What I learnt from the Hive

I attended the International Magazine Centre Hive event on 4th February 2021. The advice I received from the Hive was fantastic – I came away feeling inspired and it has motivated me to take the steps to further my career.

The next Hive will take place on 14 April 2021 and I recommend that you attend!


How does it all work?

Groups

When the Hive gets going you’re split into groups of four in breakout rooms, each with three other participants and a facilitator. The facilitator leads the conversations and makes sure everyone sticks to the set timing. These timings are in place to ensure everyone gets a fair say.

Ghost mode

Once in your group you present your problem and then turn off your camera and mic. This means that you can’t butt in with any comments when someone else is suggesting solutions. This is effective because it forces you to listen and think about the advice.

Back in the room

After the group has discussed your problem you are invited back into the room to discuss what they said and give feedback. This was a bit of a eureka moment for me!


My concerns going into the Hive

The International Magazine Centre’s Hive event was the first industry event that I’ve attended, so it’s fair to say I had some first-timer nerves going into it. But after attending the event I can comfortably say that there really was nothing to be nervous about. Here are my top tips of why you should attend a Hive event, clearing up any worries you may have.


Top Hive Tips

Don’t worry about sounding stupid

Attending an event for the first time can be nerve-racking. I certainly thought so when I joined the event and saw the amount of people there. However, the Hive gives no reason to be nervous, because everyone is there to help each other. Once you get split into the break-out rooms it’s a very friendly environment, and you quickly realise that everyone’s opinions are valid. Everyone gets an equal say, and time to speak – don’t worry about people shouting over you, that doesn’t happen!

You can help others, even if you don’t think you can

You may not have as much experience as those in your Hive, or you may even be at a totally different level in your field. Once the conversation gets going all of that gets pushed to the side – everyone’s opinions are valid in the Hive.

The problems presented can sometimes sound complicated and complex, but once you get speaking in your group, you’ll realise that you can bring something to the table to help. We all know how it feels to be so wrapped up in a project that you struggle to see any flaws with it. More often than not, what someone needs most is just a bit of common sense to steer them in the right direction.

A different perspective is sometimes all you need

Two brains are better than one. I had been struggling to get my head around a few ideas of my own before the Hive, but once my group got chatting about them the solutions seemed so clear that I couldn’t believe I was even worried about them. Hearing other people talk exclusively about my problem made all the pieces start to come together. Not being involved in a conversation about your problem may sound strange, but it actually leads to great results. I’ve already started moving forward with the advice I got from my group, and it’s working well.

It’s a great way to meet new people

This one is a bit of a no brainer. Hive events are a fantastic way to network with new people. I was struggling with networking due to it being quite difficult to go out and meet people when everyone has been told to stay at home. However, the event provides an opportunity to network without leaving your desk. Since the Hive event I have been building up my LinkedIn contacts, keeping up to date with what everyone’s doing and that has been awesome.


My problem

The problem that I shared with my Hive group was that I wasn’t really sure where to go from university. I’m in my third year studying Journalism, but I’m still trying to explore what options are available to me. I’ve thought about doing some freelance work while I’m still studying, but I’m not sure how to go about it. I also mentioned that I was trying to gain as much experience as I could before leaving university, but work placement opportunities are limited due to the pandemic

In addition to this I also said that I was struggling a bit with networking because of the pandemic.

My feedback

I raised my problems to the group, turned my mic and camera off and opened my ears to their advice.

My group gave me lots of fantastic suggestions of places to look to find more information about freelancing, such as Freelance Fellowship, Medium and the Freelance Writing Jobs Newsletter , along with many more which you’ll be able to find in a coming post about resources for freelancers.

The group also gave me some great places to look for jobs such as Cision.

Some more fantastic advice I got was to just keep creating content, and also to show what interests me in my content. The group suggested that I write about my world, because not many people know what’s happening there. Doing these things should help me find a niche, that I can dive into and use to further my content.

I also received some great advice for networking, such as using LinkedIn, and attending more events such as Hives and ones by organisations like the BSME.


The Hive is a fantastic event. I thoroughly recommend it and suggest you go along to one if you’re struggling with a business problem, are at a loose end with an idea, or just need a few extra opinions to point you in the right direction. The event is also a great tool to give you that extra motivation to just do what you’re setting out to.

I also want to thank my Hive group again for their really helpful advice!