Business Networking Events in East Sussex for Men and Women (and a bit of West Sussex, Kent & Brighton!) – 2024
Date: 29 Nov 2013
This page is regularly updated.
Last updated July 2023.
There is no doubt that networking is a valuable marketing tool for most SME businesses.
Attending business networking events in East Sussex can be a route to winning new business, but it also helps you to develop meaningful relationships with suppliers and referral sources. Importantly, it also provides you with friendship and support. It’s always good to be able to share ideas and issues and get feedback from other business owners.
Scroll down to see the list of business networking events in East Sussex. At the end of the list you’ll see some information about events in Brighton, West Sussex, Kent and Surrey. We couldn’t help but just supply a few more useful links!
- The first few names in this network list relate to organisations with multiple event locations across East Sussex
- The rest of the list is broken down by individual business networking groups by town in alphabetical order.
Key things to look out for:
- Some networks in this list are pay-as-you-go, others require an annual subscription and some may have a lock-out (one business per category)
- Some meet for breakfast, others for lunch and some in the evening – some groups have options for all three!
- One or two networks are specific to an industry sector.
- Many networks also have social media groups (on Facebook, Linkedin etc.) that you can interact with – even if you do not go to the face-to-face meetings.
- You can usually go along as a guest a couple of times to decide if a network suits your business (and some are just pay as you go anyway). You may be interested to read another really useful blog about How to be an effective networker, as well Tips and Ideas for Your 1 Minute Networking Presentation, Networking – Is it really worth it?. We have also reviewed a good number of networking events too – see relevant article in our blog (filter by clicking on the ‘business networking‘ category).
- There are also business networking groups that only exist on social media – but that’s a whole separate list! We talk about a number of these groups and how to use them in our social media training sessions.
This list may not be not exhaustive (since things change so quickly), but it is pretty large so should give you a good list of options! If you know of more networks (or any that have now stopped running) please do comment below and/or email firstname.lastname@example.org and we will add them. Thank you!
You are welcome to share this post and link to it from your website or blog. Given the work put into creating and maintaining this this list of business networking groups in East Sussex (and beyond), we would be grateful if you would not just copy and paste the content and use it elsewhere. Thank you, much appreciated!
Photo from Bexhill Chamber
It is really important not to forget your marketing measurement. Make sure you note where all your business leads come from so that you can judge if networking is working and which groups are the most productive for you (read this blog Networking – Is it really worth it?).
Don’t forget to volunteer to be a speaker at networking groups to raise your profile quickly. This really worked for us. Make sure you have a good angle for your presentation so that it is attractive to the event organiser.
Please don’t forget to like our Facebook page and connect with us on other social media (Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram) for more marketing and social media tips. You can always subscribe to the Pearce Marketing newsletter too. This will include links to key blogs so you don’t miss out.
BUSINESS NETWORKING EVENTS IN EAST SUSSEX – THAT OPERATE IN MANY TOWNS:
There are many 4 Networking groups around the country – times of day vary, meet fortnightly. Find out more here Contact 4Networking. Some of the most local ones are Eastbourne, Hastings, Shoreham, Haywards Heath, Horsham, Tunbridge Wells.
Basepoint Networking Hub
Some Basepoint Business Centres host Networking Hub events – a local one is in Crawley.
Check out other Basepoint locations in the South here http://www.basepoint.co.uk/locations
Bizzybirds (Women only)
Monthly meetings around East Sussex usually 10 am – 12noon. Locations are Hastings, Eastbourne, Hailsham, Battle and Seaford. – http://www.bizzybirds.co.uk/
List of Sussex BNI chapters – weekly – typically breakfast, but some now meet at lunchtime http://bnisussex.co.uk/en-GB/index
Note: some towns have more than one Chapter – eg Eastbourne has Eastbourne BNI and The Royal BNI.
BoB (Business over Breakfast)
These clubs exist all around the country – meet fortnightly. The only active club in East Sussex at this point (December 2017) is in Battle http://www.bobclubs.
Chambers of Commerce
Each chamber will offer its own mix of networking events as part of your membership.
