Everyone works in an industry where someone can do it for cheaper – right?
Network My Club Founder & Managing Director, Bradley Hatchett, addresses the challenges we face when it comes to our line of work and in particular, business networking events…
Now, it’s quite easy to feel overwhelmed when it comes to networking, as there are SO MANY events out there. Naturally, this means the free or low-cost ‘pay as you go’ events can seem quite tempting. This includes those ‘networking’ events businesses organise purely to entice people to attend so they can sell or promote their latest products/services – we see you!
But do you consider the quality or the value of what that could bring, like you would do with any other purchase? I.e. when searching for a hotel room, would you go for a £25 hotel room over a £75 one without giving it any thought or doing any research whatsoever?! Probably not – unless you’re 18-year-old me tasked with booking a holiday to Tenerife for my friends where the brief was ‘cheaper the better’. You can imagine what we ended up in…
My point is – not every networking event is the same. They can vary in so many different ways, including format, audience, venue, organisers…the list is endless.
We’ve been told by people in the past (before they’ve attended, I must add), “Oh you’re not cheap are you!” or “Well that’s quite expensive to attend”. Which is fine, as we value our level of service and quality of events, and certainly don’t want to be the cheapest or attracting those that are looking for the cheapest.
Those people tend to follow the narrative of; attending every event they can find, giving you a sales pitch, looking around the room or over your shoulder when you’re speaking (if you get the chance to), before giving you their business card and swiftly moving on.
It’s those people that don’t get any business and then make the decision that ‘networking doesn’t work’.
With paid networking, with that element of commitment, this mindset breeds more open-minded and collaborative conversations, with the view to help one another. It is viewed as an investment, both financially and with their time, to network with like-minded people.
“We’ve been really impressed with the promotion and awareness the Network My Club team build for members. Events are well attended, with attendees of a high calibre from a range of different sectors.”
Like many industries, if you do it on the cheap and don’t see results you were hoping for, it’s likely you’ll bemoan the service or method, suggesting that it doesn’t work for you. Using retail as an example, typically when we buy cheap, we buy twice. The same can be said for networking. However, with time, the right strategy, whilst regarding it as an investment, you will find something that works.
Therefore, to highlight (naturally using Network My Club as an example) what you get when you attend a paid for event, you are paying for:
Organisation – we have a team of 5 full time members of staff that are dedicated to ensuring each event is organised, attended and delivered to our desired high standards. The success of Network My Club is built on the quality of our events and the level of service to our members, so we’re always seeking and discussing ways to innovation and improve, both internally and externally.
4.9 / 5 – average answer in our post event survey to question; ‘How would you rate the organisation of today’s event?’
(Sent out after every single one of our events since August 2018 – 125+ events and counting)
Quality of Attendees – because of our dedicated team, our focus is to ensure that each business club across the Network My Club group consists of the best quality attendees, both in terms of seniority and decision maker level, as well as the businesses themselves.
“First class networking group. We’ve joined and it has been super impressive. Network My Club have really got it right. Affordable, high end and super supportive networking. All the people are top drawer and it’s a really relaxed, but professional atmosphere.”
Venue – there’s a reason we host our events at iconic sporting venues. They are inspiring, versatile and accessible. Each unique in their own right and regularly used as an icebreaker for attendees. Makes a change from a windowless function or meeting room…
4.8 / 5 – average answer in our post event survey to question; ‘How would you rate the venue?’
Guest Speakers – another dynamic to our events is the regular inclusion of inspirational, motivational and insightful guest speakers. These TED style talks allow our attendees to hear an interesting story and attain some takeaways from the event to implement in their life or business. Our guest speakers to date have ranged from Olympic athletes, ex-military, adventurers, entrepreneurs and many others, including:
- Mick Dawson – Trans Atlantic and North Pacific Ocean rower
- Gail Emms MBE – Olympic Silver and World Championship Gold Medallist
- Kevin Gaskell – Former CEO of Porsche, Aston Martin and Lamborghini
- Ness Knight – Adventurer, Conservationist and Ocean Advocate
- Steve McCulley – Ex-Royal Marine and Founder of LIOS Bikes
- Nick Hollis – Mountaineer and Seven Summiteer
Food – included at all of our events is a quality buffet, curated by the venue catering team to showcase some of the best they have to offer. When was the last time you said that the tray of biscuits and coffee really hit the spot? They do say; there’s no such thing as a free lunch!
As I said, not every networking event is the same.
So, come along and try one of our events for yourself, we always welcome businesses to try and event or two out before committing to joining. Find an event you’d like to attend here and book online.
We encourage non-members to first of all meet us, understand how we work, test the format and then decided if it is a good fit for their business. We don’t think you’ll be disappointed.