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Judith Schweppe, Creative Director at Pilot Fish Media

Scottish Business Network - Networking but not as we know it. 

Location: Pilot Fish Media Edinburgh boardroom.

Agenda: Strategy for growing the business.

Number one focus as a result of said strategy meeting: Visibility. We have an awesome team, a great USP and are geared up to take the agency to the next level. It’s time to tell more people who we are.

Resolution: We need to get ourselves out there. We need to network. We need to talk to people who we could potentially collaborate with. We need to spread the Pilot Fish word.

Cue a meeting with Russell Dalgleish and Steve Turner from Exolta, which results in an invitation to speak at the next Scottish Business Network event.

Funny how the Universe steps in to assist when you get really clear on what you need in order to move forward.

Now, I’ll be the first to admit, networking is not my favourite thing to do in the world. As a hybrid introvert/extrovert personality, I find the idea of selling myself or my business to other people somewhat daunting. However, I can honestly say this is a very different type of networking event and the supportive atmosphere that Russell and Steve had assured us would pervade was very much in evidence as soon as my colleague Peter Graham and I walked into the room. The first thing we were offered was a very fine gin courtesy of Alex Forsyth from Arbikie. However, given that I was due to speak I decided a sparkling water might be the wiser decision! Within minutes several people had come over to introduce themselves and conversation started to flow. One of the great things about this networking event is the variety of businesses represented and it really does make for an interesting evening. Most of the other networking events I have attended have been very much ‘industry’ focused, so you tend to find yourself speaking to people who do pretty much what you do. At this event, however I had the opportunity to speak to everyone from Clare Campbell from Prickly Thistle (a gorgeous brand with a focus on luxury tartan) to Finlay Clark head of business development at Wave, a satellite navigation App recently acquired by Google.

The purpose of the event is to give speakers the opportunity to tell their story and then make an ‘ask’ at the end of the presentation, letting the attendees know what you need help and support with. As a digital marketing agency we have had an interesting incubation in that we have worked primarily with one client in emerging markets, with a specific focus on Africa. Over the past 2 years we have gained a huge amount of insight and understanding of the challenges for global brands in South Africa, Nigeria, Angola, Kenya and Mozambique. We work with local researchers on the ground in each country and we combine this essential local knowledge with our own expertise to offer clients who are looking to unlock opportunities in these markets a very unique service. Our challenge has been finding the next big client who needs this particular service and having the opportunity to show them what we can do for them. And this is where networking events prove invaluable. You just never know who is going to be connected to what company and how they might be able to open a door you never even knew was there.

I’m happy to report that we had the opportunity to connect with some really interesting people, we got great feedback and insight from others, and we have lined up a number of meetings to discuss opportunities for collaboration. All in a all a resounding success, and we’re very much looking forward to future events

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