Last week Paul and I went to the Great Yarmouth business breakfast event, which was organised by Bryony Smith of the Norfolk Chamber of Commerce. The morning was all about creating new connections with businesses across a wide variety of sectors and enjoying a full English breakfast while you did it.
I’ve never been much of a fan of networking, but the English breakfast sold it for me and in the end I’m glad that I went. The first part of the event was focussed on introductions, some free networking time to talk to people you may or may not have known, and ended with a presentation by Glen Moore of New Anglia Growth Hub.
The free networking time is always the most difficult. I never know what to say to begin a conversation and Paul and I have yet to decide on our quick explanation of what Naked Element do, but I managed to have a few good conversations with some people I didn’t know and got a few business cards in the process, so part one of the morning was a success.
After breakfast, everyone participated in a networking activity, namely the networking bingo, so that the people sitting at each table could get to know each other. I think that this worked really well. It was an excellent way for people to break the ice and say little bits and pieces about themselves in an informal environment. We learnt that exercise was not popular on our table, however we had a few people who had lived in different countries and could speak different languages – something we never would have found out if the question wasn’t there for us to ask.
After the networking activity, Fred Rogers of Subsea Protection Systems gave a presentation on all of the products that they offer and what the future looks like for SPS. It was good to hear the successes of local businesses that have turned global, because eventually we’d like to appeal to a global audience as well.
The event closed after some more free networking time and I have to say that I enjoyed it a lot. There were a lot of people to talk to and even though it was formal dress code and a business orientated event, there wasn’t any pressure to act any differently and you could still laugh with the people on your table.
Words: Lewis Leeds