Business

New kid on the block: Business club expands to Langley

Robyn Lee co-ordinates the Langley Business Card Social at Mocha Room Coffee Bar on the first and third Friday of each month. - Natasha Jones/Langley Times
Robyn Lee co-ordinates the Langley Business Card Social at Mocha Room Coffee Bar on the first and third Friday of each month.
— image credit: Natasha Jones/Langley Times

In uncertain economic times, networking has never been so crucial to survival.

And that may be truer for people who operate small businesses, whether on the street or in their homes.

Not much is free in the business world, and networking sometimes comes with strings attached, such as fees or rules that make attendance mandatory at networking clubs.

Business Card Social is the new kid on the block and, starting small, it’s already seizing Langley in a big way.

Business Card Social was started late last year by a small group of women in Maple Ridge who noticed that they had many clients and friends who, given the opportunity, had the potential to build great business and personal relationships.

“They decided to get a group together in a social atmosphere for a kind of meet-and-greet in a local coffee shop,” said Robyn Lee, who runs the Langley chapter.

“The profound feedback from the attendees was enough for Business Card Social to take on a life of its own, and it’s now spreading across Canada and the US.”

“Live events are the cornerstone of BCS, but a very integral part of the BCS is our online community at www.businesscardsocial.com, where you can view the calendar of events, search for, connect with and advertise business and learn about becoming an affiliate member,” Lee said.

What business card socials do is take connections beyond a handshake and an exchange of cards. They help business people form relationships. And what sets Business Card Social in Langley apart from other networking functions is that it is free and unfettered by the protocol of others.

Some entrepreneurs become discouraged with some other business networking events which can be too structured. Attendance is regulated, and the number of times a member could appoint someone else from the business to attend in their place was also limited.

And strictly regulated networking socials usually attract the same people session after session.

With Business Card Social, people are free to come and go as they please, Lee said.

Business people do not have to sign up for the networking events, Lee said, and are invited to attend as often as they like. They don’t even have to stay for the duration of each networking session.

The sessions are all held in an unstructured environment, and that suits people like Lee who run home-based businesses.

For Lee, networking means that she can co-ordinate her BCS schedule around the appointments for her massage business, Rhapsody’s Rest, which is located in Langley.

What is adding to the success is the location for the Business Card Social: The Mocha Room Coffee Bar at 20300 Fraser Hwy., where the friendly staff help to create an icebreaker atmosphere, which is particularly useful for those unaccustomed to networking.

Here, business people can mingle as they exchange business cards and information that will help boost their business profiles.

“We have already had two very successful events at the Mocha Room with support from local business owners. It’s been described as going to a business cocktail party, but in the morning with coffee,” Lee said.

“We like to support our coffee shop owner for providing the space by purchasing a coffee (and maybe a snack) but the event is always free. Just bring a stack of business cards and be sure to enter into our draw.”

The Business Card Social at the Mocha Room is held from 9:30 a.m. to 11 a.m. on the first and third Friday of the month.

It’s so successful that an evening session is being held on the second Tuesday of each month starting on March 13 from 5:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. at the Sonoma Grill, 20598 Fraser Hwy.

The next Business Card Social at the Mocha Room is at 9:30 a.m. on Friday, March 16.

For information, contact Lee at 604-313-2217, email her robynleemv@gmail.com or visit www.businesscardsocial.com.

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