Our popular Chai and Chatter events are held monthly, but what draws women to attend these Co-Women networking events? Co-founder, Becky, explains…
Networking in Sussex with a difference Chai and Chatter was one of the first Co-Women events I attended, before signing up for membership. I joined the group at Alcampo Lounge in Brighton one morning in early 2022, and haven’t looked back. I’d been attending networking events on and off for over 10 years, and I don’t think I’d ever walked away having really enjoyed one, but this time I did, and it was down to both the format and the group it had attracted.
Chai and Chatter is incredibly informal – if it were a person, you’d probably describe it as so relaxed that it’s lying down! When I joined in at that event, there was no sitting quietly whilst everyone got a timed minute to introduce themselves, and push their services on you. There was no “here’s our representative from this industry” or “I’m here because I’m looking for” shouted out across the group. We all arrived, settled down, and picked up a conversation with whoever was next to us.
Anything goes at Chai and Chatter The format means that there’s no pressure to talk business if that’s not what you want or need. Guests are welcome to bring business cards, flyers, or whatever other materials they’d like to share, but the one thing we insist that you bring is your personality and an open mind. The event works well because people connect differently and truly listen to each other, rather than pretending to nod along and agree with the fact that someone has a target to meet for introductions that month.
As a result, the conversation topics can be incredibly varied! I once had a member sit down next to me and ask about sports bras and how to buy one, as she’d seen one of my social media posts about it. She’d been desperate for help but not known the best source, and I was only too happy to have a chat about it. Some people want to just share that they’re having a tough time, whether in their business or personal lives, and we embrace that too. We always hope that you leave feeling more cheerful than when you arrived, if for no other reason than you’ve taken a few deep breaths and paused to enjoy a drink.
How to attend Chai and Chatter We’ve recently tweaked how these events happen, and there are currently three venues you can catch this event at. On the second Friday of each month, you can join us in Hove (hosted by our members Camille and Harriet) or Horsham (hosted by me!), and on the third Friday of the month, we meet in Brighton (hosted by Jo).
Members can attend these events for free, and for non-members there is a small fee payable. Catering is available from all venues on the basis of paying as you go for whatever you’d like – whether you’re having full breakfast or lunch, or just a drink is totally up to you, and there’s no pressure to stay until the official end of the event. Equally, if you’re enjoying yourself and want to stay longer to either continue chatting or make the most of a workspace which isn’t your home, you’re more than welcome to! It might turn out that you find a new favourite spot.
Our policy at Co-Women is that non-members are welcome to attend one event before needing to join in order to continue attending, and these are a particularly good option as a first offering. Hopefully you’ll meet some other members, realise that we’re all about having a good time, and want to continue that theme! So what are you waiting for?! Register now and we’ll see you soon