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A Complete Guide to Business Networking in Exeter

A Complete Guide to Business Networking in Exeter

When starting up a business, growing a client base, or building your personal brand, networking is king. The Exeter business scene is thriving and no matter your niche there are events and groups to suit. But trying to work out where to invest your precious time and hard-earned money isn’t always easy. What you really need is a central list of the different groups so you can start to think about which ones are right for you. 

So – business cards at the ready here’s the definitive list of Exeter Networking Events and Membership groups.

Exeter Chamber

coffee in the city- Business networking in Exeter

Exeter Chamber is the region’s leading independent business membership organisation, connecting businesses, building knowledge and driving prosperity for Exeter and the surrounding area.

Businesses join Exeter Chamber because they know membership will give them the tools they need to make decisions for their business, access support and connect with the business community in the city and wider region. 

Members benefit from discounted rates to our extensive programme of events, and by putting their businesses in front of our unique and engaged audience of business leaders. Membership brings access to new connections who could become customers, suppliers, partners or perhaps even friends.

What’s the set up? Exeter Chamber runs a host of events – from round tables to parties. Summer bash, anyone? Their regular meetups include Coffee in the City  (every other Wednesday from 8:30 – 9:30) and a monthly Thirsty Thursday. 

How much does it cost? There are 3 types of membership available. The cheapest option is £120 per year.

Exeter chamber- Business networking in Exeter

Anything else I should know?  This is one of the most active groups in Exeter. Beyond events, the Chamber is busy in the campaigning space and runs initiatives related to transport, STEMM and more. Membership is for a business, so if you do join and have colleagues they can come along too. 

To find out more you can check out https://exeterchamber.co.uk/become-a-member/

Your Partnerships – Exeter and East Devon

Your Partnerships- Business networking in Exeter

Gain clients and grow your network!

Growing a business can be challenging. You want your business to be visible to the right people, so it’s important to know how and where to meet them. Our events enable you to connect with other members, gain referrals and build trusting relationships with customers and suppliers. Your Partnerships, we’ll help your business grow!

What’s the set up? 

The focus of Your Partnerships is on events, both on and offline. You’ll need to travel further afield for some of their meet-ups but there are plenty of regular events nearby, as well as virtual calendar.

How much does it cost?

Your Partnerships- Business networking in Exeter

It is £12.50 + VAT per month to attend online meetings only. To access face-to-face events £25 + VAT per month.

Anything else I should know? 

Your Partnerships certainly offer variety when it comes to events. Keep your eyes out for their Net-walking at Haldon Hill, if you fancy a bit of fresh air whilst you mingle.

To find out more check out https://yourpartnerships.co.uk/business-networking-exeter-and-east-devon/

Six Degrees

Open, friendly and driven by a desire to envelop its members in a collaborative environment, Six Degrees offers a confidential space where relationships can be built, nurtured and enjoyed. Every month we host online and in-person events, so whether you’re mingling over a croissant or listening to an inspirational speaker in a swanky venue, Six Degrees offers a confidential space where relationships can flourish.

Who is it for? 

A women’s only group.

What’s the set up? 

Six Degrees is a membership group with regular (currently fortnightly) meetups and lots of ad hoc events in between. Sea swim, anyone?

How much does it cost?

Membership is £25 pm, and events are charged on top with discounted prices for Six Degree Members.

Anything else I should know? 

Six Degrees are, unsurprisingly, popular with the Exeter female business community. They meet up at some of the coolest venues in the city and have a range of inspirational women speakers. Their Membership programme was only recently launched, so watch this space for how it evolves. 

To find out more you can check out https://sixdegrees-exeter.co.uk/

The Business Network Exeter

Whether providing face-to-face business networking events in Exeter, as we have been since 1993, or hosting our more recent and equally successful online events, our purpose remains the same – to provide business owners and directors with an effective and focused environment to do business.

Who is it for? 

Open to anyone, without a one person per profession limit, this group generally attracts Directors, Owners and Business Partners.

What’s the set up? 

There is a combination of online and offline events that take place on a monthly basis. The in-person events are a seminar followed by a lunch.

How much does it cost?

