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Norwich Marketing Meet-up: Bringing the business community together to solve problems

PUBLISHED: 18:33 12 December 2018 | UPDATED: 17:34 13 December 2018

Mark Williams-Cook, marketing director of Candour and a speaker at the November Norwich Marketing Meet-up. Picture: Susie Kelly.

Mark Williams-Cook, marketing director of Candour and a speaker at the November Norwich Marketing Meet-up. Picture: Susie Kelly.

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A series of free marketing events in Norwich are bringing professionals together to share ideas and prepare for the future. Susie Kelly found out why such events are becoming important for the business community.

Joe Glover runs the Marketing Meet-ups in Norwich, Cambridge, London, Birmingham and Bedford. Picture: Susie Kelly.Joe Glover runs the Marketing Meet-ups in Norwich, Cambridge, London, Birmingham and Bedford. Picture: Susie Kelly.

Breaking up with Europe could mean a great deal of uncertainty for firms across Britain. But business professionals in Norfolk are coming together to share ideas and help plan for the future, during what could prove a turbulent time for the business world.

Marketing manager Joe Glover has been running the Norwich Marketing Meet-up in his spare time for the past 18 months.

The event is a free, monthly get-together where marketers, freelancers, and anyone with an interest in growing their business can come and network. Each meeting also includes a series of presentations done by professionals who specialise in a particular field of marketing.

Mr Glover promotes a “come to listen and not sell” culture to help everyone who comes get as much out of it as possible.

“Whether it’s about GDPR, or Brexit or someone’s content marketing – if someone is able to speak to another person, that’s how we learn and grow. That’s the most important thing,” he says.

“We had a talk specifically on GDPR recently and we might do a ‘GDPR revisited’ next year. It’s a sounding board where people can share ideas and learn from one another,” he adds.

The Marketing Meet-up is open to anyone with an interest in marketing, and Mr Glover says the array of people coming through the door is now more varied than ever.

“We get all sorts of people come along from heads of marketing at global companies, through to freelancers doing copywriting – there’s a real range here.

“The nice thing about it is just the human interaction. People come in and I encourage them to think about it as a house of ideas,” he says.

“You listen to people’s ideas and you don’t come in with an ego. You’re just trying to help people and have a nice time among other people. So for those reasons, it’s for everyone.”

Mark Williams-Cook is one of the speakers at the November Norwich Marketing Meetup. The marketing director for Norwich-based digital agency Candour, he explains how important is for professionals to get together, ask questions and share ideas.

“The reason I do talks like this is because I think it’s important to share knowledge and give everyone more confidence in what works so there’s less mystery about it,” he says.

“A lot of the problems we face as businesses – specifically in reference to Brexit – are down to uncertainty. So, I think any event like this – where people are networking, they’re talking about what they’re doing, they’re talking about their future plans, they’re talking strategically – will lower uncertainty, which is always good for business,” he says.

Mr Williams-Cook is also part of SearchNorwich, a free event for anyone interested specifically in anything to do with increasing a website’s visibility, engagement and online sales.

“Our last event was seven weeks ago, it was recorded and put online, and has already had 16,000 views,” he says. “That’s people all over the country – all over the world, in fact – seeing these kind of events, these skills and the speakers who are coming to Norwich from all over the country to do these talks.

“These kinds of events are really putting Norwich on the map,” he adds.

Since starting the Marketing Meet-up in Cambridge, Mr Glover has expanded it to Norwich and now runs events in Birmingham, London and Bedford, with around 60-70 people attending regularly each month.

“Now that I’m in these five locations, you start to notice certain ways that different groups of people are. And I don’t know whether it’s about Norwich, or the Norwich Marketing Meet-up as a whole, but the people here are just so friendly and so happy – they’re genuinely a joy to be around,” he says.

• The Norwich Marketing Meetup is held monthly on a Tuesday evening from 6.30pm until 9pm at various locations around Norwich city centre, and features a range of talks on different topics at each event. Find out more at www.meetup.com/Norwich-Marketing-Meetup/

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