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Professional Networking Review

Date: 30 March 2016

The Business Network Column from Platinum Business Magazine

Network Review – Professional Networking 

By Emma Pearce – Marketing Consultant – marketing planning, outsourced marketing and social media training

Professional Networking PN

Emma Pearce reports on a B2B Networking group in Lower Dicker East Sussex

I recently visited the Professional Networking (aka “PN”) lunch meeting just outside Hailsham on the A22 in East Sussex.  It had a strong mix of business-to-business attendees from small, one man/one woman businesses to large, global organisations. This included chartered surveyor, business interior design, commercial banking, office cleaning, software developers, letting agents, HR consultants, business transfer agents and many more.

The group has just had its 7th anniversary, having started in late 2008 when the recession dug its heels in.  The aim was to provide a professional networking event that provided support and advice by discussing ideas and concerns, as well as the opportunity to build relationships and make referrals.

The members certainly raved about this networking event over others.  One attendee said this was the best networking group she has ever attended.  Other comments included loving the dynamics of the group, the fact it offered more B2B opportunities and was genuinely friendly and supportive. Plus it wasn’t “frowned upon” if you couldn’t make a meeting since everyone understands that members are juggling commitments.  “And with two meetings a month there is still enough opportunity to build relationships”.

One of the Committee members, Steve Brocklesby, said “We seem to attract positive thinking business owners and attendance is good. We have tried to cherry pick the best bits of other networking groups and put them all into one event! We also change the Chairperson every 6 months and have a members-only meeting to discuss ideas for the group. It keeps things fresh.

 

The format of the meeting

  •     30 minutes open networking
  •     Sit down to lunch (buffet)
  •     1 minute round – each person speaks for 60 seconds about their business             (with a call to action if you are maximising this opportunity!)
  •     Listen to a speaker for 20 minutes and time for Q&A
  •     More open networking if you wish to stay

The group aims to have one meeting a month with a member speaker and an external speaker at the second event. Why not go along as a visitor? You can attend twice as a visitor.

 

Key Facts

  •      Location: Boship Farm Hotel, Lower Dicker, BN27 4AT
  •      Frequency: Fortnightly – Wednesday’s
  •      Size: 23 members
  •      Time: 12 – 2 pm
  •      Lock out: Yes, a single member representing each business category
  •      1 Minute Round: Yes
  •      Speaker slot: Yes (internal and external)
  •      Cost: £50 one off joining fee, £100 per year membership plus £7.50 per meeting (paid in advance quarterly)

Contact by phone on 01323 768601 or visit http://www.professionalnetworking.org.uk.

 

Why not read our other networking blogs…

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