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Surrey Tweetup Tonight

March 3, 2010 in Meets Ups

This week is going to be a busy week for networking locally, kicking off this evening with the newly established Surrey Tweetup(external link). This will be the second meeting, taking place from 7pm at the Slug and Lettuce(external link) in Farnham. Locally based iBundle(external link) are sponsoring the drinks too – what more could you ask? Don’t drink too much though – we need you fresh for TVSMC in the morning! We’ll be back at the Village Hotel(external link) in Farnborough. Looking forward to catching up.

TVSMC at the Alto Lounge in Caversham

January 26, 2010 in Meets Ups

Well after a long Christmas break and heavy snowfall preventing our first meeting of 2010, we finally reconvened at a new venue, the Alto Lounge in Caversham. Parking was easier (though not easy!) and cheaper, and the venue was comfy with great food for those of us who stayed long enough for some lunch! Lots of inspiring conversations were had, and once again it was great to meet some new folks. Particular welcome to Karen Blakeman @karenblakeman(external link), Simon May @simonster(external link), Gavin Aldrich @gavinaldrich(external link) and Warren Swaine @waswasere(external link) who joined us for the first time, and many thanks to Claire Thompson @claireatwaves(external link) for spontaneously providing champagne for a certain special birthday – now I don’t suppose there are many social media meetups you’ll go to and get champagne?!

Well that’s it for January already. Looking forward to seeing those who can make it in Farnborough on the 4th..

With thanks to James Firth @JamesFirth(external link) and Katharine Robinson @TheSourceress(external link) for the pictures.

TVSMC in 2009

December 29, 2009 in Meets Ups

Well here we are at the end of our first year – trusting everyone has had a good Christmas and is enjoying the holiday!

2009 has of course been an important year for TVSMC, in that is was the year our conception in mid March. After a few more sporadic meetings during the Spring, we started meeting on a regular twice monthly basis in the Autumn. The locations that seem to working best at the moment are the Reading and Farnborough vicinities, but we’re keen to try new locations if there are enough to make it viable. The Village Hotel(external link) has turned out to be a great venue in Farnborough, with easy access by road and rail, free wifi, great coffee and lots of sofas! We’ve also enjoyed Chronicles in Reading, but the parking is dismal, so come the New Year, we’ll be trying out a new venue in nearby Caversham called Alto Lounge(external link) – there’s 2 hrs free parking in the adjacent Waitrose, and also a pay and display car park nearby. It isn’t so close to the station as Chronicles, but there are enough people passing the station en route to offer lifts, so don’t let that put you off – just @tvsmc and let us know. In fact the same applies for any meeting or venue – the nature of the group means that folks are traveling from all over the area so we are no stranger to lift shares and communal train journeys which provide longer TVSMC conversation time!

We’ve had about 40 different folks come along to the meeting over the year, and about another 20 who would like to. We’ve tried out 6 different venues so far, some fab, others not so great, and we’re still experimenting. We’re very open to suggestion, and of course the occasional sponsor who would like to buy us all coffee wouldn’t be shunned!

So, onwards and upwards to 2010. Personally I’m really looking forward to reconvening – I’m always inspired by bright conversations and new angles of thought. I love meeting the new folks who come along and then carry on coming along! I’m looking forward to meeting some of those who have been wanting to come along for a while. And of course I’m looking forward to the unexpected. Roll on January 7th! If you’re planning to come then or on a future date, head over to the wiki(external link) and let us know – looking forward to seeing you!

(Picture courtesy of @rutthenut(external link)‘s Flickr set(external link))

Chronicles in November

November 19, 2009 in Meets Ups

Despite it being busy season for many of our number, we still had a great time at Chronicles(external link) in Reading today and welcomed three first timers – Nick Boyle @NickAtFlare(external link), James Firth @JamesFirth(external link) and Mike @mikethebee(external link) – really enjoyed meeting you guys and hope to see you again soon at another TVSMC.

We’re meeting once more at the Village(external link) in Farnborough before the Christmas season kicks in – it’s a great venue with plenty of space & easy to find, so I hope as many folk as possible will be able to join us before we take our break. The wiki has details of this meeting and the first 2010 ones, so make a date in the diary, and we’ll see you then.

(some of the pictures being taken here are at Mike’s Flickr(external link)..)

Claire’s picture’s here(external link)

TVSMC meets at the Village in Farnborough

November 11, 2009 in Meets Ups

We tried out a new venue when we met in Farnborough last week, and weren’t disappointed – free wifi, great coffee, plenty of sofas, close to the station & lots of parking! We’ll be back at the Village(external link) on Dec 3rd.

