It’s often the simplest things in life that are most effective. The most basic combinations are often the most powerful. As usual I am seeking to shoehorn a metaphor into place…but bear with me. This week members of the Business Development Team attended an networking event in central Leeds alongside some leading firms operating within the legal sector. Barclays, Partner s from Scottish Law firm Digby Brown and Xyone Cyber Security to name a few of the carefully selected attendees.
The networking event was held at the Friends of Ham restaurant in the heart of Leeds city centre with its no-frills quirky vibe it proved to be the ideal location for an event. It gave us great ‘finger food’ (chunks of nice cheeses, ham and bread), copious amounts of high quality wine and a setting which was highly conducive to mingling. We’ve previously used Evuna in Manchester which has a similar vibe, and great tapas. We will call this the base for my metaphor….or the BREAD
Networking is something that everyone agrees is important for business development, but there are so many different ways to approach it. I thought it’d be worth explaining a method that works for us, as it’s not rocket science and is easily replicated.
A select and manageable attendee list- It’s crucial to keep the numbers to a level whereby everyone will get chance to speak to everyone. Also, it works better if you hand pick your attendees with a view to having credible people who you know will have an interest in the others at the event, and who you also know will be friendly and will engage with the others. Our events tend to have a minimum of 12 people and a maximum of 20. This part is the meat of the event- The HAM
The approach- we’ve all been to events which purport to be networking based, but in fact end up with people preaching and pontificating to the group if given half the chance. So remove that opportunity by making it clear from the outset that each person will be given a maximum time slot of two minutes to explain who they are, what they do, and the kind of intros they are hoping to receive. We have a comedy buzzer and a strict adherence to that limit. This serves to keep things light-hearted and informative, prompting people to seek each other out when mingling for more detailed chats. This is the topping- the CHEESE.
So there we have it….the makings for a great networking event which I promise will create interest and understanding back and forth between the attendees. Bread Ham and Cheese….you may think what I’m talking is a total croque (monsieur), but try it….you might like it!
[The Cashroom apologises unreservedly for this appalling attempt at a pun]
The event was a success with everyone saying what a great evening it had been for all involved. Hopefully the event enabled everyone to make some great new contacts. Thank you to everyone who was involved and hopefully our future events will be as successful as this one (but maybe not so cheesy!).
Alex Holt Director of Business Development The Cashroom Limited