Networking. A word that you either love or hate. Gone are the days of standing in the corner with a name badge, wondering if it was worth your while to turn up to a drab event space whilst chewing the edge of a paper cup filled with bad instant coffee. Watching the clock and trying to decide an acceptable time to make your excuses and leave.
These days networking is becoming a real social occasion for your business where you can meet like-minded individuals in a relaxed, modern social event and feel part of a collaborative group.
Meet The Collective SC which stands for Southsea and Chichester. The founders are Abby and Helen who are great friends and have the same ethos: To bring individuals and small businesses together that can really help each other, give tips, ideas and finding ways of working together to push their businesses forward.
This isn’t a once a blue moon event either. In an aim to be inclusive of working hours, they hold an informal but productive evening mingle once a month as well as two coffee mornings. So, if you miss an event you still have a chance to catch up with folk in your area at another venue in the same month, how cool is that?
I do find that I start out with the best intentions of meeting everyone in the room at a networking event, but that just doesn’t happen (maybe I talk too much?). Being able to attend the next catch up is ideal as hopefully you can get around more people, or follow up on conversations you had at the previous event.
Helen and Abby set up their collective group in Chichester just over a year ago and it has gained a huge momentum there with over 100 members. Having an inspiration hub website means people can also support each other online in-between the events; another fabulous idea! Introducing Sam as the Southsea organiser means there is someone actually around the area to offer support and advice.
I am proud to say I’ve been asked by Helen and Abby to be an ambassador for The Collective and after meeting them, seeing how genuine and focused they are, I felt it sat right with me. I love authentic, friendly, caring people and Helen and Abby ooze those vibes. The girls have a wonderful motto which is built on a shared ethos and approach to life,
“Collaboration, friendship, and warmth.”
The Collective aspires to inspire, empower and celebrate its members and support them in achieving their goals. It’s a mission statement I can really get behind and so I would love to see them succeed in Southsea.
So how can you get involved?
Well as a local business or individual you can sign up for a membership from £19 a month which offers online support, as well as one evening mingle (which usually includes a guest speaker or influencer) and there are the two catch-up coffee mornings in cool places across Southsea.
Join the next coffee catch-up at the Hunter-Gatherer Coffee shop on Albert Road on the 31st of October at 9.30am where you can meet the team and find out more info on this new collaborative group.
Check out their website for more details
Find The Collective SC on social media here
By Louise O’Brien