Cambridge’s Favourite Networking Event – The Results


Networking is a veritable sport in Cambridge. It appears at first glance that there’s an event on every night, each appealing to its own niche. There are formal events, informal, breakfast, evening, events for creatives and events for programmers. What is for sure is that there is a networking event for every employed and self-employed professional in the city.

Recently, we started a search to find the city’s favourite networking event (if you want to see them all, then click here) and here are the results from over 300 votes with a selection of the comments attributed to them…

  1. Connected Cambridge

“Less than 50 attendees, good speakers, well organised.”

“Well curated, accessible small scale events with good networking potential”

“Variety of people & interests”


  1. Drive the Network

“No pressure (everyone is of the same mind when it comes to not selling at you), fantastic speakers, great mix of attendees”

“Well organised yet informal; great support network that goes beyond the regular meetings; sharing of information and experiences; building trust through relationships, resulting in business and recommendations. Great speakers at monthly events.”

“I love the fact no one thrusts a business card. One is always greeted with a smile. Everyone is engaging and wants you and your business to succeed. It’s collaborative and has an amazing online community too.”


  1. Cambridge WordPress Meetup

“Stimulating range of topics, people, skill-levels, experiences.”

“Very relevant to my needs; good attendance; good mix of different skill levels”

“Got me out from behind the computer and out of my shell.”


  1. Cambridge 100 Club

“Because the attendees are very well connected and are not usually found on the usual Cambridge network circuit.”

“Convivial, educational & always enjoyable”

“Perfect mix of speakers, location and great food.”


  1. Numitas Cambridge CFO Club

“Informal style, first class speakers and only for CFOs!”

“Entrepreneurial Guest Speakers, convenient time of events, calibrate of other attendees and close match of skills, informative, informal and fun”

“Informative and relevant speakers, convenient time event held, good locations”


  1. Cambridge Network

“Best range of networking”

“They offer a relaxed professional environment with relevant topics”

“Speakers, range of topics, numbers who attend, timings”


  1. Pitch & Mix

“Intimate peer-to-peer group which gives valuable contacts and/or ideas each meeting”

“I thought the debates were more thought provoking and you were not just sitting through various sales pitches”

“It’s a useful forum for sharing and discussing relevant issues – excellent format – short and to the point and excellent networking opportunities. Benefits without a price tag – just valuable connections and advice.”


  1. CamCreatives

“Unique speakers each month, really supportive and friendly group, great organisation and amazing coffee from Hot Numbers!”

“A wide-ranging event which attracts a broad mix of people; always a good mix of new and familiar faces”

“The talks are always interesting, the people are supportive and welcoming – the group feels ‘real’.”


  1. JCI Cambridge

“Friendly networking group for young professionals. Run by member for it members and offer awesome local, national and international events.”

“Unlike other networking groups, JCI members seem genuinely interested in meeting new people and learning new things, rather than simply assessing what value you could have to them. Basically, being valued as a person rather than as a step on the ladder. I’ve met some fascinating people and had some brilliant discussions at their events, without ever questioning my right to be there because (with my very niche job) I bring very little to the table in terms of traditional networking “benefits”

“It has a great bunch of friendly and welcoming members. There’s also a huge diversity of regular social and personal development events to get involved in!”

and the winner is…


  1. Cambridge Marketing Meetup

“Joe is an amazing host, the talks are always interesting and the people aren’t there just to pitch to you.”

“Joe has created a fantastic event, full of insightful speakers and kind chatty people. The marketing meetup should be the one all marketers in Cambridgeshire go to.”

“Informative, entertaining, inclusive, friendly, great networking opportunities and great social media interaction for ongoing business opportunities.”

Okay, so our Cambridge Business Owners’ Mastermind Group didn’t make the top ten, but with this feedback, we’re still happy:

“I love it, I love the support you get and I love supporting others. How to build relationships that are powerful and showcase your knowledge and experience indirectly and without sales links.”

“Great community of small business owners truly supporting each other! This is the best support group you as a freelancer/business owner will ever need!”

