I am not the shy retiring type, and I love meeting new people, so why do I struggle with traditional networking? I have tried traditional referral groups, and although I have met some fantastic people, they are not for me. Here are some places that I like to network. The Galley Club members are all involved in book publishing, and meet once a month at The George in the Strand. A buffet and wine is served from 6.30pm, and each month there is a guest speaker. Recently, Barry Winkleman amused us with tales about his days with Rupert Murdoch, Sam Missingham talked about social media and how she uses it in her role as Marketing Manager for The Bookseller, and Simon Garfield entertained us with slides and stories from his bestseller ‘Just My Type’.
BookMachine, the brain child of Laura Austin and Gavin Summers, has a large online following (over three thousand) and posts news, views and interviews on its website, twitter and facebook accounts. They also organise regular events in London, and lately Edinburgh, attended by people from all walks of publishing, from traditional editors to app developers. This is a much younger crowd than that at the Galley Club. Their events include debates and seminars, but my favourites are the publishing socials in a variety of London pubs where I can meet old and new BookMachine afficionados.
I’m an active member of the Richmond Chamber of Commerce and enjoy their networking breakfasts and evening events. They also provide a regular programme of expert seminars with leading professionals in the Richmond area.
This is a purely personal selection, there are plenty of other networking groups that might suit you. The important thing is to get out there, meet people (suppliers as well as prospects) and have fun.