The Best Networking Events In Brighton

It isn’t always easy to find ways to network with other like-minded individuals within your industry, however this is becoming far more easier over time, with sites now purely dedicated to event management. If you are interested in meeting other business focused individuals in Brighton then have a read through our list.

Brighton SEO

Despite whether you are working in digital marketing or simply looking to meet other local businesses, BrightonSEO is one of the greatest free-to-attend events in the UK. It occurs once every six months and attracts over 2,000 people, situated in the Brighton Dome. Hosted by Kelvin Newman, their are three main rooms, so you can pick the subject which interests you the most.

networking image 1

Chamber Breakfast In Carluccio’s

Once a month the Brighton chamber of commerce hold a morning meeting, attracting a vast range of businesses, as they all meet to discuss potential opportunities and key occurrences in the local area. They always have a speaker each time to discuss a set topic, so why not contact beforehand to find out what the talk will be on. Plus, you have the added benefit of the great tasting food at Carluccios.

networking image 2

Juice FM Breakfast Club

Juice 107.2, our local radio station, is the host to a brilliant monthly meetup for local businesses. Occurring on the 3rd Friday of the month, this one does cost £10, however this also comes with a full English breakfast. You can always be assured of a strong presence considering their ability to share details of the event via their radio station.

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Brighton Business Curry Club

This one is right up my street, as you can network while enjoying a pint and a curry, two of my favourite things in the world. Now in its new(ish) location, at Bali Brasserie, the Brighton Business Curry Club meeting takes place on the second Tuesday of every month.

networking image 4

The Farm

Not everyone can take the time out through the day to attend a morning event, or a full day networking event, so evening meetups are a great alternative. If you fall into this bracket, the Brighton Farm New Media Freelancers meetup is ideal. This is also run every week, rather than once a month, and is mainly tailored to people working in technology or with an interest in the field. The atmosphere is very relaxed and friendly, taking place in Hampton pub on Upper North Street.

networking at the farm

Friends Of The Albion

This event is a little bit different, it is a great opportunity for people to meet representatives of other businesses in their local area, but it is also a great way to meet other fans of Brighton football club. This meeting occurs on the first Thursday of the month in the morning, between 8:30am and 10:00am.

How To Find Events

If you’re interested in finding other networking events in Sussex, it is worth checking out Wired Sussex and Event Brite. Wired Sussex has a very easy-to-read calendar layout, allowing you to jump to the exact date you’re free. The prices are also detailed straight away, meaning you can pick based on your budget.

The Best Gantt Chart Software

Whether you’re planning an event, creating a strategy for a project or creating a site audit and plan, a Gantt chart is one of the most useful project management tools you can apply.

The next stage from a to-do list, a Gantt chart allows us to clearly see what tasks we have to complete and the exact timing of each task, so you can visually see the order of events. Having one in place can remove the confusion about which task takes priority and which needs completion by a set date.

There are a number of ways which you can setup a Gantt chart, while there is also a large amount of software, both free and paid, which you can test out. Before going any further, I will detail exactly how I build a Gantt chart, created in Microsoft Excel.

Excel – How To Make A Gantt Chart

The first task you need to do is to list all the jobs that have to be completed within the project. You want to make sure this is 100% complete before taking a step forward, as sometimes it can be a bit messy when adjusting a Gantt chart.
Once you have your complete list, sort them in excel into the order they should be taken, from start to end. If a task will take longer than the job below, don’t worry, just focus on the order which they should be started.