Thank you to everyone who voted. It’s not the most scientific of studies, but we hope this has given you a greater insight into some of the more populart events in the city. 

You can also access the latest version of the Definitive List of Networking Events in Cambridge here




Cambridge’s Favourite Networking Event

In Cambridge, there are well in excess of 50 regular networking events, each with their own niche, target audience, time of day and formality, all aimed at a small number of the 9,000+ self-employed workers in the city. Many of these are so popular, they also attract many from neighbouring towns and villages.

Networking is frequently seen as a valuable tool to increase brand awareness, reach out to new audiences, as well as to share ideas with their peers. But which is the city’s favourite?

Here at Cambridge Business Lounge – where we host our own Mastermind Group and CBL Women’s Network events – we are looking to find the city’s favourite networking event/group, as well as the reasons why.

To cast your vote ==> CLICK HERE

Everyone who votes can also enter a draw to win a 4 Day Coworking Pass, worth £70.

You can also access a list of all the networking group and events that take place in Cambridge by clicking here.

The survey closes on Thursday 31st August and results will be announced soon after.

The winner will be featured – with the results – in the business section of the Cambridge Independent in September.

Ed’s Top Tips – Tip 12- Just get on with it!

Tip 12- Just get on with it!

Ed Goodman, business mentor, author and co-founder of Cambridge Business Lounge, presents Ed’s Top Tips – a series of short and useful guides for starting and running a business. This week’s final topic: Just get on with it!

It’s a little sad as we’ve come to the end of our series of Ed’s Top Tips. I hope you’ve found these tips invaluable pieces of information and helped you understand starting and running a business a little better from when you began. You’re going to make mistakes which are a good thing because this experience is a massive learning curve.

Embrace the fact that you don’t know, what you don’t know. As time passes you’ll gain more experience and develop your skills. It’s now time to end your planning and research and get on with running your business. Here are some words of encouragement from Ed:

There you have it. It’s time to take that step forward and get on with running your business. You can always revisit these blogs or watch a full playlist of all the videos here.

We’d love to know out of all the 12 videos which you found the most helpful and why. Would you like Ed to do more tip videos?  Tweet us using the hashtag #EdsTopTips

Ed’s Top Tips – Tip 11: A sale is not a sale until you’ve been paid

Tip 11: A sale is not a sale until you’ve been paid

Ed Goodman, business mentor, author, and co-founder of Cambridge Business Lounge, presents Ed’s Top Tips – a series of short and useful guides for starting and running a business. This week: a sale is not a sale until you’ve been paid.

Don’t let the topic of money become the elephant in the room.

It’s a wonderful feeling when you make a connection with a client who loves your work and wants to work with you, but when the topic of being paid comes up it’s something many of us feel uncomfortable talking about.

You’re amazing at understanding the customer’s brief and you’ve kept them in the loop all the way through the process of the work you’ve done but near the end of the process, you’re talking about being paid. Why didn’t you bring this subject up right at the beginning? Good business practice suggests that you have clear communication about all aspects of your business and being paid is a highly important topic to bring up right at the beginning of a new relationship.

It’s important because you are being clear and concise about the way you work and this will enable you to manage the client’s expectations better, whilst also making them aware of when you expect to be paid and at what stage your output will come to an end. Being upfront about what the client should be expected to pay and your terms and conditions will make your life a lot easier in the long run and will negate unnecessary problems when do send them an invoice.

Watch Ed’s video about being up front when talking about being paid:

Action Point:

Write down your sales process and identify when the question of making payment comes up. Now you’ve watched Ed’s video do you think that you could rearrange when you talk about payment in your process?

We’d love to hear how you begin the conversation about being paid? Do you have any methods to make it more comfortable, or do you avoid it altogether?  Tweet us and tell us using the hashtag #Edstoptips.



