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The Social Network by Helen Groom

14/01/13

Chef

In today’s ‘business society’ there is an increased importance on ‘convenience networking’ such as building contacts via LinkedIn, Twitter or through an email introduction, such social media platforms have revolutionised the way we make contacts, especially as most of us are really busy so don’t have the time for lunch meetings anymore. Whilst these are incredibly great ways to build your network of contacts, in my opinion nothing can beat building links face-to-face.  

I suppose I would consider myself ‘pretty popular’, having worked in the city for more than a decade I have built a trusted network of business contacts, some of which I would even call friends. I initially met the majority of these as a result of hosting events or from repeatedly seeing them at various networking seminars, gala dinners, launch parties and conferences that have taken place inSouth Walesover the years. 

Cardiffboasts a thriving corporate social scene, hardly a week goes by without the prospect of a new launch party being talked about on Twitter, and there are also several great networking groups out there tailored to suit all types of businesses and individuals so take advantage of these opportunities if you can. Attending events provide several benefits to your business, most notably the opportunity to make new contacts and chat to peers/ existing contacts to gain valuable information in order to establish whether there are strategic partnership opportunities.  

In addition to attending events, if the nature of your business allows you to host them then I’d strongly recommend you do. Hosting an event is a great way to say thank you to your existing clients and nurture relationships with potential new ones, with the added bonus of showcasing your venue or business offering, first-hand.  Whilst hosting a conference talking about a field you’re expert in, can position you as an authority in your industry. 

We introduced ourselves into the marketplace back in May 2011 with a launch party and since then we have played host to a variety of events and conferences.   

When it comes to events it’s key to try and stand apart from your competitors and think outside the box as ultimately you want people to remember you. Most recently we held a very special evening, Celebrity Kitchen, where we had three ofWales’ biggest sportstars, Jamie Roberts, Nathan Cleverly and Simon Jones cook for invited guests in aid of Ty Hafan, which not only wowed our guests but also raised over £4,000 for the charity. I am still receiving emails over a month on from guests to say what a wonderful time they had, most have stated they will bear us in mind if they’re looking for a venue in future or have simply advised they’d love to stay in touch. 

In today’s business climate you may not have the time or resources to spend organising an event in which case seek outside assistance from a professional event management company, they will work to your objectives so you can then concentrate on the day-to-day running of your job. They have experience so they know the best suppliers to work with in-line with your budget and can manage the all- important guest list for you too. Don’t forget events also provide a great news-hook which will further raise the profile of your business.  

I hope to meet a lot of you soon, face-to-face at a networking event, of course!

Written by Helen Groom, 48, is the marketing manager of The Best Western Plus Maldron Hotel,Cardiff and was first published in Hatched #4

The BEST WESTERN PLUS Maldron Hotel Cardiff boasts 216 modern bedrooms. The Maldrons’ stylish Stir Bar and Restaurant is open to non-residential guests and offers stunning panoramic views across the city. The dedicated business centre comprises of 8 modern meeting rooms for functions, meetings, private parties, sports hospitality and conferences. www.maldronhotelcardiffcity.com 

The Maldron Hotel Cardiff work with PR, Marketing and Event specialists, Seren7 Ltd to run thier amazing events. Follow on @MaldronCardiff & @Seren_7 on Twitter to find out about the events they are running.

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