Tag Archives: networking

Twegals Tweet Up – June 7th 2011

Twitter is a great medium for stimulating debate, and an excellent forum for meeting new and like minded people.

In terms of relationships, Twitter is essentially a forum for meeting others. You have to take that virtual meeting off line if you want to begin to create a real relationship. As they say on Twitter you need to meet IRL (in real life).

Tweet Up

A Tweet up is a great opportunity to meet other tweeps IRL so is well worth making the effort to attend if it doesn’t clash with your other engagements.

The Lex 2011 Tweetup, organised by Brian Inkster (@BrianInkster) and Linda Cheung (@LindaCheungUK), was popular – perhaps the only complaint I have about it would be that there wasn’t enough time to meet all the Twegals that attended!

That is why I volunteered to host the next one, along with Steve Williams (@motoringlawyer).

Steve organised a poll to find out where the next meet should be held. We found there was popular demand for a June event in London, closely followed by a June event in the North.

So that’s how it’s come about that I am hosting the Tweet up on June 7th in London. If you haven’t yet given your RSPV on Twtvite here is a link to the Twegals Tweetup

And, look out for more news from Steve on the North Tweet up.

What to Expect

If you want a flavour of what to expect, Brian Inkster’s piece points towards write ups of the Lex 2011 Tweetup by a number of attendees, and includes a host of comments as to what people did and didn’t like.

Reading the comments, I decided it would be impossible to please everyone. So I’ve gone with what was practicable to achieve, given the constraints of a busy life and limited time in which to organise and chase people.

I had hosted an event at the Yorkshire Grey a few years ago, so decided it would be a good venue. Unfortunately, things have changed because the management wanted a £500 deposit to hold the function room. This would be repayable once the pub achieved £500 in food and drink sales.

I provisionally booked the room and set up a donation facility so those attending could donate. I quickly decided against this when only 2 people donated and it was clear we would not have anywhere near the required deposit by the deadline the pub had given. So, I let the room go, hoping no-one would book it for a Tuesday night. Also I remembered the bar area downstairs was a good size.

In the meantime, I emailed a few businesses I happen to know are interested in the legal market to see if they were interested in sponsoring the Tweet up. I didn’t follow up on these because someone else booked the function room in the meantime.

So when you turn up on the night, expect to buy your own food and drink. The pub is generally very quiet on a Tuesday evening, and hopefully we should have most of the room to ourselves.

I will be writing a post script afterwards, and if you have comments or suggestions before or after the Tweet up do please leave them here.

Benefits of attending

A Tweet up is a great time saver because you can meet lots of tweeps in one go.

If the people you meet are tweeps you’ve already come across on Twitter all the better, but if not a Tweet up presents opportunities for discovering new tweeps you may want to follow in future.

When you’re not restricted to 140 character conversations, and get to meet face to face you are more likely to identify who you want to spend more time with, perhaps over coffee or lunch. For any of us who are time starved this is a real boon.

New Innovation Group Launching Soon

While we had made good progress, we have now decided to park the Innovation Group for the moment to help the Islington Chamber of Commerce push ahead with the Camden & Islington business awards on October 27th.  We will pick it back up when the Chamber is ready.  To find out more about the 2011 Business Awards, visit the ICoC site here.

This is a group being launched jointly by Shireen Smith of Azrights and the Islington Chamber of Commerce.  The objective of the group is to foster inventions and innovation, by bringing entrepreneurial businesses and inventors together to act as a catalyst for new ideas.

Through bi-monthly guest presentations giving insights into starting up or growing a successful business or taking new products to market, the group will become a forum where like-minded individuals will be able to meet and share views.   Members and guests will have an opportunity to learn about particular facets of innovation, and intellectual property rights, and get to know one another informally.  The emphasis is on helping businesses find out what they need to do to get to market, and bring them together to speed up the process.

The ethos of the Innovation group is:

  • While one person may be able to come up with an innovative business model, invariably to put that idea into practice requires a whole range of skills and experience.
  • Different businesses can collaborate to realize a project in a shorter time, and to a better standard, to the mutual benefit of them both.
  • Practices which are normal in one line of business may seem revolutionary in another. If professionals from different fields meet in the right context there is a chance they will discover a better or novel way of doing business.

By networking informally over food and drink once the guest presentations have been delivered, members will discover opportunities for collaboration.  Exchanging ideas could lead to interesting new relationships and opportunities for participants to progress their business plans.

We’re excited to have the possibility of sponsorship from London Metropolitan University whose digital media business incubator programme has supported 70 early stage SMEs over the past 4 years with work space, business advice, education and mentoring. Their tech startup venue, the Accelerator is the planned location for the group’s inaugural meeting on September 6th.

Jeremy Phillips of IPKat fame is to deliver a presentation on the Intellectual Property Rights, and we are in talks with a well known inventor to share his experience of successfully taking his invention to market.  Keep an eye on this blog for further updates.

The meeting will be open to all, although ICOC members will have preferential rates.  Bookings will open in mid June. If you want to be notified when the link becomes available drop us a line here.  There are a maximum of 50 places, and it will be first come, first served.

Etiquette of post networking communications

While I’ve previously written about the legal requirements regarding Data Protection and Email Marketing, this is about email marketing following contacts you meet physically when networking.
You will exchange cards with many people when attending networking events. So here I just want to explore what happens to those contacts afterwards.

It’s safe to say that most people are networking in order to extend their contacts, and hopefully to win business. As Dr. Ivan Misner of BNI, who knows a thing or two about networking, famously puts it: Givers Gain. This means, if I give you business, you’re going to want to give me business.

To be able to give someone business, you need to take an interest in what they do. Therefore, if we have exchanged cards while out networking, I would argue that there is nothing to get upset about if I add you to my list of contacts and email you my newsletter or a special offer or whatever. Provided you can unsubscribe then that’s perfectly acceptable. If you unsubscribe, it will signal to me that you’re not interested in me or in my business, or in helping me or having me as a contact.

So, I am surprised how some people find it so objectionable to  be put on a newsletter list – for example, Heather Townsend here (it is just an archive now, but I read her post earlier this year when she first wrote it, and have finally found time to write my take on it) . My feeling is  that whether you email someone to say you intend to put them on your list or simply do so, doesn’t make a great deal of difference in practice. I’ve tried both approaches.

Either way if the other person doesn’t want to receive your news, they will have to take some action. If you’ve emailed to ask whether they’d mind you adding them to your newsletter list, they’ll have to email back to say no please don’t add me to your list. While if you have simply added them, they’ll have to click your unsubscribe link so as not to receive any more newsletters from you. I would argue it puts less burden on them to simply send them your newsletter, because clicking an unsubscribe link involves less work for them.

Email is really very non intrusive in the scale of things. When you consider telephone sales and door knockers, junk mail and text messages, email is so much less problematic. All you need to do is press delete, or unsubscribe if you’re not interested. I suspect the irritation over ‘spam’ and emotive phraseology (calling it ‘illegal’) is really more a displaced annoyance over the daily battle to control inboxes, and all those foreign emails you can’t just unsubscribe from….