Ed’s Top Tips: Tip 10 – Anytime is the right time to start a business

Tip 10- Anytime is the right time to start a business

Ed Goodman, business mentor, author, and co-founder of Cambridge Business Lounge, presents Ed’s Top Tips – a series of short and useful guides for starting and running a business. This week: Anytime is the right time to start a business.

In 2016 80 companies per hour were started. That’s a lot of companies. It’s a really good illustration that prospective business owners aren’t letting outside factors like the economy or politics get in the way of making their dream become a reality.  Research from StartUp Britain, a Government-backed national enterprise campaign, shows 342,927 new businesses were registered with Companies House between January and June, compared with 608,110 for the whole of 2015, itself a record year.

Watch the video where Ed explains right now is the best time to start your business:

Action Point:
What are you going to do to start your business? Here are a couple of suggestions which could help you on your way.
  1. Come and visit us! We love meeting new businesses and making new connections. We’ll even make you a cup of tea or coffee. If you’re not in the local area you can always reach out to us via email or social media.
  2. Get out there and meet people. You can use websites like Meetup or Eventbrite to see what’s going on in your local area. Find an event which looks like your thing and go to it.
  3. Seek advice. Talk your ideas over with a business mentor or someone who runs their own business. Try to avoid speaking to friends and family who can be biased in their views.

We’d love to know what thing tipped you into starting your own business. Tweet us and tell us using the hashtag #Edstoptips.

Ed’s Top Tips – Tip 9 – Make Friends With An Accountant

Tip 9: Make Friends With An Accountant

Ed Goodman, business mentor, author and co-founder of Cambridge Business Lounge, presents Ed’s Top Tips – a series of short and useful guides for starting and running a business. This week’s topic: make friends with an accountant.

When you start out with your business, the last thing you think you need to do is speak to an accountant. You might think that because you’re only a sole trader that seeking expert accountancy advice isn’t necessary at this stage. You’d be wrong. Everyone needs to submit a tax return and HMRC aren’t the easiest people to communicate with.

The finance side of the business might actually be the hardest to deal with. You are an expert in your own field but the major point is you a not an expert at every part of your business. This is why seeking expertness of accountants, marketing professionals or designers is going to give your business the edge over the competition.

If your like myself and find anything to do with numbers or finance is dealt with burying your head in the sand, then your business isn’t going to have the success you dream it to be. Watch this video where Ed emphasises the importance of seeking out an accountants advice:


Action Point:

Go make friends with an accountant. This will broaden your network and you’ll have professional expertise about a subject you are not an expert in.

Have you met any accountants at networking events or Twitter chats? Why not mention to them your starting out in business and find out if they do offer a free consultation and book it! This will allow you to ask as many questions about how you go about doing your tax return, how to process your expenses. This is then a relationship which will help you in the future as your business grows.

Tell us how you found your accountant and how you’ve found them beneficial to your business. Leave us a comment below or Tweet us using the hashtag #EdsTopTips

Ed’s Top Tips – Tip 8: Work For Yourself, Not By Yourself

Tip 8: Work For Yourself, Not By Yourself

Ed Goodman, business mentor, author and co-founder of Cambridge Business Lounge, presents Ed’s Top Tips – a series of short and useful guides for starting and running a business. This week: Work For Yourself, Not By Yourself.

When you work for yourself, you have that flexibility to work when and wherever you like! This has it’s up sides like being able to sit and work from your garden on a sunny day, or have two hour lunch break lounging on the sofa. The beautiful thing about working for yourself is setting your own rules for your working day.

It also has it’s downsides. Working for yourself can be pretty isolating and lonely, most of the time your day will go by without talking to another person (the cat or dog doesn’t count!). Overcoming problems when you have no one to air them to can cause you to feel frustrated  The great news is there is another way of working which isn’t so isolating.

Watch this video were Ed gives his top tips to avoid this situation.

Action Point:

Now you’ve watched this video, how do you think it would be advantageous for you to venture out and try a couple of different of working environments?

People who work from home don’t get the distinctive difference of separating work and home life. This could cause issues in the future.

