Think digital networking can’t be fun? Think again! Introducing The IPIA Big Breakfast – taking place fortnightly starting on March 11th, 8.30 -9.30.
The IPIA are renowned for connecting people, cultivating relationships and supporting business growth. Always creative in their thinking, it comes as no surprise that the trade associations latest initiative, The IPIA Big Breakfast – a fun networking event – has been designed to foster the much-needed human interaction we all crave from within a 1950’s inspired virtual Diner.
“At the beginning of the year, if I am being perfectly honest, we were a little bit flat. Using Zoom, and platforms like it, for personal and professional connectivity had given us all digital fatigue. We were drained by lockdown and just wanted to organise a physical event that involved hugging everyone,” explains Sharron Mahony, IPIA Marketing and Events Manager.
Sharron continues: “Joking aside, we knew we had to come up with a new initiative that would add authentic value to our members, sponsors and the wider industry. The ongoing restrictions gave us very little room to work creatively, so we knew it had to be a digital ‘zoom-thing’ which, well, crushed our souls a bit.”
How do you like your eggs in the morning?
The IPIA embarked on a research initiative, surveying its membership and that of its sister trade association, the BAPC, and really focussed on the people behind the businesses.
“We wanted to understand what support they needed to continue coping in their roles, and to learn if their digital connectivity tolerances matched our own,” adds Sharron, who explains further: “They also confirmed our thinking and highlighted the direction we needed to go.
“Whatever we did, it should not take up hours of a person’s day, talk ‘at’ people for more than 30 minutes tops, and it needed to be fun.”
The IPIA Big Breakfast is a fortnightly networking event. The branding, by IPIA member Nutshell Creative Marketing, reflects the fun, informal format of the sessions.
There are no elevator pitches as “no one likes them,” says Sharron, who adds: “We want to spark the sort of conversations that are about anything and everything, that’s how ideas are generated, and collaborations begin. Informal chat almost always leads to something pretty amazing that wouldn't have come about otherwise.”
Inspiration – Freshly Juiced
The hourly sessions are split by a 10-minute informative segment called “Freshly Juiced”.
Sharron elaborates: “People still need inspiring – it lifts the spirits and gets the juices flowing. This bite-size session extracts the knowledge, wisdom and experience of some spectacular-at-life people, a real mix of motivational and inspirational speakers from within print and external industries.”
The wonderfully witty Peter Gunning, CEO of Grafenia (Printing.com, Nettl, Marqetspace), will be sharing his wisdom in the first "Freshly Juiced" segment with an energetic talk called ‘WTF Just Happened?’.
Good morning sausage!
The Big Breakfast Diner is hosted in Remo – the platform designed just like a real room, where you sit at tables and move yourself about the room. Tables seat 2, 4 or 6 people, so you can have chats on a one-to-one basis, or in a larger group setting.
“Being able to bounce around and talk to various groups of people is just wonderful - it takes seconds to switch groups. You can also use the Diner floor plan to see who is in the room and head on over to their table to have a chat. This creates a more ‘real world’ atmosphere and the conversations are more natural – no static zoom sessions for us,” enthuses Sharron.
The IPIA Big Breakfast is open to members and non-members of the IPIA. Attendees can download digital pins to highlight they are a Big Breakfast Networker, while IPIA Members will be sporting a jolly yellow branded mug to use on the sessions, sponsored by Compass Business Finance. Non-members can purchase one by contacting .
“We hope this will give a feeling of belonging to a very special and fun club, which we are very proud of and excited about its potential. It of course would not have been made possible without the support of our Members and our amazing IPIA Sponsors Antalis, Fujifilm, Xerox, Konica Minolta, Xmpie, Imprint MIS, Vivid Laminating Technologies, Canon and Duplo International,” concludes Mahony.
Find out more and register at: ipia.org.uk/bb