It’s time to celebrate our 5th birthday.

It’s time to celebrate our 5th birthday

5th birthday

5 years ago today I founded Wightbuzz - unable to find the right networking group when I started amy new business as I emerged from a long dark tunnel, I set up my own. Times were hard and life stressful but undaunted I grew my network- 5 years on I have helped well over 200 businesses to make good connections earning the title The Connection Queen along the way. They also called me Mummy Buzz as I nurtured new businesses as I buzzed around .

me with banner and atn small banner

 

Members have come and gone as their needs changed. Many have remained.The successes are many -Graham Reading Photography  has made many connections but one of the best was for the Mardi Gras. I was to be a VIP guest at the lunch before the Mardi Gras (I’m Chair of the Ryde Business association) and I was in front of my computer during the morning. I spotted a cry for help – The allotted photographer was unable to cover the event and there was an appeal opn social media. I knew Graham was covering the round the Island Yacht race from a boat in the solent but I contacted him to see if he could help. He thought he could but wasn’t sure he would be there right at the start. I put him in contact with the New Carnival Company and they engaged him. Things turned a little hairy as Graham was still in Cowes (having to negotiate very heavy traffic as the MArdi Gras started from the top of Ryde ) All was not lost as I kept him up to date with what was happening and he managed to come round a different way so he didn’t get stuck behind the procession. He managed to catch up with the parade and get pictures of the whole parade .Our service was much appreciated.

Another success story that has appreciated our networking is Neil Southwell of Oasis said  “And without you, I wouldn’t be working for Wightlink and Bestival.” What a lovely testimonial that was at our Let’s Leverage conference –

In 2014, my son Tristan (who lives in Australia), suggested we join forces with my networking skills and his social media skills and we have now become a global brand Allthingsnetworking.com – we are able to offer 24/7 support to our members – so today it is time to celebrate and its double celebrations as I have been shortlisted in the Venus awards. – influential woman category. I have just been to face the camera –

face the camera

making a one minute recording to support my entry (and I thank the 4 people who nominated me) Now it’s on to a public vote in January.

 

So here is to the next 5 years as we build our brand globally – helping businesses to grow and prosper – leading them through the social media minefield and helping them master all the latest platforms – Currently we are embracing livestreaming such as periscope and blab and now we are working on snapchat.

why not check us out on facebook and twitter ?

 

 

Masqueryde

Masqueryde is a member of the Ryde Business Association and I took a trip round it using the periscope app. It is marvellous to be able to share our Ryde Shops with the world. Sally and Julie have provided costumes for school plays, giggly grannies shows fancy dress parties and for Bestival – the Biggest dressing up party in the world probably.

So check it out at – Masqueryde – a real Alladin’s Cave

 

 

Be sure to pay a visit whether you want to buy or hire :)

 

 

The Pirates are coming

 The Pirates are coming

That’s right I said the pirates are coming and I am taking my role as the Chair of Ryde Business Association quite seriously as you can see.. Shipwreck Isle if on 28th June and the pirates are coming so I thought it only right that I ought to be prepared. I have been to see Sally at Masqueryde, to order my pirate costume but thought I’d pop in and see Emma and Stuart at the Tourist Information Point in their shop, Kollective Gifts to see what “pirate” goodies they had.

the pirates are comingAs we looked around the shop we found quite a few “pirate” items.  We found flags

pirate flags

we found a pirate ship

pirate ship

cutlasses and hats and pirate buckets and spades. In the absence of eye patches, Stuart got creative and cut up a black piece of rubber to do the job. We planned a pirate spotting competition around the town with the help of Laura, Julie and Rhianon (manager of Costa coffee. There will be a lot of fun as we celebrate Shipwreck Isle as the pirates gather on Appley Beach 

poster - ship wreck isle

 

 

So as the chair of Ryde Business Association, I urge you all to come and enjoy yourself. For those of you across the water  board your ship and join us for what promises to be a very fun filled swashbuckling day with music, competitions, storytelling,renactment music, fun and laughter.

You arggggggh going to have a good time !  and what’s more its FREE.

