When I decided to relaunch my writing career (after six years as a teacher), I knew that I wanted to work locally this time.
Seven years ago, I was Internal Communications Manager for part of Unilever (the fish fingers and Magnums part) and loved it, but somehow my writing had become secondary to my management.
This time wasn't going to be like that. I was fortunate in being offered some work with a big agency in London as soon as I needed it, but really, for me, Hitchin and Hertfordshire remains where I want to work. After all, I chose to live here and I want to be part of Hitchin's thriving community.
Luckily, I made contact with a couple of people who began introducing me to networking locally. Never done it before, but beginning to really see the value of it. My first event was at The Victoria, so the venue wasn't going to be a problem. I have been known to enter a pub from time to time.
As soon as Louise Yexley told me that the event was catered by Buns and Bunting and that tea and cakes would be on offer, I was sold.
So, I took myself off on Wednesday 19 October, not knowing what to expect. What I found was a room full of people, all happily swapping business ideas, contact details and chats. It was all made easier for me from people I've known for a while - neither Doug Brooker nor I will divulge how long it's been since we were at school! There were also people I'd never met and businesses I had no idea existed in and around Hitchin.
I've loved social networking since the beginning (an early adopter of Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn) and now I think I'm getting a little enamoured of face to face networking.
I can't measure the benefit of one morning's chatting, but I sense the sowing of seeds. I know business people who don't see the point of it, but I hope that in the weeks and months of come, I might be able to prove them wrong. After all, the Cuppa Connect session cost me £2 and two hours away from my business: I'll let you know when I invoice that much to a business I met there!
Written by Hilary Robertson http://hilaryrobertson.blogspot.com/
Member since: 31st May 2012
Writer and sax player. Brought up in Hitchin and - apart from uni and some ensuing madness of life in London - I've always lived here.