DIARY DATES & VENUES - For Bristol events

Call 01981 540708  For your invitation

Each Event

  • Seminar/business workshops before THE networking lunch - Coffee and networking from 10am and seminar starts at 10.30am (optional,always rewarding, included in the price and a great networking opportunity!)
  • Informal networking with drinks from 11.45am
  • Sit down for 2 course, served and structured networking lunch, every table is hosted, with drinks and coffee, from 12.30pm
  • Lunch speaker
  • Event finishes at 2pm
  • Getting the most from Business Network SW events

Cost of Events - Covering seminar, coffee, 2 course lunch with drinks (wine available) and coffee, numerous senior decision makers, event programme with delegate list and post event follow up details.  Your investment for the 2017 events £31.00 for members and £38 for visitors.   

Be on the invitation list to ensure that you get your email invite on a regular basis

  • Visitors can come and experience 2 consecutive events with no obligation to join - BRISTOL events only
  • To attend future events membership is required. Available from £250 + VAT/year
  • Membership can be paid monthly by Direct Debit using Gocardless.com
  • No joining Fee

For your invitation call 01981 540708 or Click Here or email

For Exeter events - Please contact Helen Bennett - Business Network Exeter - For your invitation

Diary of Bristol events below Click on the date to get more details

23 August 2017 - The Bristol Hotel

Growing your business with effective proposals and tenders

Ian Smith - Winning Tenders

Brief Synopsis  

Pitching for bigger value contracts in the public or private sector means getting involved with formal tendering. Significant challenges and opportunities lie ahead when your business goes down this route. There are significant risks too. In the world of competitive tenders, competition is often fierce and the rules are strict. Knowing how to be persuasive and state your USPs clearly, while staying within the rules is an art you need to master.

About the Presenter 

Ian is a highly experienced and successful senior executive with excellent writing skills and 30 years’ experience operating across all aspects of public transport, outsourced managed services, proposal writing, bid management and tender evaluation.  Effective bid writing has been fundamental to his achievements.


Growing your business with effective proposals and tenders

Every contract you tender for entails effort - and plenty of it! If you can’t secure an acceptable win rate the profit you earn won’t be worth the work you have to put in. In the process of helping dozens of businesses improve their tender success rates over many years we’ve learned a lot about what it takes to be successful. We’re sharing some of that knowledge through a series of brief video tutorials on our website and this seminar. Amongst other things, this will help you decide whether or not to bid, how to make the process less painful, and how to make your proposal stand out from the competition.

Why you should come

You will get some insights into how you could expand your business through the tender process and formal proposals.  A sound bid process is a vital component of your sales effort.

What you will take from it

An understanding of the need to create real interest and even excitement about your proposal; and the fact that bid preparation and writing are skills in their own right that have to be blended with your subject matter knowledge if you want to be successful.

Speaker: Ken Abbott - Into the Image

28 September 2017 - Mercure Holland House Hotel and Spa

Seminar host is Ken Abbott

As a documentary photographer, capturing events are a key part of what I do.   Photographing events offer a unique set of challenges from unpredictable lighting to unpredictable people!  But the key is to use the photographers most important super power - become invisible.  And then simply capture what is happening in front of you in a candid and natural way without influencing what is happening in any way.

Subject is to be confirmed.

Ken is the creative brains behind the Bristol People Project

What is the Bristol People Project?

The Bristol People Project will photograph people across the city in all geographical areas, cultures and social groups with the aim of giving an insight into their lives as they live them and their views on Bristol and the wider world.

Who can be involved?

Anyone who lives, works or has a significant connection to the city.

Where will subjects be photographed?

Subjects will be photographed in a location or locations that best reflect their Bristol lives. This could be their workplace, home, a hobby or interest venue or even where they walk their dogs. It will be up to them.

What will the subjects need to do?

Just be themselves. The style of photography will be documentary/fly on the wall along with some straight to camera posed shots. Subjects will also give information about themselves (as much as little as they want) plus provide quotes which will be used alongside the images.

How much time will subjects have to give?

This will vary. It could be an hour, a few hours or even multiple occasions stretching over a period of time depending on situation and availability.

How long will the project last?

Roughly from now until May 2018 with the exhibition taking place in the autumn of 2018.

What will happen to the images?

During the project the images will be displayed on the project website and used across social media. There will also be a rolling exhibition at a central Bristol location which will display the latest images.

At the end of the project the best images will be displayed in a major exhibition in the city and published in a book.

How can I become involved or get more information?

