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Local online networking group joins fight against Covid

October 22, 2021

The online business networking group, Networking in…, has been chosen by the South Oxfordshire and Vale of White Horse District Councils to host a new online business networking event for the region.

The three-year-old organisation, whose parent company Outside Ideas is based in Blewbury [see their ad on p 12 – Editor], offers a virtual networking capacity that will play a key part in the Councils’ joint initiative to minimise the potential for spreading Covid through face-to-face business events over the winter.

Networking in… is no stranger to Covid. Soon after opening its doors as a face-to-face networking operation, the outbreak of the pandemic forced it to hold its first online event in February 2020. “Numbers dropped by two-thirds for those early meetings. It was tough,” says the group’s founder Peter Mols, “but we knew that if we stuck to our values of being warm, welcoming, inclusive, supportive, and fun, we’d find a new audience – and we did! We played around with the format a lot in the early days and over time we’ve created a concept which is unique in the online space. The underlying rule is that it must be fast flowing and it has to be fun.”

As the world started to open again, the group was faced with a dilemma: go back to face-to-face or stay online? It was an easy decision for Peter: “We’ve found a loyal tribe who have become friends that we wouldn’t get to see if we went back to the old days”. Peter also highlighted that remaining online has other benefits “it’s easier, more convenient, more environmentally friendly and saves a huge amount of travel time. It’s hard for a hugger like me,” he admits, “but I genuinely believe it’s the future”.

The new partnership with South & Vale, which sees the councils subsidise attendee fees for the first 40 local businesses people to register, will take place on the second Wednesday of the month at 10:30 till 12:00. It will follow the same format as other Ni… events with the addition of a brief update on local business support from SVBS. Nick King, Principal Economic Development Lead for South and Vale District Councils said; “we are looking to increase the capacity for covid-safe networking opportunities across the area. Networking in… has got a genuinely unique feel to it and we love the energy in the rooms.” To book your place visit www.outside-ideas.com/networking-in and use code SVBS to redeem 50% off the cost of your ticket.