You then need to include separate columns on the start date, duration and deadline for completion. Fill in these details for each task, just like below:

Step 1

The next step is to transform your table into a bar chart. Along the top screen on Excel, click on ‘insert’ and then click on the bar chart icon, like the image below:

Step 2

You need to select the middle flat one (2D). You should then see a blank chart open up. You should then right click on the empty chart and then click on ‘select data’.

step 3

When ‘select data source’ loads up, you need to input the data. On the left hand side you have ‘legend entries’, you need to click on ‘add’ which will take you to the edit series box.

step 4

Under ‘series name’, you need to click and then click on the table header titled ‘start date’. This should add a bit of formula to the ‘edit series’ box.

step 5

Under ‘series value’, you should have ={1}, you actually need to click on the button to the right. This will open up a separate box. You then need to click on the first start date and then drag down with your mouse till you reach the final start date and then let go. This will select all the dates.

step 6

You then need to click on the button on the right of the ‘edit series’. Your chart should then update, so you can see all of the different bars. As you return to the earlier view, click ok.

You now need move onto the duration column, using almost the exact same procedure as you have just completed. Right click on the chart, select data, add on legend entries, then click on the empty series name. Then like before, you need to drag down on the column. Once you have pressed ok and exited the series editor, your chart should have orange bars to the left of the existing bars.

step 7

Now, head back onto the ‘select data source’ screen. On the right hand side you have the ‘horizontal category axis labels’, these are currently in a number format, which doesn’t detail the actual task. Press edit, then drag over the list of tasks from your table. Be careful, don’t include the column header.

It is starting to take shape, but we are still some way off. Firstly, you might have noticed that all of your tasks are back to front, with the final task at the top. This is one of those odd things in Excel that we work around. On your chart, you need to right click on your task list and then click on ‘format axis’.

step 8

Once you’ve pressed format axis, a panel should be loaded up. On this panel, you need to look for ‘categories in reverse order’. Tick this box and all the task will swap the order they are in.

I then like to stretch out the length of my chart, so the dates aren’t so squashed, as you can see above. The length is completely down to you and what looks easier to read.

Now, I know a lot of you are looking at the chart and are wondering why we have the blue bar. This is the time to delete this section. Right click on one of the blue bars and then press ‘format data series’.

Click on fill and then select no-fill. You will still have a border, so click on border colour and then select no-line.

It is starting to look good now, right? One issue which you have no doubt noticed is that there is a fair amount of white space at the start, which isn’t needed. To remove this area, head over to the table and then click on the first date under ‘start date’. Right click, then select ‘format cells’, then ‘general’. You will see a number come up, you need to write down this number and then exit out of this screen. Remember, don’t press ok, press cancel as you don’t want it to change the date, you just needed to learn what the number was.

step 9

On the chart, you need to click on the dates along the top and then right and select format axis. You will see a panel come up with a number of options, look for the minimum bound and then input the number you previously saw. This will change the start date on the chart.

Beyond this, you might also want to experiment with the Major Unit, as different amounts of time can work for different project lengths. Normally people recommend setting it to 2, but this makes the dates quite unclear for me, so I prefer 5, however this will be dependent on your data and the formatting used for illustrating dates.

Well, you know have a Gantt Chart! But it could still look a bit nicer, so here are some ways to enhance the beauty and clarity of your chart. Click on the first orange bar, right click and then select format data series. You then need to change series overlap to 100% and gap width to 0%. Obviously, this is based on personal preference, so it is another area you can muck around on, but I like no gaps between, so you can see the smooth transition from one task to another.

step 10

Well there we go, my complete walkthrough on how to build a Gantt chart. However many people prefer it to look a lot more presentable, so rather than going into deeper levels of design, I will highlight some great software you can try out below.

 

Gantt Project

This is a free tool, which you download and has further functionality such as with arrows. You don’t need any licencing for use, making it a great option on a tight budget, while it also works very well for creating hierarchical structure to your tasks. It isn’t always the most straight forward piece of software though, so it has received mixed responses from users.

Website: http://www.ganttproject.biz/

Team Gantt

This software is much more presentable, making it a much better option for people who want to impress clients or top figures. I also found the functionality to be relatively simple to get my head around. You can take a trial for free, however the actual costs if you were to sign up aren’t the cheapest. The most basic option is $29 per month, which will allow up to 10 projects at once.

