The Lock-down ‘Local’

May 20, 2020

There’s nothing better than a get-together over a pint (or whatever your favourite tipple might be) at your ‘local’ to share experiences and put the world to rights; but what do you do during lock-down when all the pubs and bars are closed?

If you work in the print industry, the answer is The Crown Pub, the brainchild of Kelvin Bell, co-founder and Sales Director at web2print software solutions provider, Vpress.

As it has become harder and harder to meet face-to-face, we came up with the concept of having a virtual pub to talk about the issues of the day,” explains Kelvin. “Twice a week, we come to The Crown Pub to have a friendly chat with our industry friends, who are leaders, influencers and have the sharpest minds in UK printing.”

The idea was to bring people together to just chat about something - not necessarily technology or print,” Kelvin continues. “For example, we’ve chatted about ‘What do you do while working at home?’. On that one, I personally use a hands-free phone and walk about the house and that helps to get my number of steps up, because I’ve put a little bit of weight on being home,” he confides.

In addition, the get-togethers are occasionally hosted by a ‘print celebrity landlord/lady’, such as Deborah Corn (Intergalactic Ambassador to the Printerverse at Print Media Centr), who led a discussion on Print and Recovery Planning Post Covid-19; and Martin Guntrip (Club Secretary of the All England Lawn Tennis Club), who talked about Wimbledon, Tennis and Print.

One unplanned outcome of The Crown Pub is that is also proving to be a great networking platform and has developed a very international ‘feel’.

Visitors are meeting people in there that they didn’t previously know, who may have sparked an idea or made an interesting comment, and then looking them up and making contact,” says Kelvin. “We have over 200 followers now from all across the world – from Bahrain, Russia, Australia, America, Canada, Belgium, Hungary and many other places too, and the international aspect is fascinating to listen to too.”

So, does Kelvin have any plans for The Crown Pub in the future?

We have been approached to do a Crown Pub for one or two events, and we’re looking at doing those. But I don’t really see it carrying on indefinitely; it’s very much a Covid-19 thing. We’ve certainly no plans for it. If it lives, it lives and that’s fine; if we go back to a new normal, whatever that is, that’s fine too. In the meantime, we really get fun out of doing it – and it’s a reason to drink at home as well!” Kelvin laughs.

Everyone is invited. Feel free to pop in and join in the conversation, or sit back and listen if you prefer. Just grab a drink and a snack, and let us know you are coming. The only ‘rule’ is that your drink must be in a fancy glass – no paper cups!” concludes Kelvin.

To join a meeting at The Crown Pub register your attendance at www.vpress.com/crown-pub-vpress.

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