It all started when we first met ScreenPop member, Nikki Bowdidge. Nikki runs teenage cancer charity, the Tom Bowdidge Youth Cancer Foundation, in memory of her son Tom. Tom died of a Desmoplastic Small Round Cell Tumour and extensive peritoneal disease in October 2013, at the age of 19. After his death, Nikki and her husband, Richard, founded the charity to help support teenage cancer patients and their families financially, practically and emotionally. The charity also funds research into the rare cancers that disproportionately affect teenagers, in the hope that one day scientists will find a cure for the disease. The charity’s hope is that, in the future, no one else will have to suffer as Tom did.

We were deeply moved and inspired by Nikki’s story, and we wanted to do something to help fundraise for the Tom Bowdidge Youth Cancer Foundation. Around the same time, we were also in search of an online alternative to our very popular in-person Expo, which we hosted in Stanstead in 2022. We came up with the Popnetworkathon: a ten-hour networking event, taking place over Zoom on 24th April 2023.

The day will consist of several shorter sessions, from tasters of different forms of online networking to talks from some incredible business speakers. Ticketholders will be able to pop in and out as they please, attending as much or as little as they like. But, most importantly, 10% of sales will go towards Nikki’s wonderful charity.

The networking sessions will offer a variety of approaches, including:

  • Speed networking – A way to quickly get to know a variety of businesses and geet your name out there. These sessions involve introducing yourself and your business in just 30 seconds, so if you’re into fast-paced socialising, this could be the one for you! So far, it’s been extremely popular in our open meetings at ScreenPop.
  • Breakout rooms – Foster close connections and get to know new people in breakout rooms with pairs or smaller groups. This is an invaluable way to meet potential clients and collaborators.
  • Brainstorming session – Stuck for ideas about how to grow your business’s offering? Looking for a way to get the creative juices flowing? Harness the power of multiple brains to expand your business’s horizons and your personal skillset.

The workshops and talks at the Popnetworkathon will cover a variety of topics and areas, in sessions such as:

  • Business clinic – Speak to a business expert to diagnose the cause of any underlying problems affecting your business, and work together to find a viable course of action to combat them.
  • Mini networking workshop – Are you a good networker? Is networking helping you achieve your business goals? If not, why not? Learn techniques to improve your networking approach and achieve the outcomes you need.
  • Expert speakers – We’ll be hearing from business experts including business strategist, Emma Hine; Holly Matthews (who you may recognise from Waterloo Road, Casualty or Byker Grove); and Jo Middleton, a franchising expert.

The Popnetworkathon offers something for everyone, whether you’re a seasoned networker, or a networking virgin. We specialise in creating an informal, welcoming environment, where businesses of all sizes can flourish. There are already over fifty businesses attending, with space for plenty more.

The Popnetworkathon runs from 9am-7pm on Monday 24th April 2023. Tickets are currently £30 each, with 10% going to the Tom Bowdidge Youth Cancer Foundation.

Click here to buy your ticket now!

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