A contact recently asked me to send them a list of networking events happening in the local area (HD8, Huddersfield, Wakefield, Leeds – West Yorkshire) as they were considering getting out there and networking their business. As I believe you should repurpose your content, I thought I would create a blog on here to help others too.
The list below contains events that I either run or help organise, attend myself or otherwise recommend, supported by the comments of trusted others.
The HD8 Network supports and promotes the HD8 area of Huddersfield and runs a monthly networking event – The Meetup – and is now on the 1st Thursday of the month between 10-midday at Storthes Hall and is supported by FSB (they are buying the cake!) – http://hd8network.eventbrite.com/ The next event is on 6th February.
FSB Connect Leeds is a new event for 2020 and will be held on the 4th Thursday of the month between 5-7pm at Duke Studios in Leeds, with the first event on 23rd January – Book your tickets here – https://www.fsb.org.uk/event-calendar/fsb-connect-leeds-jan2020.html
CVBN – Colne Valley Business Network – also have one planned for 23rd January between 4-6pm and it is also their first one. I understand they are planning to hold their events bi-monthly or quarterly, and they have over 50 signed up to attend their debut event. The FSB also support this event and are contributing towards the refreshments. Tickets can be booked here – https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/colne-valley-business-network-relaunch-tickets-89759770891
And I think there is often an Around Town event in Huddersfield on the 4th Thursday of the month, but I don’t have any more details about this at the moment.
Due to the amount of activity happening on the 4th Thursday of the month in the area, we have decided to find another date for the FSB Connect Huddersfield, as we previously held it on the 4th Thursday of the month … I can let you have details when we settle on them.
The FSB Connect Dewsbury event is held on the 3rd Wednesday of the month. You can book tickets here – https://www.fsb.org.uk/event-calendar/fsb-connect-dewsbury-feb2020.html
The Huddersfield Huddle is a fantastic event, previously run by the wonderful Mark Evans, but has recently been handed over to new organisers. This has previously been held monthly on a Monday evening at the Head of Steam and is a Yorkshire Mafia event.
There is also the MY Network events which are run in collaboration with the Mid Yorkshire Chamber of Commerce and partners. The Huddersfield is the third Wednesday of the month at Café Ollo between 9-11am – the next one 21st Feb https://www.mycci.co.uk/events/3290-my-network-huddersfield and the Wakefield one is held at The Hop on a Friday lunchtime I think the last Friday of the month.
There is of course BNI – Business Networking International – one of the most well known networking events. Unlike all the others above, to attend regularly and maximise your experience you need to be a member, however you are usually welcomed to attend as a visitor – as long as there are no category clashes. When I discuss networking events with people, I describe a spectrum, with the FSB Connects, MY Network and Huddersfield Huddle at one end and BNI at the very opposite end. BNI is extremely structured and regimented, and only one person per category is allowed to join the group. It is a weekly meeting with the motto “Givers Gain”, whereby members are required to bring positive contributions, which include Referrals or Testimonials for the other group members or invite and bring visitors to the meeting. Whilst it might have a corporate feel to it, Trades seem to do amazingly well at receiving work through this method. However there are other benefits apart from getting work; recently I heard a fellow member say “I joined for the money and to get work, but I stay for the support and relationships I have built up and rely on day to day”. I attend BNI Terriers representing the Effective Group and we meet on Wednesday mornings between 6.30 – 8.30am at the 315 in Lepton, but there are meetings in Calderdale, Ossett, Yorkshire Sculpture Park and many many other various places across the world. Find a chapter here – https://www.bni.com/find-a-chapter or get in touch and I will invite you as my visitor, as long as you don’t clash with my fellow members. My advice is to go as a visitor and meet the members, my experience over the past 10 years of being a visitor has always varied at each meeting, despite the carbon copy format – like with all these events it is about the people in the room. (Gosh this could be a blog in itself!)
Sayers Solutions is excited to be exhibiting and speaking at the West Yorkshire Expo (previously known as Huddersfield Business Show) which is the 2nd April https://westyorkshireexpo.co.uk/
And there is the Huddersfield Business Conference run by the Mid Yorkshire Chamber of Commerce in March https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/kirklees-business-conference-2020-tickets-84578870679.
When I am able to attend I have enjoyed the Huddersfield Town Enterprise Academy (HTEA) events, supported by Kirklees College. This is the next one – https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/inspirational-csr-htea-networking-event-tickets-88675774629
I have also enjoyed the Simply Networking event in Leeds and connected with some interesting people there in the past http://www.networking4business.com/. They also run events in Liverpool and Manchester and I believe have attempted to get one going in Huddersfield. Mark Greenwood is a fabulous host and really makes you feel welcome.
Simply Networking also run quarterly Expo events which I have been very impressed with, they are a very cost effective way of exhibiting your business.
Inspiring Women in Business run by Huddersfield Giants is also a very enjoyable event, which is clearly targeted at inspiring women in business. There have been some very motivational speakers, I have made good connections, but most of all I have had the opportunity to catch up with some wonderful women that I have had the pleasure of networking and working with over the years.
Last year I was dipping my toe into events happening over the hill in Barnsley. There were a variety of events that I attended and I especially enjoyed the events run by the Barnsley and Rotherham Chamber of Commerce, but found they were drawing me towards Rotherham and Sheffield direction, and I rationed that they were too far out for me. But if this is an area you would like to do business check out – https://www.brchamber.co.uk/events/
Other events you might consider are
Perfect People, these are very popular in the Huddersfield and Halifax area, and maybe even further afield – https://www.perfectpeople.group/
I have also heard good things about InBusiness, but not attended myself
There is also 4N, which like BNI has a variety of events across the country, but unlike BNI you can attend as many different locations as you wish and so are not tied into a chapter. I understand you buy a passport which covers an amount of days, and so can attend as many events as you wish during that period. There seems to be quite a few locally including Barnsley, Leeds and Wakefield. Find out more here – https://www.4networking.biz/find-meetings/
Brand Yorkshire also hold a variety of different events, I think there is one that is focused on Construction and Property, as well as other general events.
Other useful information
When googling for links to add to the descriptions above I have found Wakefield First’s website that has a calendar of events happening in Wakefield – https://www.wakefieldfirst.com/events/
There is also a very useful blog post written by Social Progress, which not only provides a list of networking events, but also useful information you might want to think about when considering attending – https://socialprogress.co.uk/networking-events-in-and-around-west-yorkshire/
I hope this has given you an overview of some of the networking events and opportunities in the area. By all means this does not attempt to cover all of the events happening and the details provided are from my experience only.
If you would like me to stay in touch with you about events and invite you to join me, you might be interested in subscribing to my mailing list by clicking here or have a read of another page I have on my website about networking events.
As always if you would like to discuss this further or would like to find out how Sayers Solutions can help you focus on what you do best please do not hesitate to contact me or find me on social media. Thanks for reading.