Informal Friday is great. It takes place on the third Friday of every month in BarLuga in the centre of Morpeth. You can go along between 8 and 10 in the morning and meet up with people, all sorts of people. The only real thing that they have in common is that they are in some sort of business and are interested in getting to know others in a similar position. Oh yes, and they have come to Morpeth.
My understanding is that the event was started off by my friend Charles, who wanted to see something in Northumberland similar to first Friday that goes on in Newcastle. I have never been to that and so I cannot make a direct comparison. He managed to persuade Arch, the Council owned investment and development company, to lend their support. Arch staff, with their expertise in economic development, commercial property and regeneration are available to advise and help businesses make connections with each other.
The event is certainly popular and each time I go there are more and more people attending. I always get to chat with a mixture of people I know and people I don’t.
The reason it seems to work though is because there are no rules. There is no organisation as such. You come along, you have a coffee and you talk to whomever you want. Sometimes there is a speaker who will say some short words but that is it. It is a bit like a great party where everyone is the host. We all understand why we are there and no one has to do the introductions. If you are feeling left out then you simply go up to someone and say hello.
Society needs rules to operate yet, in truth, the number needed is very few. Most people are more than capable of sorting themselves out. It is the reason and direction that are most important and rules can constrict and stifle people’s natural abilities.
I guess that is why it is called informal Friday.