How to make friends and network with people
31st March 2010
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There is nothing more important to business in today's market than successful networking.
Once upon a time business types did 'business lunches', granted, but the current trend for networking and belonging to networking groups is LEAGUES beyond that. Although working lunches are still a great way to get out of the office!

There are two great networking opportunities in Canterbury, conveniently also thebestof Canterbury Business Members.

The Kent Invicta Chamber of Commerce is "the ultimate business network in Kent". It covers from Ashford to Tunbridge Wells, Canterbury to Sevenoaks, Maidstone to Tonbridge and Tonbridge & Malling - that's a massive chunk of the region and perfect for promoting businesses across Kent. This proactive membership organisation holds over 100 events per year, including informal networking and full-on business exhibitions.

Joining the Kent Invicta Chamber of Commerce is easy, and membership fees are structured according to the size of your organisation. There are stacks of benefits to joining up - check out this link to find out more.

Another great networking organisation to be in with is BNI Cathedral - the Canterbury Cathedral Chapter of the national Business Network International.
BNI has over 4,200 chapters in 29 countries, and works as a business referral organisation. The main aim is to assist its members to find and exchange referrals for each other and promote 'word-of-mouth' marketing. Benefits include an ongoing training system, the opportunity to market yourself to other like-minded business professionals, who then in turn refer you on as appropriate. 

With an ever tightening marketing budget for most of us, word-of-mouth referrals an face-to-face networking are essential to building sound business links.

It's well worth investigating which networking group suits you - whether it's industry-specific or best for your locality. Google 'networking' and the region or industry you're thinking about and see how many come up.


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Ben Jackson is a freelance writer and photographer with The Little White Studio.

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