Simel.Coffee

World of Coffee Dublin 2016: Why networking is important for your cafe business

There’s this huge event coming up this week, the “World of Coffee” in Dublin. Everyone within the specialty coffee community is heading there. Well, is at least having their eyes and ears with the championships going on.

Me, too, of course. A lot of interesting people are competing there or are heading there for business matters or just for networking.

And, that’s actually what this article is all about, encouraging you as cafe business owners (or wanna be owners) to go out to events like this, or other industry events, to talk to people, to share knowledge, to get insights, to learn and to stay updated.

I’m sure, you experienced it yourself, you’re weeks, months or years within your cafe business, you’re so busy with all the things going on in your cafe, that you almost feel like losing the connection to the (specialty) coffee world out there.

Coffee (industry) events

Sure, reading online magazine and blogs, listening to podcasts, is a good way to stay updated and getting to know about trends, but the personal contact to people within the specialty coffee community is crucial. Not only to broaden your specialty coffee horizon, but also to getting to know people, to exchanging experiences and best practices.

I know, you’re busy, but if you can, take some days off from your cafe business and head to one of the industry events that are close by, coffee festivals, trade shows and even championships, like the one going on this week in Dublin.

Volunteering

If you haven’t opened your cafe, yet, if you’re still in the planning phase, these events are eve more interesting for you. If you can arrange it, try being a volunteer at one of those events. Why? Because you can learn a lot when being a volunteer and you can make friends. You can broaden your network, that will help you within your future business to be opened.

Even if you’re considering yourself a good Barista and already having a lot of experiences, even if you feel, you’re prepared, go for it! It can add a lot to your knowledge.

And, maybe, when you’re about to open your own place and are looking for Baristas for your new cafe, the friends you made during volunteering can be helpful by finding the right person for your cafe.

The fun part with these events, if you’re volunteering or not, you can try a lot of coffee. A LOT of coffee! I’m not joking. As a volunteer, you’re even able to taste the coffee of the competing participants.

Have you felt, you’re not quite ready for opening your own shop, yet? Are you lacking experiences and practice to being able to serve your future customers with consistent quality, yet? Volunteering is made for you!

At events like the upcoming “World of Coffee” in Dublin you’re working shoulder to shoulder with some of the most experienced Baristas, championship competitors and coffee trainers of the world. That adds a lot of value to your CV.

Networking

The networking part is so powerful, actually, it can help boost your business before you even opened it. At coffee festivals and other industry events, there are so many booths and stands with thousands of interesting people working and visiting there, you can actually spend hours strolling through the venue, talking to people, sipping on your coffee, listening to conversations and lectures, if they’re offered, as well, you won’t get bored. Trust me! If you’re having business cards already, perfect! Take them with you!

And, maybe, you’re meeting one of your future business partners or some other interesting people that might support you with your future cafe business, as well.

Not to forget the community part here. The specialty coffee community is still rather small, which can add a lot of value to the experiences you’re making. You’ll get to know exactly the people that share the same interest than you, be it the right TDS for your espresso pull, getting excited about flavors in coffee or the best way for practicing Latte Art. You can get all nerdy about that during those events.

Dublin might be too close now for visiting there (or even volunteering), but, if you look around yourself, the area where you’re living, I’m sure, there are festivals and other industry events, you can go to and, if you have the chance, also do some volunteering. It can add so much value to your own experiences and knowledge as a future cafe business owner.

Which events have you visited so far? Did you do some volunteering, yet?


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