Drayton was delighted to welcome a select group of professionals for dinner at Marco Pierre White Steakhouse in Birmingham, on Thursday 12th October. Our guests in attendance offered a broad range of expertise in CEO, General Manager, Managing Director or Commercial Director roles; many of whom work within the DIY sector, KBB (Kitchen, Bedrooms, and Bathrooms) and Consumables.
Following the success of our first ‘unstructured’ networking evening, we were really encouraged to be hosting another networking event in a similar style - simple and informal networking, with relevant conversation topics and light-hearted debates forming naturally.
To make introductions, and to pick out any daredevils amongst us, we welcomed our guests for a drink at the restaurants Skybar, offering amazing views of the city, from a slightly (very!!) nerve-wracking balcony, before being seated in the busy and buzzing restaurant.
Jemma Devine and Rob Seery hosted the evening, both bringing along extensive knowledge of the industry, along with their collective Private Equity and Corporate Finance expertise, offering added variety and points of view to the evenings anticipated conversation topics. Research Partner Jon Carlile also supported on the evening, adding a further element to the mix of roles and knowledge around the table.
Rob Seery commented; “We were amazed by how many guests seemed to have shared connections or experiences, I felt that our guests really valued the chance to meet and speak with counterparts from other businesses”
"Over dinner, there was a great buzz and mix of thought-provoking topics that came very naturally, which included the effect of Amazon and wider e-commerce on the retail market, and how traditional channels were having to adapt as a result" commented Jon Carlile.
Jemma Devine also commented on her feeling over the natural flow of conversation, because of the informal agenda; “Without intention, a lot of guests knew each other or their businesses, many had worked together, been involved in the same businesses historically, or had colleagues in common. A lot of guests had also known me for 10 years + and we could talk about earlier stages of their career and mine openly. The informal agenda and open table format, over a lovely meal for me, is such an effective way of networking”.
In conclusion, a very relaxed atmosphere with a friendly group of individuals, with a general feeling that everyone could take away inspiration, food for thought and new connections…we may, however, need to work on our greeting of “how are you with heights” for next time….
Our next Birmingham Networking Dinner Date for the Diary is Thursday 22nd March 2018. If you would like to learn more details or sign up to this event, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org for an informal chat.