Getting the confidence to network at events has always been a hurdle that I’ve been trying to jump over, ever since I started at Naked Element. The thought of talking to successful businessmen and women was daunting at the best of times, purely because I didn’t know them and felt like I had nothing to say. However, going to the Norfolk Chamber Carrow Road networking breakfast was different this time and I think I’ve finally gotten over the initial hurdle of networking.
The morning started off with some free networking time and I arrived nice and early so I could grab a cup of tea and see who was there and who Naked Element might want to talk to. Straight away I was approached by someone that coaches and supports businesses that are going through big changes, such as the ones they go through when we produce software for them. It was interesting because I hadn’t thought about the initial change that software causes and that sometimes it might be difficult to adapt to changes in business (hopefully the change is always for the better, however). We exchanged details and agreed that if either of us found work for the other in the future, we would be in contact. The first successful conversation of the morning, and a possible referral in the future.
After the free networking time, we sat down and were served an English breakfast. From my last blog post, you may remember how much I was looking forward to the breakfast then and this time was no different. I always find networking over a good breakfast is much easier and more relaxed, but maybe that’s just me.
The networking game that was organised was called Speed Safari Networking. Every table had an envelope and in this envelope were cards for each person on the table. The cards had four rounds on them, with four table numbers that you had to go stand at with other people. I thought this was a great idea, however Paul and I had been given the same table number a few times so we followed each other around a bit, so this is something that could be improved for next time.
At the end of the morning I spoke to someone who said that they had a client that needed help integrating their systems so that they can all talk to each other with little to no downtime, as their current system fails due to the traffic and data being sent between them. This sounded great for us as it’s something that we achieve in a lot of the software we create, so we exchanged details and hopefully we’ll be doing some work for them in the future.
All in all, a great morning. Realising that I am more confident networking and feel more comfortable doing it is a big step and a great leap on my road to even more success.
Words: Lewis Leeds