Networking events are invaluable to the industry

Following Richard Clayton’s perceptive Design Business on networking in design (DW 18 September), I thought I’d add my own experience of this month’s 11th annual Marketing Forum.

Following Richard Clayton’s perceptive Design Business on networking in design (DW 18 September), I thought I’d add my own experience of this month’s 11th annual Marketing Forum.

It’s refreshing to have an overt networking opportunity. As marketers and exhibitors we should find selling ourselves and our services second nature. But the truth is, we’re terrible at it. Which is why new business events such as the Marketing Forum are crucial as, by their nature, they force us to do ourselves justice.

That’s not to say that the event is an excuse to charge in, all guns blazing and mouthing off about our prowess. Rather, the forum allows time for an initial ‘seduction’ meeting to assess compatibility with a potential client. It’s not the time or the place for the hard sell and we definitely recognise that people do business with people.

We also find it incredibly useful as a good temperature gauge in terms of UK business confidence.

But the role of the forum should not be restricted to new business. I’d like to see a choice of seminars aimed purely at exhibitors added to the programme. This would give those involved in the industry the opportunity to debate and discuss what we see as the real issues of the day.

Jonathan Clark

Chief executive

Design Group

Poole BH15 1HA

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