Start your own WiRE Network - It's fun and it works
Business and Life Coach Alison Robinson led the way in creating one of the first local WiRE networks in 2006 in Worcestershire.
Desperate smiles. Frantic scrabbling for business card. Cynical searching for the 'players' in the room. This was my early experience of some networking events. There had to be a better way.
Browsing on the WiRE website I noticed there wasn't a WiRE network close to where I lived. In a classic 'seize the day' moment I offered to set one up or at least to see if there was enough local interest to warrant a group forming.
The inaugral meeting took place - 18 women crammed round my kitchen table eating soup. Not a bad start. Since then, we have talked about how to get customers to pay us, learnt how to get media coverage, found out about reflexology, herd how to optimise search engine ratings, practice self-defence - all that in only 5 meetings!
On top of all that, alliannces have formed, business transacted, deals done, contacts swapped, help given and received, new friendships established and old ones revived, work commissioned and tips shared between competitors.
We have ended up with a fantastically successful group which is definitely more fun and arguably more effective than the more usual types of networking. Some of our members attend all the meetings, some get along occassionally but also contribute 'virtually'.