Business Networking Events in East Sussex for Men and Women (and a bit of West Sussex!)

There is no doubt that networking is a valuable marketing tool for most SME businesses.  

Business networking events can be a route to winning new business, but it also helps you to develop meaningful relationships with suppliers and referral sources.  Importantly, it also provides you with friendship and support.  It’s always good to be able to share ideas and issues and get feedback from other business owners.

Scroll down to see the list of business networking groups in East Sussex (and some in West Sussex.) The first few names in this network list relate to organisations with multiple groups across East and West Sussex  The rest of the list is broken down by individual business networking groups by town in alphabetical order.  

  • Some networks in this list are pay-as-you-go, others require an annual subscription and some may have a lock-out (one business per category)
  • Some meet for breakfast, others for lunch and some in the evening – some groups have options for all three!
  • One or two networks are specific to an industry sector
  • Many networks also have social media groups (on Facebook, Linkedin etc.) that you can interact with – even if you do not go to the face-to-face meetings
  • There are also business networking groups that only exist on social media – but that’s a whole separate list! We talk about a number of these groups and how to use them in our social media training sessions.

This list may not be not exhaustive (since things change so quickly), but it is pretty large so should give you a good list of options!  If you know of more networks (or any that have now stopped running) please do comment below and/or email info@pearcemarketing.co.uk and we will add them.  Thank you!

You are welcome to share this post and link to it from your website or blog.  Given the work put into creating and maintaining this this list of business networking groups in East Sussex (and some in Brighton and West Sussex), we would be grateful if you would not just copy and paste the content and use it elsewhere. Thank you, much appreciated!

We help a wide variety of businesses with both their marketing planning and the hands-on activities to get their marketing done – see our range of services.

Bexhill Chamber Business Networking Revolving Assaggi

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Photo from Bexhill Chamber’s Revolving Assaggi Dinner Event 2013 www.thestudiobexhill.co.uk

It is really important not to forget your marketing measurement.  Make sure you note where all your business leads come from so that you can judge if networking is working and which groups are the most productive for you (read this blog Networking – Is it really worth it?).

Don’t forget to volunteer to be a speaker at networking groups to raise your profile quickly. This really worked for us. Make sure you have a good angle for your presentation so that it is attractive to the event organiser.

Please don’t forget to like our Facebook page and connect with us on other social media (Twitter, LinkedIn, Google +) for more marketing and social media tips. You can always subscribe to the Pearce Marketing newsletter in the right hand column of this page too. This will include links to key blogs so you don’t miss out.

Thanks!

 

NETWORKS OPERATING IN MANY TOWNS:

 

4 Networking

There are many 4 Networking groups around the country – times of day vary, meet fortnightly.  See a full list here http://www.4networking.biz/Events/Map.  Some of the most local ones are Eastbourne, Hastings, Shoreham, Haywards Heath, Horsham, Tunbridge Wells.

 

Basepoint Networking Hub

Some Basepoint Business Centres host Networking Hub events – two local ones are in Newhaven and Crawley.

http://www.basepoint.co.uk/locations/newhaven/networkinghub

http://www.basepoint.co.uk/locations/crawley/networkinghub

Check out other Basepoint locations in the South here http://www.basepoint.co.uk/locations

 

BNI

List of Sussex BNI chapters – weekly – typically breakfast, but some now meet at lunchtime http://www.bnisussex.co.uk/chapterlist.php?chapterName=&chapterCity=&chapterArea=&chapterMeetingDay=&chapterMeetingTime=&submit=Find

Note: some towns have more than one Chapter – eg Eastbourne has Eastbourne BNI and The Royal BNI.

 

BoB (Business over Breakfast)

These clubs exist all around the country – meet fortnightly. The only active club in East Sussex at this point (November 2013) is in Battle http://www.bobclubs.com/Club/Battle .  Many others are in the ‘formation’ stage – see http://www.bobclubs.com/uk/region/South-East

 

Chambers of Commerce

Each chamber will offer its own mix of networking events as part of your membership.

Battle Chamber of Commerce

Bexhill Chamber of Commerce and Tourism

Crowborough and District Chamber of Commerce

Eastbourne unLtd Chamber of Commerce

Hailsham Chamber of Commerce

Hastings Area Chamber of Commerce

Heathfield Chamber of Commerce

Lewes Chamber of Commerce

Newhaven Chamber of Commerce

Peacehaven and District Chamber of Commerce

Rye and District Chamber of Commerce

Seaford Chamber of Commerce

Sussex Chamber of Commerce – which also has specific Manufacturing and Construction forums – for more info http://www.sussexchamberofcommerce.co.uk/events/ 

Uckfield Chamber of Commerce

 

Fabulous Women & Marvellous Men 

Groups operate in a number of counties in the South.  In Sussex, to date (November 2013), there are groups in Brighton, Hailsham and Crawley – see http://www.fabulous-women.co.uk/index.php/meetings-events/display?categoryid=176

 

First Friday Network

 (some now on other Friday’s in the month!)

