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Frankly Franglaise

How to start a Jelly in France

April 20, 2011

Last week a group of a dozen strangers of at least 4 different nationalities ‘went to work’ in a coffee shop in Montpellier. This week a group of English speakers met in a charming B&B in a small French town to work, chat and share lunch at a Lunchtime @LanguedocJelly ... on Twitpiclocal restaurant.

This is what Jelly co-working is all about – it’s informal, it’s friendly, and it’s a welcome change for people that normally work “home alone”.   Anyone can set-up a Jelly and it’s not as much work as you think.

Having had the real-life experience of organising and attending Jelly events in France – here’s my brief guide to getting started in case (in the hope!) anyone else would like to arrange their own…

  1. Find a venue. You can use anywhere that offers enough space (at no cost) and has free wifi available. You need tables and chairs & enough space to work. Jelly venues may be hotels, coffee shops, restaurants, colleges, B&Bs, community rooms or even your own kitchen table. Availability of coffee/water is advisable but let’s remember this is France and a café/bar is rarely far away! (or people could bring their own).
  2. Decide a date and time. Plan your event at a time that does not inconvenience the venue and far enough in advance for you to spread the word. About 6-8 weeks ahead should be fine unless you already have a list of people you know are ready to Jelly at short notice.
  3. Start small. Co-working can be for 2 or more people so aim for 6-8 places and a half day Jelly and see how it goes.
  4. Go to to register yourself and add your own Jelly details to the homepage and how to contact you.
  5. Get in touch with other Jelly organisers and let them know about your event. You will find Jelly people all share a great enthusiasm for supporting home-workers and promoting the co-working ethos. Every Jelly is different but you can still ask for advice and other useful hints and tips.
  6. Register with Eventbrite and add details of your event and how to contact you. Eventbrite lets you choose your URL (ie. so you have an instant (and free) Jelly ‘web site’ within minutes! (Tempting as it may be, don’t release tickets for your Jelly more than 10-14 days before the event takes place).
  7. Let people know. Many Jelly organisers use Twitter, Facebook and other online media to promote their Jelly events but you can also send a notification to your local paper, put a flyer in your boulangerie, send emails to your friends etc.
  8. Count the cost. OK it does take a bit of time to arrange the venue and let people know, but to organise your Jelly you should have spent approximately 0€.

I hope this is useful to anyone that might be interested in planning an event.  The Languedoc Jelly website gives a bit more about ‘making the most of Jelly’ plus some comments from people that have taken part – see the web details listed on AngloINFO here.

People in various regions of France (most recently Normandy) are looking for new co-working spaces to hold a Jelly.

If you have a place (or know of one) that can provide a good working environment and a free wifi connection, please please add a comment to this post.

A final Jelly note: If you have followed this blog you will have noticed I have a great enthusiasm for the co-working concept ;-) .   It really is something very different and if you live and work here on your own it might be just what you need from time to time.  I really wanted to share the info so thank you for reading and thank you AngloINFO for letting me post it.   Next blog post will not be about Jelly – I promise!

by Annette. Find out more about Annette here.

2 Responses to “How to start a Jelly in France”

  1. Thanks Annette – I can’t think why I have only just seen this! I would like to use this on my Jelly page, if you don’t mind?

  2. Hi Judy, no problem at all – will there be a Jelly in Normandy soon?!