GM Business Connect have always been prolific networkers within the regional business community. So, when lockdown was brought in on 23 March we were hit pretty hard. After all, there is a difference between not wanting to go out to meet people and being told you cannot! We had partnership agreements in place with many Expos and Conferences in Greater Manchester to exhibit and meet more of the business community during 2020. Unfortunately, this year looks like usual activity within this sector has either been postponed or simply been cancelled –
November saw the First Friday Connectworking event take place at the Manchester Marriott Victoria & Albert Hotel – only a 5 minute walk from Deansgate and two minutes from Spinningfields. The hotel is a striking Grade II listed building in the city centre on the banks of the River Irwell. It features a choice of dining at two restaurants and parking.
General Manager Paul Walsh was on scene to help us set up on the private Terrace which was nicely secluded from guests at the hotel.
September saw First Friday Connectworking in the heart of Manchester at the infamous Peaky Blinders bar restaurant. A great place to visit for all fans of the gangster show. Although this month none of the guests were working for the underworld, well as far as we know. We started the evening all badged up and ready to go with free drinks on arrival, plus everyone attending gets entered into Forever Manchester’s Tombola ticket draw, where there was a chance to win 3 nights for two in Vienna.
The aim of the event is to make business connections whilst socialising in great surroundings in the centre of Manchester, a chance to unwind and meet fellow business people where friendships are made and follow ups are encouraged to help your business. No membership, and no hard sell, just polite introductions. With every ticket sold a Forever Manchester Tombola ticket is issued and this time it was a 3-night trip to Malta up for grabs.
In July we were treated to a meeting at the iconic Great John Street Hotel,
April saw First Friday Connectworking at The Botanist on Deansgate, Manchester where our host Rebecca Brenchley served Didsbury Raspberry & Elderflower Gin in the front room. Steve Frehley of Jeffrey’s Tonic provided flavoured tonics to accompany the Gin. The Elderflower tonic went down a storm! This was again pure business networking and everyone who books on First Friday Connectworking receives a Forever Manchester Tombola ticket with a chance to win some great prizes drawn by the Charity. It was great to welcome The Pentone Family Gin Company who gave out samples of their Gin,
Our next two events couldn’t be more different. In February we tried something new and held it in etc.venues at Eleven Portland Street. Situated on the 8th floor overlooking Piccadilly Gardens, we networked all evening with kind support from Steve Frehley of Jeffrey’s Tonic bringing along their range of tonics. We enjoyed with gin, and some of us tried it with Bacardi, which went down well. Of course other drinks were available for guests.
etc. venues had the whole floor,
December and January saw two brand new venues hosting the GM Business Connect First Friday Connectworking event.
The December event was hosted by Barclay’s Eagle Lab at Bruntwood’s Union building overlooking Albert Square and the Town Hall.
January saw us welcomed at Manchester Hall on Bridge Street, at their sumptuous Library.
December was great to see the facilities Barclays were offering the Manchester business community. We were shown around by Matthew Priestley, Ecosystem Manager,
Spread over either side of City Centre Manchester, October and November saw First Friday Connectworking take place at two brand new venues.
The October event was hosted by Grand Pacific situated on Spring Gardens, who welcomed everyone with Gin on arrival then food. For November we moved to All Star Lanes in the Great Northern building – taking over their private party room know as Jungle Room, complete with private bowling lanes. They laid on some amazing food and hospitality.
August and September saw GM Business Connect’s First Friday Connectworking event start to move around Manchester showcasing new venues.
The two dates were hosted at Atlas Bar on Deansgate, famous for stocking over 300 brands of Gin and being adjacent to Deansgate Locks – famously convenient for Manchester City Centre businesses to meet up after a busy week. Owners Elaine and Mark Wrigley welcomed attendees with a free glass of premium Gin and Tonic, plus complimentary nibbles.
First Friday started off with Forever Manchester,
As supporters of Forever Manchester, GM Business Connect have always enjoyed a close relationship with the charity, promoting their business affiliated activities and reporting on many of their business-themed events and promotions. Paul Mirage from GM Business Connect is also an Ambassador for the charity.
Over recent years Forever Manchester have promoted a regular monthly business networking event – First Friday – taking place between 4-6pm on the First Friday of every month. This was always a great way to end the week.