Free entry, no lock-outs, lunchtime event at a local pub/hotel (typically).

First Friday:

Second Friday:

Third Friday:

Weekly Breakfast:

 

FSB

There are three branches in the East Sussex region:

  • 1066 Country
  • Eastbourne, Lewes, Wealden
  • Brighton & Hove

Breakfast meetings in St Leonards and Eastbourne, ladies lunch club (rotates between Eastbourne, Battle and Halland), women’s supper club (Brighton), morning and evening seminars  and networking events (Polegate) and social evenings with restaurant meals (Hailsham).

http://www.fsb.org.uk/regions/east-sussex

 

 

Ladies Lunch Clubs

 These operate in several locations – find out more at http://www.ladieslunchclubs.co.uk

  • Eastbourne
  • Tunbridge Wells
  • Worthing
  • Lewes & Uckfield
  • Brighton & Hove

 

Lady Golfer Club

Golf and networking events for members and non-members on various golf courses – Eastbourne, Uckfield, Haywards Heath, Brighton, Worthing and more promised.  Find out more at http://www.ladygolferclub.co.uk

 

Speed Networking

Unique speed networking format developed by Sussex Business Bureau.  http://www.sussexbusinessbureau.co.uk/speed-networking/

Speed Networking events in Eastbourne

 

Sussex Business Clubs

There are two clubs – Brighton & Hove and Eastbourne & District. Open to the bosses of businesses with a turnover of £2m + with 10 staff +. http://www.sussexbusinessclubs.co.uk

 

Sustainable Business Network (Added to this blog in June 2014)

Part of the Sustainable Business Partnership – network linking like-minded environmentally comitted businesses to share ideas and build working relationships.  The location of the networking events vary – Eastbourne, Brighton, Chichester etc. As well as networking time, each breakfast meeting focuses on a different topic, such as energy efficiency, waste minimisation, renewable energy, green marketing or environmental management systems. http://sustainablebusiness.org.uk/network/events/

 

The Athena Sussex Network (Women Only)

Monthly lunch meetings and additional networking/learning opportunities:

Brighton
Crowborough
Eastbourne
Falmer
Hassocks/Ditchling
Hove and Southwick
Lewes

http://theathenanetwork.co.uk/

The Mumpreneurs Networking Club (Men and women and those without children are welcome!)

Groups are operating in lots of areas and growing all the time. The most local are:

  • Arundel & Littlehampton
  • Brighton
  • Burgess Hill
  • Chichester
  • Crawley
  • Eastbourne (New Location, added to this blog Jan 2016)
  • Horsham
  • Lewes
  • Tunbridge Wells
  • Worthing

http://www.agoodgossip.co.uk/articles/dates

 

ADDITIONAL NETWORKS BY TOWN:

 The list below does not include events by those groups already mentioned above, many of which are active in a number of these towns.

 

Alfriston

Business Cornerstones – fortnightly business breakfast for B2B businesses from across Sussex http://www.businesscornerstones.co.uk/

 

Bexhill

Bexhill Curry Club – bexhillcurryclub@gabyhardwicke.co.uk – Organised by Katie S Cowley at Gaby Hardwicke Solicitors

Bexhill Lunch Club – organised by McPhersons Chartered Accountants, http://www.mcphersons.co.uk/the-mcphersons-bexhill-lunch-club/

New Connections Networking – http://www.espressoevents.co.uk/event-registration/  (Launched in Bexhill in March 2014, already established in Eastbourne) (Added to this blog in March 2014)

 

Eastbourne

#WiredEB – Eastbourne’s meet-up for creative, digital & media professionals, quarterly, organised by Cohub http://www.cohub.co.uk/events/

Anglo French Business Group – for businesses with French and English interests. Organised by Caroline Cole from Savoir-Faire Accounting – http://www.sf-accounting.co.uk/

BED (Business Enhancement & Development Group) – B2B networking group, meeting every 2 weeks at Chalk Farm Hotel. Organised by Lawrence Culham 07793 032180, lawrence@tromanfinance.co.uk or Stephen Elliott 07715 313334, steve@advice4business.com

