Marketing Tips Icon | Pearce Marketing, East Sussex

Longmans Lunch Club Network Review

Date: 19 August 2016

The Businsess Network Column from Platinum Business Magazine

Network Review – Longmans Lunch Club

By Emma Pearce – Marketing Consultant – marketing planning, outsourced marketing and social media training

Longmans lunch meeting









Emma Pearce reviews a long-standing informal B2B network in Eastbourne

There are not many business networking groups focused purely on Business to Business (B2B) attendees, so they do prove popular. The Longmans Lunch Club also has another winning card – it’s based in a Thai restaurant and includes an excellent 2 course lunch!

But it’s not just the great food that keeps bookings high at each month’s event.  When I spoke to attendees at a recent meeting they said the group was always busy because it’s informal – you don’t have to stand up and pitch.  They find it friendly, easy to manage with no membership fees or obligations to attend, plus the restaurant is within easy walking distance for anyone based in the town centre.

The group has been under the leadership of Gavin Whippy (of John Whippy Insurance Brokers) since April 2015, but was established back in the mid 1970’s by David Lakin. As a Building Society Manager, David wanted to network with Accountants, Solicitors and Financial Advisors and the group gradually grew.  Gavin also had a turn running the club in the mid 1990’s, having been a member for a few years.

There was a wide mix of sectors represented at the meeting I was at – including banking, accountants, stockbrokers, financial advisors, solicitors, insolvency practitioners, property agents and surveyors, recruitment agencies, IT services, HR and marketing consultants, a commercial cleaning firm and more.

Gavin said “After we relaunched the club in 2015 we have seen membership grow steadily and we now have an average of 50 attendees. Our record is 64 to date! To join the Longmans Lunch membership you simply ask to be on the mailing list, or get invited by another attendee. You can drop into any meeting for just £15, which you pay at the bar with your drink order.

A monthly newsletter is emailed to over 200 members giving meeting dates for the coming months, as well as news of any other special events and charity functions. The Longmans Lunch Club has a table booked at the St Wilfrid’s Summer Luncheon and a Longmans Ladies Table at the Lady Taverners Lunch this year, as well as its own Garden Party and Christmas event.

The format of the meeting

  •  open networking with everyone attending the event
  •  sit down for a 2-course lunch (starter and main courses)
  •  more open networking if you wish to stay

No one owns the club and no one is making a buck out of the events. The main purpose is for local professionals to meet each other informally, exchange ideas and opinions and put a face to a name” Gavin added.

Key Facts

  • Location: Thai Brasserie (upstairs in the Enterprise Shopping Centre next to Eastbourne Railway Station)
  • Frequency: once per month, except August (typically the second Wednesday of the month)
  • Size: 50 attendees on average
  • Time: 12.45 with lunch served promptly at 1 pm, finish by 2.10 pm
  • Lock Out: no
  • 1 Minute Round: no
  • Speaker slot: no
  • Cost: £15 payable at the bar, plus your drinks (no membership fee)

So if you are looking for relaxed B2B networking environment and have a taste for Thai food, this group is ideal! To get your invitation to attend, please email You can also visit and visit the Longmans Lunch Club Facebook page.


Why not read our other networking blogs… including:

Find out more about our marketing consultancy and outsourced marketing services.

Free Marketing Advice and Social Media Tips

Sign up to our monthly email newsletter for marketing insights, funding, events and company news. Opt out at any time. View our Privacy Policy.

    Leave a Reply