It is widely reported within the PR industry at the moment that our networking events, especially those organised by the Chartered Institute of Public Relations, are being extremely well attended these days.
It’s not the lure of a free drink or, indeed, a symptom of people having extra time on their hands due to the economic gloom. It is much more a case of like-minded professionals comparing notes, looking out for new twists and turns that can help improve their businesses as always but above all, they are seeking positive news and perhaps some reassurance from others. Such networking has even more of a purpose than before.
I believe that we saw similar at our own Chamber of Commerce networking event here in Eastbourne just last week. A record turnout with over a 100 members happy to travel out to the edge of town, to a recently redeveloped Hillier Garden Centre and, as it happens, a client for whom we have carried out a good deal of launch marketing.
Again, whilst the tea and cakes were all very good, as was the venue being visited by many for the first time, it was the “extra buzz” that was clearly of value. Good to hear from Hillier, winners of 66 consecutive Golds at Chelsea and supplier to 1,000 garden centres throughout the UK in addition to some 14 of their own, that a near £3mill investment is already bearing fruit. A few secrets of their success were shared but the shoulder-to-shoulder, face-to-face chatter was clearly the greatest boost, for everybody’s business.