Blue Monkey Network (For Artists) – In partnership with the Towner Gallery. Regular monthly networking events plus talks by members and visits to galleries. http://www.townereastbourne.org.uk/artist-opportunities/bluemonkeynet/ (Added to this blog Oct 2015)

Borough Means Business – monthly lunch – organised by Eastbourne Borough Football Club http://www.boroughmeansbusiness.com/

Eastbourne Curry Club – eastbournecurryclub@gabyhardwicke.co.uk Organised by Katie S Cowley at Gaby Hardwicke Solicitors and Chris Stevens at FRP Advisory

Girls on the Green – Ladies Networking/Golf meetings. Fortnightly Tuesday evening meetings at Willingdon Golf Club, all abilities welcome. Contact maxine.reid@krestonreeves.com (Added to this blog Oct 2015)

Longman’s Lunch Club – B2B, professional services predominantly. Monthly meetings usually take place at the Thai Brasserie in the Enterprise Centre.  Please note this network is by invitation or guest only. Here’s their Facebook page for more information – why not contact the organiser?  (Added to this blog Sept 2015)

MORE THAN Networking Event – monthly.  Organised by CEO Mums (in London and Eastbourne) – 4 hour session includes facilitated networking, guest speakers and practical business and lifestyle support. Targeted at mothers who want to start and grow a successful business and have a great family lifestyle. http://ceomums.co.uk/Sussex-business-events/ (Added to this blog in June 2014)

Property Club – organised by Mike Reid from Reid + Dean, Chartered Surveyors & Estate Agents. Contact: mike@reiddean.com

Sunrise Business Breakfasts – at Sunrise Senior Living Eastbourne – Contact Emma Vieira at eastbourne.DCR3@sunriseseniorliving.com or 01323 525000

Sussex Business Times – networking events – contact Lottie on 01323 411601 or email lottie@sussexbusinesstimes.co.uk

The Federation of Holistic Therapists – meet on the first Monday of the month of March, April, June, July, Sept & Nov. Gain your CPD points. Contact: Pam Hardy on 01323 644007 or email: comeinno11@btinternet.com  (Added to this blog in Dec 2013)

Yoga-Life Networking – once a month, late morning, for those in the Wellbeing sector http://www.yogaeastbourne.com/events/event/alternative_networking/

 

Hailsham and Lower Dicker

Business People – http://chapter12winebar.com/join-the-chapter-12-community/business-people/

Hailsham Breakfast Club – contact Andrew Rannie at Hart Reade Solicitors arannie@hartreade.co.uk

Ladies who Latte Hailsham – second Tuesday of every month, 10 am – 12 noon. £3 per meeting. Contact jane@janemather.co.uk and go to https://hailshamlwl.eventbrite.co.uk to book. (Added to this blog in July 2016)

Professional Networking – Fortnightly networking at lunchtime – http://www.professionalnetworking.org.uk/

 

Hastings & St Leonards

Ashdown Hurrey Women in Business Lunch Club – quarterly meeting http://www.ashdownhurrey.co.uk/women-in-business

Bizzybirds (Women only) – monthly meeting mid-morning – http://www.bizzybirds.co.uk/

Hastings Curry Club – organised by The Best of Hastings – contact Ian Noble  ian.noble@thebestof.co.uk

Hastings Lunch Club – organised by McPhersons Chartered Accountants, runs every quarter at the White Rock Hotel Hastings. Contact Katrina Smith 01424 730000 or email k.smith@mcphersons.co.uk (Added to this blog Oct 2015)

PhotoHastings (For Photographers) – Members only networking group for photographers http://photohastings.org/(Updated January 2017)

Hastings Voice Business & Breakfast Club – Informal Networking club at the Sussex Exchange, St Leonards. £10 per session, includes Breakfast. Book your place here https://hastingsvoice.yapsody.com/ (Added to this blog Feb 2016)

Ladies who Latte – first Tuesday of each month from 10 am – 12 pm – contact mail@lizjeffries.co.uk – www.ladieswholatte.com  (Added to this blog in March 2014)

Networking Together – evening events – contact Vicki Chisholm: admin@tigerlillysadmin.co.uk or Gary Williams: gary@ambiencecateringsolutions.co.uk

PEPPER – women’s social and business networking – monthly on the last Thursday (7-9pm) at Cafe Relax (Marina, St Leonards) – contact mail@lizjeffries.co.uk (Added to this blog in March 2015)

Wired for Weddings  –  for businesses in the wedding industry. Meet on the first Monday of each month. https://www.facebook.com/groups/583658514992108/?fref=ts

 

