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“This was my first foray into business networking – and I was apprehensive. I arrived at the gates of the Coed y Mwstwr Hotel a little after 11.30am . I began to relax a little as I drove up the long gravel drive into this beautiful country estate.
I was greeted warmly at the entrance by Lynne – who owns The Business Network - given a drink, and made to feel at home. She introduced me to a couple of existing members and we began chatting straight away. Other people joined the crowd, and before long I'd met four or five new people. Amazingly, one of them was actively looking for the service I provide and we arranged to meet up later in discuss opportunities.
Half past midday and we're called to take our seats. The table plans – I've been told – have been done to provide us with maximum exposure to the right companies and minimum competition. There's a host on each table, who oversees the proceedings.
We pass our business cards round the table until everyone has a full set in front of them, then the first Table-Talk begins.
Each person gives a Table-Talk which last about three minutes. It's just a quick overview of what you do and what sort of customers you're after. We take it in turns to give a Table-Talk as the food is served. I found it much easier than I thought - it was just like being in the pub! After the Table-Talks, we all chatted and discussed each others businesses. I picked up a useful tip from another firm – about chasing debt. At the end of the event the table host feeds back to the room exactly what you are looking for - so your message is announced to the room without you having to stand up and do so - fantastic!
The event ended with a 10 minute talk about marketing from the event sponsor – one of the members. I ended up staying behind for another 45 minutes as there were 2 more people who wanted to quiz me about what I do....thanks to the table host's feedback.
I eventually left - with a pocket full of business cards, a business tip, a cheaper supplier for my stationery, two new prospects and one meeting organised. And I'd had fun. If these are the business events – I can't wait to try a social!”
[Name withheld, Business Network Member]