Website: https://teamgantt.com

Smart Sheet

This option almost mirrors Microsoft Excel, but with more optimised functionality specifically for Gantt charts. You can also attach notes and messages to each task, which I quite like. This one was quite confusing when first giving it a try, so it would require a decent amount of ‘learning time’ just to get your head around it. The fact that it is drag and drop is great for many who seek this style of use, while being able to import and export from google spreadsheets is a great touch.

Website: https://www.smartsheet.com/gantt-chart-software

 

Ganttic

While this tool has many different pricing options, they also allow for free use on up to 10 different resources. I haven’t tried this one yet, but a colleague highly recommended this tool, so if you have any comments on it, please do let me know.

Website: http://www.ganttic.com/

John Adair’s Leadership Theory

With over a million people taking the the Action Centred Leadership Programme, John Adair is certainly one of the most powerful figures and theorists on leadership. Born in 1934, he became a professor at Surrey University, focusing purely on leadership qualities and how to lead a team.

He was actually the first professor to ever focus on this subject, having already held previous roles in leadership quality advice to such groups as the Royal Military.

There are a number of theories which you can take away from Adair in order to improve team work, one of which is the Three Circles Model.

This was a significant confrontation to the widely accepted model of leadership, which was the Great Man Theory, a 19th century ideology. The Great Man Theory focused on the idea that all successful leaders had similar traits, whether it be their charisma, their incredible wit or their political clout. This outdated search for heroes was first confronted by Herbert Spencer in 1860, however Adair has provided some of the most interesting arguments to the theory to date.

The three circles model didn’t focus on their personal traits, but actually on the task at hand. The three main responsibilities a leader would face would be covered by three overlapping circles.

team work working

The Three Circles

The first circle is the task which they have to complete. The second is the team which are assigned to complete the task. The final circle is each individual within the team.

Connection

The reason these three overlap is because they all intertwine and are reliant on each other. Each individual needs the task in order to have a goal and something to challenge them. The task requires an entire team, rather than just one person. The team can also only succeed at the task if each individual is fully capable in the area they are focusing on.

group leadership

8 Functions Of Leadership

From the three circle model, Adair highlighted 8 functions any leader should take responsibility for, in order to see optimal results, which are:

  1. Clearly defining the task – setting out the objectives and exactly what has to be completed, so their can be no confusion surrounding the topic.
  2. Extensive planning – this doesn’t just revolve around planning for the task, this also involves working out a contingency plan if the task isn’t completed, as well as alternative strategies to achieving the same goal.
  3. Briefing the team – we’ve all heard of the importance of synergy to corporate success, well this is where it comes in. The team need to be briefed in the pertinent manner, as well as building the right environment for each individual to excel in their role.
  4. Controlling the outcome – this focuses on efficiency, as you want to achieve the goal with a minimal cost of resources, whether that be financial, man hours or any other resource which might be used.
  5. Evaluation – Once a task is complete, it is imperative that the finished task is evaluated and judged based on a number of metrics, to highlight how it could be improved for further projects. It is important to learn from our mistakes, or from what we have succeeded at, so fully analysing performance post-completion is critical.
  6. Motivation – Keeping the team members inspired is critical in order to see them working to their maximum potential. Motivation can be caused through both internal and external benefits, of which Adair believed they should be split 50/50.
  7. Organisation – With any task, if the group begin to fall behind, it becomes a constant battle to play catch-up. This situation is regularly down to poor time management and delegation. A good leader needs to know exactly who is doing what task, what deadline each team member has for each task and their development process.
  8. Setting An Example – this is more important than people think and is often overlooked. People naturally mirror what their manager does and in the manner they do it, so it is important to set an example, whether that be turning up to work early or offering a presentation on how to complete a task properly.

Critics

Some argue that given this model was built in the 1970’s, it is outdated and doesn’t resemble the way a leader should act in modern times. The main argument circles around the fact that it is a very basic model, with no real complexities. On the other hand, the advocates of the Three Circle Model often state that it is the simplicity of the model which makes it so ideal.

We also have a number of other pages on Team Building Theories which we would recommend reading.

