Julia Chanteray

Inside the Chamber

Which networking events should I go to?

If you’re a networker (or thinking that this might be a good way to get some new business) you need to be clever with which events you attend.  In Brighton, you could spend all day, every day out there networking, but that wouldn’t leave you with much time to get your work done.

With so much to choose from, here’s a quick guide to the different events we put on at the Brighton and Hove Chamber of Commerce so you can pick the best ones for you.

Inspirational Breakfast
Probably the most popular event.  On the last Friday of each month, 75 business people gather for a lovely breakfast in Carluccio’s with a speaker who has an inspirational business story to tell. 

You’ll like breakfast if you want to meet a wide range of different businesses, and you enjoy a buzzy event with lots of people. You won’t like this one so much if you’re not a morning person, or if you prefer smaller groups of people. Sells out fast, so book in advance.

Brunch is very similar to breakfast except that it’s at Terre a Terre and it starts later, so it’s great if you hate early starts or have to drop the kids at school.

Chamber drinks
This is a new event, run by the lovely Susan Beckingham.  It’s very informal, just go along to the Hove Place pub at 6pm on the 2nd Tuesday of every month, buy a drink and talk to some Chamber members.  Susan skilfully introduces you to the people you don’t know yet, so you get to know a whole bunch of new people. 

You’ll like this if you enjoy a drink or want something more casual.  You’ll hate it if you just want to work the room.

Bite sized learning sessions
These ones are the hidden gems.  People don’t think of these as networking sessions, but when you’re at a workshop you get to meet and talk to people in a different way.  Smaller numbers, so better if you’re more introverted, and you get to learn some good stuff along the way.

Wayfinder sessions are not really networking, but I’ll include them anyway.  At Wayfinder, you get together with 3 or 4 other business people, with a facilitator and talk confidentially about whatever business issues you’re grappling with at the moment.  Really powerful stuff.  You’ll like this if you want some help with a decision or problem, you’ll hate it if you want to sell your services.

Random events
As well as all these regulars, there are often some random or pop up events, such as the recent ethical business breakfast, our debates and some ones we’ve just put on for some more lighthearted fun networking.  Apparently lots of business got done at the ice skating event recently, and everyone was glad they were with their business friends at the showing of the film Gravity.

Watch out for the random events, they could be just the one you want.
Julia Chanteray is the director of business consultancy The Joy of Business and the President of the Brighton and Hove Chamber of Commerce.