Networking Nous II
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About one and a half year ago I wrote a blog post ‘Networking Nous’ about different types of business networks in London. As you will probably be aware, there are too many to mention individually. There is a huge variety from a casual coffee with other entrepreneurs to networking with people in the same industry on a more regular basis. You can network on daily, weekly or monthly since there are hundreds of different networks in London. In addition to the networks I mentioned in my blog post Networking Nous I have listed 10 ‘new’ networks below worth exploring.
As mentioned in my previous blog post there are lots of opportunities to start your day networking over a breakfast. You can do that on a weekly basis with BNI (Business Networking International) or with BRX (Business Referral Exchange Ltd) who both started in London more than a decade ago. At both groups you can come as a visitor first before joining. However, only one representative from each type of profession can attend. For more information about the groups and their availabilities and membership criteria you can visit their websites for more information: BRX or BNI.
Throughout whole of London you can visit a Business Biscotti group which is free to attend and no membership is involved. Business Biscotti is a nationwide community of SME’s (small business enterprises) and online and off-line networking is free. You just buy yourself a coffee and mingle with the other business people in the room. For more information check their website here.
Have you already contacted your Embassy? Often they organise (in)formal network opportunities or can help you with recommending a good network for your business. Especially if your business is importing or exporting from abroad it might be good to get in contact with the relevant local Embassies in London.
Evening Standard Business Connections
The Evening Standard has a division called Business Connections and they organise four events a year with a stimulating speaker who is often a successful entrepreneur. Lots of business people attend these events and apart from good networking afterwards, you will definitely take something away from the guest speaker’s talk as well. It costs £50 to sign up for a year and you are allowed to take a guest to each event. For more information check their website here.
If you have your own business you might already have heard of the Institute of Directors at Pall Mall. If you are a member you can use their facilities to meet business contacts and rent space for workshops. However, occasionally they also organise central networking and other events which are open to everyone. These central networking evenings are always heaving with interesting people and are always in a different central London location. For more information check their website here.
Are you new in London and want to meet new people just like yourself? Internations is a huge worldwide community and organises a variety of social network events all over London. On their website you can get access to their London forum and get in touch with other newcomers regarding jobs, housing and general expatriate Q&A’s. It is free to join. For more information check their website here.
London Chamber of Commerce
An obvious place to start networking is of course the Chamber of Commerce. The main one is the London Chamber of Commerce but some boroughs even have their own Chamber of Commerce; like for instance Hammersmith & Fulham. As a member you can chose from more than 200 different breakfast, lunch and evening events for networking. The subscription fee starts at £387 annually and depends on the size of your business. For more information check their website here.
If you check out the Meetups section career & business at www.meetup.com you will find lots of interesting business and entrepreneurs networks you can chose from. One of the well known ones for entrepreneurs is the OpenCoffee Meetup which was started to encourage entrepreneurs, developers and investors to organise and network. OpenCoffee has now over 80 international meetups. The meetings take place at the UCL (University City of London) on a monthly basis and are free to join. For more information check their website here.
The Oyster Club
This business network group was set up by Tanya Rennick in 2010 and offers a different kind of networking. Firstly the Oyster Club claims to have no rules, no badges and no pitching; it is business networking with a glass of bubbly in your hand. You can visit their monthly meetings as a non-member every last Friday of the month or attend a breakfast meeting. If you want to get more involved in networking with the Oyster Club you can check their black, culture or seed pearls networks. For more information check their website here.
Silicon Roundabout meetup
The third Friday of every month you can enjoy the Silicon Roundabout meet up. At this event entrepreneurs, developers and marketers meet to share ideas and lessons learned over free drinks. It’s a good place to talk technology, business, design, social media and marketing. For more information check their website here.