The Power of Networking


Thursday 12th July was an evening of celebration. It was one year since our first networking event. Rather than have the usual themed event, we thought to go back to the drawing board where our goals are etched on boldly. Our goals are to bring black professional women together by the way of networking, enjoying meeting new people and making new professional, career and/or business contacts. So we decided not to have any speaker this time, but just to celebrate our first year anniversary by reminding people that the power of networking is great and one that cannot and should not be taken loosely.

As usual, I was really looking forward to tonight’s networking.  I turned up expectant and looked forward to mingling with other ladies of like minds. It turned out to be another successful evening of time positively accounted for. The evening started at 6pm with drinks and nibbles, followed by an Introductory session which was brilliantly anchored by one of the PEP Network Executives, Folake Abiola James.

Folake touched on why networking is important and why we need to break out of our comfort zones to speak with people we do not already know, and to go beyond the ‘How are you’ type conversation. As it was halfway through the year, Folake reminded people that if they had goals they had written down at the start of the year which had fallen off their radar, it was not too late to kickstart those goals. She then encouraged attendees to go and discuss further on Goals during a breakout session. This was followed by a feedback session which was anchored by Temilola Onanuga, another Executive of the PEP network.

Temi reminded attendees that whilst It has been a beautiful and successful year of networking and meeting with other like-minded women, PEP Network sought to provide an update to our members based on some of the feedback received over time, whilst also allowing attendees feedback on the go. 

Feedback covered the following areas:[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”1/2″][vc_column_text]

  1. All weekday networking events will now be on Thursdays and  formal events to held at weekends.

  2. Event Location to remain in the city of London due to proximity for worker whilst weekend events locations to be driven by logistics (overall cost, speakers availability etc). A poll was conducted at some point and this helped us conclude on some of locations we have used in the past.

  3. Registration fees are driven by cost and location of our events. The executives covered a bulk of the cost initially but we are now just able to cover the cost of food, drinks, venue hire, photography and other essentials.

[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/2″][vc_images_carousel images=”3234,3231,3235,3232,3230,3240,3241,3242,3243,3244,3245,3246″ img_size=”400×300″ autoplay=”yes” hide_pagination_control=”yes”][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]The second half of the event was dedicated to hearing from the attendees on the night. First it was ‘Pitch Your Business’: this is where opportunity was given to the entrepreneurs in the house to talk about their products/services. This opportunity was taken by lots of entrepreneurs in the room.

  1. Funke Sadare, a HR Business Partner as she introduced ‘Your HR pal blog’.

  2. Sonia and Jackie introducing their business ‘Genistar’ and encouraging attendees that financial freedom is possible.

  3. Great Insights were shared by Shisha Dublin-Green as she pitched her business ‘Ayda on the go’. Shisha is a business coach who also covered strategy for smashing set goals.

  4. The final pitch on the night introduced Tommie Edward’s app; ‘eventbree’ which provides online service to users who need to find entertainers, such as kids entertainers, face painters, saxophonist to mention a few.

After the pitches, we encouraged feedback from the new attendees on the night. Miwa, a new attendee shared that she was open to the idea of a black women’s networking group outside of the norm where she could pitch herself and gain insights from women of like minds. This was very positive and aligned with the aims of the PEP Network.

The event was wrapped up with some useful nuggets. These include but not limited to the following: Take baby steps, Be consistent, Listen to Podcasts, Review and reflect on your goals from time to time.

One can definitely say this event was very successful. It was fun, full of laughter and useful insights were shared. Even after the event was declared finished, networking continued into the night.