Affordable Cardiff networking events this May & June


If you’re looking to build your business connections, there’s a diverse mix of networking events taking place over May and June which offer you a great opportunity to do so. From an evening of wine and cheese with the CIPD to pizza and beer with Zokit, IoD and Cardiff Business Awards dinners to business breakfasts, there’s literally something to suit everyone – even if you’re averse to networking!

Enjoy #connectingtogether

* Please note, event information is only up-to-date at the time of publishing. Please check individual links below for updates. If you’d like one of your business networking event listings added or updated, please get in touch. Please note, I do not receive any incentive for listing any event.

IoD South Wales First Wednesday Club

When? Wednesday 2nd May, 5.30-7.15pm

Where? Cardiff Business School

How much? £10-15+VAT

What? ‘We are delighted to invite you to our May First Wednesday Club and this month our guest speaker is Toby Townrow, MD of Employee Engagement specialists 10Eighty Cymru and the title of the talk is “Employee Engagement – What it is and Why you should care.’

Wales HR Network: Mindfulness and wellbeing

When? Thursday 3rd May, 8-10am

How much? £15

What? ‘Workplace stress is increasing. The HSE last year calculated that 49% of all sickness leave is attributable to stress, anxiety and other mental ill health. Presenteeism, the hidden productivity gremlin, has been assessed as accounting for two to three times the cost of absenteeism, and staff turnover is also a high risk in stressed-out, unhappy workplaces.

‘Simon Michaels from Mindful Work will show how a surprising trial of a ‘short and often’ approach with some busy lawyers, has led to a model of online training that is helping employees reduce stress by an average of 48% and increase productivity by an average of 52%.’

Zokit Vale Business Brunch

When? Thursday 3rd May, 9.30-11.30am

Where? Glamorganshire Golf Club, Lavernock Road, Penarth

How much? £10-13

What? ‘Our Business Brunch is a great way to connect and grow your business at a convienient time of the day.

9.30am -Grab a cuppa and a pastry, or even a bacon roll, before settling down.  (Order the bacon roll when booking your ticket)

– Welcome announcements
– 10 second quickfire round to introduce yourself and your business to the room
– Share & Grow facilited table conversations

– Open networking

– Meeting finishes but feel free to continue networking

Zokit: Cardiff Networking Breakfast & FREE Health Club Day Pass

When? Wednesday 9th May, 23rd May and 20th June, 7.30am

How much? £15-17

What? ‘Zokit is a business development network spanning Cardiff, Vale of Glamorgan, Bridgend and now RCT. We host refreshingly different networking events, master classes, awards and expos.

‘We start with a delicious buffet / continental / cereal breakfast from 7.30am till approx 8.15am. Over breakfast each business owner is able to give a short introduction of who they are, what benefit their business offers and who they are looking to connect to. Following breakfast, you have an opportunity to choose who you’d like to have your 3 one to one’s with.

‘From approx 8.15am, the breakfast sponsor is able to share a 15 / 20 min presentation on how their business is able to add value and benefit others. This can consist of a product, service, speaker or business education slot. There will be an opportunity to answer any questions following the presentation.

‘From approx 8.45am – we will start the one to ones. We look to finish no later than 9.30am.’

Cardiff Evening BizMum May 2018

When? Thursday 10th May, 7.30-9pm

Where? Cedar Tree Farm Pub

How much? Your first visit is FREE, Returning Guests £6

What? ‘Join your host, Catrin and other businesswomen in your area to promote your business, get support and advice. All decision making business women are welcome to join us.

‘This month’s theme is Money so there will be a short talk on this topic.’

IoD Wales Director of the Year Awards

When? Friday 11th May, 12-3.30pm

Where? SSE Swalec Stadium

How much? £55-60+VAT

What? ‘The IoD Wales Director of the Year Awards Lunch will again celebrate the very best in Wales business. We are delighted to announce that our special guest speakers are the Rt. Hon. Carwyn Jones AM First Minister of Wales and Stephen Martin, Director General, Institute of Directors.

