A directory of business networking events in the east midlands. Business networking is a great way to meet other professionals and like minded businesses in your area. It is a great addition to any businesses marketing strategy.
Some networking events are weekly, and others are monthly. Prices also vary, from free to annual membership. Smaller groups may only have 6-10 attendees while the larger events have 100+. So, whatever your budget, location or social preferences are, there will be something to suit you.
Because of social distancing restrictions, you will find most these networking events are running virtual online meetings. Staying in touch via online Zoom meetings is a great way to keep business momentum going.
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Business Networking Tips
Let me start by sharing a few business networking tips. These will help you navigate your first few meetings and start building a foundation for a referral network. Not to mention, make new friends, business contacts, mentors and potentially customers.
- Don’t to try and sell to the room. This is a big turn off and short-sighted. Instead use the opportunity to inform and educate others on what you and your business do. Who you serve, and the benefits of choosing your services. You will then start to harness the power of referral networking. Rather than selling to a small audience, once your new connections get to know and trust you, they will refer customers to you.
- Prepare a 30 to 60 second pitch. Format of networking events vary, but it is typical to have up to one minute to stand up and tell others about your business or product. A tried and tested format is to start with your name and business name. Let the group know what it is you do, or service you offer and the benefits. Then finish again with your business name and how people can best contact you to learn more.
- Have business cards or flyers to leave in the room or exchange with people you talk to.
- Use LinkedIn on your phone to connect with people you meet online. This is a great way to stay in touch after the event. You will learn more about them and their business, and vice versa. It will also make it easier to start giving and receiving referrals, and recommendations. Let’s connect on LinkedIn.
- Be patient and listen. Business networking works best when you play the long game. Listen to other businesses, look for opportunities to help and refer customers for them. You will quickly find that other you meet will do the same for you.
Business Networking Oakham
As a Headshot Photographer in Oakham this is my hometown, so I will start with local events here.
FSB Connect Networking
This is one of my personal favourites. With a friendly supportive group and great food at the venue.
When: Regularly every second Tuesday of every month at 12 – 2pm
Where: Wisteria Hotel, 4 Catmose Street, Oakham, Rutland, LE15 6HW
Cost: The cost is £10 for FSB members and £15 for non-members
Business Networking Rutland
A new BNI chapter currently being formed in Rutland. BNI has exclusivity for it’s members, therefor only one seat can be occupied per industry. It’s a great opportunity to build up a referral network with other local businesses.
I have recently joined the BNI Rutland chapter as the photographer. If you would like to attend the meeting as a guest, please send me a message.
Rutland Business Group
When: 7.30am – 9.40am
Where: Barnsdale Hall Hotel, Oakham, LE15 8AB
Cost: Attend your first two meetings free then annual membership.
Contact: Alistair Bell via email firstname.lastname@example.org
Business Networking Stamford
This is another personal favourite, with great food included. The venue has a cosy vibe and is always booked out in advance due to its popularity. Felicity Francis the host is very friendly and will make sure you feel welcome.
When: 1st Thursday of every month. 12.30 pm – 2:00 pm
Where: Mama Liz’s, 9a North Street, Stamford, PE9 1EL
The Development Partner Network
When: Various Dates 10am – 12 pm
Where: Stamford Endowed Schools, Brazenose House, St Paul’s St, Stamford, PE9 2BE
When: 12:00PM – 2:00PM
Where: The Bertie Arms, Bertie Lane, Uffington, Stamford, PE9 4SZ
Connect Business Networking Stamford Group
When: 08:00 am
Where: Currently Virtual
Business Networking Peterborough
Connect Business Networking
Connect Business Networking run several events in Peterborough at different locations and times. So there’s a good chance you’ll find one to suit your needs. They have also fully embraced virtual networking. I’ve attended their breakfast and lunchtime meetings and the hosts Tracey and Jason are very welcoming. With a a great spectrum of Peterborough businesses to network with.
The Peterborough Network
When: 2nd Thursday of every month. 6 pm – 9 pm
Where: The Cresset, Bretton Centre, Peterborough, PE3 8DX
The Business Network Peterborough
When: 2:00 pm – 3:30 pm
Where: Virtual Event
FSB Connect Networking
When: Second Tuesday of every month at 12 – 2pm
Where: Central Library Peterborough Broadway, Peterborough, PE1 1RX
Cost: £4 all welcome
Business Networking Leicester
Leicestershire Business Network Group
Monthly meetings across Leicestershire that encourage business people and career professionals to network in a supportive manner.
No membership fee, simply attend any meetings you can and start to develop business relationships.
Business Networking Nottingham
I’m actively growing my business network for professional headshots in Nottingham. So will update this section regularly.
Nottingham City Business Club
When: Third Friday of each month.
Where: Park Plaza Nottingham, 41 Maid Marian Way, Nottingham NG1 6GD
Cost: Annual Membership £95
Business Networking Grantham
In The Hive
When: 12 – 2pm
Where: Isaac Newton Centre, 39, Grantham NG31 6EE
Cost: £15.50 including lunch
When: 9-11am every other Friday
Where: Belton Park Golf Club, Londonthorpe Ln, Grantham NG31 9SH
Cost: £15 non-members
Contact: Andrew – email@example.com
Business Networking Melton Mowbray
Melton Business Events
When: Every Wednesday 7pm
Where: Virtual via Zoom Meeting
Cost: Currently free for virtual meetings
Contact: Helen Wells – firstname.lastname@example.org