‘SOCIAL Networking’ - it’s a phrase that usually relates to interacting with others online via websites like Facebook and Twitter.
However these days more and more businesses are becoming involved in something similar, yet in a face to face manner, through business networking events.
The number of groups and events offering business people the chance to meet with other like minded people, share experiences and learn from each other are on the up.
The formats vary from breakfast or lunch groups to those that meet during the evening, but the principal of them all is the same - people meeting and speaking to each other face
But what is it about these groups that is making them so popular?
Dennis Alexander, who is involved in organising the FYI Supper Club which runs in Kirkcaldy, explained the events are designed to enable people in business to meet others in a more social setting.
“Ours is a social network, but face to face.
“The people who come are by invite only, people that run micro businesses and then they can ask people they know.
“A lot of people come in to meet others who are in the same boat as them or are further down the line and can ask them questions without being bamboozled by the answers.
“It’s really all about meeting
people and getting ideas
“It’s a night out, with a meal, and you’re focusing on your business for that time.
“If you come away with one idea it’s been successful.”
Julie Sullivan, chairman of Kingdom Business Forum, said: “As a business lawyer, it is important that I am aware of the issues which matter to all types of businesses, from the type of work that they do through to how businesses are managing in the current economic climate. Membership of the forum allows me to do that, as well as being really good fun!”
The benefits of these networking groups are plentiful for those getting involved.
Robert Kirkhope, advertising sales manager for the Fife Free Press Group, believes they provide great opportunities.
“People go there and get ideas from other companies which they can then work into their own business,” he said.
“It’s a quick and enjoyable way of getting advice and ideas from other people.
“The companies really benefit from others and find connections which they didn’t have before, and sometimes businesses end up doing projects together.”