Business breakfast aims to link up local professionals

Deborah Bennett from the Balfour Arms and business/LinkedIn coach Ashley Leeds

Deborah Bennett from the Balfour Arms and business/LinkedIn coach Ashley Leeds - Credit: Contributed

An early-morning business networking event is taking place in Sidmouth next month. 

The meeting on Tuesday, June 7 will aim to help people make new connections and get more out of the professional networking site LinkedIn. 

It is being organised by local resident Ashley Leeds, who has worked in sales and coaching for more than 30 years, and runs virtual workshops on LinkedIn for business people. 

He thinks many people have become disconnected from like-minded professionals during the pandemic. 

He said: “In East Devon in July last year, 34 per cent of eligible employees were furloughed. That figure was above the numbers for both Devon as a whole and nationally. In January this year it was half that, at 17 per cent and in May it was 8.3 per cent. Our local economy is bouncing back and people are getting back to work. 

“But what we don’t know is how many new businesses were started during the pandemic, how many professionals became permanent remote workers or how many people now work exclusively from home.” 

He said networking events help remote workers to gain more confidence, find new opportunities for business collaboration, share knowledge and ideas and raise their business profile, as well as reducing feelings of isolation. 

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People attending the event will also learn how to make the most of LinkedIn, with tips from social media marketing and content expert Odessa Sherreard: “We’ll be discussing how to improve your presence through creating regular, engaging content as part of a daily habit, as well as meeting other like-minded professionals.” 

Ashley is keen to emphasise that his event will not be a ‘pitch party’ where participants will find themselves being bombarded with people trying to sell their business services.  

“This event is all about making connections and meeting people. No 60-second pitches and definitely not limiting any different professions. Plenty of room for collaboration here!” 

The LinkedIn Local event is on Tuesday, June 7 June at 7.30am at the Balfour Arms. There is a nominal charge of £3 to cover the cost of breakfast baps and tea or coffee. To find out more and book a place contact Ashley Leeds on LinkedIn  or by phone/WhatsApp on 07799 722 607.