Whether you work for a large national business or are a small local business owner business networking can be an effective tool to build your visibility and reputation amongst the local business community.
Business networking Peterborough is a vibrant and evolving community.
The city has a wide and ever-changing range of networking groups meeting morning, noon and night.
Whilst the current pandemic means most are on hold or have moved online, there are still plenty of ways to get involved and start networking.
With all this choice, what is the best Peterborough networking group?
That is going to be down to your own personal preference and what you are looking to achieve.
We feel in a good position to advise you as in the seven years we have been in business we have sampled, joined and participated and spoken at most of them. We currently have active memberships at three of them.
Peterborough Networking Objectives
To start narrowing down your options you first have to look at what you are trying to achieve by going networking.
Are you looking for visibility, referrals, opportunities to speak or simply exposure to as many businesses as possible?
If you are looking for maximum visibility, then Talk Networking with their array of formats and the FREE meeting that currently gets over 60 attendees might be worth taking a look at.
If you are looking to speak to decision makers, then it may also be worth speaking to Simon Coy at the Business Network
Frequency & Commitment
With networking a marketing activity that relies on consistency and commitment the right group will depend on how long you can wait to build relationships and stature.
The BNI Chapters require weekly attendance, however an alternative is Connect Networking which is similar in format and objective but meets on a fortnightly basis.
Other groups such as the Business Network, Talk Networking, The Business Club, Peterborough Network and the Last Wednesday Group meet monthly, however the move online means that there may be more opportunities to interact and meet depending on which group you choose.
For those with difficult schedules groups such as the Link4Growth and the Cambridgeshire Chamber Informal events can be attended on an ad-hoc basis.
The current pandemic means that 4Networking can also be done on this basis with more than 30 events each week across the country with a membership required
Another informal event well worth a look is the Development Partner Network and their Showcase Networking, which is like a mini-exhibition over a morning where everyone has a table they can put the bumpf and marketing materials on whilst talking to everyone else in the room. This has been transformed into Sofa Networking during the pandemic, which is a clever tagline in our opinion.
Finally you have the Peterborough Biscuit, which although it is a business exhibition is arguably the biggest networking opportunity your business will have in the area.
Vision and Organisation Focused Networking Events
There are also a number of events that are aligned to different business support and lobbying organisations.
Both FSB Connect and Cambridgeshire Chamber of Commerce Safari Networking are a good place to meet a different range of businesses.
What We Recommend
As members of BNI Synergy, 4Networking and the Business Network we think they are a good place to start, however we love both the ad-hoc and other membership groups that are out there for the variety and choice they offer the Peterborough Business Community.
We recommend you think about what you are trying to achieve and get out there and see what works for you.
Just remember that networking is a long term payoff activity and you will need to give whatever you do energy, consistency and time to get the right results.