‘The winners of each of the award categories will be announced at the lunch and you will be able to network with your peers who will be brought together from the whole of Wales.’

Creative Cardiff Show & Tell

When? 14th May, 6-7.30pm

Where? Porter’s Cardiff, Bute Terrace

How much? Free

What? ‘Creative Cardiff’s ‘Show & Tell’ is a quarterly event that gives a platform to the exciting range of creative people and projects in the city. It brings together Cardiff’s creative community, from emerging talent to old hands, to hear about their current projects and ambitions.

‘Each of the speakers will give a 10-minute lightning talk. And they’ll bring an object. The object might be the source of their inspiration, a tool of their trade or a comfort blanket.

‘Speakers: Matt Callanan – former worldwide DJ and music producer turned filmmaker. He is also the founder of kindness project We Make Good Happen, Rhiannon White – Cardiff-based theatre maker, Michael Garvey -Director of the BBC National Orchestra and Chorus of Wales.’

Caerphilly Business Forum: Breakfast Seminar: The Benefits of a positive approach to stress management

When? Wednesday 16th May, 7.30-9.30am

Where? Tredomen Business and Technology Centre

How much? £12-24

What? ‘This is the eleventh in our set of breakfast seminars where we aim to provide insightful and helpful seminars that can help businesses throughout Caerphilly.

‘With Tudor Williams, DTD Training: Whilst the facts, supported by clear statistical evidence, are alarming in respect of the cost of poor approaches to the health and well-being of employees, it is important to take the information presented, and there is a lot, make sense of it and turn it into a positive approach or a ‘healthy profit’.

‘Recent studies have clearly shown the extent to which companies benefit from a positive and inclusive approach to this area of occupational health and safety.

‘The event will focus on current analysis and guidance which emphasise the opportunities to be gained. It will make clear the key steps to assist you to invest wisely and effectively in this area of business responsibility. It will introduce you in this event to the need for, and benefit from, a positive approach whilst identifying the tools and practices to help you do so.’

Zokit: Spring Conference and Zokit Business Awards

When? Thursday 17th May, 10am-3pm

How much? £89

What? ‘A Day to Leap Forward with Your Business

  • High Level Networking
  • Keynote Speaker
  • 3 Course Lunch
  • Knowledge Upgrade Talks in Breakout Rooms
  • Celebrate with Winners and Finalists as we present the Zokit Awards

‘Leave inspired with the ideas, know-how and connections to take your next best steps.’

3rd Thursday Club

When? Thursday 17th May, 5.30pm

Where? Park Plaza

How much? Free

What? ‘Cardiff’s 3rd Thursday is an informal free for attendees networking event held monthly for the professional community of Cardiff.’

Insider Wales: Innovation and Skills Wales Breakfast

When? Friday 18th May, 7.30am

Where? Park Plaza Hotel, Cardiff

How much? Free

What? ‘Innovative ideas and skilled employees help keep businesses ahead of the competition. This Insider breakfast event will feature a panel discussion on making the most of innovation, and one on developing skills.

‘Across two panel debates, this breakfast event will bring together innovators and experts to share ideas and insights.

  • Leanne Thomas, associate director, Greenaway Scott
  • Dr Jenna Bowen, chief operating officer, CMD
  • Aidan Daly, senior photonics product engineer, IQE
  • James Hughes, managing director, Sphere Solutions
  • Alex Currie, human resources director, GoCompare
  • Grant Santos, managing director, Educ8

‘Topics could include:

  • How do you create an innovative culture?
  • How do you come up with new concepts?
  • How do you gain the most benefit from your innovation in the market?
  • What kind of skills will businesses need more of in the future?
  • How do you build and retain the skills you need in your business?

‘The two discussions will be driven by audience questions, with a focus on practical advice and real-world examples.’

