I’ve been attending Swindon Business Village regularly for the past 8 years. We meet every week (with a short break for the Summer holidays!) at the Campanile Hotel in Swindon, not far from J16 of the M4.
For someone who essentially works alone from a home office it’s a great opportunity once a week to get out and meet other local business people ‘face to face’, and to find out what’s happening in the local area.
At a cost of just £10 (which includes breakfast, and which is only payable for the weeks when I attend) this is a cost-effective marketing tool as well. For anyone who thinks they can do all of their business networking online – think again! Online networking might be a reasonable way to connect with large numbers of people, but face to face is a better way to develop trust and build lasting business relationships.
Business Village members make these meetings fun and enjoyable, without losing sight of the more serious business nature. A varied events schedule that mixes round table networking with referrals sessions and presentations ensures that there is always something of interest and useful going on.
Here are my own personal top 10 reasons for attending Business Village :
- Business relationships are built, and real business is done. Business Village has been one of the largest sources of new business for me, either directly with another member or through a referral to someone a member knows;
- Elevator pitches are developed – ok, the term itself has probably had it’s day, but standing up and telling a friendly group of people what you do, and how you can help them, really can make you better at doing it when you’re in a real elevator!
- The face-to-face contact helps people put a face to the name, and helps develop trust. I have personally met several hundred local business people through Business Village whom I would not otherwise have met. This is not the same as just exchanging business cards with people you meet at conferences or other events, these are real conversations which are reinforced every time you see that person at a subsequent Business Village meeting;
- Business Village is educational – I have learnt a lot of business lessons from the various presentations that members have delivered;
- It’s a great value way to market your business – £10 gets you breakfast and puts you in front of 15-20 local businesses, and it won’t even eat into your normal working day (if such a thing exists any more);
- No commitment – you can attend as little or as often as you like. Some people only attend a couple of times a year, and others attend most events.
- You have a room full of specialists and business experts who are happy to offer advice and assistance. You can even try out new ideas by using the group for some snap market research;
- Collaborate with other members to deliver products and services that use the skills available around the table;
- As a member you can take one of the regular presentation slots to better market your business, or perhaps to promote a new product or business service, even better. If you would like to take a presentation slot, please let us know;
- It’s a real pleasure to help other businesses, even without the expectation of receiving anything in return. Indeed, doing a little extra investigation or research in my own field to help members has educated me and improved my own knowledge – so it really is a win-win;
Come and enjoy Business Village for yourself
To recap, we meet every Thursday morning at the Campanile Hotel not far from J16 of the M4. Meetings cost £10 to attend, which includes breakfast, and each meeting runs from 7.30 until 9.00 (although there is always informal networking that goes on afterwards).
You can register on the website to attend a meeting, which helps us plan, but you can just turn up on Thursday morning if you prefer.Our Event Schedule
This is a great place to build new business relationships in 2013 – we look forward to seeing you!
p.s. If you want to stretch your networking even further, why not register as a member and then join for a bit of online networking on this website?Join Business Village
As well as being a Business Village regular, Martin Jarvis is a website designer and WordPress expert. He’s also a francophile, and loves connecting with other businesses.