It might be the chance to widen the client base, find a shoulder to cry on, have a good laugh or all three, whatever _ Whangarei businesses are embracing the Northland Chamber of Commerce's fortnightly networking event Business After Five in a big way.
The format couldn't be simpler. Business After Five (BA5) runs for just 90 minutes from 5.30pm, hosted by chamber members.
Hosts provide drinks and nibbles and a brief presentation about the business. Then you talk. The diversity of the membership is reflected in the first two BA5 dates for 2013, both Whangarei-based operations of national groups: February 13, Te Wananga O Aotearoa (tertiary training); March
13, Forsyth Barr (investment advice).
Hosts this year have included People Potential, Paper Plus, Speedy Signs, Iron Evolution, Telecom (launching fibre), Wild Haggis, Kia Tupato Security, Marine North, the Whangarei District Council, NorthTec, Kiwi North Museum.
Two years ago attendances averaged 40; the average is now 50-100. Chamber membership has increased by about 50, to 436 over the same period.
Every fortnightly slot was booked this year and there are only three places left in 2013.
Feedback indicates that some people go to all the BA5s, others ``cherry pick'', or just go when they have the time.
Allie Fry-Kewene, manager of Kiwi North Museum, says among several useful partnerships initiated at the museum's BA5 early in 2012 event _ which attracted 75 and went well over the 90-minute timeframe _ was signing up for GrabOne. ``GrabOne has been very, very successful for
us in raising our profile and attracting visitors,'' she said.
The museum's discounted GrabOne deals for family passes had attracted takers from around the country. Many were on the look-out for good deals for the school holidays. ``BA5 has turned out to be a golden opportunity to get our story out,'' she said.
Tania Dunn, co-owner of Marine North, says ``it's awesome to spent one and a half hours with like-minded people ... you swap ideas and motivate each other ... we certainly get a lot out of it.'' The Marine North BA5 attracted more than 100 members.
Not all the guests would have been into marine things, but might spread the word to marine-minded friends, and whatever the outcomes ``it put our name out there again and we had a great time.''BUSINESS DIARY or BIZDATES
this Monday, November 19, final Whangarei Business Women's Network dinner meeting for 2012. Guest speaker: Anne Kaminiski on The Changing World of Recruitment, who says she is passionate about getting it right first time with staff _ the right people, in the right job, doing
the right things to support business success. Kaminiski, who has had 20 years experience in HR with major corporates and management and now runs her own Whangarei-based consultancy, specialises in working with small to medium businesses supporting HR functions. Topics include:
her top five tips on how to get recruiting right along with the latest supporting case law; how to keep up with these legal changes and make sure you are doing the right things when you hire; how to get the right people for the tasks; and even how to effectively manage upcoming Christmas
functions and what are the implications for serving alcohol on the job.
Register by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org, including name, address and your daytime phone number, by 5pm todayNov 15 Thurs. Time: 5.30-6.30pm, networking, followed by introductions, dinner and speaker.
Venue: A'Fare Restaurant. Cost: $45. Deposit to BNZ account 020 492-043-2044-01 with WBWN' as the reference followed by your full name. A tax receipt will be emailed once the deposit appears in the BJ Projects' account. No refunds or cancellations but a substitute may be sent. Phone co-
ordinator Barbara Jaques? at 021 434 778 or 09 434 7788 for further information. Email: email@example.com
This Tuesday, November 20, Zeald eBusiness consultant Margie Hannon's free two-hour seminar on how to turn your website into a powerful sales and marketing tool. Participants will be shown step by step how to get the most out of their websites and start generating extra business.
Topics: two key factors which determine whether a site succeeds or fails; fundamental components of every successful website; the importance of website measurement. Call 0508 932 748 or email firstname.lastname@example.org for information.
Tuesday, November 27, in Whangarei, How Businesses Can Survive And Recover From An Emergency, a free workshop for small to medium businesses. The workshop is a repeat of three held a few weeks ago, when demand exceeded the number of places available. Space is limited
to allow maximum participation. The Northland Civil Defence Emergency Management Group, the NZ Fire Service and the Northland Chamber of Commerce joined forces to structure and present the two and a half hour workshops. Emergency management officer Kim Abbott says they are
designed to strengthen and enhance ability to respond and recover from adverse events that may affect or interrupt business. These could range from an isolated event like a fire, to ongoing disruptions caused by power cuts or road closures and major regional events like storms.
Wednesday, November 28, the final Northland Chamber of Commerce Business After Five after-work networking event for 2012, hosted by Openspaces Preschool Academy of 592 Ngunguru Rd, Kiripaka, Whangarei. Registration/information on email@example.com or phone
09 438 3771.
Friday, December 14, Northland Chamber of Commerce Christmas Luncheon at A'Fare Restaurant. Register on firstname.lastname@example.org
Saturday, December 15, The Corporate Party at Toll Stadium: Whangarei District Council marketing and events manager Rachel O'Gorman is billing this as the perfect solution to maximise Christmas cheer with friends and workmates, in the company of other Whangarei groups with
the entertainment of the popular Christmas festival going on concurrently at the park. A eight-seat corporate table costs $520 plus gst, for Christmas dinner, two bottles of wine on each table (after that it's the cash bar) and two on-site carpark passes. Watch the show from premium seating
right outside the dinner venue. Bookings to email@example.com or (09) 470 2591.
Forward BA5 dates: February 13, Te Wananga O Aotearoa; March 13, Forsyth Barr.
The free 2013 Whangarei Map & Guide will be available in libraries, the i-Site at Otaika and Whangarei District Council service centres from early December. The print run is 15,000.
Who knew? This is International Fraud Awareness Week, organised by a 12-year-old partnership between hundreds of organisations worldwide and the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners (ACFE). ACFE, which provides anti-fraud training and education, says businesses and government
agencies are losing an estimated five percent of annual revenues to fraud, amounting to billions around the world.