Interview: Anique Coffee, Founder of The Collective
The Collective is an all-inclusive four day, tech-free, retreat-style conference like no other in Europe. Designed to help members launch their company into outer space, we engage and empower creatives, entrepreneurs, and innovators in an environment of collaboration, where knowledge is shared and inspiration is abundant.
Who could benefit from attending and what should visitors expect to get out of it?
Any and all creative professionals will benefit from attending! The Collective is a four day, retreat-style conference where creatives, startups, entrepreneurs, freelancers, and innovative professionals of all kinds come to learn how to take their brand or company to the next level.
Attendees should expect surprises around every corner and to be delightfully whelmed with inspiration and mentorship. The Collective is the first of it’s kind in Europe, unique and unlike any other professional conference or community you’ve been a part of before. We engage and empower professionals in an interactive environment through collaborative and hands-on sessions, where knowledge is shared and inspiration is abundant.
We aim to help attendees find their path and navigate their professional journey through unique seminars from experts in their field, hands-on creative workshops from artists and makers, and with innovative tools to bring professionals to the top of their professional game. Our members believe in community over competition, and lean on each other to get better and grow their businesses.
What is the inspiration behind The Collective event?
The Collective originated from the need for support and mentorship for the thriving and growing community of entrepreneurs, innovators, freelancers, creatives and startup lovers in Europe and around the world. Many times, these people work on small teams at small businesses or startups, or have no team at all and consider themselves solo entrepreneurs. So they are just that - solo, alone. Yet, they crave a community of like-minded professionals who provide support, mentorship and tools to help grow their businesses or provide inspiration. This same theme is the reason we see so many co-working and co-living events and businesses springing up all over the world: they are remote communities where people can go work amongst others and glean support and inspiration. We saw the need for this type of community for this audience, and also determined that there weren’t many options for in Europe, if any.
Also, we wanted to provide an inspirational, professionally challenging, and semi-remote event for people to enjoy a tech-detox for the weekend. Upon arriving at The Collective, attendees will take their last selfie and turn in their phones to enjoy a weekend without technology, allowing them to disconnect in order to reconnect with themselves, each other, and nature. All this in an environment where community rules over competition and inspiration is abundant.
Our inspiration also stems from a conference we attended a few years ago, which offered a similar experience rooted in connection to others, professional learnings, and a nature-based, tech-free weekend away. Attending this conference was life changing, and we knew we had to create a similar experience for others in Europe and around the world, but this time - create a community that last far beyond the event.
What are some highlighters of this year’s conference in Barcelona that you are super excited about?
I'm most excited about our speakers! They are so incredible and I feel so honoured to work with each of them!
We have speakers from all different backgrounds, industries and professions who share our ethos of community over competition, and want to share their knowledge with others. They were all strategically chosen to provide our attendees with a well-rounded roster of speakers.
The idea is that attendees can get a load of knowledge from each speaker; from Kendall Beveridge of Facebook, Product Marketing Extraordinaire with a deep knowledge of both marketing strategy and advertising due to her agency education and experience; to Ben Askins and Clara Saladich of VERB Brands, a London-based agency, focused on digital marketing and branding for luxury brands.
We also have speakers who are sharing tips and tricks on how to implement a fruitful social media strategy (Elizabeth Dehn), how to document travel and turn your passion into a full time gig (Liz Schaffer of Lodestars Anthology), how to create a healthier work environment utilizing psychoanalytical thinking, get to know their personal valency, and create a diverse work force (Gene Hewitt), how to create a brand that people love and feel connected to their experiences (not products) by Chupi, and more!
Then, we have hands-on creative workshops from amazing artists and makers, including Earl of East London, brilliant candle makers with an interior home line, Meg Lawson, dancer/choreographer from LA, woodworking with Lindsey, and screenprinting with Gillian Henderson of OhMyDays from Dublin. When your brain needs a break from the learning, you can opt for a hands-on workshop instead. During these sessions you'll get your hands dirty - you'll MAKE something tangible, but you'll also get to rub elbows with some amazing entrepreneurs and hear their start up stories.
We are also offering morning yoga and meditation from an amazing Irish yoga instructor Liz Costigan and many, many more! You can check out all of our confirmed speakers on our Speaker page.
We are also working with muralists, structural artists, designers and architects to create compelling and interactive creative pieces for the event space.
I'm most excited to see the transformation of each attendee of the duration of the conference. I imagine people will arrive nervous, cautious and a bit closed off. Over the three days, we will see layers of vulnerability shed off, leaving attendees open, engaged and connected to each other, nature and themselves. I hope to see lots of hugs and smiles on the last day, with people semi-dreading getting their phones back and getting back to normal life.
I also am really excited for The Collective Europe to evolve in the coming months and year after year. We have a strong road map for company growth - in people, concept and offerings - and it is sure to be an amazing resource for professional and creatives moving forward!
Why do you think it’s so important for the creative community to come together and form new relationships?
We are better together. It's undeniable. It's so important for the creative community to come together, form new relationships and spark off each other. Moreover, collaboration is vital to the survival of an entrepreneur or someone who belongs to a small team at a startup. Winning together is paramount as it encourages diversity in your creativity and your work. One person can't do everything, and its been proven over and over that its better if they don't.
Collaborations makes it possible to receive and implement feedback in real time, to gain new and fresh perspectives to make amazing and profitable things happen.
Creating new relationships and new strategic partnerships can make the people better, but it will undoubtedly trickle down to better offerings and products for the end customer too.
One of The Collective Europe's speakers, Kendall, said it best: "...the truth is, winning with a team is way more fun than winning alone. Knowing you have a community of people who have your back, willing to lift you up along the way - that kind of winning is the best. And it's that kind of winning, as a team."
I couldn't agree more.