Local businessmen and women brush up on networking skills

Representatives from several local businesses attended a recent Lisburn Castlereagh Entrepreneurs Network event entitled '˜Online Social Networking vs Face-to-Face Networking'.

Councillor Uel Mackin (centre) with (l-r) Jonathan Steen, President of Lisburn Chamber of Commerce; Stuart McDonnell and Eoin Lavery, Apple Solutions Experts, Dixons Carphone Warehouse; and Stephen Houston, former President of Lisburn Chamber of Commerce.

Speakers at the event at Lagan Valley Island included Eoin Lavery and Stuart McDonnell, Apple Solutions Experts, Dixons Carphone Warehouse and Jonathan Steen, President of Lisburn Chamber of Commerce, alongside Stephen Houston, former President.

Councillor Uel Mackin, Chairman of the council’s Development Committee, commented: “The ease with which people can communicate online offers local businesses a valuable way to connect and engage with their marketplace at all times of the day from any location. Functions in online communication channels discussed for use by local small to medium sized businesses included Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Snapchat and YouTube.

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“This event was organised to support local businesses utilise online communications through a variety of platforms whilst still maintaining the important face-to-face networking opportunities. Businesses have several online platforms through which to promote their services and these offer quick and easy communication channels to build brand awareness.”

Those attending the event were reminded that online communications should not replace face-to-face networking.

“There is a very personal quality to face-to-face conversations as they offer customers and business associates the best opportunity to ask questions, get help and work through issues. These personal connections may then develop online once the initial relationship has been established,” Cllr Mackin added.

Brushing up on their networking skills, the participants were advised to be warm and treat people with respect, and to follow up and deliver on any promises made.