How to leverage networking opportunities through the Chamber

Dr Print (UK) Ltd

We love networking.

One of our favourite networking groups is the Greater Birmingham Chamber of Commerce. This isn’t a ‘plug’ for the chamber, it’s about positioning yourself to create opportunities. Let us explain…

Earlier this year we attended a fantastic Breakfast Seminar hosted by James White, the winner of Apprentice 2017 and founder of Right Time Recruitment. During the event, there were two opportunities to network with Right Time Recruitment and the other delegates who chose to be there. Before the event (with a yummy breakfast) and after the event.

A lot of the time when you attend this style of event, they start and end briskly leaving you little time to get to know the people there. ‘Getting to know’ people is exactly what networking should be about (not fishing for leads and quick wins).

Getting to an event early can have its advantages, especially for networking. In his video posted on YouTube, Gurjote relives his embarrassingly ‘starstruck handshake’ with James and then a conversation with one of his business partners. By the end of the event, we had managed to network the room and in doing so spoke with their marketing manager, Natalie Robinson. A casual conversation led to a “follow” on Instagram and connecting over LinkedIn.

Over the course of the next four weeks the conversation was extended over social media (thank you for assisting JC Social Media), emails, post the telephone eventually leading to successful delivery of branded merchandise. It didn’t stop there – Right Time Recruitment took to social media and posted an image of the merchandise. They also sent the merchandise to Lord Sugar, who took a photo with the branded mug, pen and notebook which was then posted by Right Time Recruitment. This lead to more opportunities and referrals.

They key takeaway here is that simply attending an event is not enough. You should always aim to have at least one meaningful conversation.

Finally, when we think about ‘marketing’ people often forget that networking and meeting people is also a form of marketing. The person that gets closest to the consumer always wins, which is why raising brand awareness via traditional means of marketing like networking are so important. When its paired with the power of social media you can take it to a whole new level.  

Gurjote and Sandeep Nandra
Dr Print (UK) Ltd