- They do a range of events, including business networking breakfasts/ lunch, workshops and also non-member events for just £15 per non-member. Take a look at their website to find out about more events.
- They also has specific Manufacturing and Construction forums – for more info http://www.sussexchamberofcommerce.co.uk/events/
Fabulous Women & Marvellous Men
Groups operate in a number of counties in the South. In Sussex, to date (November 2013), there are groups in Brighton, Hailsham and Crawley – see https://fabulous-women.co.uk/eventdetails as of June 2017, it seems these groups are not running. However, take a look and see if one has started again in Sussex. As of October 2021 there is still not a group in Sussex, however there are other groups if you can travel!
First Friday Network
(some now on other Friday’s in the month!)
Free entry, no lock-outs, lunchtime event at a local pub/hotel (typically).
There are three branches in the East Sussex region:
- 1066 Country
- Eastbourne, Lewes, Wealden
- Brighton & Hove
Breakfast meetings in St Leonards and Eastbourne, ladies lunch club (rotates between Eastbourne, Battle and Halland), women’s supper club (Brighton), morning and evening seminars and networking events (Polegate) and social evenings with restaurant meals (Hailsham).
Institute of Directors – Constantly updated with a variety of networking events in the south. Find out more at https://www.iod.com/events-community/regions/south/events
Ladies Lunch Clubs
These operate in several locations – find out more at http://www.ladieslunchclubs.co.uk
- Tunbridge Wells
- Brighton & Hove
Lady Golfer Club
Golf and networking events for members and non-members on various golf courses – Eastbourne, Uckfield, Haywards Heath, Brighton, Worthing and more promised. Find out more at http://www.ladygolferclub.co.uk
Ladies who Latte
This group runs in a number of locations and more may spring up at any time… http://www.ladieswholatte.com/ladies-who-latte-mapped-meetings.htm There are groups in Eastbourne, Hailsham, Hove, Crowborough and other places in East Sussex.
Sussex Business Clubs
There are two clubs – Brighton & Hove and Eastbourne & District. Open to the bosses of businesses with a turnover of £2m + with 10 staff +. http://www.sussexbusinessclubs.co.uk
October 2021 – Currently no networking events are running, but it is always worth checking back or emailing to see what events are running.
Sustainable Business Network (Added to this blog in June 2014)
Part of the Sustainable Business Partnership – network linking like-minded environmentally comitted businesses to share ideas and build working relationships. The location of the networking events vary – Eastbourne, Brighton, Chichester etc. As well as networking time, each breakfast meeting focuses on a different topic, such as energy efficiency, waste minimisation, renewable energy, green marketing or environmental management systems. http://sustainablebusiness.org.uk/network/events/
October 2021- currently no networking events are running, but it is always worth checking back or emailing to see what events are running.
The Athena Sussex Network (Women Only)
Monthly lunch meetings and additional networking/learning opportunities:
BY TOWN – BUSINESS NETWORKING EVENTS IN EAST SUSSEX BY TOWN:
The list below does not include events by those groups already mentioned above, many of which are active in a number of these towns.
Business Cornerstones – fortnightly business breakfast for B2B businesses from across Sussex http://www.businesscornerstones.co.uk/
Ashdown Hurrey Women in Business Lunch Club – quarterly meeting https://www.ashdownhurrey.co.uk/index.php/community https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/o/ashdown-hurrey-women-in-business-14622232116 (often meet in Bexhill)
Bexhill Curry Club – email@example.com – Organised by Katie S Cowley at Gaby Hardwicke Solicitors
Bexhill Lunch Club – organised by Gibbons Mannington & Phipps LLP. On the second Wednesday of every month. To book please email karen.crowley@gmpaccountants.