 

 

 

 

The Podcast Sisters

Many years ago, when I was selling children’s books, Gary Cheeseman of WightMedia.Co.uk  taught  Polly of the Family Directory and me all about podcasting. We used to podcast with local businesses and had great fun promoting them. Now, quite a few years later, Gary and his wife Anne and Polly and I have linked up again and are now recording all sorts of podcasts. We three girls are can be found as The Podcast Sisters

Check out the latest podcast 

selfie

 

We had a great time but got a fit of the giggles when we had to take a selfie as our photographer was not available. We meet regularly to discuss issues in the news as well as other items like “green” products and shopping!

Networking doesn’t have to be serious.

Day 4 – 30 day blogging challenge

I have been to many networking groups in my time, and I have to say that some of them have been pretty stiff and starchy. Until recently , I was known as the Networking Guru of the Isle of Wight but more recently , Veronica Pullen, The Social Marketing  Queen also living on the Isle of Wight – gave me the more attractive title of the Connection Queen.

Now anyone who knows me, knows that I like to have fun – a day without laughter is a day wasted.

costa coffee and ohoto frame

 

Many will also know me as one half of the Giggly Grannies and together we put the fun into fundraising. Well just like life, networking doesn’t have to be serious.

Tonight, I have had another very successful Wightbuzz, networking meeting and it was anything but serious. There was some of the regular crowd and also, along came Paul as a visitor and potential member. I do encourage folk to try before they buy, to make sure we are the right fit. Paul is the Rodfather. He rods drains, unblocks toilets etc! If only I had known him on Boxing day!!! My mum had a houseful and we had an unfortuate blockage. Little did I know the rodfather comes out on bank holidays – didnt even know him – only actualy got chatting last night on facebook.

Well true to form, my lovely members made Paul feel at home immediately. The fun and banter started almost immediately – when I got his business name wrong and called him the Codfather by mistake (we have a local fish and chip shop that go by this name – and the old brain does get overloaded from time to time as Brian or is it George recently found out!! Brian and Sandy recently joined and have still stayed even though  for some reason I called him George!!! I’ll just put it down to being a poor old pensioner!! Well that’s my excuse and I’m sticking to it. But I digress – and so back to tonight. The whole evening continued with lots of laughs and a great time was had by all. I am aware that my networking group wouldn’t suit everyone but we have certainly proved that networking doesn’t have to be serious.

It was such fun I decided to make a video to share.

Do you like to have fun networking?

Can you afford not to?

30 day blog challenge post 3. Can you afford not to?

I have run a low cost networking group Wightbuzz for businesses on the Isle of Wight for 4 years.

SAMSUNG Now in its fifth year, I have linked with my son and his graduate friends to add to the local brand. We have created Allthingsnetworking.com to take our brand to a global level. As we start expanding, I have been reflecting on the past. I have been very mindful of making sure my group was affordable. Some people pay a years money up front without batting an eyelid. Others haven’t joined because they say they can’t afford it. I find this very interesting. Many of those who say they can’t afford it will happily  have coffee in local coffee shops that are part of national chains

 

Frog and snake in CostaThey think nothing of paying £3 per cup and some of them will do this several times a week – I know I have seen them (social media reveals much) I wonder why then, do they not see the value of business mentoring, networking sessions, one to ones, social media training, ferry discounts, loan of business books, plus much more as excellent value at £12.50 per month? The equivalent of just over 4 coffees a month.  It is clearly down to mindset. If they are running a business what about a marketing budget? I’m hard pushed to think of any other marketing they could get for this price (and they get me too!!) It is all about return on investment. Surely, if they gave it careful thought, they would realise that if they invested in putting in time to interact with members either in our online group or in person at meetings, took advantage of the business book loan system, or the ferry discounts etc. they couldn’t fail to benefit their business. I think I will add to my video trainings with a video about mindset.

I have to admit that recently, I was almost guilty of this (as I was in my early business days) There was a black tie, business to business event, recently with quite a high ticket price. I decided I couldn’t afford to go but after a little more careful thought, I realised I couldn’t afford NOT to go. I run a business networking group! All the attendees were connected to/ran local businesses – sheer madness not to be there. One of my members was also on the short list for an award so it was important to offer support. That was it, my mind was made up. I purchased my ticket (after a slight panic when the system told me no tickets left!! – I emailed to go on the reserve list and was rung next day – system was not correct  –  phewie!!)

