We had a brilliant afternoon yesterday with a hog roast and cricket games on the lawn in the Norfolk countryside.
My BNI, a business networking group in Norwich, got together for a social event at one of the member's houses. The sun finally appeared from behind the clouds, the kids and the dog played on the trampoline and we all had a game of cricket, rounded off by the dog doing something very rude on my 10 year old's back! I haven't laughed so much for ages.
Although we do a lot of business networking, the social aspects are as important as the meetings themselves. I love having a coffee with everyone after the meetings, or meeting up with people individually to find out more about them - and it was great yesterday to meet everyone's family and seeing the kids all play together.
This was one of the reasons we set up Norfolk Netwalking with Stephen Ferrey of Moco Developments - we wanted to form a networking group where people could meet in a relaxed setting, bringing along their kids and dogs if they want. The idea is that people network without actually realising they're networking.
The formal networking meetings like BNI generate a huge amount of business because they are very focussed on results and provide some great training - and of course, there are our own bestof networking events. The next one is on 28th July but will be a relaxed lunch, with marquee, music, glass of wine, buffet, scalextrics and pamper room.