Ladies who Latte https://www.ladieswholatte.com/Ladies-Who-Latte-Meetings-Mapped
BED (Business Enhancement & Development Group) – B2B networking group, meeting every 2 weeks at Chalk Farm Hotel. Organised by Lawrence Culham 07793 032180, firstname.lastname@example.org or Stephen Elliott 07715 313334, email@example.com
Blue Monkey Network (For Artists) – In partnership with the Towner Gallery. Regular monthly networking events plus talks by members and visits to galleries. www.bluemonkeynet.org/events (Added to this blog Oct 2015)
Business Builder Forum for Entrepreneurs – Monthly ‘development’ event for business leaders who are keen to grow their operations. To find out more, please contact Pippa Prichard – firstname.lastname@example.org (Added to this blog Oct 2018)
Eastbourne Curry Club – email@example.com Organised by Katie S Cowley at Gaby Hardwicke Solicitors and Chris Stevens at FRP Advisory
Eastbourne Professionals Club – First Thursday of the month, 5 – 8 pm at Cru wine bar. Informal networking – contact Adele Fields firstname.lastname@example.org and see more on the Facebook page. (Added to this blog April 2018)
Girls on the Green – Ladies Networking/Golf meetings. Fortnightly Wednesday evening meetings at Willingdon Golf Club, all abilities welcome. Contact Sarah Josling email@example.com (Updated April 2018)
Longman’s Lunch Club – B2B, professional services predominantly. Monthly meetings usually take place at the Thai Brasserie in the Enterprise Centre. Please note this network is by invitation or guest only. Here’s their Facebook page for more information – why not contact the organiser? (Added to this blog Sept 2015)
Network Vines – A fresh and approachable networking group for all sized local businesses in and around Eastbourne. Held on the last Wednesday of every month – contact Chloe for more information firstname.lastname@example.org and see more on the Facebook page. (Added to this blog Aug 2018)
Professional Networking – Meetings on the first Monday of every month.
The Federation of Holistic Therapists – meet on the first Monday of the month of March, April, June, July, Sept & Nov. Gain your CPD points. Contact: Pam Hardy on 01323 644007 or email: email@example.com (Added to this blog in Dec 2013)
Forest Row Business Forum – monthly meetings at various member locations. Find out more at www.forestrowbusiness.org.uk.
“FORE” Business – combining business and golf every month at the Royal Ashdown Golf Club. Find out more on their website.
Hailsham and Lower Dicker
Ladies who Latte Hailsham – second Tuesday of every month, 10 am – 12 noon. £3 per meeting. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org and go to https://hailshamlwl.eventbrite.co.uk to book. (Added to this blog in July 2016)
Hastings & St Leonards
Bubbles & Business – 12 – 2 pm at Bannatyne Spa Hotel – organised by The Best of Hastings – contact Cale Sinfield email@example.com. (Search Bubbles & Business on Eventbrite.)
PhotoHastings (For Photographers) – Members only networking group for photographers http://photohastings.org/(Updated January 2017)
Pizza, Pasta and People– The emphasis is on informality and a relaxed environment although we will facilitate a traditional 60 second round so that everyone gets a flavour of who else is attending – firstname.lastname@example.org (Added to this blog December 2017)
Heathfield and Blackboys
Heathfield Small Business Network – lunch on first Monday of the month – contact Barbara Hibbart Tel : 01435 865135, email email@example.com
The Grove Networking Breakfast – Blackboys, second Friday of the month, contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Lewes Pulse – Breakfast meeting every two weeks for Local professionals in Lewes. Find out more: http://lewespulse.co.uk/ (Added to this blog Jan 2016)
Lewes Women in Business – A not-for-profit community group that helps professional women with independent businesses in the Lewes District make connections – monthly meetings and business workshop programme.
Lewes Lunch Club – For B2B, meeting at local eateries on the third Wednesday of every month. Very relaxed networking with no 1 minute round or yearly fee – you simply pay for your dinner. Contact Jane Doswell: email@example.com (added to this blog April 2018)
Uckfield (and Buxted)
Uckfield Curry Club – run by Victoria Regan from Dawson Hart Solicitors – call 01825 762281 or email VictoriaRegan@rixandkay.co.uk
Women in Networking (WIN) – Monthly Lunch at Buxted Park Hotel run by Chloe Eason – 07729 458893 or email firstname.lastname@example.org and Jane Doswell – 07834 769324 0r email email@example.com (Added to this blog in Nov 2014) Currently no networking events are running, but it is always worth checking back or emailing to see what events are running (October 2021)
Uckfield Business Brunch Club – An informal group for local women in business to connect, support and socialise with each other, based in Uckfield. To join in or if you’re interested in finding out more, please join the Facebook group.
