The benefits of Chamber events - Chris Gardner

January 28, 2020 - 12:00pm

The benefits of Chamber events - Chris Gardner

Last week I attended the Chamber’s breakfast networking meeting along with almost 50 other members. The event was clearly a success and I think that most people who were there would agree with me. If you’ve not been to any of our events I urge you to do so. The Chamber hosts a range of networking events at different times of day and with a range of formats.

Some events are more successful than others and the Chamber team and its Directors are constantly reviewing our offering, so I am using this Chamber Chat to seek feedback and also to share my thoughts.

What makes an event successful? I could see some obvious indicators of success at Wednesday’s meet. It was well attended on a dark January morning. The venue (Vista Italian Soul Bar & Kitchen) was excellent and the breakfast they provided delicious. There was a good range of businesses in attendance so surely someone of interest to talk to for everyone. There was certainly a friendly atmosphere.

Some measures of success are harder to assess. Did people actually make new contacts that will help their business? Did attendees gain any new work? Were people able to raise awareness of their business? Perhaps a less obvious measure, but I think an important one: did people enjoy the event?

Different events attract different people; I see people at our lunches that I don’t think I’ve seen at the breakfast or evening member’s meets. Additionally, I wonder if the balance of the events between being pure business networking or sales opportunities and social events could be varied. My view is that good networking is about building relationships and that this is done at social events as well as more formal meetings.

I’d be delighted to hear from members or businesses who are not members about what you think about the Chamber’s programme of events. Specifically we would love to receive feedback on recent events if you’ve been to one. If you don’t attend, what would make you do so? What type of events do you prefer? Basically we want to know what you think so we can ensure our events remain relevant and popular. Please let me know your thoughts at cgardner@watersandatkinson.co.uk