Teamwork Theories

We all have our own strengths, personal traits and particular abilities, while working together we can combine our strong points and cover up the holes created by the individual weaknesses. In theory, teamwork is the ultimate solution for solving a task, however it isn’t always as easy as we would like.
Having multiple leaders can cause a battle for power, while a group without decision makers can make the task difficult to lift off the ground. A number of brilliant minds have spent their lives learning from workplaces to built a teamwork theory, which results in happy team members and the objective being completed efficiently and effectively.
These theories are largely based around following particular procedures and protocols.

dancing team exercise

Belbin introduced the ‘team roles’ theory, which was based around the concept that you needed to understand each individuals particular strengths and weaknesses, in order to assign them the most pertinent role.

Contrasting to Belbin’s view, Tajfel shared the Social Identity Theory, which was focused on the grouping environment rather than the individual. He found that when people were placed in groups, they would often show favouritism to people within their group, as they felt a sense of social identity.

catching person

All of these theories are fully supported and are backed by thorough research and evidence. Reading and learning from this research can help you to improve the collaborative work of your team and can help everyone to work towards the overall goal.
Each week we will be bringing out a new Team Building Theory:

1 – John Adair’s Leadership Theory

2 – Belbin’s Team Role Theory

Take a look at our Team Building page if you’re interested in arranging an activity for your workplace. We run programmes all over the country, both inside and outside, so we can work with you to set-up the best possible event.

Brighton Heroes Run 2015

Looking out the window, you would have assumed you were in Disneyland. But no, it was that time of year again, the time that only people in Brighton get excited about, the big Heroes Run.

I threw on my leather jacket, trimmed the hair off my chin and stuck on the blades, as I exited the house as Wolverine. Admittedly the jacket was humorously oversized, as I resembled a hamster in a tent rather than a beast in leather. However none of this put me off as I galloped (literally) down the road towards the seafront for the big opening.

The event started with the 500 metre dash for the kids, which my colleague Lynsey took part in, alongside her son. Upon realizing I hadn’t prepared at all for this race, I looked enviously at the 500 metre length as it felt more fitting to my fitness levels.

Lynsey Heroes Run Brighton

Lynsey was donning a bat girl costume, while her son was a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle. They both flew straight off the mark and left the others for dust (or that’s how I remember it anyway).

After the 500 metre dash, everyone else began warming up for the 5k/10k run. This led to some very humorous sites, with super hero attired adults stretching in all unnatural ways. I chose the unwise option of skipping the warming up and stretching in order to have a little nap on the grass (a warm up chosen by model athletes such as Usain Bolt and Chris Hoy).

Following the warmups, everyone floated towards the line, while laughing hysterically at each other’s clothing, ready for the sound of the gunfire. Then we heard it, BANG, and off we went on this torturous run. OK, maybe torturous is a bit extreme for a 5 kilometre run, but at 10am everything looks exhausting!

Tearing forward like a cork leaving a bottle of champagne, I tore into first gear, before the stitch kicked in and I slowed to a comfortable third gear. Running alongside me the entire team was someone in an inflatable SuperHero6 costume, someone keeping a very fast pace. I used him as my pace-setter and moved very quickly up the course, eventually finishing around tenth (for the 5k runners, no idea how anyone went for 10k).

Bourlet Wolverine

The winner of the best fancy dress costume for the kids was a little boy dressed immaculately as Tintin, while the adult was a bearded man as Poison Ivy. So many people deserved to win this, as so many people put in unbelievable amounts of effort, with some really creative costumes.

It really does have to be stated how well the event went ahead. This is my third year attending and I can’t express how impressed I am, with an ever increasing audience each year, they handled everything perfectly.

All of the money for the event was raised to support Pass It On Africa, a charity which is dedicated to helping build schools in the poorest areas of Africa. Even if you missed the event, you can still donate money to the charity here.

If you do decide to join me for 2016, you can sign up to the Heroes Run here. Just make sure you pick your team, heroes or villains?