Networking + walking = Netwalking
Networking meet ups can be very stiff. I am not a huge fan although I know that if I’m to gain new business as a freelance writer and blogger it’s a good idea to attend a few networking sessions. But now there is a new concept in networking that really is my thing: Netwalking.
Netwalking Scotland organise and guide groups of business people who are keen to network – but also do something healthy at the same time. So there is no sitting around indoors drinking coffee, rather Netwalkers go outdoors, walk a route in the countryside and along the way they chat about their businesses (and lots of other things).
My first Netwalk
Having just joined Scottish Women in Business (SWIB), the first date on the calendar happened to be a Netwalk. In fact, this was SWIB’s first Netwalk and because I like walking and I thought I might enjoy the talking, too, I headed along to the Netwalking meet-up last week.
Some 20 or so SWIB members gathered at the start of the Queen’s View walk north of Glasgow with Netwalking founder and guide, Gavin Tosh. While dark clouds were gathering over the hills to the east, the atmosphere among the women walkers was far lighter. I know from personal experience how being outdoors lifts my spirits and it seemed that this was also true for the ladies who were all “up for an adventure”.
And so we set off, walking the well-trodden trail uphill via the Whangie. And as we walked we talked.
At different stages in the walk I found myself strolling alongside – or just ahead or behind – many different women. Some I had met before but many were new to me.
Netwalking and the benefits
Gavin came up with the idea of Netwalking Scotland as a “way to bring business people together but in a different and healthier setting”. Netwalks can be a bespoke outing – like the SWIB walk – or a part of Netwalking Scotland’s regular Netwalks programme.
The regular Netwalks take place in the Edinburgh and central Scotland areas, and mostly on Fridays. Individuals can go along for a free first walk. A year’s membership is £55 – and this entitles walkers to join as many Netwalks as they fancy.
Gavin reports that a number of new business ventures have come from Netwalks and many Netwalkers return week after week to meet new people or to forge greater relationships with people they have met before.
Gavin said: “Meeting on a walk is so much better than meeting for a coffee indoors. People keep fit and meet new business people. I think people talk more freely and enjoy themselves far more when they are walking and talking.”
Many of the SWIB members agreed. I overheard people saying how much they enjoyed the concept.
- “It’s great to be outdoors and in the fresh air”
- “It’s easier to talk to people when enjoying a walk”
- “I feel better physically and mentally after walking”
- “It’s great to share an outdoors experience and to meet new people”
- “The views are lovely and the chat has been really good”.
I came away for the walk feeling refreshed. Wispa the Wonder Whippet had enjoyed a good run. I’d made new friends and contacts. Netwalking is the way forward for business meetings.