Yesterday, I attended the Business Link event BeInspired 09. I’d not been to an event of this type before, so I was prepared for it to be an eye-opener. I was joined by Ben Andrews a good friend of mine who’s in a similar situation to me (essentially a newbie to this business networking malarkey).
We rocked up at registration to collect our name badges and took a wander around the venue to get an understanding of where the workshops were being held, the location of the coffee and the theatre. We grabbed ourselves a seat in preparation for Richard Farleigh to take the keynote. His talk was great, far more down to earth than I was expecting. Starting out with his back-story and his childhood, realising that he could hustle people playing chess at the age of 14! Including his list of failures and successes. I was struck by his explanation “you may tick all the boxes but this does not guarantee success.”
I had a great chat to Sharon Vickery who explained her experience of dealing with website agencies and how frustrated she felt when dealing with inept companies and the lack of communication that caused her so much grief.
Then we grabbed a coffee and had a chat to GlobusHR about their questionnaires and the technology behind their website. Then we went to the first workshop of the day on social media marketing followed by a great talk from Liz Jackson.
Another few workshops – How to save TAX in 100 different ways – Top tips for branding – Using your website to grow your business.
Then on to the speed networking event. We decided to attend at the last minute as we thought by this time we’d be a bit cream-crackered, so we were rather unprepared.. Rule number one. Have a butt load of business cards.! Rule number two. Talk about yourself constantly until the bell rings! It’s an odd environment, but there’s not many opportunities in the real world to present to 30 people in the space of an hour, so I’ll definitely go again but I’ll ensure that I’m better prepared next time.
At the end of the networking session we were asked to drop our business card into a hat and one person was drawn out for a prize of a bottle of wine.. Guess what! yup, I won the wine
Ben had a theory on why I won “It’s because your business card is so crap and lightweight that it floated to the top of the pile.” I think he’s probably right, I really need to get some business cards sorted.
All in all, a great day. Everyone there was welcoming, which was great for us as new faces in the crowd. Best of all, I bumped into a number of old colleagues. Because of this, I felt even more relaxed and will be happy to go to future events of this type.
Thanks to all at BeInspired 09.