Email ken@intotheimage.co.uk

Speaker: Mark Leveridge - Professional Strolling Magician

25 October 2017 - The Bristol Hotel

Seminar before lunch being hosted by Peninsula supporting the Bristol Business Network Charities - The Jessie May Trust and Stand Against Violence

This seminar will summarise your employer obligations including advice on solving common problems such as the below:

- What should be contained in your contracts, handbooks and policies

- New Pensions act commitments

- Manage employees “upwards or out” of your business

- Reduce persistent or intermittent sickness and lateness absence

- Maintain robust fire safety and risk assessments

-Managing Social media

-Explanation of Brexit and changes in HSE sentencing guidance

To name a few!

A % of the lunch income will be donated to the charities and Peninsula will donate should anyone take up their offer of services.

Speaker: Matt Richardson - Recognition Express

23 November 2017 - Mercure Holland House Hotel and Spa

Inge Dowden - Inge Dowden Coaching

Helping people be happy and successful at work.

A message from Inge....

Hi. My name is Inge Dowden and I’m the Business Growth and Happiness Expert. It’s my mission in life to make sure that everyone is happy and successful at work. Whether you’re a business owner or an employee, I believe that everyone deserves happiness and success.

My story

Since you’re looking at the About Me section, I guess you’d like to know a bit about me. So here’s my story:

I’m originally from the Netherlands and moved to England in 1995. With a degree in International Business and parents who ran their own international textiles company, I had always wanted to work in international business and at the age of 28 I fulfilled my ambition to become an Export Manager in an engineering company. OK, so the engineering bit had not been part of the dream, but I still loved my job. I travelled the world, met people from different cultures and really enjoyed the challenge of helping people become successful at selling our products. I’ve always been a bit of a language freak (aka a Polyglot) so being able to use my language skills was all part of the fun.

I was also happily married and planning on having a family. Life couldn’t have been better.

And then, at the beginning of the new Millennium, it all changed. The family we tried for didn’t happen, I got made redundant from the job I loved and my husband decided to leave me. Everything I had always wanted was taken away from me and I felt I had no control over any of it. I soon found another job (again as an export manager) but after a while I thought there had to be more to life than selling knobs and handles. And then one day in 2003, on the 23rd of November to be precise, I decided to take control of my own life again. I quit my very well paid job and went on a sabbatical to “find myself”. That’s when things started to turn around for me.

I took two years off and did lots of exciting things: I went to Italy to learn Italian, travelled around Europe, went to Thailand and finally ended up in Mexico, where I stayed for a year, teaching English to the Mayans and generally having a good time. I loved helping people and seeing their confidence grow as their English improved, and I wanted more of that feeling. However, I did miss the world of business, so I needed to do something to combine the two.

When I came across the Coaching Academy I knew that coaching was the right profession for me: one that combines helping people and being in business! It couldn’t have been more perfect. I knew I wanted to take it seriously so I signed up as a protégé student to have access to all of their courses. Soon I had a diploma in Personal Coaching, Corporate & Executive Coaching and Small Business Coaching. In 2009 I qualified as an NLP practitioner and I continue my professional development to this day with various additional courses (financial coaching, personality profiling, power presenting etc). I set up as Polyglot Coaching in 2008 and I have worked with hundreds of business coaching and career coaching clients since. In 2014 I re-branded as Inge Dowden Coaching to better reflect the personal approach to the business.

What I do

So now I work as a Business Growth Coach and Career Coach. The common theme is wanting to help people be happy at work. I love what I do and am happy every day – wouldn’t you want that too?

In fact, I have always been very happy in my work, and when I wasn’t I would make a change and leave. I couldn’t understand why so many people would choose to stay in a job that made them unhappy until I realised that they often feel like they have no other options. People feel stuck or have no confidence in themselves, and that keeps them in unhappy situations. Career coaching can help them discover their options and make them happier and more successful. I typically work with people who are in their mid 30s to late 40s, are fed up with their job and want to change. Often they don’t know what they want and I help them find out what their true passion is. Then we work together to put in place a plan of action to make it all happen. Sometimes that is to set up their own business, and sometimes that is to change their career completely. And very occasionally it is to help someone realise that their current job isn’t as bad as they thought. The end result however is always that people feel better than they did before, and that makes me happy too.

In October 2015 I published my first book to help with all of this: The Happy Worker – How to Find a Job you Love and Love the Job you Have. It’s packed full of tips and techniques to help people realise what they want and find their dream job.

I’m also very passionate about business. I love talking to lots of different business owners and see them flourish with my support and encouragement. Seeing my parents run their business and only ever working in small businesses myself means that I particularly like small businesses coaching. I understand what it’s like to have big plans and small budgets. I love being creative when the going gets tough and come up with ideas that don’t cost the earth but are still very effective. All this focus on happiness doesn’t mean we don’t also look at the bottom line, and that’s when the magic happens: when you make sure you and your staff love what you do, then you’ll invariably end up making more money too.

Speaker: TBC

14 December 2017 - Mercure Holland House Hotel and Spa


Speaker: Raffle to support the Business Network SW charities