By Sacha Delfosse
The Global Bartender Exchange (GBE) is a new networking platform for the on-premise that allows industry professionals from around the world to connect and share ideas.
Created by two Melbourne bartenders, Fraser Campbell and Hannah Keirl, the GBE originally began as a Facebook group for the bartending industry before being expanded into a social media application in its own right, which combines segmented forums with geographical location software.
"It provides bartenders and industry professionals the opportunity to discuss, debate, share, co-ordinate, recommend and develop in one of the world’s most dynamic industries," said GBE co-creator and director, Hannah Keirl.
Members can post notices to a specific city, country or on a global level and share information on a range of areas including job opportunities, trade events, bar recommendations and travel tips.
"If you’re wanting to travel, the forums are set up and connected in a manner that you can begin paving the way before you land so that you can potentially have a job to walk straight into without having any contacts in that city to begin with," said GBE co-creator and director Fraser Campbell.
Membership is free and open to anyone working within the trade, including brand ambassadors, and bars are also invited to set up a profile and list themselves on the site.
"We really want to focus on getting bars to sign up because that’s going to make the site more useful. One thing we noticed on the Facebook page was the amount of bar recommendations posted and that’s a key feature of the website, so instead of asking for recommendations you can just go to that city and have a look at places to go to," Campbell said.
Bars with a profile on the site will be able to post up notices in the job section when they are looking for staff, while bartenders can post when they are looking for work, a handy feature for any bartenders travelling to a new country or city.
"Another key feature is the event section which is kind of crucial because you can post events into a city or a country or even post up a worldwide event, for example something like World Class," Keirl said.
"You can apply and do it on any level and also see what other events are on which is really good since events clash all the time… there is always three or four things on and they always fall on the same Sunday, Monday or Tuesday. People can see who is planning what and when which will make things more efficient for bartenders and event planners."
Rather than have to join up to individual Facebook groups from across the globe in order to keep up to date with what is happening, Campbell said the GBE allows members to check what is happening in any major city through a click of the mouse.
"The more people start using it the faster it will grow and the more useful it will become. The more bars sign up the more references you will have. The involvement so far has been great and hopefully it will continue to be that way," he said.