If you’re not keen on meeting new people you could also look at different options like online networking groups. It’s a group which will provide you help and advice is Freelance Heroes. You can also find them on Twitter too.

Tell us if you do feel isolated or lonely when working by yourself  or how you overcame this. Leave us a comment below or Tweet us using the hashtag #EdsTopTips

What Do Coworkers Do at CBL?

Every day we welcome coworkers who choose to work from Cambridge Business Lounge for the day, rather than from home or elsewhere. On the surface, I know what they’re doing. For example, today working from here is an Architect, Design Agency, Events Management, Accountant, Web Developer, and Town Planner, amongst others. However, I’m always curious to know what it is they’re actually working on.

Therefore, today, I decided to go round and ask some of them “what are you working on right now?” and these are their answers…

“An analytics tool which reduces millions of lines of cloud billing data to useful charts for businesses and academia to work out how their money is being spent” – Dan Frost,

“Assessing the environmental impact of various worksites required for construction work to implement a major rail infrastructure scheme” – Sheena McCallum,

“Right now I’m working on eating a pastrami and Gouda cheese sandwich I made using two Tesco bread rolls, leftover from a barbeque I held on Saturday afternoon, and other ingredients purchased from Waitrose.”

He added “I’m then working on designing integration workflows between our in house investor services and wire processing systems and our new Hedge Fund research and portfolio construction platform.”

“A large-scale support ticket session to help customers who we’ve migrated to our new platform.”

“Writing a job spec for a junior developer” – Kelly Molson,

“I’m currently working on a company away day to Lisbon. The logistics of getting 75 staff plus their partners to Lisbon from a variety of airports is interesting!  We have a wonderful hotel booked, I’ve found a stunning water front restaurant for dinner and we have some fun activities planned.  I just need to get everyone there now!” – Sabine Edwards,

“Architecture design; I’ve just finished sketching an alternative floor plan option for a new medical practice in London.” – Jon Clayton,

So, there you have it. Each person is heavily focused on completing their to-do-list and has chosen Cambridge Business Lounge as their place to do it. Somewhere where they feel productive, with the benefit of other professional minds too.

Try it for yourself, for free, and see how coworking can benefit your productivity. Get in touch here for more details.

Ed’s Top Tips – Tip 7: Using CRM tools for your business

Tip 7 – Using CRM tools for your business

Ed Goodman, business mentor, author and co-founder of Cambridge Business Lounge, presents Ed’s Top Tips – a series of short and useful guides for starting and running a business.

When you start out in business you’re going to meet a huge number of people. Some of these people you might work with, some you might find useful to connect with in the future and some you might never meet again. This is where using CRM tools come in use for tracking these interactions.

How do you track all of these connections? It’s a lot more powerful and personal if you’re able to log where you first met and what interactions you’ve had. Once you’ve logged you can easily go back to your CRM tool and remind yourself what the last interaction you had or how you met.

Watch this video where Ed explains how a CRM tool will help your business:

Look at the massive pile of business cards you’ve received, what do you do with them?

Firstly, you need to make sure you’re tracking these connections so now or in the future you can draw on that connection. Go test out one of the CRM systems Ed suggested and tell us how it went. leave us a comment below or Tweet us using the hashtag #EdsTopTips your experiences.

Ed’s Top Tips – Tip 6: Answer your phone!

Tip 6: Answer your phone!

Ed Goodman, business mentor, author and co-founder of Cambridge Business Lounge, presents Ed’s Top Tips – a series of short and useful guides for starting and running a business.

We all own a smartphone, but are more likely to use it’s smart functions such as email and social media than it’s original function of making and receiving calls. Some new business owners are reluctant to put their personal number out there but all of these things could stop potential business coming your way.

Watch this video where Ed focuses on the reasons why you should answer your phone.

As a business you need to consider what form of communication is going to be most effective for the task you have in hand. A phone call can be more direct and productive than an email conversation.

Action Point:

What solutions have you found to help you answer your phone? Comment below or send us a Tweet including the hashtag #EdsTopTips.