Such a great day with lots of networking, chats and knowledge shared all around (and such an amazing venue with yummy food!) My cup is so full I think I’m going to be on a high all week cannot wait to return next year, my ticket has already been purchased.
Alicia, Cornflower Accountants
Last week Freelance Mum hosted their annual Mega Meet Up, at Tractors & Cream in Somerset. The event was sponsored by YTKO and the Financially Fearless Team from Hargreaves Lansdown. It attracted Freelance Mum members from hubs across the country, to meet in person, netwalk, listen to guest speakers and connect.
Freelance Mum was first launched in 2012, by voiceover artist Faye Dicker, as a result of her own need juggling motherhood around business. Without a network of support to meet her needs a ‘freelance mum’, Faye launched child-friendly networking for mums in business. Initially the group ran in Bristol, but as result of the pandemic, Faye was able to pivot the model and launch hubs across the country.
Today there are eight hubs that all meet once a month for a netwalk, run by local mums in business known as ‘Freelance Mum Fairies’. The FM members are also able to connect once week, from across all the hubs, in a weekly online coffee morning. The model allows members to connect with their wider network, as well and build on relationships within their own hubs. The in-person and online events, culminate once a year at the Freelance Mum Mega Meet Up, their annual event which is ‘like Christmas Day for Freelance Mums’!
Location and format
Brilliant day networking with like minded fabulous women, listening to inspiring speakers in a gorgeous location. Abi Eva, Live Intuitively
Like all FM events, the day was child-friendly, information packed and relaxed, in the beautiful setting of Tractors & Cream glamping site. Guests were greeted with tea & coffee on arrival and set a simple ice-breaker, to show the connections between all the FMs in the hubs.
The day followed the ‘typical FM format’ with a netwalk around the site, punctuated with focus questions, to maximise conversations. For the added fun, there were also hand made soaps, donated by Bespoke + Local, hidden throughout the route, which acted as ‘raffle tickets’, for the prize draw at the end of the day.
The main speakers spoke in the events dome, which was decorated with Freelance Mum bunting, designed by FM members & sponsors. It proved to be both decorative and a great way to showcase the range of businesses across the hubs. All attendees received goody bags on arrival, plus there was a ‘gubbins table’ to display business cards and leaflets. Face painting by JoJo, took place at the back of the dome, while speakers gave their talks and added to the festival vibe.
Financially Fearless Ambassador, Sarah Coles, from Hargreaves Lansdown, opened the day with a commanding talk about the importance of taking control of your finances. She shared own story of freelancing around motherhood, and explained the ‘confidence threshold’ when it came to men and women making decisions about finances. She rounded off taking questions from members about pensions, which could have gone on for much longer! It was empowering session, which made a strong impact.
Tea & coffee was served next, by Vicki from Tractors & Cream, in the Horse Box bar and allowed FMs time to mingle and connect with other FMs from across the hubs.
The second guest speaker was Sally Marks from YTKO, who set a mini marketing workshop for everyone, so people could leave with a practical ‘take away’ from the day. It was designed for business owners at all stages in their journey, to take a few minutes to reconnect with their audience in a simple and effective marketing and task. Jen Macfarlane from the YTKO team, also explained about the YTKO upcoming Skills Boot Camps, for freelancers and small business.
There was a short lunch break back in the studio, which allowed FMs to keep networking and enjoy eating together, before returning to the dome for the prize draw and final speaker. Two prize draws were made, the first was an artisan gift box from Bespoke + Local, worth £500.
Competition and prizes
The second was an overnight stay to Tractors & Cream – entries were made, by anyone who bought a ticket to the Freelance Mum Mega Meet Up 2024. Rachel Ballantyne from the South Devon Hub won the Bespoke + Local prize, while Freelance Mum Fairy, from the Bath Hub, Jody Sparey won the overnight stay to Tractors & Cream.
Carly Cannings from the Happy Business School, concluded the day with her talk on the importance of prioritizing your own happiness. She shared tips and techniques that can be used in busy lives, to lead to personal and professional success. The talk ended with Carly invited Freelance Mums to share one thing they’d like to say ‘thank you’ for and resulted in members from across the hubs giving thanks to each other (and to Freelance Mum founder, Faye Dicker) for such a good day.
Members gently made their way home at the end of the packed day, buzzing with ideas, armed with practical tips and new connections. It was the ultimate day for Freelance Mums, who left feeling good, for having taken a day out of their busy freelance lives.
The mega meet up is a unique and fabulous opportunity to connect with an amazing group of like-minded mums from a huge range of industries. The key note speakers are expertly tailored to the needs of freelance mums. The food and setting is wonderful and there’s a buzz across the day that’s hard to beat. Roll on next year!
Jess: Broadcast Journalist, Musician & Voiceover Artist
Tickets are on sale now, for the Freelance Mum Mega Meet Up 2024, takes place in June 11th at Tractors & Cream and will be celebrating the Freelance Mum 10th business birthday. Click here to get in touch about sponsorship and speaking opportunities.
With huge thanks to Super Funky Penguin for photography.