Last Wednesday, the second Guildford Ladies Connections meeting was held at the Yvonne Arnaud Theatre, Guildford. Around 30 women of all ages and professions met to enjoy coffee and pastries, discuss business, and meet new people.

Run by Rebecca Newenham of Get Ahead VA (previous showrunner of Ladies at 11, a similar networking meeting) and Sally Castro Gouveia of thebestofguildford (runs nearby Ripley Connections meeting), Ladies Connections meets once monthly on the last Wednesday of the month. The format incorporates some of the best regarded elements of other successful networking communities, such as the contribution round, used to great effect by BNI, and 1-2-1s, which 4Networking is based on.

The meeting begins with informal networking, and then formally opens with the passing of business cards. Each lady then gives her “elevator pitch”, and then there is a 10 minute member presentation to give an insight into their business, and then an education slot. Previous educations have been about networking skills, and learning methods.

Subsequently, each member has the opportunity to have a 10 minute 1-2-1 with another member of their choice. This gives you a greater knowledge about what contacts they are seeking, and what they may be able to do for you. Up to three of these 1-2-1s take place, time dependent. Finally, each member contributes thoughts about the meeting, requests further 1-2-1s, or suggests referrals.

The two meetings I have attended have been very interesting. As the group is just starting out, it will be intriguing to see how it develops, and whether the many useful elements can be packed into the 2 hour meeting. The female atmosphere gives rise to a very different environment for networking, and the room at the Yvonne Arnaud feels perfect for the group: cosy and welcoming. Another great advantage is that the majority of the faces were new to me.

The next meeting is on 28th November at 10:30am, and costs £10 to cover your breakfast. If anyone is interested in meeting some amazing businesswomen in the Guildford area, comment below or email me.

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