Premier business networking at Solent

Well there are not many networking events that I’ve been to that feel quite as exhilarating as a roller coaster ride. Many feel more like trudging through a swamp but this morning’s TBN at the Solent Hotel, Whitley definitely felt like the former. This was the second meeting of this group. The last one in April being the launch with 80+ people. Not surprisingly there had been a tail off but over 30 had joined  and there were over 30 new visitors and guests. Such an attendance is a credit to Jacqui Frampton’s endeavours and professionalism.

The meeting reception area soon became a buzz of conversation.  So much so that at times it was difficult to hear what the other was saying but this proved positive as it meant people concentrated on listening more. Since all attendees pay on registration on line there is no queue of people outside so as you arrive you collect your name badge and go straight in.

At 07.20, the MC, Jay Ratchett, called everyone into the dining area. At each of the 7 tables there were named place settings for everyone. A table plan outside gave details of which table you were allocated to and the names of the other delegates. This ensured everyone had a place and that the people on your table had something in common with your industry.

As before each table has a central person to direct the agenda. These are known as “Ambassadors”. They help direct the round table discussions by  getting everyone to introduce themselves. A very useful thing as it helped everyone be a part of the event.

It is worth noting that delegates don’t just stay at this one table for the whole event. Later, after breakfast, everyone moves to a second table to meet another group of ten people where the introductory process starts again. Thus ensuring everyone gets to meet in the region of 20+ people.

Between breakfast and the round table discussions there were three, two minute presentations given by preselected members. The first was by Bill Ball of Specsavers. He emphasised the responsibility of employers to provide a service for their employees to get regular eye tests. He also went on to mention that they were offering special rates for TBN members. A not ungenerous benefit of membership.

The second speaker was Jonjoe Whitfield. Jonjoe is a founder member of Indee which is a company that principally develops software. He expressed several of the “loves” that their company has. They love –

  1. The web
  2. Design
  3. Solving problems
  4. They also love working with people

He was a most engaging speaker and although, as he confessed, not the most experienced public speaker, he certainly managed to catch people’s attention.

The third speaker was Michael Birchmore. Michael is a freelance writer and illustrator. In his presentation he concentrated on his work writing and creating newsletters. These can be for businesses or social organisations. He referred to how they can be used to help publicise and promote businesses as well as develop relationships with their client base and amongst a business’ own employees.

All three presentations were interesting to listen to and entertaining. All seemed to generate much discussion afterwards.

As part of the winding up of the meeting an award was given of a bottle of champagne to the member who had been able to attract the most new members to the group. This month the award went to Kate Underwood. Congratulations to Kate.

Founder and Director of TBN, Jacqui Frampton, wound up the meeting with news  about TBN Summer Solstice Golf Trophy to be held on Wednesday 22nd June and will be played on the beautiful Manor Course at Bramshaw Golf Club. Details of this can be found on the meetings page

Our thanks go to Ashleigh Spice of The Photo Rooms for providing photographs.

With regards this the next breakfast meeting at TBN Bournemouth is on the 2nd June and the next one at Solent hotel is the 17th June.

We look forward to seeing you there.