We are very fortunate around Reigate to have a number of really great networking and business events. I am asked regularly which of the many events I go to. While I have certainly not tried them all, I'm now at a stage where I have a strong shortlist of events that I try to attend. In this post, I would like to share that list with you.
The obvious place to start is my own events, which I attend without fail. Over the summer, my wife and I host a networking picnic in Reigate Priory Park. There is no agenda to it, just turn up with a picnic blanket and some sandwiches, and see who you meet. I am also putting on a new series of events in Reigate for local small business people to demonstrate the various online apps and tools they love to use.
If you want to hear about the events I put on, the best bet is to join my mailchimp events mailing list: http://eepurl.com/dxl_GP
The Redhill Micropreneurs is one of my favourite business groups in the local area. They generally meet up twice a month, once for a co-working day, and the other for an evening social. While neither event is for networking as such, they are both great for meeting local freelancers and business people. The evening socials are especially good as they are a great opportunity to kick back and relax while chatting about the unique lifestyle that comes with running a small business.
Both the co-working days, and the social rotate between different locations, so it is well worth joining the meetup group.
The Learning Lunches hosted by Reigate & Banstead Borough Council are fantastic. These were some of the first events I attended when I started out, and I have been a regular there ever since. As you may have guessed by the title, the focus is more on learning something. However, there is some light networking before and after. The team at Reigate & Banstead put on some great speakers, hand picked from the local business community. These events normally draw in an exceptionally friendly crowd.
Details about future Learning Lunches, as well as information about other ways Reigate & Banstead support the local business community, can be found on the Reigate & Banstead Borough Council website.
Breakfast events are normally quite tricky for me to get to. Most mornings I need to drop one of our two children off at school. That said, when I do get the opportunity, my breakfast meeting of choice is the Redhill & Reigate Referrals at the Reigate Manor Hotel. Hosted by Kevin Horlock, they have a relaxed atmosphere, include a generous breakfast, and are well attended by some really great people.
Another event I don't get to nearly as much as I would like is the Networking evening at Dorking Rugby Club run by Nicola Macdonald and Chris Webb. It has a fantastic rugby themed format that splits the group into separate tables for a smaller, more meaningful networking experience. When I have managed to make it, the atmosphere has been really warm and welcoming, and the people have shown a genuine interest in each others businesses.
Every other month, Morrisons Solicitors host a great evening event called Redhill & Reigate Connects. It's held from 5:30 to 7:30 at the fantastic Old Reigatian Rugby Club. It normally draws in a broad range of people, including many prominent figures from the local business community. As if that wasn't enough, they serve complimentary drink and canapes (which are delicious!)