Hundreds of north east entrepreneurs have been members of the Entrepreneurs' Forum over the past 20 years and we’ve gathered their best tips and red flags on how to make the most of your membership and what practices to avoid.

Best Practices

• Prioritise attending events

Members who attend events during the year, put them in their diaries and commit to attend, do better. That’s how you meet interesting peers and open the world of opportunity presented by our incredible network. Check out our upcoming events and select some for your first few months of membership to get you started.

• Put effort into getting to know your fellow members

Some members make lifelong mentors and friends through connections made at Forum events. Invest your time in getting to know your fellow members. 

• Listen and make notes

Listen to the content of the talks and discussions, ideally making notes. Our diverse speaker line-up will challenge the way you think so use our notepads to write down your own ideas to take back to your business. Revisit your notes after the event to reflect on how the lessons shared could help you.

• Practice your introductions

We run lots of round table discussions and dinners and you may be asked to introduce yourself. Keeping it to the recommended 1-2 mins may mean you can’t always say everything there is to say about yourself but don’t worry. A short introduction is always better and appreciated by your fellow guests.

Red Flags

• Don't explicitly sell

A sales pitch may be tempting, particularly if you see a good opportunity but it’s unlikely to be well received by the recipient. That’s why we don’t recommend the business card exchange style networking and instead promote getting to know your fellow members as peers.

• Don't restrict yourself to certain event types / geographies

Whilst it can be tempting to stick to the events closest to your home and office, we recommend making time to attend the events you think you’ll get most value for, regardless of location. You might need to travel across the region but surprise yourself on how quick journey times actually are. Experiment with event formats to find the style that works for you.

• Don't let your enthusiasm for the topic dominate the conversations 

Members come to our events to learn from each other and from the speakers. You may find you are very knowledgeable about a particular topic and it can be very tempting to convey your expertise. Whilst we encourage contributions, try not to dominate the discussion and allow those with less knowledge to ask questions. You won’t be seen as less of an expert by backing off – in fact you’ll probably learn more from the questions raised by other guests.

Events Explained

Member Events
Member events offer regular opportunities to hear from inspirational entrepreneurs sharing their business story, providing you with valuable lessons and insight.

The most prestigious business events in the North East, our annual conferences bring top-class speakers to the region from some of the most successful and innovative organisations in the world.

Our expert-led workshops combine thought-provoking talks and interactive sessions to help senior teams and business leaders build practical plans that enable them to overcome the barriers to growth.

North East Entrepreneurial Awards
Our annual black-tie awards dinner acknowledges the achievements of the region’s most talented and successful entrepreneurs in an evening of celebration.

Chairman's Dinner
Marking the launch of our spring events calendar, our Chairman is joined by a leading entrepreneur or business figure to host a celebratory dinner for our membership.

Focus Dinner
Set in the private dining rooms of some of the region’s finest restaurants, our intimate entrepreneur-only focus dinners bring together great food, inspirational entrepreneurs and captivating conversations.

Spotlight Dinner
Set in the private dining rooms of some of the region’s trendiest restaurants and bars, these relaxed entrepreneur-only spotlight dinners bring together great food and captivating conversations while shining a light on the region’s up and coming entrepreneurs.

On-site Visits
Our on-site visits are full of helpful ideas to implement in your own business, giving entrepreneur members an exclusive behind-the-scenes tour of the most creative and innovative organisations.

Round Table Discussions
Our chaired round table discussions are a great way for entrepreneur members to come together to learn more about a subject and share their knowledge and expertise.

Insight Groups
A series of flexible on-going discussions, our Insight Groups cover specially chosen topics and bring together members and subject experts to build the insight needed to keep ahead and seize new opportunities.

Member Socials
Our informal social events bring like-minded people together to catch-up over drinks, a spot of lunch, outdoor activities or an evening out.

Bitesize online workshops, our webinars are delivered by industry experts and cover subjects directly related to business growth.

Panel Discussions
Inviting subject experts and entrepreneurs to share their views, our panel discussions offer focused conversations based on the main forces shaping the future of business.


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