5 Lessons from the ShoutOut Network Pre-Launch [kad_youtube url=”https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xKHng9TxLe4″ ] Shoutout to Jeffrey for this awesome video he put together for the pre-launch. It outlines everything we are trying to achieve with the network. He also captured some amazing highlights of the party. Check out Jeffrey’s work on Youtube, Facebook and Twitter @jeffmaclean80 Soulay and I had been planning this pre-launch for two months and finally on June 25th all of our hard work came to life. We invited other UK black podcasters, bloggers, creatives, filmmakers and more down to enjoy an afternoon of networking and drinking. Everyone appeared to have a great time all the while I was running around making sure everything went to plan. As this was one of the first events, I thought I would share what I learned. Lesson 1: Be prepared for English Weather In England, summer is not a thing. So of course when we plan a roof party it will decide to chuck it down. Soulay and I got up at the crack of dawn and picked up a couple of gazebos. They truly saved the day. Lesson 2: Have Plenty of Drinks When the weather was good, it was excellent, and all that heat makes people thirst. I mixed several jugs of Pimms and by the end, everything including the fruit was gone. ShoutOut to everyone that bought a bottle. Lesson 3: Provide Food! Just writing this is making me hungry, SoulDeliciouz kindly provided the food on the day, and we were blessed. Everyone had seconds and thirds, and I didn’t hear one complaint. We could have saved ourselves some money and not provided food, but we thought that creative people should bond and break bread together. It worked! Everyone was far more social and chatty after they had a plate. Lesson 4: Prepare your Talking Points So as this was a networking opportunity, the ShoutOut family did their thing. I had to give a speech which I made at 5 am the day of the event… fail! I said none of what I planned. I made sub-par jokes and altogether failed at life. I did photograph like a professional. Soulay and Keira of Two Fools Talking hosted the remainder of the talks and did a great job. Lesson 5: Let others speak The pre-launch was about getting to know each other and supporting the work and our community. It wasn’t just about the ShoutOut Network and our work. We opened the floor to everyone to tell us about their work, and it was great. We learned so much about the other podcasters and creatives. It was also a great way to find out who else was present in case anyone didn’t get a chance to meet. Ultimately it was a beautiful day, and the feedback has been fantastic. We may make it an annual event as more of us enter the creative space. It’s a sign of things to come for ShoutOut Live! on August 6th. Tickets are only £10. Buy them now!