The train back North today marks the end of another working week, and hopefully the beginning of some great new relationships in the London area.
As well as catching up with workload generated during meetings in the early part of the week and attending the business start-up show, I attended my first ever speed networking event in Canary Wharf. When I say meeting new people quickly, networking is of course the best way to do this, but with speed networking the emphasis is definitely on the word 'quickly'.
The meeting was in the Citigroup building, a maximum security skyscraper in the heart of 'The City', a quite magnificent, if a little imposing place from street level.
The format is quite simple, pitch your business in 90 seconds to the person opposite, listen to their pitch, then move one seat to the side. The session is broken up by a guest speaker (an excellent speech by Michelle Harris of Star Copywriting who also got me involved as she explained the importance of a good quality website - thanks Michelle :-)), before the networking resumes.
Of the 34 businesses in the room, I have met what I hope to be some excellent contacts, in particular a graphic designer who outsources coding. I explained how cost-effective using Ascensor was and that we currently actively work for more than 10 northern design agencies, offering either a white label service or a commission based referral scheme. There were also 4 IT companies who always form great contacts, 2 printers (one of whom showed an interest in our Print Calculator) and a distributor of a high-end skin-care product (who got me thinking about possibilities for our retail business). In fact of the split of businesses I would suggest the mix was perfect.
My priority is to identify potential partners, secondary is to identify potential clients - this focus should bring the best return for my time.
It's all about the follow up! I am in the process of thanking all of the people I met for their time and looking to arrange 1to1's with the businesses where specific synergies and opportunities were clear.
Next week I will be following up on the letters I produced for my office neighbours, making a total of 71 news contacts I have introduced Ascensor to this week, I'm happy with that!