Etsy team captains from all over Britain converged on Cambridge last weekend for some intensive education, idea swaps and cake! Here’s our take on the weekend’s events.
Etsy are keen to encourage people with common interests to collaborate, both on Etsy.com and in person. They promote and inspire location-based teams across the UK to meet up, share experiences and work together. Etsy Cambridge is one of these teams, captained by Debbie and five leaders.
Every year there is an Etsy Captains and Leaders summit in the UK to provide education for teams and an opportunity to share ideas with other UK captains. A selection of active team captains, Etsy admins and Etsy management attended. This year, thanks in part to the preparation work done by Debbie, Cambridge was chosen to be the host city! (The rest of the Cambridge leaders were also delighted with this decision, as it gave us the chance to tag along for the weekend and find out more.)
We all arrived at 9am at the Moller Centre (part of Churchill College), Cambridge, to many new faces, plus coffee and pastries! Debbie already knew some of the Etsy staff and team captains but for myself it was an introduction to a sea of new people. It was lovely to put faces to some of the names I have seen popping up on social media and meet people whose makes I admire. After a welcome from Etsy Cambridge and a fun icebreaker challenge, we stopped chatting and got down to work.
Our first topic was PR and methods for marketing an event. The presentation by Etsy staff discussed photography and how to best promote sellers involved in each event in a cohesive manner. The lecture touched on our Etsy shop ‘About’ pages and the importance of telling the story of local sellers. Some interesting ideas for how to inform customers about our makers came from this, both in the build-up to an event and also on the day.
We spoke about event promotion, including relationships with the local press and bloggers. In Cambridge we have always found the press really positive and keen to promote small business, but we heard from teams in other parts of the country that this is not always the case for them. Other teams shared new ways of using social media to promote sellers and their lovely items.
We then had time to work in smaller groups to discuss events held last year such as ‘Etsy Made Local’ (EML), a global Christmas event which was held in many cities on the same weekend (Etsy Cambridge’s Christmas Fair was an EML event). It was fascinating to chat over the variety of events created and details of how each team made them happen. In the afternoon, Anna from Etsy did a presentation on team branding; this has inspired Etsy Cambridge, so watch this space.
In the evening, we went for an amazing meal at Magdalene College, which was a great opportunity to show our visitors some of the city and also a chance to get to know the other captains and leaders.
On day two, Etsy admins went through the key UK events they are running this year; more to come on this soon.
We then talked about team meet-ups; some of the team captains are old hands at creating interesting meet-up ideas to get their teams out and chatting, so it was great that they could share ideas with brand-new teams. Etsy Cambridge are going to work on ways to develop our creative community. We love the fact that the monthly meet-ups allow like-minded people to meet face-to-face and share experiences (it’s also a fab excuse for a tea and cake break!). If you have ideas for this, or practical workshops you’d love to attend, do let us know.
In the afternoon, Debbie, Dittany, Helen and myself had some time, sitting out in the March sunshine, to discuss our ideas for Etsy Cambridge in 2016.
Thanks to all involved for making it such an educational, lively, fun and generally fab weekend. I personally need a while for some of the ideas to sink in, but be sure to stay tuned as we implement some of our learning. Special thanks to Debbie for her efforts to get the summit to Cambridge, as this allowed the opportunity for all Etsy Cambridge leaders to join in.
Sarah from Purplespoon Design