Since moving to Waterford recently I have been busy on a range of fronts including Networking at business events so that companies and individuals know that I am back and ready to do business with them.  I know that in addition to normal marketing activity, I need to get out and meet as many people as possible across a range of events and forums.

So why do we network?  I firmly believe that prospective customers need to meet me, hear what I have to say before they will consider doing business with me.  In my line of work no one simply looks up Golden Pages to find a health and safety or HR consultant. A great deal of my work comes through direct referral from a happy customer or because they have read something I have written (in magazines that I write for or in my blog: www.darlington.ie) or because they have met me at just such an event.

Networking allows people to meet, break the ice with each other, begin to establish a relationship and consider possibly doing business with each other down the road.  Networking is not about the hard sell or the determination to give out as many business cards as possible.  It is in fact the opposite, it is listening to what the other person’s business is all about, seeing if you can either put business their way or perhaps connect them to someone that may help them or buy from them.  And in many cases you take their business card rather than give them yours so you can connect later.

Last week I took part in a very enjoyable event – it was a Waterford Chamber of Commerce “Business After Hours” evening hosted by NAS Training Centre, Cleaboy Business Park, Waterford.  The NAS Training Centre is run by my good friend Danette Connolly and her husband Michael and offers a range of courses in First Aid, Manual Handling, Patient Handling and more.

In order to expand the range of training courses they offer they have begun to collaborate with other training providers including: Adult & Continuing Education at UCC, Irish Times Training, Mary Daly & Associates, IITD, NLP Master Michael Connolly and myself.

At the Business After Hours event we all got a chance to display our literature and interact with Chamber members to outline what courses we deliver and how our training programmes might benefit them as individuals or employees in their businesses.  As a Networking event it was well organized, the food was gorgeous, it was very well attended and there was a real buzz about the place.

Outgoing Chamber President, Nora Widger spoke highly of the achievements of NAS since its inception and praised the quality of their training rooms and facilities.  For instance in one training room they have a full hospital bed, complete with hoist for patient lifting training and full dummies (including babies) for CPR, AED demonstrations and First Aid Training.

During the event I got to meet some new and very interesting people and linked up with the other training providers so we all can promote each other.  My next Health and Safety Compliance Pays (one day course) takes place at NAS this Wednesday, 14th May 2014. For more information and to book a place go to: https://www.nas.ie/event-registration/?ee=131