WIBN Women In Business Networking Events
How WIBN Networking Events have helped me
Being able to meet up regularly with a group of like-minded business women has been incredibly helpful. They support each other, help with speaking and presenting in public as well as general networking skills. To be able to test out your latest pitch and have them ask the right questions to help you identify areas that you might not have explained quite as clearly as you would like in a non-judgemental atmosphere is incredibly comforting.
It’s also a great way to practise my social media skills because a 30 second to 1 minute pitch is no different to trying to get your message across in 140 characters on Twitter.
Working on my own, it’s also nice to have a fixed date in the diary where I can step away from the computer and socialise with ladies who have similar business goals or to just chat about things that are not related to work at all!
I feel as if I am part of an organisation that is dedicated to the personal growth of its own members as well as that of the group leaders and the Mother ship herself. As well as being able to talk to successful business women with more experience, there is also access to additional training, networking events and social events so everyone is able to learn about some of those thorny problems that beset the budding entrepreneur and get some solutions.
Referrals and recommendations are a huge part of the way it works. If you don’t necessarily need a member’s services, that doesn’t mean that you don’t have a friend or colleague who does. I have started a couple of joint ventures with other ladies who offer services which are complementary to my own.
Getting to know these women and recognising their passion to excel and do their best for their own clients has been a privilege.
How WIBN can help women to expand by visiting other business networking events
And it’s not just the members of the group in your own location. You can visit other branches all over the county and indeed the country as a guest – so long as your profession is not already represented.
I am a member at Castlepoint, which covers Leigh-on-Sea, Benfleet, Hadleigh, Canvey Island and Rayleigh but I have visited the groups at Southend-on-sea and Brentwood to increase the exposure of my business. Everyone is very friendly and welcoming so, even though you are sitting around a table where you hardly know anyone, it doesn’t seem to matter. The lunches are always good too, with different options and variations for allergies or lifestyle choices possible.
The format of a WIBN networking event
The group lunch is normally from 12 untl 2 and is held on the same day of the week once a month. The format is usually the handing around of business cards, followed by a 1 minute pitch to tell everyone what you do. Then there may be a 10 minute presentation by one of the other members before lunch is served. Next up is the section where you tell the other ladies what you are looking for in terms of clients or to mention 1 to 1s that you have had with other members or to recommend ladies whose services you have used. One to ones are where two ladies meet up to talk about each other’s businesses and see if there are ways to form an alliance or to actually solve a problem that member might have with your service.
There are also opportunities to attend training events and notifications about these are given by the group leader.
Joining a Women In Business Network group
It costs £24 to come to lunch as a non-member and you can attend two before you make your mind up whether you want to join or not. Then it’s £200 +VAT and £20 per lunch. You do have to pay for each of the 12 monthly lunches and if you cannot attend, you can send someone else in your stead, providing there is no clash of professions with someone else in the group.
If you want to be a member at another group, you need to pay a second £200 +VAT and commit to attending the 12 lunches as described above. It is not really necessary to do this if there is no one else offering your service as you can attend as a guest.
WIBN have really helped me to grow both my client base and my own confidence and I really enjoy being a member.
If you’re a business woman in Southend, Brentwood, Leigh-on-Sea, Benfleet, Rayleigh, Hadleigh, Canvey Island or Castlepoint, why not give Jo Curtis a call on 0845 1255318. Tell her Jo Shaer sent you – it is after all a referral network
Suite 1, 103 Leigh Road Leigh-on-Sea, Essex, SS9 1JL UK
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