Affordable networking events in Cardiff this September

Cardiff Autumn networking

If you’re like many of the business owners I talk to, you know you should be networking. You might have been meaning to go along to some events for a while, but there’s just never enough time, the events seem costly, or something always seems to come up. 

Or maybe you just can’t face it, particularly if you’ve had a bad experience in the past. I can totally empathise; my first foray into business networking wasn’t a pleasant one. But since that unfortunate encounter, it has proved to be quite lucrative and the business it’s given me has more than made up for the break from my comfort zone.

That’s not to say the promise of new business should be the only motivation for networking though. It can also help you increase your personal profile, expand your connections, build meaningful relationships and keep your knowledge up to date – you’ll even get some nice food to eat! But again, you probably know all this. You might just need some ideas of where to start.

With everyone returning from summer holidays and raring to go on the work front, September is a great time to start networking. So I’ve pulled together this list of some of the best free or low-cost networking events to consider – maybe I’ll see you at one or two?

* Please note, event info only up-to-date at the time of publishing. Please check individual links below to check validity

Cardiff Business Club Season Launch 2017/18 

When? 04 September 2017, from 6pm

Where? St David’s Hotel, Cardiff Bay

How much? Free

What? ‘Scott Waddington, Chairman of Cardiff Business Club, will host a drinks reception to mark the launch of the 2017/18 series of dinners for the Club at St. David’s Hotel on Monday 4th September 2017. The event is open to both members and non-members of the Club to come and find out a little bit more about the Club.’

‘Drinks and Canapes will be served from 6.00pm. Dress code: Business attire (ties optional).’

FSB Networking Breakfast at Espark Cardiff

When? Tuesday 5th September, 8.30am-10.30am

Where? Espark Cardiff, 1 Central Square, Cardiff, CF10 1AU

How much? £5 – includes a Bacon or Sausage Roll with tea and coffee

What? ‘Join fellow business owners and entrepreneurs over breakfast in a friendly, informal environment at the wonderful surroundings of Enterpreneurial Spark, Cardiff for this high impact networking session. All welcome so why not bring a colleague, client or supplier. During the session we will hear from Caroline Thompson who has recently been appointed as CEO of BeTheSparkBeTheSpark is a movement designed to connect like-minded people and bring together innovation and entrepreneurship. All welcome, including non-members.’

Cardiff Evening BizMums

When? 5th September, 7.30pm-9pm

Where? Cedar Tree Pub, Cardiff Bay

How much? Free if you’re new, £6 if you’ve been before

What? ‘The supportive Cardiff Evening BizMums group meet on the first Tuesday of every month at 7.30pm at Cedar Tree Farm Pub.  There is plenty of free parking in the car park.’

‘We are a friendly group and all of our meetings are informal. We have a guest speaker on the theme of the month and as always there is plenty of opportunities to chat to the group and share with everyone what you do.’

Bizmums also have some local child-friendly networking sessions running in September. See:

IoD South Wales September First Wednesday Club

When? 6th September, 5.30pm-7.15pm

Where? Park Plaza Hotel, Cardiff

How much? £10+VAT (members), £15+VAT (non-members)

What? ‘This month our special guest speaker is Richard Selby, co-founder, Pro Steel Engineering. Richard will present his story of ‘The Unintended Entrepreneur’, discussing his experiences of the last 5 years from the point of deciding to step out of corporate business to establishing a successful start-up and fast growth business here in Wales.’

Structure: 5.30pm: Registration, Drinks & Networking, 6pm: Welcome & Introduction, 6.05pm: Guest Speaker, 6.30pm: Q & As, 6.40pm: Vote of Thanks, 6.45pm: Drinks & Networking, 7.15pm: Close

CIPD Why diversity is important and how to develop it in your organisation?

When? 7th September, 5.45pm-8pm

Where? The Village Hotel, 29 Pendwyallt Road, Cardiff, CF14 7EF

How much? Free (members) – £12 (non-members)

What? ‘Speaker: Dr Lynn Shore – Professor and Chair, Management Department – Colorado State University. This engaging session will explore global demographic trends and forecasts, highlighting the importance – and increasing need – to foster a culture of inclusion to give our businesses the competitive edge. This event is supported by Cardiff Business School.’

Caerphilly Business Forum Breakfast seminar

When? 7th September, 7.30am-9.30am

Where? Llechwen Hall Hotel, Llanfabon, CF37 4HP

How much? £12-24

What? ‘The Caerphilly Business Forum is pleased to welcome Dylan Jones-Evans OBE, Assistant Pro Vice Chancellor at the University of South Wales to the Borough. This is the third in our set of new breakfast seminars where we aim to provide insightful and helpful seminars that can help businesses throughout Caerphilly.’

