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.