At the start of this year, I had the chance to go to Dublin to represent Brussels Ketjep at the “Facebook Gather” event, organized for a few 500 SME.
How has this started? Thanks to an informal meeting between Alexis Lebedoff, Facebook Belgium director (we thank him!) and our Ketje founder. This way, Brussels Ketjep joined the Belgian SME forum. The occasion to meet other entrepreneurs who want to improve their Facebook and Instagram communication.
I boasted about it to many friends and all of them agree: a Facebook invitation is class. Well, I was expecting to board in first class then. But it’s with a certain Irish low-cost airline that those two days have started… At the airport, we were awaited by a “Gather” sign. The occasion to organize with the people there a getaway in a typical Irish pub to drink a Guinness. In the evening, a drink & mingle was offering the possibility to meet European business owners to share experiences. As a French speaker, I didn’t know what “mingle” exactly meant. But I quickly understood it’s a stylish way to network.
The event day finally showed up. It took place at the backstage of the stunning Croke Park stadium (if it doesn’t ring a bell, I promise: it’s giant. One Direction and Céline Dion had concerts there!). I attended presentations and academy sessions with subjects from new Facebook tools introduction to creativity development in our businesses. We also listened to Sheryl Sandberg, Facebook COO, about Facebook’s commitment to addressing current challenges. But honestly, the main aim was to meet people from as different universes as sauces (us!), second-hand luxury goods, yoga, ice cream, jewellery, human resources or NGO. The occasion to bring face to face experiences, ideas, challenges and dreams. What did we have in common? My boss would certainly like me to say/talk about our “willing to learn”, but we mostly wanted to enjoy the Open Bar (if you go to Ireland, drink a Baby Guinness on my health).
My last day in Dublin was marked by a peculiar visit of the Facebook office. Even though they were exactly like I imagined them, they were still impressive. Spaces are huge, pleasant, colourful, creative and branded from floor to ceiling. The company restaurant is amazing: it offers a varied menu to ensure everyone finds what he likes. The only cloud on the horizon: no sign of our sauces… And they don’t have the chance to have a metro station at their name!
The conclusion of this stay: even though I learned only a few secrets about Facebook, I met inspiring young entrepreneurs. The different speakers gave me the desire to keep our social networks on a human-scale. We won’t seek for likes at any cost. We want to offer authentic and original content. Thank you to be here, for liking our publications, for having read this article until the end, for following us in this crazy adventure and for giving us a chance by trying and enjoying our products.