Business networking Dorset: Weymouth & Portland Chamber of Commerce
The first business networking event I ever attended in Dorset was at the Weymouth & Portland Chamber of Commerce (WPCC), back in 2010.
Since then, I’ve been to almost every one of their breakfast events, joined the Executive Committee and right now I’m a Vice-President. Bear this in mind as you read this review of the WPCC networking breakfast.
Breakfast networking with the Weymouth & Portland Chamber
The WPCC breakfast event hasn’t seen a lot of variation in the six years I’ve been going along. Some of the faces have changed and the start time has been tweaked, but the fundamental format remains the same.
Today the monthly breakfast networking begins at 7.30am, at the Rendezvous pub in the centre of town, beside the harbour bridge. The meeting is always on the first Tuesday of the month, even after a Bank Holiday Monday, every month except August and December.
The first half an hour is coffee, tea and informal chat. Numbers attending are usually between 40 and 60, depending on the time of year.
At around 8am breakfast is served. When you book through the WPCC website, you can choose from the usual options: full English, a lighter option or vegetarian. Advance booking is required, and recommended, particularly as that’s how you get your contact details added to the list given to those attending.
News and tips for local businesses
Once you’ve had time to enjoy your breakfast and chat with others on your table, it’s time for the formal presentations.
These address subjects relevant to local businesses. They cover subjects such as:
- Plans for major events happening locally, such as the Pommery Dorset Seafood Festival
- Updates about significant local projects such as Jurassica or the development of Portland Port
- Useful news about changes to business tax and regulation, such as budget updates
Most of the breakfasts are sponsored by a local business, which is given a few minutes to share about what they do.
Who can attend a WPCC breakfast?
The Chamber is a membership organisation. Non-members can attend a couple of breakfasts, but after that, membership is required. All kinds of organisations and businesses are permitted to join, from sole traders and big local firms, to charities and schools.
Membership offers more than just ongoing access to the networking breakfast, which is the flagship event for the Chamber. The WPCC organises other local activities for businesses and gives its members an organisation they can turn to when they need advice or support.
Being based in Weymouth, I’ve made lots of valuable contacts through my involvement with the WPCC, and particularly attendance at the breakfast networking. If you’re interested in coming along to see what it’s like, why not let me know?