New Forest


Networking tips at free seminar

The art of successful networking and building business relationships is the subject of a free seminar being hosted by Hampshire accountancy firm HWB this month.

Networking – exchanging news and views with new and old business acquaintances in a social setting – is now back in full swing across the county.

Keynote speaker at the breakfast event is consultant and business coach Neil Munz-Jones, author of The Reluctant Networker.

He will be showing attendees what tools are necessary to give them the confidence to make the most of their networking activities – not all in the traditional networking environment.

The event takes place from 8am to 10am on Thursday, July 14 at the Axis Conference Centre on the University of Southampton Science Park in Venture Road, Chilworth.

Neil will address the various other methods of building positive relationships and valuable connections between executives, decision-makers, entrepreneurs and managers which are so vital in maintaining a successful business.

These might include forming or joining interest groups specific to a particular industry, making connections via a social media platform such as LinkedIn where there are many sector-specific associations, or even non-work related cohorts connected to a shared sport or hobby.

Mutually beneficial business relationships help everyone’s interests and are an excellent way of utilising personal connections to find new clients, take advice, improve your service and see how others are running their companies.

Southampton-based HWB Director Michaela Johns said: “The pandemic meant that networking was curtailed – or reduced to online gatherings – for two years so there is a whole new generation of businesspeople who may be unfamiliar with the process.

“And while there are still consummate professionals who know how to work a room with ease, we feel that a great many people out there might benefit from a little advice in how to connect successfully.

“Neil is an inspirational speaker on networking, with participants really valuing his honest, down-to-earth approach to the subject.

“He talks openly about how difficult the majority of people find networking and then shares the many, different ways there are to network, many of which people find much easier than being at a networking event.

“All his talks are highly interactive as he believes it is vital to get his audience talking about their views on the subject as well as sharing their experiences (both positive and negative).”

Neil, founder of consulting company mdj2 associates in 2005 after a 20-year career in senior retail roles, is a Henley Business School Certified Executive Coach, focussing on working with the next generation of leaders in large organisations and SMEs.

Since publishing The Reluctant Networker in 2010, Neil has given inspirational talks on networking to leading organisations in the UK and continental Europe.

His book has been featured in The Sunday Times, The Financial Times and The Daily Telegraph and Neil has been interviewed on BBC Radio.

He has been a guest panellist on The Guardian’s online Q&A Forums and he has written a networking blog for the Financial Mail Women’s Forum.

To register for the seminar see

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