Wales Digital Festival

When? Monday 21st – Tuesday 22nd May – 8.30am-5pm

Where? Wales Millennium Centre

How much? General tickets FREE – VIP tickets £99 each

What? ‘The biggest tech event in Wales, now in its sixth year, with a global audience.

‘Deep dive 5G, AI and IoT with visionary headliners. Enjoy powerful talks and electric workshops that promise to spark your brain-bulb.

‘Last year, 1,300 live streaming views from 15 countries in 2017 and a #DigitalFest trend with 97% positive engagement put us on the map and earned us recognition from the BBC, Telegraph, TechRadar and more.

‘With over 6,200 new business connections made last year, this is your one stop shop to meet innovators, creators and makers. More than half of delegates did business at last year’s Digital Festival, with two thirds thankful for the collaborative atmosphere.’

CIPD Wales: Cheese and wine social/networking (preceded by annual meeting)

When? Wednesday 23rd May, 6-8pm

Where? Village Hotel, Cardiff

How much? Free – £12

What? ‘Join us for our annual review of branch activity followed by networking and light refreshments.’

Cardiff Business Club: His Excellency Simon Smits

When? Wednesday 23rd May, 12pm

Where? Marriott Hotel

How much? Networking and talk Free, Lunch £45 including VAT (members only)

What? ‘Simon Smits was appointed as the Netherlands Ambassador to London in 2015. He was formerly Vice-Minister for Foreign Trade, Director-General for Foreign Economic Relations at the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and Director-General for European Cooperation (DGES). Prior to that, he was secondment to Royal Dutch Shell as Senior Government Relations Adviser, Shell HQ. During his diplomatic career he was posted in Belgrade, Bangladesh, Geneva, Zagreb, The Hague, South Africa, and Permanent Representation to the EU in Brussels.

On being asked how he is finding Britain’s capital since his appointment, His Excellency Simon Smits responds with Samuel Johnson’s famous comment that “when a man is tired of London, he is tired of life.” Smits first saw the quotation on a poster at his grammar school in the Netherlands in the early 1970s. Since that time, he notes, London has become much more international in its make-up, but the city has lost none of its power to astonish and inspire.

Smits grew up in an internationally oriented environment, a factor that he believes contributed to his eventual career as a diplomat. His father was a German teacher, and he himself taught English. He first seriously considered the diplomatic service while completing a Harting Fellowship at Oxford University. “I got to know a lot of foreign students and was heavily involved in student life – so I thought if I tweak my studies to English and International Law I might have a chance of getting in.”

The Presidency and Smits’ role in London is also be taken up with talks on Brexit. “We will wherever possible, help, facilitate and inform the debate and will also act as an honest broker” he says. Smits sees one of his country’s main challenges as helping steer the bloc “through turbulent waters.” Set up in the wake of two devastating wars, the EU has largely succeeded in its original aim of keeping the peace, but Smits says that as time has gone on that dividend has worn thin, and countries have begun to take a more “transactional view.”

“Everywhere in Europe you see critical voices being raised and these voices should be taken extremely seriously,” Smits says. He also speaks about how “there is a very limited view of Europe because if you look at the responses to ISIL, we are about a set of traditions, norms and values that bind us as Europe.” There are no simple answers here, but Smits says that it is vital that the continent does not lose sight of its shared past, both good and bad: “If you don’t know your history, I am convinced that you cannot really have a sense of where you are going.”

Smits, who is an avid fan of the Rolling Stones, describes his favourite hobby as spending time with his family (his wife Astrid and their four sons). Despite – as he says himself – regularly being outpaced by Astrid, he also enjoys running and playing tennis.’

Cardiff Breakfast Club: David King – Vice President and Chief Special Operations Officer. President of Aston Martin Racing.

