Leading Women UK has rebranded as ‘Connect’, where reviving the art of conversation is at the heart of this new networking group launching in Cornwall.

Connect will focus on the best part of bringing people together at events – enabling them to talk between themselves.

The networking group has evolved from the popular Leading Women UK, which is streamlining its meetings to concentrate on the aspects members most enjoy.

CEO of Fit n Fun Nurseries, Rachel Jones, was behind Leading Women UK and explains the reasoning for the rebrand: “We’ve spent time thinking about what really made our networking events successful; the part people enjoyed most was at the very beginning when we sat around with a coffee or a glass of wine talking before the speaker took the stage.

“As a result we’ve decided to stop the speaker slots altogether and make the meetings about casual, relaxed conversation. It’s where people really get to ‘Connect’.”

Leading Women UK was originally launched in 2011 by Rachel. It quickly grew and led to networking groups being run across Cornwall, with its main base in Falmouth at the Merchants Manor hotel.

Last year Rachel joined forces with Suzie Smith and Sam White from Piece of Cake Communications, a multi-service marketing agency. Sioned Parry-Rudlin, who owns Merchants Manor, was also part of the team, and the four began reassessing what really works at networking events.

“Initially we continued to run Leading Women UK in the same format, but on a less frequent basis, due to other work commitments that the four of us had,” explained Rachel. “We then decided if we were going to continue running the group, it should be in a way that maximised the time spent making those vital connections.”

The new format involves the Connect team giving an overview of business news in Cornwall, to keep members informed on the latest developments in the county, prior to networking beginning.

Suzie said: “Instead of listening to one person speak for 20 minutes about their specific business, we’ll be giving a round-up of all news and events, to spark conversation between members. Anyone interested in sharing news with our network is more than welcome to pass it on to any member of the team to share at our meetings.”

Connect networking will take place on a quarterly basis in the library of the Merchants Manor, with free refreshments.

Rachel said: “Leading Women UK predominantly attracted female members, which was another reason for the rebrand so everyone, both men and women, feel welcome to attend.”

An official launch party is being held at the next networking meeting on Thursday, November 30, from 6pm, at the Merchants Manor, in Falmouth.

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