Since I set up, a few weeks ago, a lot of people have told me to get to a networking event. Well today was the day.
I'm not naturally the most confident person in the world when it comes to self promotion, so the thought of mingling amongst strangers, in order to promote myself made me feel slightly nauseous! A lovely man, called Brock, runs an organisation called Cornish Partnership. He hosted the event at Truro Golf Club, where a variety of local businesses meet to mingle.
I pre-booked my ticket via eventbrite which was just £5 although If you are a paid member of Cornish Partnership, this is a free event to attend.
The event took place at 7:30, great if you have a busy day ahead, a little bit of a struggle, if you are a mum like myself and you don't just have yourself to get ready in the morning (luckily the hubster stepped up), running ten minutes late I was relieved that I wasn't the only one arriving a tad behind.
Brock came over straight away, this really helped put my nerves at ease and we had a little chat about the event. To my horror I found out I was expected to speak to the room,about myself. I then spoke to another person, who was very friendly, turns out I knew their boss and a bit about the business already (yes Cornwall is most definitely that sort of place).
We filtered into a room with a long table and found a seat. A lovely lady sat next to me from the Chamber of commerce and we had a little chat and then it began.
We all took it in turns to talk about our businesses and our ideal clients. To be honest, I was so nervous, I didn't really take in what the people who had spoken before me said. All to soon, it was my turn, worried about tripping over words and unsure quite what to say, I spoke briefly about my business, it wasn't as bad as I thought it could have been, but as easy as it is to promote other people, promoting myself is another matter. I could have crawled under the table when it was over - the relief!
At this point I need a caffeine boost and made my way to the bar (no-one in sight), a few people came up and had a chat with me and it was lovely speaking to them. I loved how diverse the businesses were, from natural beauty products (I wouldn't mind trying some) through to credit control and Christmas parties - it was an interesting experience.
Would I go again?
Well, I probably would, it was lovely to make connections with people and you never know, these leads may turn into business or referrals. About an hour later, I had a call from one of the men, I had met that morning, about services he provides, so it does seem to be the place to generate leads and follow them up.
Would I recommend giving it a go?
Definitely give it a try, but be prepared to say a little about yourself and have a practise at home first. Arm yourself with business cards and smile!
I wish I had picked up more business cards from the people there, you never know when you may need to recommend them or use them yourself. Overall it was a positive experience and I actually quite enjoyed it, I really liked meeting the people that I spoke to and finding out about what they did.