All you need to know is here !
1. BlaBla Language Exchange goals / Friendship Extravaganza!
Our ultimate goal is to host mind-blowing events (think once a week or twice a month) in major cities where locals, expats, and wanderers can meet, bond, and if they want to, level up their language skills all while sipping on delightful fruit juices, clinking glasses of wine, or indulging in ice-cold beers.
Our primary objective is therefore to allow the mix between expatriates and locals. The concept is awesome & very simple.
2. Who are we?
the first BlaBla Language Exchange events were created by Florian (a French/Swiss guy) in 2016 in Hanoi, Vietnam.
The initial goal was to unite the French speakers of Hanoi, who were feeling a little lonely and longing for some croissant-fueled conversations. Native French speakers yearned to meet the locals, and the locals were eager to show off their French skills and prove that the Eiffel Tower wasn't the only thing they knew about France.
The events took off like a French baguette flying out of a boulangerie, and after a few successful events, some interesting encounters and a lot of requests to expand the concept to other languages, it was decided to create unique events for people who wanted to speak English, Japanese, Korean, Chinese, German, Spanish, Russian, Italian and of course Vietnamese to learn the local language and create a polyglot paradise, where tongues wagged in all sorts of linguistic melodies.
When he returned to France and Switzerland, the concept began to spread in Europe until it reached 100 events per week before the Covid period.
Back France, to the lovely motherland, how to resist the opportunity to spread the BlaBla fever throughout Europe.
Just when it seemed like the BlaBla community was on top of the world, a sneaky little virus named Covid decided to crash the party. The language-loving enthusiasts were forced to press pause on their in-person shenanigans. But fear not, dear friends, for the BlaBla community is now making a triumphant comeback and is ready to reach new heights
Soon, people will gather once again to exchange words, laughter, and the occasional hilariously mispronounced phrase.
Right now, we are a small, mainly French-speaking team, in love with encounters and travels, and we mainly operate from Indochina (yeah, came back to Asia) and Madagascar.
Our BlaBla Squad is a whirlwind of organizers spread across five continents. Some stick around for years, while others join briefly before venturing off for studies or work. It's a constantly evolving adventure that keeps us on our toes!
4. Being an organizer for BlaBla, what does it mean?
Ah, you guys, our great organizers, the unsung heroes of our grand adventure! You are like the wizards behind the curtain, making the magic happen while the rest of us just stand around looking amazed.
At BlaBla Language Exchange, our events focus on facilitating international connections rather than solely language learning (except in Africa & Orient where you are guys are more serious than us, western people).
The primary goal is to create an inclusive and enjoyable environment for people to meet and have a good time. Language practice is an added bonus, and forming language-specific groups is not mandatory.
As an organizer, you can decide for yourself whether to create language groups or not.
But attention: If you do not want to work with language groups or areas, your mission will essentially be to connect the participants to each other according to their expectations.
By working with languages groups, we aim to establish an English-speaking group and a group in the local language. However, we accommodate requests for other languages whenever possible.
As organizers, our main responsibility is to warmly welcome participants, encourage exchanges, and ensure everyone feels comfortable. Don't be shy & engage with as many people as possible. Remember, it's all about having fun and making connections, never stay at the gate waiting for people. Your first mission is to ENJOY your events !
5. BlaBla equipment
In terms of equipment, we use the bare minimum, for ecological but also financial reasons (We do everything to self-finance without selling participant data or spamming the community, so the possibilities are limited).
It is mandatory to print our logo so that participants can find the group easily without having to ask or guess, and that's it.
On our logo, you will also find the QR codes of our What's App, Telegram groups as well as Instagram pages, if there are any.
If you wish, you can also print designs to create language tables, at your expense (sometimes the establishments where we organize our events print them themselves): https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/1HwtHkcQ4_FFUbK-f76aa7ccx9h5_ujSl?usp=share_link
If you want to work with stickers, it will also be at your expense.
6. How to make great events!
Life is like a flowing river, full of interesting twists and turns. Sometimes, participants find themselves in social situations where the conversation just seems to flow effortlessly, like a synchronized dance. Other times, it's as if they are standing at the edge of a diving board, unsure of how to make a splash.
But fear not, because you are here! I have a few tricks up my sleeve to help you break that icy silence and turn any event into a roaring funfest! Picture this: you walk into a room, armed with a question box that's filled to the brim with hilariously random queries. You approach a group of strangers and confidently announce, "Ladies and gentlemen, prepare yourselves for the 'Question Box Extravaganza'!"
"What's the weirdest thing you've ever eaten?" you ask, and the room erupts in a symphony of outrageous food tales. Suddenly, the conversation is alive, and people can't wait to share their bizarre gastronomic adventures.
But why stop there? You can also throw in a game to really spice things up! Introducing "Guess-Head," the ultimate icebreaker sensation! You divide everyone into teams and hand out cards with famous names or characters written on them. Now, each person must attach the card to their forehead, without looking, and ask yes or no questions to guess who they are. The sight of grown adults desperately trying to guess if they're Elvis Presley or a garden gnome is guaranteed to ignite fits of laughter! And you can play in all languages !
Don't panic, we also have a What's App group with few organizers from different places around the world who can lead you and give you some tips to make your events even greater ! Fear not to ask some tips !
7. Forbidden Actions
To keep our community on the straight and narrow and have some fun while we're at it, there are a couple of things organizers must absolutely avoid doing.
- Money, money, money! Organizers can't go around asking participants to cough up their hard-earned cash. Let's keep this a free and fabulous affair.
- We're all about communication and connection here, so no shushing or putting participants on mute. We want everyone to chat, laugh, and share their thoughts without any limits. Let the banter flow like a river!
That's mean no microphone interventions or any other activities that limit communication among participants.
If you want to offer some special activities (quizzes, karaoke, etc.), it must be at the end of the event, and it must be authorized by our team.
- Partnerships are great, but only when they're given the green light. Organizers, please refrain from jumping into cahoots with others without getting permission first. We like to keep things official around here.
We are independent and we want to keep that way. We have neither the desire nor the time to accept local partnerships.
- Oh, and no sneaky detours, please! Don't try to steer participants towards secret squirrel communication channels that aren't officially set up by our community. Stick to the path, my friend!
Remember, breaking these rules will result in serious consequences, like having to wear a clown nose for a week or being tickled by a hyperactive monkey. Okay, maybe not, but let's just say it won't end well.
So play nice and let the laughter and connections flourish!
8. How about to make more events
If you're feeling as motivated as a squirrel on a double espresso, you can organize additional events through the community, as long as they do not compete with or overshadow the main events.
Occasional outings or game events are welcome.
9. Let's speak about money
Let's be clear as water: If your main motivation is financial, you are losing your time because you will not have money to earn from us.
We cannot afford to pay our organizers and it is forbidden to ask for money or to create partnerships.
To ensure the stability and growth of our events, we pull out all the stops!
Due to the large number of events and also the differences between city time zones, locations, days, and times of our BlaBla events are determined by our team and cannot be changed.
Let's keep the rubixcube as it is.
We're all about financial sustainability of our community, so we've learned to juggle flaming torches to be able to self-finance.
No advertising or selling data for us, but in our quest for world domination, we can team up with local bars or venues.
It's like forging alliances with mighty warriors, and it is important for you to accept this business side.
When possible, we shower our dedicated team with complimentary drinks as a token of appreciation. But hey, we're not always successful so ask your community manager about that !