Wealden District Council Business Breakfasts
Periodically there are business breakfasts and seminars – supported by the FSB
BUSINESS NETWORKING EVENTS IN WEST SUSSEX:
I have not tried to do a full list for West Sussex but here are a few I have come across (scroll down for some in Brighton in the next section… (don’t forget some networks from the list above will have groups in West Sussex – eg FSB, First Friday Network, Mumpreneurs, Business over Breakfast (BoB) etc. ):
Chambers and others: (Added to this blog in Dec 2013)
Other District and Borough Council website links (where you may click through and find lists) are here. A few I know of already are:
- Haywards Heath and District Business Association – Monthly networking drinks and other events. http://hhdba.com/home/
- Steyning and District Business Chamber http://www.steyningchamber.co.uk
Hurst Women in Business (Added to this blog in Dec 2013)
For women in business in and around HurstPierPoint
A FEW MORE BUSINESS NETWORKING EVENTS BEYOND EAST SUSSEX:
Other networking groups in Brighton, Tunbridge Wells, Kent and the UK… (please note that some of the networks already mentioned in the list above may have groups/events in West Sussex – e.g. FSB, First Friday Network, Mumpreneurs Sustainable Business Network etc. )
Gatwick Diamond Business Association – http://www.gatwickdiamondbusiness.com/
Network My Club – (aka Network Albion Business Club) – https://www.networkmyclub.co.uk/upcoming-business-networking-events/ – events at sporting venues in Brighton (AMEX), Reading, London, Southampton, Twickenham, Portsmouth
The Boundary Club – https://sussexcricket.co.uk/boundary-club
Miniclick (For Photographers) – http://miniclick.co.uk/ Free talks, discussions, workshops and events for photographers in Brighton (Added to this blog Oct 2015)
The Platinum Business Club – http://theplatinumclubbrighton.co.uk/
Wired Sussex – https://www.wiredsussex.com/events/ (digital, media and technology sector)
Networking in Brighton – Monthly networking event for women http://www.networkinginbrighton.co.uk
Brighton Curry Club – http://brightonbusinesscurryclub.co.uk/
Another group in Sussex is the County Business Clubs – however, it is not reserved for just those living in Sussex. Their aim is to stimulate Sussex business to whether you sell to Sussex or sell from Sussex.
Make It Your Business – female networking event
In Tunbridge Wells, Kent.
1230 The Womens Company (TWC)
In several locations – the nearest is in Tunbridge Wells, Kent, more in London…
Mums in Business Network (Added to this blog in Dec 2013)
In several locations including – Tunbridge Wells, Sevenoaks, Cranbrook and Ticehurst
Various locations – predominantly in Kent – breakfast meetings.
Alternative Breakfast Club
Monthly meeting in Pembury, Kent http://www.altbreakfastclub.co.uk/
Business for Breakfast
Visit http://www.bforb.com/ to view contact details so that you can ask about where your nearest group is.
The Net – Simple Networking, Tunbridge Wells
Friendly, informal breakfast networking meetings for SMEs in and around Tunbridge Wells. Visit http://www.simple-networking.co.uk for more info (Added to this blog in March 2016).
Hurstpierpoint Professional Networking Meetup
The group is aimed at bringing people together from all types of business to network and support each other. Visit: https://www.meetup.com/Hurstpierpoint-Professional-Networking-Meetup/ for information. (Added to this blog in January 2019).
WBG (Wealden Business Group)
Visit http://www.wealden-business-group.co.uk/ for networking in Tenterden and surrounding areas (Added to this blog in November 2014).
And of course there are lots more in Kent and other counties! Local county council websites often link to all the Chambers and may mention other networks.
A great resource in Surrey is the Networking in Surrey website – a comprehensive listing of all upcoming events and you can even sign up to receive an email reminding you of events coming up.
And finally, don’t forget, if you know of more networks, please do comment below and/or email firstname.lastname@example.org and we will add them. Thank you!