Step into the world of networking as we sit down with Olga Kearley, the driving force behind The Big Meet, Kyiv’s #1 networking event for expats and locals. In this discussion, we unveil the details of the upcoming gathering set for Friday, Nov. 24 at Manifest city bar. The venue has connections with Kharkiv and is a carefully considered choice. More details about the event can be found here.

Manifest is a new venue for The Big Meet. Can you shed light on the factors behind your decision to host the event there? What makes this venue particularly appealing?

Selecting Manifest on Prorizna Street for The Big Meet wasn’t just about finding a venue. This city bar, with Kharkiv roots, embodies resilience.

During my visit to this place, I couldn’t help but notice the numerous flowerpots, each with a unique tale. Kate, the owner, demonstrated remarkable dedication by saving the plants during the bombings in Kharkiv. She persevered, returning repeatedly until she successfully rescued every single one of them.

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Inside, the mix of vintage vibes and blooming flowers is a personal touch by Kate, reflecting her passion for both aesthetics and the joy of shared moments. The bar isn’t just about drinks; it’s a place where friends meet and beauty is celebrated.

So, when we talk about hosting The Big Meet at Manifest, it’s more than just a choice of venue; it’s a nod to a place that echoes the resilience of our community – a perfect match for The Big Meet and its warm, welcoming spirit.

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Four checkpoints are blocked in total at present, though preliminary information has shown that the resumption would only last for two days and would not impede passenger bus and car traffic.

As always a portion of the entry fee goes directly to charity. What charity or cause is The Big Meet supporting this time, and what are the reasons behind that?

Recognizing the special connection between Manifest and Kharkiv, this time around, The Big Meet has chosen to support the “Edelweiss” Kharkiv brigade. As we gear up for the approaching chilly months, we're focusing on something essential – providing warmth and comfort to our soldiers. These brave individuals risk their lives, and we want to ensure they have more than just gear; we want to give them a shield of warmth and care.

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We’re joining the goal of raising Hr.40,000 [$1,100] to get 10 jackets, 10 trousers, and 10 warm hats for our soldiers. It’s a small contribution with a big heart and our way of saying “thank you” to those who endure the cold and wind while protecting us. Every soldier deserves to feel the warmth of our gratitude.

Kyiv Post is an informational partner for the event. How did the idea of partnering with Kyiv Post come about, and what personal or professional connections played a role in bringing this collaboration to life?

The idea of partnering with Kyiv Post for The Big Meet was a natural evolution rooted in the consistent support we’ve received from you since our very first event this year. The Kyiv Post team has been a steadfast presence, joining us on every occasion, and we truly appreciate this ongoing involvement.

The Big Meet has become synonymous with a dynamic and progressive audience in Kyiv, and Kyiv Post stands at the forefront of English language media in the city. The alignment is not just logical but synergistic – joining forces with a media outlet that shares our commitment to innovation and community engagement.

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The partnership with Kyiv Post is more than a collaboration; it’s a testament to our shared values and the vibrant spirit that defines both The Big Meet and Kyiv Post. We are actively working on mutual initiatives that further strengthen the ties between us, and we can't wait to share the exciting developments with our audiences.

The event makes it clear that everyone, whether flying solo or arriving with a group, is encouraged to attend. How does The Big Meet ensure that everyone, especially those attending for the first time, feels welcomed and motivated to actively participate in the event?

Creating a welcoming atmosphere is at the core of The Big Meet. While I strive to connect with everyone at the event, admittedly, time can be a constraint. However, I make it a priority to personally greet those attending for the first time, offering a friendly introduction and explaining the essence of The Big Meet.

If someone is seeking a specific connection within a particular business or area, rest assured, I might just know the right person and am always eager to facilitate those introductions. The goal is to ensure that every attendee, especially newcomers, feels not just welcomed but motivated to actively participate and make meaningful connections.

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Following the success of The Big Meet on Nov. 24, could you share your vision for the final event of the year? Are there specific dates in mind?

Yes, absolutely! We are thrilled to announce that the final event of the year is scheduled for Dec. 15. We want to catch everyone before the holiday season begins because we understand that this time of year, especially with the ongoing challenges, holds a unique significance.

It allows us to collectively reflect on the impact we’ve made throughout the year. We aim to share the total sum of donations we’ve contributed, showcasing the generosity of our community and making everyone proud of their meaningful contributions.

Also, this time, we’re reaching out to families who have been displaced. We want to make their Christmas a little brighter by sharing presents and offering our support. We’re genuinely excited about the potential impact, and we can’t wait to bring smiles to their faces.

Stay informed by following The Big Meet on Facebook and Instagram.

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