There is an annual membership fee and then a cost per lunch of £37. Seminars and online events are included in the membership price.

Anything else I should know? 

Launched in Exeter 30 years ago, this network operates across the country and membership gives access to the national database. Lunches are held at Sandy Park and Exeter Racecourse, and with 2 courses and coffee to be consumed there’s plenty of time to forge meaningful connections.

To find out more check out: https://www.business-network-exeter.co.uk/

Sterling Network Exeter

Sterling Networks are passionate about building and supporting businesses through networking. Our fortnightly meetings are the home of integrity and opportunity. We run 30 physical and virtual professional networking groups across the South West (The Exeter Group is Virtual only) West Midlands and Thames Valley. In 2022 Sterling is also hosting a series of 8 business Expos.

Sterling’s focus is on creating business in a great atmosphere without any type of pressure whatsoever. Each group is a vibrant business platform with a warm, friendly, but above all professional environment to develop your business network and contacts. One of our core values is that networking with Sterling Networks should be a great privilege and not a chore that you feel almost forced to attend.

Who is it for? 

Stirling Networks operate a single-seat category so you will not be in competition with any other business.

What’s the set up? 

The group meets virtually, via Zoom, for a structured fortnightly meeting on Wednesdays, from 7 am to 8.30 am. 

How much does it cost?

Annual membership is £359.00 + VAT and each virtual meeting costs £9.88.

Anything else I should know? 

The structured format of Sterling’s meetings might not be for everyone but they certainly seem to produce results, with the organisation claiming to have the highest renewal rates around. Virtual networking has tailed off as COVID restrictions ended and a lot of people find face to face networking the better option, but to be able to attend an early morning meeting from the comfort of your own home is certainly convenient.

To find out more you can check out https://www.sterlingnetworks.co.uk/exeter-virtual-breakfast

“Fore” Business

We are an international golf networking community. Our members are business owners with one common goal; building new business opportunities and playing more golf. Our members range from sole traders to multinational billion dollar businesses.

Over £30 million pounds worth of new business has been generated throughout our community.

Who is it for? 

In their own words, the criteria to join Fore are as follows: Business Owner, Partner or Director, Can Handle More Business, Wishes To Play More Golf, Can Attend A Monthly Networking and Golf Event.

What’s the set up? 

The group is hosted at Teign Valley Golf Club. Meetings take place monthly on Thursdays, at 8.45 am.

How much does it cost?

The joining fee and member’s pack is £159 + VAT; after that standard membership is £69 pm upwards depending on your level.

Anything else I should know? 

Definitely not “Fore” anyone who can’t make their way comfortably around the course but a great option if you’re looking to combine introductions with exercise. In 2022 Fore is holding a Bucket List competition with the opportunity to play at courses across the country.

To find out more you can check out https://www.fore-business.com/our-golf-groups/devon/exeter-group

Jelly SW


Jelly South West are free not for profit informal coworking events in the South West where freelancers, start ups, home workers and small/micro business owners bring their laptops, ideas or other work and work, chat and collaborate with other small business owners. 

Who is it for? 

It’s open to anyone.

What’s the set up? 

Jelly co-working days take place monthly at The Generator on the Quay. They also run events in Plymouth, Crediton, Cullompton and more, so there are plenty of options if you’d like to attend more regularly.

How much does it cost?

Absolutely nothing! The ethos of Jelly is to be accessible to all so the venue and wifi are provided free of charge, with small charges made for food and drink.

Anything else I should know? 

The emphasis here is on co-working, so if you’re in the market for structured networking, this probably isn’t the group for you. But Jelly is very welcoming and if you’re fed up of beavering away at home, then definitely grab your laptop and head on down. You never know who you might meet.

To find out more you can check out https://www.jellysouthwest.org/

Jelly are also running a Pop Up Networking Event on Tues May 26th to raise money for the Children of Ukraine. This is ticketed event, find out more and book here: https://www.jellysouthwest.org/pop-up-networking-event

Find out about more Business Networking organisations in Exeter here:https://www.leighfarmer.com/blog-posts/business-networking-exeter

This article was written by keen networker Leigh, an Exeter based corporate photographer.

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