The Power of Networking: An interview with Marian Arnold-Lawson

Networking tips
The Power of Networking: Top tips from an expert

Marian runs Business Introductions, a networking and corporate event company in Manchester. She holds events in fun and trendy locations across Manchester, which enables people to network in a relaxed atmosphere. Marian actively partners her clients with their ideal ‘introduction’ ensuring real business opportunities at the events.

Marian Arnold-Lawson

Check out her top networking tips in our interview below!

How did you start Business Introductions?

I have always worked in Marketing and Events and love building client relationships and connecting with people. I launched Business Introductions 5 1/2 years ago after moving from Leeds to Manchester. It was born out of a desire to make more business connections and meet new people.  I actually ran the business alongside full time work in a media company until the end of 2017.

Now I am dedicating all my time and energy to Business Introductions and am excited for the next chapter!

Business Introductions

What is the ethos of your company?

‘Business doesn’t have to be boring!’ Business Introductions always hosts networking events in an entertaining and stylish setting to allow attendees to meet new people and experience exciting venues. For example we are running an exclusive networking canal cruise on the 28th March partnered with The Liquorists. There will be plenty of drinks and nibbles to enjoy!

Networking should be relaxed and personalised.  I always ask my clients who they would like to meet and ensure that they are partnered with the right person at the event. All types of businesses are welcome and I try to encourage a diverse mix at each event.  A list of attendees is handed out at the beginning so people can ask me for an introduction or simply work the room! I do not give out name badges or ask for formal presentations. I believe the best connections are made when people start getting to know each other and let their guard down.

Networking tips

Why is Networking so Important?

Networking is key for business development. There are so many opportunities nowadays to market yourself online. However people prefer to meet the person they are doing business with. I believe it is still all about who you know and there is no better way than being introduced in person.

I try to make my events as informal as possible, whilst maintaining the professional objectives of each client. It may be someone has a need for a certain service but does not even realise this until they start a conversation. Many great business ideas have been launched over a drink!

Work hard, have fun make history quote

What advice would you give to people attending the events?

My advice would be first and foremost to SMILE, be approachable and if you are nervous, perhaps plan a couple of icebreaker topics so you always have something to say.  Don’t forget to listen to the other person and ask questions, being genuinely interested is the most important thing!

View it as a place to socialise with other people in business and try not to be too formal. Meet the person running the event to start with so you feel more relaxed and pinpoint who you would like to talk to first.

Earlier on in my career I met an accountant at a networking event. After a few minutes of business chat  I was just about to make an excuse to leave when he disclosed that one of his clients is a member of a boy band! I was immediately intrigued and found him really engaging after this.  I suggested that he introduces himself as an accountant to famous musicians.  Three weeks later he emailed to thank me for the advice.

How do you market yourself?

I use social media and my email database to promote upcoming events and I have listings on Eventbrite. LinkedIn and Twitter are the most successful networks for me to drive interest and bookings. I am working on growing my database at the moment and testing different email providers.

What does the future hold?

Alongside networking I also run corporate events and partner with venues. I would like to expand this side of the business and I am currently promoting the “Manchester Eats” Food Festival in Prestwich in partnership with a Liverpool PR agency. I’m also partnering with various Manchester venues to help promote their events with exciting upcoming events such as Indian 10 course taster menus, bespoke theme nights and Gin tasting!

I am enjoying meeting so many different types of people and building my professional network. There are lots of exciting ventures to come in the next year. I am soon to launch a personal event planning and party planning service…. so watch this space!

What do you enjoy in your downtime?

Travelling is a passion of mine and discovering new fabulous venues to eat and drink! My job leads me to finding exciting establishments across Manchester. Who knows in the future I may be travelling abroad too!

Some Manchester venues I highly recommend are All Star Lanes, Dirty Martini, Neighbourhood and Scene Indian Street Kitchen.

Check out all the latest networking events in Manchester on www.businessintroductions.co.uk and you can email Marian on info@businessintroductions.co.uk if you would like to get in touch.

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5 Replies to “The Power of Networking: An interview with Marian Arnold-Lawson

  1. Thanks so much for this! In-person networking is something I definitely plan to do more of for my new business this year! Even though large part of my business goals have to do with the online world, there’s definitely no replacing the importance of getting to know people in person. 🙂

  2. Great tips, especially the ‘be approachable’ one. I don’t particularly like networking, although it is part of my work. I tend to keep to myself and that might come across as unapproachable. So this is definitely something I should work on.

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