‘Dylan will talk about entrepreneurship in Wales and how we can create a more entrepreneurial nation in the future.’

Refreshments are included in your registration fee. There is free parking at the venue. This event is open to members and non-members of the Forum.

Monday like a Friday, Cocktails for breakfast

When? 11th September, 7am-8.30am

Where? The Dead Canary

How much? £10

What? ‘Join us to sample the best mocktails in Cardiff with beautiful breakfast while tapping your toe to The Early Birds, our resident live band playing music to get your week started.’

‘Mocktail making class, Light breakfast, Tea and Coffee, Live band, Networking.’

Digital 2017

Not technically a networking event, but a good one to know about…

When: 18th-19th September

Where? Tramshed Tech, Cardiff

How much? Free

What? ‘A festival for the innovators, the industry, the investors.  The dreamers, the schemers, the angel investors, the beta testers.  The movers, the shakers, the doers, the makers.’

Women’s Business Club Cardiff Business Lunch

When? Wednesday 20th September, 11am-2pm

Where? Jurys Inn Cardiff City Centre, Park Place, CF10 3UD

How much? £30 (non members)

What? ‘Hosted by the ever supportive Jennifer Hall. Jen is fearless, fulfilled, confident, crystal clear, real and aligned with her true purpose. Her passion is to help aspiring, ‘hungry for more’ women to create the life they want; be the person they’ve always wanted to be, in a business that is a true reflection of who they are!’

‘Connect with successful, authentic business women over a healthy lunch with our top class business talks that will leave you inspired and raring to go….Your ticket includes lunch, tea or coffee and a fantastic business program.’

Cardiff Business Club: Sanjeev Gupta, Founder of Liberty Steel

When? 25th September 2017, 6.15pm

Where? Swalec Stadium

How much? Free lecture (dinner for members £37.50)

What? Structure: 6.15pm networking and drinks, lecture starts around 7pm and finishes around 8pm. ‘Sanjeev Gupta is an international businessman and entrepreneur, heading a global enterprise with activities spanning steel and aluminium production, engineering, power generation, banking, and commodities trading.’

‘As Executive Chairman of Liberty House, he leads a fast-growing $6.7 billion global industrial group, head quartered in London, with additional global hubs in Dubai, Singapore and Hong Kong, and further bases in over 30 countries.’

Cardiff Breakfast Club, Gareth Jones, Welsh ICE

When? Wednesday 27th of September, 7.30am-9.30am

Where? SSE Swalec Stadium

How much? £35

What? ‘Entrepreneur Wales Awards’ 2015 Champion winner Gareth Jones is the founder of Welsh ICE, an award winning space for start-ups in South Wales which is now home to over 150 companies.’

‘He’s also founder of Boma Camp, a platform designed to help people develop business ideas around work, study, and other commitments by learning from other founders.’

‘Gareth holds board positions on Properr, a proptech company; Cardiff University Impact Accelerator, funding activities that deliver impact; Cardiff Capital Region’s Strategic Regional Group, identifying business, innovation and digital network priorities for the region; and others.’

Structure: 7:30am: coffee or juice and networking. 8am: upstairs to the breakfast room for the presentation. After a Q&A session, it’s time for your cooked breakfast, with vegetarian, vegan and gluten free options available. If you prefer a Pain au Chocolat and fresh fruit to black pudding then the buffet table is ready and waiting for you!

FSB Networking Breakfast Cardiff

When? Tuesday 27th September, 8.30am-10.30am

Where? Regus Offices, Cardiff Gate

How much? Free

What? ‘This informal networking event provides a fantastic opportunity to promote your business and develop meaningful relationships with other business owners throughout South Wales. Each month we host key note speakers covering topics of interest and relevant to running a business. So come along and network with a cup of tea/coffee and some pastries.’

Caerphilly Business Forum: An Evening with Jamie Owen & Tony O’Shaughnessy, BBC

When? 28th September, 6-8.30pm

Where? Coleg y Cymoedd

How much? £30-42

What? ‘This is the second in our set of new evening events where high profiled speakers will be coming to the Forum to share their stories.’

‘Remember United Airlines – and how a passenger was dragged off a plane? How would you cope finding your business in the middle of a media storm? How well-prepared are you to lead your company into the uncharted waters of protecting your corporate reputation? While social media can bring huge benefits to your company, it can also put your business reputation at risk. A single ill-judged post or message can bring your whole reputation into disrepute. A briefing with two of the country’s leading media figures on – you, your business, the media and what happens when it all hits the fan….’

‘Refreshments are included in your registration fee. There is free parking at the venue. This event is open to members and non-members of the Forum.’


Any others you’d recommend? Please share in the comments.

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