Redhill & Reigate Connects ~ join the club
PUBLISHED: 16:56 25 October 2012 | UPDATED: 22:08 20 February 2013
This month, we meet the members of Redhill & Reigate Connects, to learn more about business networking (N.B. it's a whole lot more fun than it might sound...)
Originally published in Surrey Life magazine October 2012
This month, we meet the members of Redhill & Reigate Connects, to learn more about business networking (N.B. its a whole lot more fun than it might sound...)
In a nutshell: The aim of Redhill & Reigate Connects (R&R Connects) is to build a business community in the local area in an informal and relaxed setting.
Person interviewed: Event co-ordinator, Oliver Taylor
Been a member for: Im a founder member so since the start.
Decided to join because... There was no networking event for the business community in Reigate and Redhill so we decided to launch one connecting the two locations and the community.
When was the club set up?
R&R Connects was launched two years ago by Morrisons Solicitors with the aim of building a business community for local businesses and professionals in an informal and relaxed setting.
How many members do you have?
At the time of writing, we have 370.
Where do you meet?
Meetings are held on the last Thursday of every other month at the Black Horse in Reigate. The format is to meet at the pub from 5.30pm, with free drinks provided by the sponsor for two hours. Business cards are collected, to allow names to be added to the R&R Connects database, and during the evening there is a business card prize draw for a bottle of Champagne. The first event in September 2010 was sponsored by Morrisons Solicitors and other sponsors have included the Black Horse, and local companies Crow Watkin, Kingston Smith and Robinsons.
Whats the best thing about being a member of the club?
The ability to meet new members at each event. The membership has steadily grown over the course of the last year and a pleasing number of companies have offered to sponsor the evenings. Its great seeing 40 to 50 businesses socialising together every other month when two years ago there was no such networking event in the region.
Do you find being surrounded by like-minded individuals inspiring?
Yes; the informality of the meetings enables the development of relationships on both personal and professional levels.
Have you got links with other clubs as well?
R&R Connects has links with Redhill & Reigate Business Forum but the two are not directly related.
Whats the most interesting story from the groups history?
The most interesting thing about the network is the way that it is so successful and continues to grow. I think this is due, in part, to the informality and the fact there is no pressure you can stay for one drink or stay for a couple of hours (or longer!).
and the funniest?
Two things spring to mind actually. Firstly, the Surrey Life photographer not being able to get a good photo until the third attempt (though that may have been our fault rather than his!). On another occasion, we had a local estate agent as event sponsor and, when it came to the prize draw, another local estate agent rival was drawn. Needless to say, the champagne was presented through gritted teeth!
When is your next event that is open to the public/potential new members?
The next R&R Connects event will be held onThursday November 29 at our usual location, the Black Horse pub in Reigate, from 5.30pm to 7.30pm.
Describe your club in five words...
Informal, relaxing, friendly, convivial and (above all) fun.
- For more information about Redhill & Reigate Connects and how to get involved, visit www.morrlaw.com/events.
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