This week Louise & I have been looking at possible venues in Wimbledon for a new LWL group which will launch in either May or June. We spotted Billie Piper having lunch in one of the venues we favour. It's interesting how each area has it's own personality. The other main factor is parking, we were discussing how difficult it is to park in Wimbledon and it reminded me how different it is from Chelsea, where almost everyone arrives by public transport but then Sloane Square tube is directly opposite whereas public transport to Wimbledon village is a very different matter indeed.
How much does ease of use influence your decision on what groups to attend or not? I wonder. For me, quite a bit I am more inclined to attend one of the other groups if it is easy for me to get there even if it's further away
Two of the local groups have changed venues recently with the Dulwich Group moving to Rocca di Pappa in Dulwich Village and the Epsom Group moving to The Chalk Lane Hotel. Both beautiful venues that have been appreciated greatly by the attendees of both groups. The Dulwich group is growing again now thanks to Karen's recovery from recent ill health - glad to see you back Karen and fighting fit.
The March LadiesWhoLatte meeting took place on 8th March with around 30 fabulous women networking and exchanging ideas and tips.
We started back in September and have been meeting now for six months with an average turn out of 30-40 every month. It's been a great atmosphere and I know from some of the positive feedback I have had from the ladies attending that they have met very useful contacts and got business from the meetings. A lot of ladies that are new to networking love the fact that they can just turn up and do not have to speak in front of an audience about their business, it can be a gentle introduction to networking that gives the confidence to try out other events.
Of course the informal way the meeting is run can have it's downside, if you don't know what other types of businesses are represented, you don't know who might be the best person to speak to at the event. We have looked at several ways to deal with this including registering for the event (which might stop some ladies from just turning up if they find they have the time) to having a collateral table, where you can all display your business cards or leaflets etc. It's not possible at the Croydon event to have each atendee speak for a minute about their business as the numbers of attendees are too many to make that a possibility so we are going to try two things over the next couple of months and see how they go.
We want to encourage more people to register their attendance, you can do this on the Facebook Group page or on the LinkedIn Events page. We are also going to make available an area to display your leaflets or business cards. If you see a card from someone you have not yet met but would like to, just ask Karen or myself to introduce you, we are more than happy to facilitate introductions.
The New Year got off to a great start with meetings in Sutton on the 4th and Croydon on the 11th January. Traditionally the begining of January is a quiet time for networking, but Ladies Who Latte seems to be growing from strength to strength in the south of London with 3 new groups starting up in the next few weeks and approximately one new group a month.