There are plenty of networking groups around the county. BNI makes members get up early in the morning for a breakfast at which they make a short speech and give referrals to each other. They often tot up to combined big money. But miss a few breakfasts and you’re out.
ABC is a more relaxed Medway group that broke away from BNI because of its rather draconian attitude to persistent absentees. But they still do the business.
Then there is Bizlinx, which holds interesting events at different times of the day and night. This month, some 40 members boarded the Symphony for a lunchtime cruise along the Thames, past the Eye and almost as far as the O2.
There were two guest speakers, Mona Lewis, a former Apprentice from Lord Sugar’s TV show, and now an Olympic Games business promotion expert with Business Support Kent; and myself.
I have never spoken before in such an unusual setting. The boat rocked a bit in the Thames swell - no it wasn’t the wine! - and commentary about the famous London sites we passed could not be switched off during the speeches. Speak loud, project your voice, I thought!
And the speeches had to be short enough to ensure that they were finished in time for disembarkation at the Embankment.
But despite the distractions, Mona and I hopefully just about managed to get across our messages about business help and media, especially the KM Group, respectively.
And there was some good news for members. Stuart Kenny, Bizlinx regional development manager, announced that subs would be coming down from £1,000 to £650 a year. Well done to Stuart for winning the argument against franchise chiefs. His region is the only one to slash prices, but others may try to follow.
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