Rye Networking Over Coffee has grown amazingly over the last 12 months from just a handful of members to a record 33 committed “networkers” in November. It’s the brainchild of Sarah Gaddie, a modern day entrepreneur who balances her life between bringing up three children and working. In November 2015, Rye Networking Over Coffee was launched and five people came along, a carpenter, a reflexologist, a representative from a local solicitor, a colour stylist and Sarah. The Kino in Rye allowed the group to use their stunning Silver Room for six months. Although the group was small initially, there was still plenty of business being passed around with referrals and recommendations.
[Editor’s note: For those unfamiliar with networking groups, the aim is to make new business contacts and use those contacts to obtain increased business through referrals, recommendations and personal contact].
There’s no membership fee for going to the meetings and there’s no business lock-out, an idea practised by some groups where there can only be one person representing a certain profession. Sarah’s philosophy is that, “people buy people and we all have something different to offer.” It’s a concept that is paying dividends amongst this mixed group of lively business people.
After its initial spell at the Kino, the group has met in various venues in the local area including the Rye Rugby club, The George Hotel and The Gallivant. Sarah thinks this is a great way of helping to promote and support local venues. The function room at The Mermaid Inn was the setting for their last meeting where teas, coffees and biscuits were supplied free of charge in exchange for donations to their charity box. This forward thinking hotel realised the potential of so many well connected business people using their facilities and the concept of supporting a charity fitted perfectly with Sarah’s ethos that successful business people should contribute to the community.
If you are looking for a relaxed and informal business networking event, this could be the one for you. First of all, it’s just chatting casually followed by a sit down and an opportunity for attendees to share news about themselves and their businesses and at the end there’s always time to share any upcoming events. Networking isn’t just about who is in the room, it’s about who everyone knows and how people can help each other.
The Rye Networking Over Coffee group meets on the last Tuesday of the month from 10am until midday and has a Facebook group of the same name. However, due to the festive season, the December meeting is taking place on December 20. If you are thinking of joining in, it’s a good idea to get in touch with Sarah first (firstname.lastname@example.org) so she knows you are coming along and she can welcome you and introduce you to this thriving group.
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