From time to time we write about things you might find useful such as what we're working on and thinking about.

A picture of Jon
Project Director

3 min read

Reflections on our second event

Recently we held our second, a meetup where we pair small businesses, charities and social enterprises with a mentor to help them with any ‘digital’ challenges. Here’s a short video from the event.

And here’s what we’ve learnt so far.

The community is supporting the idea

We’ve had a lot of brilliant comments about, including that it now simply exists. There’s been lots of encouragement for starting a community where guidance and support is available, along with providing an opportunity for mentors to do something a bit different away from their day job.

The events have been overwhelmingly positive

People have said they like the:

  • Openness and friendliness of the event

  • Brilliant mentors

  • Genuineness of the mentors

  • Connection with the community

  • Super helpful advice

  • Stuff that can be acted on straight away

We’ve got a few things to sort

  • Friday night might not be the best time to hold the even

  • Using ‘digital’ might put off start-up businesses and charities looking for general support

  • We need to reach a wider audience

  • We need to provide healthier snacks (not doughnuts) and beer

We’re in a bubble

The complete opposite of what we expected has happened. We’ve had lots of brilliant people offering to give up their time as mentors, but we’ve struggled to engage with, small businesses, charities and social enterprises. We’re working hard at promoting to a wider audience and we’ve lined up support to help with promotion.

Leaving it late

I’m pretty organised, it’s in my nature. Managing projects suits me completely and leaving things to the last minute, frankly, scares me. In an ideal world I’d love all pairings for events to be done and dusted a few weeks before the day.

But twice now, we’ve filled the last few spaces of mentees 24 hours before the event. With the first event I thought it was teething problems. But with this second event maybe people firm up their plans a week in advance at best?

Perceived value

Does calling something ‘free’ undervalue whatever the thing is? Is saying ‘no cost’ any better? We’ve not nailed how we describe the value of to businesses and charities. The format and the pairing of mentors is simple, but not enough.

Any thoughts on this messaging is much appreciated. Given what you know about, how would you sum it up in a sentence? We’d love to hear any thoughts.

Holding it on a Friday evening might not be a great idea

The first event was arranged for a Friday night for no real reason other than we didn’t want it clashing with UX Sheffield and Agile Sheffield, both of which are held on a Wednesday evening. We could have chosen a Monday, Tuesday or Thursday, we just didn’t.

With feedback from two events, Friday evening is generally a neutral or negative choice. There’s been a few comments that people are knackered after a week at work. Maybe people are less likely to come due to Friday evening appearing part of a weekend and so ‘work’ related?

Thank you everyone

I’m immensely proud of what we’re starting to create. Thank you to everyone for all the support, we really do appreciate it. Mentors giving up their time is huge, but also we appreciate everyone coming along and giving a chance.

The next is on Thursday 18th May

If you’re a small business, charity or social enterprise struggling with anything digital, please get in touch and apply.

If you’re a mentor, like the sound of what we’re doing and could spare a few hours every few months, then we’d love to hear from you.

photos from the second legup social