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Bringing Business People Back Together in 2021

Peter May
Peter May

Late in 2020 businesses endured the ripple effect of a December Northern Beaches lockdown and a subdued retail period. Throughout 2020, it was impossible to get together in a group other than over ZOOM or telephone. The good news is that 2021 confidence is much higher that personal business interaction will return.

More and more people are beginning to return to the CBD and to offices generally, though maybe not for a full week at this stage. Despite that phased return, our Members have an ongoing desire to learn, share information and connect. We answered this need in 2020 by hosting more than 25 key speaker and virtual networking events in partnership with Business Alliance NSW. These continue in 2021 together with an active face-to-face programme to draw people in business back together.

February After 5 Networking provided more than enough space for everyone to feel comfortable and confident

Covid Safe Face-to-Face Networking Is Back

Prior to the recent CBD After 5 Networking held at Café Danieli in The Rocks on 9 February, the last face-to-face get together was held in March 2020 - almost 12 months ago! This was followed by CBD After 5 Networking during March at Yukis at the Quay. This utilised an open air deck, overlooking Sydney Harbour and the Sydney Opera House - the perfect setting for the last daylight-saving opportunity to connect, hear from great speakers and network with colleagues and connections.

The CBD Women in Business Network is also back in action. This network brings together business owners, senior women in business, leaders and aspiring leaders who want to learn, share and grow both personally and professionally. We work toward harnessing our knowledge, skills and experience to create a supportive network that fosters learning and connection. These are hosted every four to six weeks and are supported by Chamber Sponsor members St George Bank, BSI Learning and Hall & Wilcox Law.

CBD Women in Business

Getting people back together is a mixture of finding a venue with right amount of space, that is easy to access and ensuring there is a Covid Safe Plan in place. The Chamber works with Member-owned venues to host these programmes and has a strict Covid Safe approach.

Virtual Networking Never Went Away

Events like the Expert Panel Virtual Networking and the Business Formula events, presented as a collaboration between Business Alliance NSW and CBD Sydney Chamber continue to be an important part of

the connection strategy. These are interactive events, not webinars and provide opportunities to participate in discussion, introduce your business and learn from others - all from the comfort of your office, home or even your car.

Since re-commencing our 2021 programme in February - already over 150 people have been bought back together through these face-to-face and virtual programmes.

Roundtables Relationships Inspire Closer Connection

The Chamber now hosts a series of roundtables across Allied Health, IT and Tech, Retail, Property and Real Estate and, Professional Financial Services. These are designed as smaller groups within an area of industry expertise where networks can be further expanded, knowledge shared and opportunities for collaboration created.

These started in 2020 and were all managed over ZOOM. In 2021 we are working to have face-to-face meetings wherever possible.

Introducing the Property and Real Estate Roundtable

CBD Sydney Chamber Members of this group have expertise across commercial and residential real estate - including representation from builders, developers, buyers agents, property advisers, mortgage providers, legal, conveyancing and valuation services, commercial negotiators, and architects. Their individual expertise is detailed in a Group Professional Profile which is shared across the Chamber website and through its social channels. This group hosted a panel discussion in a recent virtual Business Formula on the topic of "How Important is Property to Your Personal and Business Success in 2021?" With further plans to raise the visibility of this group of professionals across BiziNet Magazine and events.

This focus on smaller roundtables complements the After 5 Networking and CBD Women in Business Network events to bring business owners and senior people in business back together with a very specific purpose.

Chamber Membership Counts. Become A Member

The CBD Sydney Chamber connects, engages and supports businesses and people in business to achieve the best possible outcome - whatever the business conditions.

The Chamber provides access to clear information, business support services, training and upskilling opportunities for business owners and their teams, the roundtable specialist series and the Women in Business Network, the Chamber can be a valuable support in moving through the current economic challenges.

That's why Membership Counts.

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