stonewall Scotland said : “At Stonewall Scotland we believe in acceptance without exception. The Inclusive Networks #ThisIsMe event was a fantastic opportunity to bring people together to celebrate diversity and strengthen relationships across organisations working to make Scotland a fairer, more equal country.”

Yvonne Taylor, Glasgow based artist, said : “Fabulous event night at Kielh’s Glasgow with #ThisIsMe. I was happy to donate some of my artwork for the raffle, a taste of Glasgow. Also donating work were the up and coming young artists Mark Vice and Laura Morrison, I really enjoyed talking with them. I’m one of the Sotheby’s International Young artists of 1999 so it was interesting to meet with the next generation in my field. I loved meeting the new and very happy owner of my work, it’s not often I get to meet with clients as galleries deal with negotiations and transfers.”

Stuart Duffy, Founder of the new LGBTI charity Pink Saltire, said : “The evening was a really positive mix of diversity champions and allies. We wanted to extend our network of contacts as we prepare to launch our own activity in Scotland, so it was a great opportunity and we left with loads of business cards and ideas to follow up!”

Bob Fazlali, Agency Account Manager at Gaydio, said : “Fantastic event and a great addition and benefit for the Glasgow business community.”

Guests didn’t leave empty handed and every guest received a goody bag that included Kiehl’s products, a limited edition mini-version of Mark Vice’s ‘Andy’s lifeblood’ piece, vouchers and more.