I am so glad I went. My son, who works with me now (albeit from the other side of the world) asked me to trial an app which would actually put our skills in front of the attendees via the displayed twitter feed . We dominated the feed all night and it was noticed.  Result!

Suffice it to say, I am now in follow up conversations with several people who I met that night. There is much interest in Wightbuzz and our social media skills. The results will generate far more than the ticket price. I’ll make sure they do. So what do you think? Can you afford not to?

It’s a hard life!

Well, when I decided that 2015 was going to be an awesome year, I really meant it and what a start to the new year. My Wightbuzz members recently helped me celebrate  our 4th birthday with an evening full of networking and cake!! (and a lovely buffet supplied by Janine of Missy J Cafe- who kindly hosted our party too.) Photo by Wightbuzz member Graham Reading of Graham Reading Photography

4th Birthday

There was more than our birthday to celebrate. Not only had I successfully survived 4 years of networking within my own group Wightbuzz, but I was also celebrating the expansion of the business to become a global network - Allthingsnetworking.com. My son, Tristan,  wanted to help me move the business on and what an exciting time we have ahead of us as we maintain and grow Wightbuzz on the Isle of Wight but take the online networking onto a global level. Together with the expertise of 4 other graduates the scene is set for exciting times ahead.

Last night, I decided to arrange a rather impromptu meet up again in Missy J Cafe this morning. This year, on our list of things to do is lots of video marketing for the group and for the members. What better way to start than include a round up of the brilliant networking day I had with some of my members – making more connections as The Connection Queen (the name given to me by Veronica Pullen – Social Media Queen who also lives on this Royal Island ;) )

I am thrilled to see joint ventures and collaborations happening within Wightbuzz. It was a vision I had 4 years ago – to Connect lots of the Island businesses for the benefit of all – and finally – it is really starting to come together. I was taught to dream BIG by Roberta Jerram of Roberta Jerram Enterprises years ago when I joined Giant Potential. Very soon, there will be joint ventures on a national and international level. I love what I do and I love why I do it. It is such a hard life (NOT) I love that I have joined forces with my son. The dream is BIG – very BIG!!

 

Wightbuzz does Cowes Week

Wightbuzz does Cowes week

Wightbuzz does Cowes week

When the opportunity presented itself, for me to represent my Wightbuzz members at Cowes Week, it was an opportunity I couldn’t refuse. So here is my report on Wightbuzz does Cowes week.

I saw this as such a fantastic opportunity and offered it to my members for just £10 each. It was a no brainier really. Which members could refuse the option of such a fantastic baron – the chance for their businesses to be represented to a massive crowd for such a small fee. There was, not surprisingly, a high take up and all members had to do was to get their literature or goodie bag items to me in time for the set up. The goodie bags has been supplied by Beta pak and I was lucky enough to have wifi sponsored by Wightfibre. This meant I was able to promote the sponsors and members all week on social media live from the sea front! Members dropped in to see me and pictures were taken. It was a long and tiring but fun week. It was made so much easier when Chris Cardy of Staddlestones garage offered me the Nissan Leaf, ( an electric car ) for the week. Having no vehicle at the moment, this proved to be a godsend. Not only did  I drive it, but as the networking guru, I also heavily promoted it and have raised a lot of interest in the Nissan leaf, a perfect car for driving in the Isle of Wight.

The week was very successful. We have many potential new Wightbuzz members as well as many members of the public who would like to receive a Wightbuzz customer newsletter. It was tiring but fun land Soo worthwhile. I’m grateful for all support but especially to pin cola Broadsmith , Charlotte Smith and Debbie Frost for helping me man the stand and to Sean of A1 garage doors who helped me break down the stand at the end of a very tiring but productive week.

Why the Isle of Wight makes the perfect wedding venue.

The Isle of Wight is the perfect place to stage a wedding. I know! My daughter chose to hold hers here in January 2006. She chose a January day as she didn’t want the unpleasantness of a hot sticky summer’s day. She had her photographs taken on the beach and it looks like it was summer as the sun shone on her and her groom. It was the perfect day after months of planning.

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