Heathfield and Blackboys

Heathfield Small Business Network – lunch on first Monday of the month – contact Barbara Hibbart Tel : 01435 865135, email barbara@barbarahibbartcoaching.co.uk

The Grove Networking Breakfast – Blackboys, second Friday of the month, contact thegroveblackboys@gmail.com

 

Lewes

Lewes Lunch Club – organised by Knill James Chartered Accountants. Contact: Tinam@knilljames.co.uk

Lewes Pulse – Breakfast meeting every two weeks for Local professionals in Lewes. Find out more: http://lewespulse.co.uk/ (Added to this blog Jan 2016)

Biz Bites – Monthly Networking event at The Hive Lewes – http://www.thehivelewes.co.uk/events/ Contact: claire@lewesenterprise.co.uk

Lewes Women in Business – A not-for-profit community group that helps professional women with independent businesses in the Lewes District make connections – monthly meetings and business workshop programme.
Contact: LewesWB@yahoo.co.uk

 

Polegate

Polegate Business Breakfast Club (Launched November 2014)  and Polegate Business Morning Coffee Club – Organised by Chloe Eason from Willing Legal Services and Annabel Cottingham. From late Sept 2016 the events will take place at Chaucer Business Park. Informal and relaxed – call 01323 488415 or email chloe@willinglegalservices.co.uk or visit their Facebook page to see all meeting dates.

 

Uckfield (and Buxted)

Uckfield Curry Club – run by Victoria Regan from Dawson Hart Solicitors – call 01825 762281 or email vxr@dawson-hart.co.uk

Women in Networking (WIN) – Monthly Lunch at Buxted Park Hotel run by Chloe Eason – 07729 458893 or email chloe@willinglegalservices.co.uk and Jane Doswell – 07834 769324 0r email jane@imagemattersltd.co.uk (Added to this blog in Nov 2014).

 

Wealden District Council Business Breakfasts

Periodically there are business breakfasts and seminars – supported by the FSB

http://www.wealden.gov.uk/Wealden/Business_and_Regeneration/Business_Support/Tourism_Wealden_Business_Breakfast.aspx

 

WEST SUSSEX: 

I have not tried to do a list for West Sussex but here are a few I have come across… (plus some networks from the list above will have groups in West Sussex – eg FSB, First Friday Network, Mumpreneurs, Business over Breakfast (BoB) etc. ):

 

Chambers and others:      (Added to this blog in Dec 2013)

http://www.westsussex.gov.uk/doing_business/business_support_groups/local_chambers_and_other_organ.aspx

Other District and Borough Council website links (where you may click through and find lists) are here.  A few I know of already are:

  •  Haywards Heath and District Business Association – Monthly networking drinks and other events.  http://hhdba.com/home/

 

Hurst Women in Business (Added to this blog in Dec 2013)

For women in business in and around HurstPierPoint

http://www.hurst-women-in-business.co.uk/

 

Ladies R Us –Turners Hill (Added to this blog in Dec 2013)

Phone 07929048138 and email info@ladiesrus.co.uk .

 

Sussex Women in Business – Horsham (Added to this blog in Dec 2013)

Horsham – lunch event – http://www.wib-sussex.co.uk/

Lunch, breakfast and evening events – on two Thursdays in each month.

 

Zest For Life Networking Group – West Chiltington (Added to this blog in Dec 2013)

First Thursday of the month. For professionals in the Health & Beauty business – eg Acupuncturist, Chiropractor, Beautician, Personal Trainer, Aromatherapist, Nail technician, Yoga teacher or anything in between! Various locations – West Chiltington, Slinfold etc.

http://zflgroup.biz/networking/

 

A FEW MORE:

Other networking groups in Brighton, Tunbridge Wells, Kent and the UK… (please note that some of the networks already mentioned in the list above may have groups/events in West Sussex – e.g. FSB, First Friday Network, Mumpreneurs Sustainable Business Network etc. )

 

Brighton

Brighton Curry Clubhttp://brightonbusinesscurryclub.co.uk/

Gatwick Diamond Business Association – http://www.gatwickdiamondbusiness.com/

Boundary Club – http://www.sussexcricket.co.uk/boundary-club

Friends of the Albion – http://www.friendsofthealbion.co.uk/

Global Winning Womenhttp://globalwinningwomen.com/sussex/   (Added to this blog in Dec 2013)

Miniclick (For Photographers) – http://miniclick.co.uk/  Free talks, discussions, workshops and events for photographers in Brighton (Added to this blog Oct 2015)

