Our first #ThisIsMe networking remixed event is a hit

Our first #ThisIsMe networking remixed event is a hit

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 is the latest event to be organised by Inclusive Networks and follows our popular workplace panel events in London, with Action for Children and John Lewis, and our inaugural Inclusive Networks Awards that took place in Manchester, sponsored by PayPal, Fujitsu, WeAreTheCity and EY (and many more inclusive organisations).

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

“We 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.”

Thomas Anderson, Founder and Managing Director of Inclusive Networks said, “We 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.”

“We 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. We worked hard to deliver a completely free event that was unlike any other and from the feedback, I’m happy we delivered that. 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.

The next Inclusive Networks #ThisIsMe event will take place on 2nd July 2016, 1-4pm, at The Glasshouse in Edinburgh. The ‘#ThisIsMe Rooftop Garden Party’ will include a special performance by The Voice UK star Jordan Gray. Tickets are very limited. Watch out for our ticket announcement!

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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