The crowd also continued to gather, and it was great to see some new faces, as well as some who haven’t made it in a while, alongside the regulars.

We enjoyed making the acquaintance of Andy Blair @thelastromantic(external link) and Lainey @thecrazybrit (external link) who came to check us out from UniversityofSurrey(external link) – we’re looking forward to seeing them again & finding out what’s happening in those quarters. It was also great to see Andy Piper @andypiper(external link) (Blog(external link) ) and Alan Wood @folknology(external link) after a busy break and find out what they’ve been up to. Visiting us for the first time were also Jo Jamieson @jojamieson(external link) and John Rutter @RutTheNut(external link) – welcome! Looking forward to catching up at a TVSMC in the near future!

Some familiar faces among us were Anne Marie McEwan @drmcewan(external link), John Duffy @johnrduffy(external link), Josie Pearson @phinessence(external link), Jim Anning @JimAnning(external link), Andrew Gerrard @andrewgerrard(external link), Caalie @caalie(external link) and Benjamin Ellis @BenjaminEllis(external link). It is good to see a core developing and we are thoroughly enjoying bouncing ideas around and picking each others brains!

TVSMC meets again next week at Chronicles Bar in Reading and will be back at the Village, Farnborough on Dec 3rd before taking a break for Christmas. Head over to the wiki for directions and to sign yourself up for either or both events, and to save the dates for the first 2010 meetings!

(and for more pictures, see Benjamin’s Flickr(external link)..)

Autumn at TVSMC

October 5, 2009 in Meets Ups


It’s been a busy season at TVSMC which is now meeting fortnightly, and gathering momentum each time. Each month we meet alternately in Reading and Farnborough and it’s been great seeing new faces each time and engaging in the fascinating conversations that they bring.

In Reading today at Chronicles Bar, Jim(external link) was there talking about the emergent Reading Geek Night(external link) and all things new at SocialOptic(external link) along with Benjamin(external link). It was lovely to meet Mailan(external link) and Dan(external link) and catch up with the many pies Dogsbody(external link) has his fingers in! Claire(external link) pondered the changing faces of PR as it works out the new world order and it was great to see Anne Marie(external link) and Katharine(external link) again too – just a few of the faces that have been making up TVSMC over recent weeks!

We have three more meetings scheduled during November and December before we take a short break over Christmas, so head over to the wiki and sign yourself up – we’d love to see you!

Next Meeting – Thursday 17th of September at The Forbury Hotel, Reading

September 4, 2009 in Meets Ups

After some exciting first meetings, and a bit of a summer break, we’re back, and in the business of being social (in a social media way). We have a great new venue, thanks to @claireatwaves(external link) and @caalie(external link). We’ll be meeting in The Library(external link) in the rather swish Forbury Hotel(external link) in Reading.

Jot your name down on the NextMeeting page so we can give you a big smile when tyou arrive – Click to sign up for a login if you don’t have one yet.

Hope to see you on Thursday 17th of September from 10AM at The Forbury Hotel(external link), Reading – Directions are here(external link) – aim for RG1 3EJ if you are gadget lead, or check out the map on their site(external link).

In the Beginning

May 5, 2009 in Meets Ups

All being well, the Thames Valley Social Media Cafe (tvsmc for short) now has a blog. What better place to start than at the beginning?

A number of people in the Thames Valley area had meet up at the Tuttle Club(external link) (aka London Social Media Cafe(external link)). Inspired by the wonderful Lloyd Davis and what he has done in London, we realised that lots of people in the M3/M4 corridor / Silicon Valley would love to meet up here.

Benjamin Ellis @BenjaminEllis(external link), Neville Hobson @jangles(external link), Matt Brady @mattbrady(external link) and Drew Benvie @drewb(external link) exchanged a few tweets and the TVSMC was born. Drew put it like this(external link): “I’ve been to the original, London Social Media Cafe, which is on Friday mornings in Soho. The people I’ve met there have been such useful contacts. It’s the first time I met in the flesh a lot of the entrepreneurs, media and technology innovators who I now count as either colleagues or friends.”

Come and join a group of people talking and working around social media. The sign up page is on the Wiki, where you’ll find details of the next meeting and can add your name.

As well at the blog itself, there is an RSS feed of the calendar and of changes to the Wiki Pages, to help you keep up with happenings.