The Platinum Club – http://theplatinumclubbrighton.co.uk/

The Sussex Property Networking Club – http://sussexpnc.com/sussex/

Wired Sussex – http://www.wiredsussex.com/event-calendar/ (digital, media and technology sector)

Networking in Brighton – Monthly networking event for women http://www.networkinginbrighton.co.uk/

 

There are a number of other Brighton and Hove groups mentioned in this list that Julia Chanteray put together http://www.thejoyofbusiness.co.uk/blog/networking-groups/

 

1230 The Womens Company (TWC)

In several locations – the nearest is in Tunbridge Wells, Kent, more in London…

http://1230.co.uk/

 

Tunbridge Wells Mums in Business (Added to this blog in Dec 2013)

Usually meet on the first Wednesday evening of every month.

www.twmumsinbusiness.org.uk

 

ABC Networks

Various locations – predominantly in Kent – breakfast meetings.

http://www.abcnetworks.co.uk/venues/

 

Alternative Breakfast Club

Monthly meeting in Pembury, Kent http://www.altbreakfastclub.co.uk/

 

Business for Breakfast

Visit http://www.bforb.com/  to view contact details so that you can ask about where your nearest group is.

 

The Net  – Simple Networking, Tunbridge Wells  

Friendly, informal breakfast networking meetings for SMEs in and around Tunbridge Wells. Visit http://www.simple-networking.co.uk for more info (Added to this blog in March 2016)

 

Women in Rural Enterprise

Visit http://www.wireuk.org/networks/ – networks in many counties (but not East and West Sussex at time of writing this in November 2013).

 

WBG (Wealden Business Group)

Visit http://www.wealden-business-group.co.uk/ for networking in Tenterden and surrounding areas (Added to this blog in November 2014).

 

And of course there are lots more in Kent and other counties! Local county council websites often link to all the Chambers and may mention other networks.

 

If you run a network, do promoted it on social media, ensure it is on a well optimised web page, and you have listed it on sites such as this one (that isn’t well populated yet, but comes up in Google searches!) http://www.findnetworkingevents.com/events/index.cfm?action=eventslist&towncity=Eastbourne.  You could also add your networks’ activities to other website events calendars – eg http://www.wiredsussex.com/event-calendar/.

 

And finally, don’t forget, if you know of more networks, please do comment below and/or email info@pearcemarketing.co.uk and we will add them.  Thank you!

 

Happy Networking!

 

If you think this was interesting and could be useful to others, please share a link to this page ... thanks!

Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on LinkedInShare on Google+Email this to someone
20 Comments
  1. Hi Emma – an excellent and comprehensive list – thank you!

  2. Just added a new one – the Wow Exchange networking event in Hastings – thanks Libby for sending that to me! (See under the Hastings section)

  3. Goodness me what a lot of work – thanks Emma!

    Steve

  4. Fantastic service to the business community Emma! Thank you so much.
    There’s so many fabulous networking opportunities in East Sussex!

    Joanna

  5. Hi Emma

    Great job – thank you.
    Is there any chance of changing my email contact address on the Heathfield Small Business Network to the one above? Thanks.

    Also has anyone mentioned Women In Business Network? I know there is an active group in Tunbridge Wells. I will try to find out more about it.

    regards
    Barbara

    • HI Barbara – I have chnaged your email address as given in the blog comment information I had – I hope this is right now?

  6. Please note I have just added a small number of West Sussex events and another one in the final section for other areas (Tun Wells and Brighton)…. not trying to do definitive lists for those areas – but I came across them so thought I would add them! (The new ones have (Added in Dec 2013) next to them.

  7. Thanks for adding The Grove Business Breakfast on to your list Sarah, Emma & Andrew Doherty and Sarah & Andrew Wright

  8. The Federation of Holistic Therapists meet locally at Victoria Drive Bowling Club on the first Monday of the month of March, April, June, July, Sept & Nov. Come along to gain your CPD points and meet like minded people. Contact: Pam Hardy on 01323 644007 or email: comeinno11@btinternet.com

  9. Thanks Emma, a really helpful list. Saved me hours!

  10. I was searching over search engines about business networking events and found your blog site. Well I like your high quality posting abilities. You’re doing a great job. Keep it up.

  11. I am loving this post
    Working my way through the list

  12. Thank you for your effort! This page is very helpful .

Leave a Reply

Whether you need just an hour of help, a plan or regular outsourced support, we are passionate about understanding your customers and delivering cost-effective and measurable marketing activities.

Subscribe To Our Newsletter

Sign up to receive really useful step-by-step marketing guides, social media tips and news for your business.

You have Successfully Subscribed!