What is the best way to meet a lot of businesses all at the same time?
Not only do you get to meet all these different businesses you have the opportunity to build a relationship with an actual person.
We are fortunate in the fact that the Kent networking scene is very strong and there are plenty of Kent networking events to choose from.
We have put together a list of, in our opinion, the best business networking events in Kent.
Disclaimer - we are not associated with any of these events. We have either attended the event or have received a high level of positive feedback on an event.
Business Vision Live is the annual event formerly known as Kent Vision Live. 2019 will be the 15th year of Business Vision Live, and it has become the largest gathering of business professionals in the South East.
The event brings in over 3,000 visitors and has over 200 exhibitors present. Kent Vision Live has interactive roundtable discussions, education workshops and of course lots of networking.
This year the headline keynote speaker is the BBC business editor, Simon Jack. There are three other keynote speakers already confirmed. For more information on speakers visit the Business Vision Live website.
This year's event is being held at the Kent Event Centre at Detling on May 15th.
LinkedIn Live Kent is a brand new event that is already proving to be very popular. The first #LILK event was in October and had 200 eager networkers attend. The most recent event in February saw 300 people turn up.
LinkedIn Live Kent is based on the great idea of meeting the people behind the connections. Taking online relationships offline and meeting people. Judging by the impressive levels of feedback on LinkedIn the concept is working.
The next #LILK event is scheduled for June 27th and is being held at the Mercure Maidstone Great Danes Hotel. It runs from 6 pm to 9 pm and is free to attend. The event has a few speakers and then is all about a laid back approach to networking. For more information visit the #LILK website.
The chamber is a driving force for networking in Kent. They have different types of events running all year round.
After Hours Club
The After Hours Club are evening events (usually starting at 6:00 pm). There are different events for different locations in Kent, but they run on different dates so if you don't mind the drive you can attend all of them.
Each location runs an event every month or every two months. They are always well attended, and it's a useful option for those who can't take time out during the working day to network.
After Hours Club is a free event and aside from networking its an excellent way to understand the value the Kent Invicta Chamber of Commerce can bring to a business.
If morning networking over a hearty breakfast is your thing, then the Muesli Mafia is the event for you. This is a monthly event, and the location moves around Kent each month.
It costs £25 to attend but remember you are getting breakfast and one of the most popular networking events in Kent. If you are a member of the Chamber, it will only cost you £20.
The Kent Invicta Chamber of Commerce also run one-off networking events that follow a theme or are held at a unique location. These are great twists on the usual style of networking event because they take place in exciting places throughout the county.
In May they are running a 'behind the scenes' event at the Kent, Surrey & Sussex Air Ambulance's new home at Rochester Airport.
We attend their last one-off event, 'The All Rounder' at Kent Cricket Club in Canterbury. Not only was it a great networking event it also showcased the Cricket Club on the back of their promotion-winning season.
InfoTech are regular attendees at 4Networking events. They hold events nationwide with three currently running in Kent. Two breakfast meetings run every other week (so you can attend both) one in Maidstone and one in Medway. There is also an evening event held in Faversham.
The Medway event is held at Buckmore Park, and you can find InfoTech there every time it's on. Practice your pitch because at every event you will get 60 seconds to stand up and sell your business. Each event has a speaker and then there is time to mingle and get your network on.
You do need to be a member of 4Networking to attend the events regularly, but they do give you two free visits to see for yourself. Becoming a member has benefits beyond networking events. For more information visit the 4Networking website
At a lot of networking events, you find business from a host of industries. But sometimes it pays to talk to people in the same niche. Kent Digital invites anyone involved in the digital space in Kent.
It is held on the second Wednesday of every month, and there are events held in different towns across Kent. The events are always educational, with specialised experts in the fields giving talks, as well as the networking opportunities.
Two experts talk about a specific topic each month, and they have an interactive Q&A so you can get the answer to any burning questions you have. There is also the promise of free pizza and beer as well as the company, so it's a hard event to turn down!
Talking Tech is another specialised event, that is the only tech event of its kind in the South East. It is a forum for senior IT and tech professionals that offers industry-leading expert debate.
The next event is April 25th at the Maidstone Studios. Launched in 2017 the April meeting will be the 4th Talking Tech, which regularly gathers close to 100 IT professionals.
It's a free event organised by Custodian Data Centres. It has industry expert speakers and of course a chance to network with your fellow IT pros.
This isn't an event we have been able to attend, but we have been impressed with the towering level of feedback the event has been getting. Breakthrough Women celebrates Kent's women in business.
There is networking opportunities, like all good events, as well as female guest speakers from a range of different industries and backgrounds. Plus you get to enjoy a nice spot of afternoon tea.
There are only 60 tickets available for the event so book quickly because they sell out fast.
These are some of our favourite business networking events or those considered to be the most popular. Of course, there are lots more Kent networking events. If we have missed one of your favourites, then let us know in the comments section below.
If you are a regular networker and want to meet us at an event then drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org, we are always happy to try new events.