Recently, having started working at SiGNAL in Bordon, I've been attending a lots of business networking events. It feels like I'm clocking up plenty of miles travelling around the local area, particularly as only a couple of regular events are held in Whitehill and Bordon.
Attending business networking events has long been a good way of building relationships with other local businesses, raising awareness of your company, and reaching new customers. I find they're excellent for word-of-mouth recommendations; often new business comes via a networking group, not necessarily directly from the group. Here at SiGNAL we're all about building business communities, so it gives me great satisfaction to be able to promote and recommend other local businesses. Networking events should not all be about self-promotion!
Below are my recommendations for business networking events in Whitehill and Bordon, as well as some from further afield.
6 Business Networking Events To Attend In And Around Whitehill & Bordon
- Bordon Small Biz Networking
At SiGNAL we have just launched a monthly networking event for sole traders, micro and small business owners (and employees too). These are relaxed networking sessions in the morning for breakfast - not at stupid o'clock, 8am!
As well as meeting other local business people, making connections and even friendships, this is also an opportunity to explore our workspace and find out more about what's happening in Whitehill and Bordon.
Free to attend, with a free coffee (or beer / wine for the early evening session).
When: 3rd Wednesday of the month 8 - 9:30am.
Where:SiGNAL, Martinique House, Hampshire Road, Bordon, GU35 0HJ
Further details and booking: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/o/join-signal-17327165026
2. Bordon Business Exchange
This monthly meeting is held at the Royal Exchange, Lindford and is popular with local business owners. Run in partnership with the Whitehill & Bordon Regeneration Company, it's also a forum to have your say on the regeneration project and get updates on progress.
The event starts with complimentary refreshments and informal networking, followed by a short talk from a local business owner, and then further networking opportunities before heading back to the office.
Free to attend with a suggested donation of £5 to The Hampshire and Isle of Wight Air Ambulance
When: 8 - 10am (with occasional evening meetings) 2nd Tuesday of the month
Where: The Royal Exchange, Lindford, Bordon GU35 0NX
Further details and booking: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/the-bordon-business-exchange-tickets-38298356415
3. The Bordon Hub
Weekly networking and educational small business talks and workshops. The Bordon Hub is a members business group that meets every Wednesday at SiGNAL to provide business support, collaboration and friendship. Aimed at start ups, micro and small businesses, the Hub's talks are designed to give business owners practical skills and insights to help establish and grow their businesses.
Sessions kick off at 9am with breakfast and informal networking, a talk or workshop at 10am, a short break, followed by a Q&A or implementation session afterwards.
New visitors can attend their first session for free, and then choose whether to join the Hub or pay for sessions on an ad hoc basis.
When: 9am 12pm, every Wednesday
Where: SiGNAL, Martinique House, Hampshire Road, Bordon, GU35 0HJ
4. Enterprise Connexions (Alton)
Down the road in Alton I've been to Enterprise Connexions held at the Alton House Hotel. This is a biweekly session, and involves an early start 6:30am! Not being an early morning person this has been a bit of a struggle, but it's worth the effort.
As with other Enterprise Connexions events, it starts with informal networking followed by breakfast, then a formal meeting where members have an opportunity to promote their businesses, and ends with another chance to network.
Meetings cost £15 which includes breakfast, there are also membership packages available.
When: 6:30 9am, every other Tuesday
Where: The Alton House Hotel, 57 Normandy Street, Alton, GU34 1DW
Further details and booking: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/alton-enterprise-connexions-tickets-36256899362
5. Basingstoke ECX100
I've also visited Basingstoke Enterprise Connexions for an ECX100 event. The idea behind these is to bring businesses (up to 100) of various sizes together with the aim of promoting collaboration, partnerships and making connections to help your business grow.
Again, this was another early start with breakfast and informal networking first, followed by a structured networking event.
This is not a regular event, although Basingstoke Enterprise Connexions host a biweekly meeting like Alton. Follow @ECX_Hants on Twitter for news on more dates.
6. Connect Surrey (Haslemere Connections)
Over the border in Surrey there are more networking events to explore. I've attended Haslemere Connections, part of the Connect Surrey group, which holds a Wednesday morning breakfast meeting every other week.
The format includes breakfast, networking and a 10 minute talk from a local business owner.
Meetings cost £15 including breakfast.
When: 8-10:30am, every other Wednesday
Where: The Georgian House Hotel, High Street, Haslemere, GU27 2JY
Further details and booking: https://connectsurrey.uk/haslemere-connections/
As you can see there are plenty of business networking events in the area, although only two in Whitehill & Bordon at the time of publishing. Both of these events I have an interest in (disclaimer alert!) as the Bordon Hub is run from SiGNAL and we are also involved in the Bordon Business Exchange. I may not be completely impartial but I do think these are both excellent events and recommend that you put a date in your diary to visit!
SiGNAL also host ad hoc business networking events so watch this space for news of these! Details of all SIGNAL events can be found here.