When? Thursday 24th May 2018, 7.30am-9.30am

Where? SSE Swalec Stadium

How much? £35

What? ‘David has been working in the automotive industry for over 30 years. He joined Aston Martin in 1999 as a Project Manager, leading the early engineering studies of Aston Martin’s revolutionary VH architecture and the concept designs of what were to become both the DB9, launched in 2004 and the V8 Vantage, launched in 2005.

‘Following this, he stepped into a non-technical role as Head of Product Communications and Motorsport for three years. He went on to become Director of Special Projects and Motorsport in 2008, where he has since grown an operation that is now a key part of Aston Martin’s Second Century plan; Special Operations.

‘David began his career in the automotive industry as a graduate at Jaguar in 1986, becoming Programme Manager in 1991 when he oversaw the application of the V12 powertrain into the Jaguar XJ6. In 1995, with both Jaguar and Aston Martin under Ford ownership, David provided development and engineering expertise to the Aston Martin DB7 project and led to him joining the company on a permanent basis in 1999.

‘David was active in motorsport as both a rally driver and navigator in his twenties, and retains a passion for both rallying and racing.

‘David graduated from Loughborough University in 1986 with a degree in Automotive Engineering. He is also a keen cricket enthusiast and a Director of the Oxfordshire Cricket Board.’

Zokit Vale Light Lunch

When? Thursday 31st May and Thursday 14th June,12.30pm

How much? £15-17

What? ‘A Business Light Lunch is a great way to make connections and develop business relationships. The meeting is upstairs and to the left where we have our own room. Before coming up the stairs make sure you enter your car registration number at reception to take advantage of the free parking.

12.30pm – Grab a cuppa for a little open networking

1.00pm – Welcome announcements – Fill your plate from the delicious buffet – 60 second quickfire round to introduce yourself and your business to the room

1.30pm – Business Wisdom Session (10 minutes) – Share & Grow facilitated table conversations / One-to-one meetings

2.00pm – Open networking

2.30pm – Meeting finishes but feel free to continue networking

Zokit Zap – Quickfire Business Wisdom & Networking over Pizza & Drinks 

When? Wednesday 6th June, 6-9.30pm

How much? £19.50

What? ’10 Speakers // Lots of Lightbulb Moments

‘Come long to get lots of inspiration and tips to boost your business and network with other business owners

6pm -Arrivals with welcome drink and nibbles

6.30pm – Pizza & Chicken Buffet (veggie/vegan options by request)

7pm -5 speakers share their business wisdom in 5minutes (or less) each

7.45pm – Networking break with brownies + tea/coffee

8.15pm – 5 more speakers share their business wisdom in 5minutes (or less) each

9pm – A chance to continue networking with Happy Hour at the bar

‘To find out more about becoming a featured speaker at this event, see the information sheet here’

Cardiff Evening BizMum June 2018

When? Thursday 14th June, 7.30-9pm

Where? Cedar Tree Farm Pub

How much? Your first visit is FREE, Returning Guests £6

What? ‘Join your host, Catrin and other businesswomen in your area to promote your business, get support and advice. All decision making business women are welcome to join us.

‘This month’s theme is Growth and Expansion so there will be a short talk on this topic.’

Cardiff Business Awards 2018

When? Friday 15th June

Where? City Hall, Cardiff

How much? £85+VAT

What? ‘The leading business awards celebrating excellence in Cardiff.’

FSB South East Wales: Annual dinner

When? Wednesday 20th June, 6.30pm-10.30pm

Where? The Exchange Hotel, Cardiff Bay

How much? £65

What? ‘Join us at the FSB Wales Annual Dinner – one of the key events in the Welsh business calendar.

‘The theme this year is “Wales in the World” and will focus on Wales’ place in an ever-changing world. We look forward to highlighting success stories from small businesses that are making their mark across the world and whose innovation has led to global success. SMEs and smaller businesses are taking the Wales brand all over the world, as well as attracting more visitors into Wales every year. Don’t miss out on a great opportunity to celebrate the role of smaller businesses across Waes in projecting the Wales brand overeseas.

