Lockdown easing – the Chamber Sept - Dec
Updated 19th August
Brighton's business community have come together over the last five months to stay connected and support each other.
The Chamber team have been working from home and running the Chamber virtually since the end of March. While we are still working remotely, we’ve started some in person meetings at members’ Co-working spaces.
We’ve been able to stay in regular touch with most members via Zoom, calls, email, social platforms and at virtual events and we plan for this to continue. These communications help us understand what’s needed and it’s also enjoyable!
What we’ve been doing to help members over the last five months
To help businesses access the available government support, we’re working with partners including Brighton Council and Coast to Capital and providing quick updates to our members on funding and grant opportunities.
We’re helping members access practical business advice and expert help, and we’ve continued doing what we love to do, making positive introductions.
We have introduced a range of free-to-attend Q&A sessions with experts on topics such as employment law, the bounce back loans, job retention scheme and cyber security. So far, we hosted 18 and they are continuing.
Our events programme moved online and we now deliver more events than we were before Covid-19.
The Chamber events
Our monthly Chamber breakfasts, currently on Zoom, are attended by 50+ businesses. As well our promise of an inspiring speaker (read about Rosie McColl and Tom Willis) there are also are three networking sessions.
Slo-mo Networking is a bi-monthly facilitated networking event where attendees join a number of small groups with structured questions. This event is for people wanting to expand their network quickly and build their referral ‘business friends’. There are 35 spaces at each Slo-mo. It’s fast, effective and always friendly.
Bite-sized Learning sessions are two hours and led by members who are experts in their field. We average three a month across a wide range of topics from marketing and finance to mindset and innovation. They are excellent value for money and will give you skills and practical tips that you can implement the next day. There is often an interactive element and so good networking too. Currently held virtually, we’ve had over 200 attendees between April-August.
Behind the Scenes events continue. Most recently with Ridgeview Vineyard & Wine Estates and a demo of the 3D printing lab at Barclays Eagle Labs. Coming up we have Circus Street revealed and accessing the three new businesses databases at the British Library.
We’ve recently announced Brighton Base Camp: Bananas, our biggest virtual event yet. It’s on 16 October, 9am-1pm. There’ll be inspiration keynote speakers, great networking and workshops that will change the way you think. Grab a ticket and you’ll be part of something exciting, intriguing and fun!
New ways to connect and get support
200+ members are using our Chamber Slack Group. It’s an opportunity to keep in touch, get to know each other, share top tips and get help and advice from the Chamber community. To join the Chamber Slack group email:Kieron@brightonchamber.co.uk
All members can sign up to our free weekly virtual Meet-ups to build their network and share expertise. These facilitated sessions for small groups help members connect, share information and learn from each other. See dates and sign up here.
The Chamber team are on hand to help. We suggest booking a call with one of the team who’ll direct you to members who can provide expertise when you need it. Within the Chamber there is a large group of businesses who are happy to offer a friendly ear and can help with employment law advice, how to sell online, financial advice, career advice, HR advice, legal advice and more. Email Amy email@example.com to set up a call.
There are lots of ways to boost your business online through your Chamber membership; an interactive profile on the Chamber website linking back to your website is great for your SEO; showcase your expertise through our blog and on our popular social channels; promoting your (virtual) events, using the Activity Hub to share your messages and offering or receiving peer support through the Member Hours. You can chat to firstname.lastname@example.org about getting started.
We’ve made a short video and blog about how to use the Chamber website to boost your business.
An average of 20 new members are joining the Chamber each month – that’s approx. one a day.
And finally bring us up to date and what next
The events will continue online for now. We are monitoring the situation and government guidelines closely, and we are looking forward to getting Chamber members meeting together again safely. We are making plans to start some of our face-to-face networking events again from November.
The next few months will remain challenging for many businesses. At Brighton Chamber we continue to adapt and introduce new services, events and topics to support the Brighton business community. Over the coming weeks and months this will include the launch of our next Catch the Wave business support programme.
If you have any questions about your membership please do get in touch with Amy email@example.com for a chat.