Why ISSBA events are perfect for the nervous networker

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I remember my first networking meeting - I was still working full time, had some crazy idea about building websites as a business and absolutely no clue what that meant in practice!  An ISSBA Meet the Members networking event was actually my first voyage into the world of networking, and it could have been terrifying!  Thankfully, it was a really positive experience!

We were all in your shoes!

One of the great things that I love about ISSBA, and that I think is one of the big selling points, is that it is entirely run by people who have been there, done that, and probably got a load of tshirts, pens, mugs, fliers .... All of the committee members are directly involved in running a business, so they really do know how you are feeling when you first walk through the door.

When I joined ISSBA many years ago, I was very early in my career of running a business.  I was still working full time while building up a business in my spare time, and finally an event came up which I was able to attend - a Meet the Members event being run by ISSBA.

Networking buddies to help you get started

I had never really experienced networking before, so I was really apprehensive.  I didn't need to worry though - as soon as I walked through the door I was greeted by the ever-cheerful Dick Calvesbert, who had been in touch with me by email.  He knew who I was, and that it was my very first networking event.  He went out of his way to welcome me, grab us a coffee, and introduce me to some people in the room. When I say some, I actually mean practically everybody!  I left with a stack of business cards, some great connections and a much needed dose of confidence!

This small gesture went a long way to helping me overcome my nerves and take my first teetering steps into the business world, and is now something I am pleased to do at networking events on behalf of ISSBA as a networking buddy.

Relaxed, informal networking

Over the years I've been to pretty much every networking event going, both locally, regionally, nationally and even internationally. 

I have to say, the informal and relaxed style at ISSBA's Meet the Members events is very welcoming for nervous networkers.  It really does feel like having an opportunity to chat with others in business over a coffee, find out what they do and tell them a bit about yourself. 

No hard sales, no obligation to join or even to bring others with you. 

The relationships I've built over the past 8 years or so have grown such that many of these people are now good friends.  We've shared our successes, our difficulties, and most importantly, helped point each other in the right direction - often supporting other local businesses in the process.

Taking the first step

It can be really daunting to take the first step and get yourself along to a networking event, but don't forget, we've all been there! 

I'm one of the team who can help make sure it's not quite so scary by welcoming you at the door and helping you to find your feet.  If there are specific people you would like to meet, we can help to make those connections. 

All you have to do is write in the comment box when you book your ticket for the next Meet the Members that you would like a networking buddy at the event, and we'll make sure that one of the team is available to support you.

I can't wait to see you there!

Ruth Cheesley is a Joomla! Specialist, CEO and co-founder of Virya Group.




She regularly speaks at conferences around the world on a range of issues from Community Management and Marketing to SEO and women in technology.


  • Guest
    http://Daniel Somers Monday, 27 August 2018

    You are one of those people who just pop up everywhere Ruth :)

    Are you still doing these gigs?

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Guest Thursday, 21 October 2021