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When I was pregnant with Moo, I set about creating a little spreadsheet detailing some baby groups and activities that I was interested in joining. Somewhat foolishly I did this at work and managed to present the spreadsheet as part of a video conference when I was supposed to be discussing a supply chain database, but that’s another story. 

I knew from my time on The Baby Circuit with Mouse that there are hundreds of brilliant groups around to suit a range of timetables and budgets. I really wanted to see a selection of these all in one place, but grew increasingly frustrated that this sort of platform didn’t exist. There were discussions on various forums, but half of the information was years old and probably out of date.

Do you ever try to research something on the Internet, and end up with about 20 tabs open on your screen, going back and forth between possibles and yes’s and ideas that you know you’ve discounted, but can’t remember why? That’s what this felt like, and it’s a time consuming process for something that should be so simple. I eventually completed my spreadsheet but it had taken so long to gather the information from different sources that I’d probably got all sorts wrong.

At the same time, I started to co-host a local Facebook group with the same purpose – to bring together a list of clubs with their locations, days, times and prices. The group grew and now has over 1000 members, but we failed to launch a robust calendar system because, put simply, it was too difficult to manage. This means that while parents and group leaders alike are really forthcoming with posting about groups and activities, and sharing that information within the news feed, it’s presented in an anecdotal manner and can be hard to follow and keep track of.

I heard about the Club Hub App via Twitter, and I couldn’t believe that something like this isn’t already in existence. The idea is so simple, a database of clubs and groups through a variety of search parameters. Yet when it launches in July 2016, it’s going to make a huge difference to the way that parents find out about groups and activities in their local area.

Club Hub is the only app that will cover the whole of the U.K., and it’s completely free from a “customer” perspective. Class leaders have a tiered range of advertising packages that are competitively priced and designed to offer a variety of marketing strategies to reach their audience.

The idea stemmed from owner and creator Tessa Robinson, who ran a successful musical club in South West London but wanted to find an easier way to promote it. After coming second in a competition to find innovative business ideas, Tessa had the opportunity to work with an app developer to transfer her core business model into a useable tool for the mass market, and Club Hub was born.

From a personal perspective, this will be great for me to look for groups to match my baby’s age and interests as she gets older. Plus I live by my smartphone when I’m on maternity leave so an app is much preferred over a spreadsheet that I’ve botched together. My Facebook group will love it too – by removing the administrative burden of collating the information, we’ll be freed up to discuss tried and tested groups and, more importantly, decide which groups are nearest to decent coffee shops!

The Club Hub App latest updates and news can be found at:

Twitter: twitter.com/clubhubuk
Facebook: facebook.com/clubhubapp/
Instagram: instagram.com/clubhubuk
Website: http://clubhubuk.co.uk/

Or by emailing Tessa at: tessarobinson@club-hub-app.co.uk

-SJW June 2016

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Disclosure: this is NOT a sponsored post. I simply support Tessa’s venture because of her enthusiasm and because I look forward to using the app!

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