What would I go to? – by Lara Squires
I often get asked ‘what networking events should I go to?’ and I have my favourites, this is our list of the top networking events in Sussex.
Firstly there are couple of questions to ask yourself, like;
- Who do I want to meet?
- What time of day can I go?
- Whats my budget?
I thought it may be helpful to any locals to list the events that I go to. I would like to emphasise that this is just my opinion and comes from several years of going to ‘the opening of an envelope’.
- Boundary Club – held 9 times a year, costs c£1300 plus vat. For this you get a place at every lunch which includes wine, 3 courses and afternoon tea. Plus tickets to all of the home fixtures. The group meets over lunch and cricket (April – Sept) at the Sussex County Cricket Ground. You need to allow the whole afternoon to get maximum value. Over 200 business people from across Sussex attend and you get sight of guest list before the event and can request to sit with people. There is also the opportunity to make offers to the membership. https://sussexcricket.co.uk/boundary-club
- Ladies lunch clubs – of course I am biased as they are my groups but we get great feedback and have a strong group of regulars. No membership fees, lock outs or commitment. Bi monthly held across Sussex and Kent. Pay as you go, between £20-27per lunch. http://www.ladieslunchclubs.co.uk/
- BNI – weekly breakfast or lunch meetings, annual spend to include the breakfasts of c£1,000 plus vat. Great structure to the events meaning referrals are encouraged and likely but can be like having a second job (however, as they say ‘givers, gain) *http://www.bni.co.uk/
- First Friday lunch in Brighton – not one of the chain of first Fridays but run by Fortis Law and Rockinghorse Childrens charity. Usually held at Pub Du Vin in Brighton. Cost is £30 payable direct to the hotel. Informal group (no membership fees, name badges or seating plan) tends to attract professional service business people. Opportunities to sponsor and speak. No website – contact Duncan at Fortis firstname.lastname@example.org
- Network my club – specifically the Fontwell and the Brighton group. Run by Bradley Hatchet. approx. £600 plus vat per annum including breakfast, can attend other groups at cost (£15 per breakfast) Over 100 people at the last Brighton meeting which is held at the Amex and was formerly Friends of the Albion breakfast. Fontwell less well attended but good group of people. http://www.networkmyclub.co.uk/
- Brighton Chamber of Commerce (Breakfasts) – Held at Carluccios monthly, usually on the last Friday. Always sell out, with over 70 local business people. Lots of small and start up businesses and well attended by professional services too. Need to book early! https://www.businessinbrighton.org.uk/
There are lots of other groups out there that are good, this is not an exhaustive list and is just my opinion. If you run or are involved in a group I will happily come along and review from my perspective!
*I am not a member of BNI currently but have been in the past