• Network LE

Vision of the future - Soulsby to address Network LE as group pilots online model

Network LE, the independent networking group for Leicester's professional business community, will welcome Leicester mayor Sir Peter Soulsby at its first meeting of the year.

Sir Peter is a regular fixture in the group’s social calendar, where he briefs the city’s professional sector on plans for the city at their quarterly breakfast events.

However, with the pandemic having curtailed Network LE’s traditional schedule of professional and social events, the group has been forced into “hibernation”, until now, with the committee investing funds into a trial with online event specialists Network My Club.

This will allow Network LE to host their events via a secure and interactive online platform, complete with dedicated networking lounges.

Claire Herbert, chair of Network LE and partner at Gateley Plc explains;

“One of our committee colleagues, Tom Mayne from Mattioli Woods, brought the concept to our attention last month and we’ve since been looking into how to integrate it into our events.

“We are going to trial it at our first event of the year with Sir Peter which is always our most popular breakfast. If our audience feels it adds value then we will be rolling out a programme of events across 2021 (which is actually our 10th anniversary year) and may even blend the online events with our traditional face-to-face meetings once that is feasible again.”

Network LE co-founder Greg Simpson, who runs Press For Attention PR and often comperes the Network LE events comments;

“This is a seriously clever piece of tech, certainly compared to my microphone and notebook! In all seriousness though we’ve been looking at ways to replicate our breakfast offering online for a good while now but until now it all felt a little like a glorified conference call if I’m honest.

“Useful as they are for the day-to-day work we all have on our agendas, they don’t quite hit the same spot that Network LE aims for - a mix of networking, information sharing and casual meetings. Hopefully we will be able to deliver events of real value again as we pivot to the online model, I’m just sorry we can’t send everyone breakfast to their home office!”

The platform Network LE is trialling gives delegates the ability to freely move around different tables and areas of the virtual room, where they only see and speak to those on a table with them.

This allows for the intimacy of small group conversations in a larger scale event. The Network LE team can then open the room up for more informal networking and to hear keynote presentations, debates and to discuss key topics in the group.

Network LE was founded in 2010 by a group of professionals who wanted to meet and connect with other professionals in Leicester. It holds events throughout the year to bring the business community together to network, build relationships and most importantly have fun.

There are no annual fees, although some events do require payment prior to attendance. Please see our events calendar. All events can be booked either by contacting the committee or using Eventbrite.

Tickets are £10 with 50% being donated to FareShare East Midlands.

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