Wirral Entrepreneurs Network has hosted seven events in West Kirby, since launching in May 2023.
In that time, almost 200 local professionals have attended. Many of them return every month. Events are free-of-charge and promise a warm welcome.
Tips for new networkers
Ahead of the next Wirral Entrepreneurs Network event. taking place on Tuesday 23 January at Leaf in West Kirby, founder and host Gillian Torres offers the following tips. If you’d like to build your business through networking this year, take note!
Remember – everyone is in the same boat
If you’ve never attended a networking event before it can be a daunting prospect. So, if you find yourself worrying about what to wear, what to take with you, what to say… know that everyone has the same concerns. Believe me. I’ve been running events like this for almost 20 years and I still feel nervous when I go to a new one.
As for what to wear, what to take and what to say – show up as you are:
- Dress to feel comfortable and confident (or as close to that as you can get)
- Take business cards if you have them but if you don’t, it really doesn’t matter. Everyone has a phone; it takes seconds to exchange details. I haven’t carried business cards in years
- In terms of conversation, ask people about themselves. They’re probably a little nervous too. If you can make them feel included and heard, they’ll like and remember you. That’s a firm foundation for a new professional relationship.
Do your research and ask questions
There are lots of different types of events. Some start at 6am and are very structured. If you’re an early riser who appreciates efficiency, those might be perfect for you. Others take place over a glass of wine in the evenings.
Some have a yearly fee and others, like Wirral Entrepreneurs Network, are free-to-attend. There are loads of variables. Pick one or two events that you like the look of and try them. Don’t be afraid to message the hosts beforehand and ask your questions. They expect it.
Personally, I like informal events that don’t start too early and allow me to do as much or as little mingling as I feel like doing on the day. I couldn’t find an event like that when I moved to West Kirby, so I started one! I’ll be introducing some new events this year, at different times of day, but they’ll always focus on being friendly, relaxed and either free or low-cost.
Don’t feel pressure to ‘work the room’
Even if you want to win new business, even if that’s the only reason you’re going to a networking event, resist the urge to ‘sell’.
Aim to have one or two good conversations that focus on getting to know the person in front of you, whoever they are. If you notice someone standing on their own, welcome them into your conversation. People reciprocate. Take an interest in them and they’ll take an interest in you.
Show up to the same networking events regularly and you’ll get to know people. Referrals will happen naturally. It really is the friendliest way to do business!
Recognise anyone from our past events?
Have you been yet? Above are a selection of images from past events. Can you spot anyone you know? Head to www.wirralentrepreneurs.co.uk book your free place at the next event.