‘We will also be joined by our special guest speaker, Osian Roberts, Technical Director at FAW and Assistant Coach to Wales’ national football team who is often referred to as “the most influential man in Welsh football”. and has had over 300 international games as Wales National Coach.

‘This is a great opportunity to network with a huge range of decision makers and business contacts while enjoying the beautiful food and surroundings of the newly renovated Exchange Hotel in Cardiff Bay.’

Cardiff Business Club: Justine Roberts CBE, Mumsnet

When? *Date changed to Wednesday 20th June, 6.15pm

Where? Hilton Hotel, Cardiff

How much? Networking and talk Free, Dinner £45 including VAT (members only)

What? ‘Justine Roberts CBE is Founder and CEO of Mumsnet, an online community of parents sharing advice, support and product recommendations with over 12 million unique users per month.

‘Mumsnet hosts around 170 local sites, a network of around 10,000 bloggers, and regularly campaigns on issues its members care about.

‘In 2011, Justine launched Gransnet, a website for the original baby boomer generation.

‘Justine is a non-executive director of FTSE100 insurance firm Admiral and is on the Advisory Boards of Britain Thinks and Portland Communications.

‘Justine was appointed Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) in the 2017 New Year Honours for services to the economy.

‘Before Mumsnet, Justine wrote about football and cricket for the Daily Telegraph and the ‘Times and before that she was an economist and strategist for SG Warburg.

‘Justine is a mother of four (and two dogs).’

3rd Thursday Club

When? Thursday 21st June, 5.30pm

Where? Park Plaza

How much? Free

What? ‘Cardiff’s 3rd Thursday is an informal free for attendees networking event held monthly for the professional community of Cardiff.’

CBI Annual Lunch Wales

When? Friday 22nd June, 12-2.30pm

Where? St David’s Hotel & Spa

How much? £70-85+VAT

What? ‘We are pleased to announce Sir Vince Cable MP will be speaking at this years Annual Lunch Wales which is taking place on Friday 22nd June, at the St David’s Hotel, Cardiff.

‘The lunch is also one of the flagship CBI Wales events and is attended by 180 senior politicians and business leaders from across Wales.

‘We are delighted to announce that our keynote speaker will be Sir Vince Cable MP, Leader of the Liberal Democats and the Member of Parliment for Twickenham. Previous to this he was the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills and President of the Board of Trade (2010-2015).

‘We would like to thank our sponsors for this event Brewin Dolphin for their generous support of the Lunch and for ensuring the lunch remains a key event in the Welsh business calendar.

‘The event will begin with a drinks reception at midday, which has kindly been sponsored by Radnor Hills. They have been very generous to provide a variety of their superior products for guests to enjoy during the event.’

Cardiff Breakfast Club: Professor Laura McAllister CBE, FRSA, FLSW

When? 29th June 2018, 7.30am-9.30am

Where? SSE Swalec Stadium

How much? £35

What? ‘Professor of Public Policy and the Governance of Wales at Cardiff University’s Wales Governance Centre. Expert on devolution, Welsh politics and elections, and gender, representation and the feminisation of politics.

‘Former Chair of Sport Wales and board member of UK Sport. Director of Football Association of Wales Trust. Deputy Chair of UEFA Women’s Football Committee. Former Wales international player and captain with 24 caps.

‘Chair of the Assembly Expert Panel on Electoral Reform. Former member of Assembly Remuneration Board, Independent Panel on AMs Pay and Support, Richard Commission on the Powers and Electoral Arrangements for the National Assembly for Wales.

‘Honorary degrees and fellowships from Bangor, Cardiff, Cardiff Met, Swansea, Swansea Trinity St David’s universities.

‘Fellow of Learned Society of Wales and the Royal Society of the Arts. Awarded CBE in Queen’s Birthday Honours 2016.’

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