Looking to build your business in Manchester?

What about visiting referral marketing and networking events near you?

Former Manchester Central railway station currently is an exhibition and conference centre, Manchester, UK

Whether you are a start-up, seasoned company owner or business development professional you will know that word-of-mouth is one of the best ways you can market your business – and one of the most cost effective.

So, how many referral marketing and networking events in Manchester do you attend to raise awareness and increase your sales opportunities?

What is a referral marketing event?

A referral marketing event embraces the power of word-of-mouth to support participants to prosper by generating opportunities for sales, collaborations, recruitment and personal development.

Events take on a structure that allows each participant to deliver an elevator pitch about their business and the type of opportunities they are looking for. This provides a chance for participants to share the benefits of their business and how products and services can serve their ideal customer.

An event will last from 90 minutes to two hours. Refreshments or a full meal will be provided if the event takes place at breakfast, lunchtime or in the early evening.

Participants will choose whether to join the referral marketing organisation running the events after one or two sample sessions. Memberships typically run for 12-months but there could be a shorter term of six or three months on offer depending on the organisation.

What is a networking event?

A networking event is similar to a referral marketing event although the latter will tend to offer sector exclusivity and be smaller in size.

The size of the group is important because smaller groups foster a deeper bond between members, who then maintain a longer-term strategy.

Sector exclusivity translates to ‘locking people out of a meeting’ who are in the same trade as an existing member. For example, a printer would not be able to attend a referral marketing meeting if another printer had already paid to be a member. This ensures the paid member is the go-to person once trust has been established.

Referral marketing events will include an element of networking as part of the relationship-building process, but the culture is more focused on meaningful collaboration and connection.

Networking-only events can be a free for all and the connections made can often result in lukewarm relationships of no real value. When a meeting has more than 20-25 people attending it adds time pressures to your day-to-day workload. This is because both networking events and referral marketing events promote building relationships through 1-2-1 meetings between members outside of the physical meetings.

Upcoming Manchester NetworkIN meetings

How to find referral marketing meetings

A Google search or reviewing top-rated event compiling sites are good places to start. Search “networking events in Manchester”, “referral marketing meetings Manchester” or add “near me” to the search phrase.

Review the results and form a plan to visit a selection of events to see what works for you. The culture and ‘feel’ of the group need to be right and, if it’s an environment that will work for your business, your intuition will guide you at the first meeting.

Also ask friends, family members or work colleagues because they may have previous experience of attending networking meetings in Manchester. They may hold insider knowledge to guide your decision too!

NetworkIN Advocates during a virtual networking and referral marketing meeting

Who can attend the events?

Anyone can attend a meeting unless sector exclusivity applies and someone in your industry is already a member. If you hit this obstacle, ask the organisation to point you in the direction of other meetings where you can attend.

Reputable and successful referral marketing and networking communities will have more than one meeting, so you should be able to explore the area.

Business man enjoys NetworkIN referral marketing meeting on his Macbook computer

Are there free referral marketing events in Manchester?

Most referral marketing events will have a membership process and applicable cost – this goes for Manchester meetings too.

As a first-time guest, you will often be able to attend meetings for a nominal fee to cover refreshments by way of sampling the setting. You will get a feel for whether the meeting is a good fit to generate sales from your first visit.

Sometimes, you will be offered the chance to visit a second meeting before deciding to invest in a membership. This is helpful if you’ve never attended a referral marketing meeting before because a second visit will allow everything to click in better. A lot can happen during a meeting and you will want to ensure you understand the benefits before committing.

NetworkIN Advocates during a virtual networking and referral marketing meeting

Visit a referral marketing meeting in Manchester

NetworkIN is a professional referral marketing community that runs several meetings throughout Lancashire, including a Manchester Team.

Manchester is England’s fifth largest city. The cosmopolitan atmosphere is loved by many, including its near 550,000 population. The city has a rich industrial heritage including textiles, musical pedigree, docks, canal and railway systems, and the Suffragette movement in the early 1900s. As well as being known for two high profile football teams, the city has a vibrant tourism trade and is working towards an ambitious Climate Change Action Plan.

The NetworkIN Manchester Team meets fortnightly every Wednesday from 7:15am – 8:45am. Advocates come from a variety of sectors and are all skilled individuals in their trade. They look out for each other to generate leads and collaborative opportunities.

The benefits of referral marketing are plenty and when you become part of a trusted community, opportunities start to flow naturally. As well as the meetings, advocates gain access to free personal development and business growth training, an abundance of social events and access to widespread promotional opportunities.

Fortnightly structured meetings

A chance to build your authority

Sector exclusivity

Free introductory training and business planning

The opportunity to publicise events and courses

Access to a personalised return on investment tracking system

Additional awareness created from online promotional resources

Corporate social responsibility opportunities to work alongside the NetworkIN charity consortium

Why not sample a Manchester referral marketing meeting and network with other like-minded professionals to see if the platform fits?

Panoramic view of Manchester from Salford Quays HDR image

Visit a NetworkIN referral marketing team

If the referral marketing way looks like the opportunity for you to get out there and raise awareness, get in touch with the team today.

Be IN the know and IN the now with NetworkIN.

ID cards at Networking event

Numbers worth thinking about


percent of consumers identify word of mouth as a key influencer in their purchasing decision – Ogilvy, Google, TNS.


percent higher profit margins are achieved from a referred customer - Annexcloud


percent increased marketing effectiveness generated using from word of mouth - Market Share


percent of consumers trust referrals from people they know - Nielsen