Network Review – Networking for Bigger Businesses

The Cobb PR Brighton and Hove Business Lunch Club meeting at The Amex Stadium with guest speaker Tony Bloom the chairman of Brighton and Hove Albion and an auction raising money for Overcoming Multiple Sclerosis. Photograph taken by Simon Dack

Emma Pearce gives a more detailed insight into networking options exclusively for larger organisations in Eastbourne and Brighton & Hove.

By Emma Pearce, Marketing Consultant – marketing planning, outsourced marketing services and social media training
(as published in Platinum Business Magazine)

 

Some senior managers and business owners from larger organisations choose not to attend SME networking groups. They tend to get pounced on as the known “big company” in the room. So what specific networking options are there for the larger B2B and B2C companies?

 

The good news is that there are clubs directly serving this niche – one in Eastbourne and two in Brighton & Hove.

 

In Eastbourne, the Premier Business Breakfast Club was established to assist both the Borough Council and Chamber of Commerce to engage with the more sizeable firms in the business community. The aim is for those business leaders to be fully aware of local plans and have the opportunity to discuss concerns and particular business projects with the relevant people. Plus assist with disseminating information locally via their workforce.

 

The club is managed and hosted by Cobb PR and is in its fifth year. It runs every two months at The Grand Hotel on Eastbourne’s seafront from 7.30 am to 9 am. There is an invitation-only policy for the Club and membership is for the individual, not the company.

Cobb PR Staff shots
Tim Cobb – Managing Director
Photograph taken by Simon Dack

Tim Cobb, MD at Cobb PR, commented “We often have our local MP speaking and the Leader of the Council always gives an update with time for Q&A. The meeting is useful for everyone and has a good buzz, with an average of 30 people attending from a wide variety of business sectors.”

 

At a recent meeting Neil Crawford, Head of Retail and Leisure Development at Legal & General, who is managing the £85m extension scheme at the Arndale Centre, gave a great insight into the project.

 

Another option is the Brighton & Hove Business Lunch Club. You need to have a business with a turnover of at least £1 million per annum, or employ 10+ people, to be eligible to be invited to attend. Invitees, who must be Directors or Partners, can attend up to two meetings as a paying guest before joining. The business operations should ideally be based in Brighton & Hove.

 

Tim added “We guarantee to deliver at least 10 meetings per year – typically on the third Friday of each month in various locations. It’s the Club’s eleventh anniversary this year and it has a strong reputation as a safe and comfortable place for networking.  We have strict limits on the number of professional services members. For example, we only have one solicitor, one banker and one accountant and they must be a sponsor to have this exclusive spot.“

 

The Club offers the opportunity to meet MPs and senior figures from local authorities as diaries permit. It also offers facilitated introductions upon request.

 

The format of the meeting is open networking from 12.15 for half an hour, followed by a brief introduction from Tim, a two course lunch and a main speaker.

 

Sponsors do get the opportunity to speak for five minutes three times a year between courses. The main speaker gives informative and technical information or a fascinating and inspiring business story.

 

Attendance is between 35 and 45 businesses at each meeting. The Club also runs charity and ‘Make Your Case’ wine tasting events with local winemakers and retailers, which are opened up to additional guests.

 

For more information about these networking clubs, please email janet@cobbpr.com.

 

The second event in Brighton is The Platinum Club organised by Maarten Hoffmann from The Platinum Group. This monthly evening cocktail party at The Grand Hotel in Brighton is a fully hosted B2B professional networking club.

Find out more at www.platinumpublishing.co.uk/platinum-club or email membership enquiries to info@platinumpublishing.co.uk.

Have a look at our huge list of networking groups in Sussex 

Why not read our other networking blogs… including:

Find out more about our marketing consultancy and outsourced marketing services.

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