Professional business connector Helen Bennett, hosts launch of ‘The Business Network Exeter’ at Bridwell Park in Uffculme, the home of Lord Ivar Mountbatten. The Business Network organisation has been providing professional networking events for senior decision makers since its first event held over 20 years ago.
Helen, who lives in Torquay with husband Russell, attended the very first ‘The Business Network’ event held in Exeter in June 1993, and shortly afterwards joined as one of the organisation’s first members.
Today Helen owns the worldwide rights to The Business Network and in the last six years has created 15 franchises across the UK. She said: “It was nearly 23 years ago when I first experienced a ‘The Business Network’ event – in fact the very first event held in the UK! It took place at the Southgate Hotel, and today I returned to take over the hosting of the Exeter group – a group that still contains founder members from that inaugural event. It feels like I’m coming home.”
For the last eight years, Sean Humby has been successfully running The Business Network Exeter. Helen comments: “Sean has established a wonderful group of business people who really understand the true collaborative nature of networking. When Sean mentioned he felt it was the right time for him to move on, it seemed the ideal opportunity to return to where it all started, and now I am delighted, and humbled, to have the opportunity to work with such a vibrant group.”
The professional monthly networking events and educational seminars are held at various hotels and conferencing venues around the Exeter area. Sean Humby said: “Although we are now in a digital age, people still want to buy from people they trust. Across the region over the last eight years, I’ve invited members to 250 seminars and 263 lunches with speakers. It’s always a delight to see people conversing, each with a smile, story or anecdote. Face-to-face networking builds and develops close and long-term relationships, often turning into friendship. With Helen and Russell taking over the reins, I know that The Business Network Exeter will continue to prosper.”
Attracting senior decision-makers to the monthly events, the unique, professional and business focused format, offers an effective environment for building close-working links and establishing an invaluable ‘support network’ of business contacts. With extensive experience and connectivity, Helen matches senior members across the country, and has been successfully operating ‘The Business Network Manchester’ for the last two decades.
Three years ago, Helen launched The Business Network London attracting a large membership – one member from Spain, regularly fly’s over to the UK. “There is a very good reason why The Business Network is still so popular after 23 years on from its launch in the UK – because it really works!
I want to replicate the proven formula we’ve developed in London and Manchester at a local level. Members can meet the right people and connect with the decision makers and as added value, they can be introduced to our national database of members. The aim for The Business Network Exeter is to keep wealth and business in the city with members reinvesting in the local economy and the business community. Also to build on the existing successful formula by growing membership and attracting high calibre businesses”. She adds: “Our vision is to be the best networking organisation for owners, directors and CEO’s in the South West.”