Businesswoman holds popular networking event 'with a twist' at Southsea's Emporium Bar

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DOZENS of business owners and professionals got together to enjoy a different type of networking.

Lauren de Vries, founder of LDV Hub, hosted her sixth LDV networking event at the Emporium Bar in Southsea on Tuesday.

Lauren de Vries, founder of LDV Hub, hosted her sixth LDV networking event at the Emporium Bar in Southsea this week to allow people to meet in a less corporate, more relaxed setting. (l-r) Jill Pratt, Lauren de Vries and Lois Lanning.

Lauren de Vries, founder of LDV Hub, hosted her sixth LDV networking event at the Emporium Bar in Southsea this week to allow people to meet in a less corporate, more relaxed setting. (l-r) Jill Pratt, Lauren de Vries and Lois Lanning.

Described as ‘networking with a twist’ by Lauren, the event seeks to make meeting others less formal and corporate.

She said: ‘We like to do things a little bit different, to go away from the corporate idea because we want people to feel comfortable.

‘We don’t do sales pitches, we don’t have name badges, and for us it’s more about people building relationships, not necessarily the sales pitches and some of the formalities because it can feel really awkward.’ 

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Lauren de Vries, founder of LDV Hub, hosted her sixth LDV networking event at the Emporium Bar in Southsea this week to allow people to meet in a less corporate, more relaxed setting.

Lauren de Vries, founder of LDV Hub, hosted her sixth LDV networking event at the Emporium Bar in Southsea this week to allow people to meet in a less corporate, more relaxed setting.

Every guest got a free drinks voucher for a soft or alcoholic drink, as well as a goodie bag full of items that had been donated by the various businesses that attended or sponsored the event.

One of the sponsors was Hartt Cakes, owned by Becky Hartt, who gave out samples of her sugar cookies to guests.

Another was Charlotte Griffiths Photography, who has been a supporter at several of Lauren’s networking events, as well as Phlex Co-working and 4 Marketing.

Annelies James also hosted a ‘red carpet’ feature, where guests could share their business advice on camera for a video. This will then be shared on social media.

Lauren de Vries, founder of LDV Hub, hosted her sixth LDV networking event at the Emporium Bar in Southsea this week to allow people to meet in a less corporate, more relaxed setting.

Lauren de Vries, founder of LDV Hub, hosted her sixth LDV networking event at the Emporium Bar in Southsea this week to allow people to meet in a less corporate, more relaxed setting.

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Guests took part in a series of activities, including a Halloween-themed question game, which involved answering questions on a card in exchange for a prize.

Lauren, who is from Cosham, decided to set up her business after she re-evaluated her life when her son Oliver needed open heart surgery at just five days old. 

She said: ‘I have been in the corporate world forever and I was working for a big company. 

‘Last year I had my son and he was in hospital for five weeks – that's when I started to realise that life is too short and that I wanted to do something that I love.’