Paris is a lovely city to move to. However, even when surrounded with the heavenly scent of freshly baked croissants, living far from home can be hard. Meet Michael Bahati, who helps foreigners living and working in Paris gather and socialize on a regular basis. We sat down with Michael to learn more about the community he’s created.
What type of events do you organize?
We have a whole range of events for the expat community in Paris: from afterwork drinks to buggy walks, to philosophy cafés or theme nights at the club, we try to cater to all tastes. We have very different people attending these events from all over the globe, even as far as the Philippines or Brazil. Some of them work in Paris, others study, and quite a few have a French spouse. Expats have a natural need to go out there and gather. When they come to our events, they are looking to socialize, to learn about living in France, and some of them are also looking for love!
We’ve also noticed more recently more native French people are attending our events. Usually they have lived abroad for a very long time and are re-adapting to their home country, but still looking for that international vibe.
Tell us about one of your recent events.
We just had a South African Night in Paris, as part of the South African Season in France, which started last May. The evening started with the screening of a documentary about South Africa’s journey from Apartheid to Democracy, followed by dinner, drinks and a dance party with South African tunes from artists like Johnny Clegg, Miriam Makeba, and more!
What advice would you give to people who want to set up a networking event?
First and foremost, find an interesting theme or an idea that will be of interest to people.
Look around to see what other events are out there and see if you can build partnerships with other organizers.
Promote your event. Use social media as much as you can to spread the word, that’s really essential to getting the word out. We don’t print anything and solely rely on online promotion.
Make your life easier – there are some great tools out there that can help you out. I’m a big fan of the Eventbrite Entry Manager app for checking in attendees. It’s very easy to use and accessible to everyone – even non-geeks!
Are you an Expat in Paris? You can learn more about Michael’s upcoming events here…or if you’re inspired to start hosting your own expat events, this link will give you $100 off your first Eventbrite fees!