Popular networking event LinkedIn Local Portsmouth that helps people connect in Portsmouth and helps good cause to return after nearly two years

Ian Gribble, co-organiserIan Gribble, co-organiser
Ian Gribble, co-organiser
A POPULAR networking event that allows people to meet up with their online connections is to return after nearly two years.

LinkedIn Local has been running since June 2018 with quarterly meetings at the Village Hotel in Portsmouth.

It was set up by Ian Gribble and Carl Hewitt, inspired by a global LinkedIn Local movement that started in Australia, who wanted a way to meet their social media connections in person.

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The event had grown in popularity, starting from just a handful of attendees to a large ticketed event of more than 200 people, when the pandemic hit in March 2020 and all events were shelved.

However, excitement is now growing as the ninth event - the first after the pandemic hit – is set to take place next month.

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And, despite the event not turning to online networking throughout the pandemic, demand for the idea is still there.

Organiser Ian, from Gosport, said: ‘We sold out in two days which was absolutely fantastic.

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‘I did scale back numbers slightly in order to get the event back up and running and to give people a bit more space in the room to make them feel more comfortable with returning, but we still sold 140 tickets in 48 hours and now have a waiting list.

‘It has been great. It is good to get back into it and get it back up and running again.’

The night has been booked for Thursday, November 25.

Ian said: ‘I had originally hoped to come back in September but we needed a bit more time.

‘I put a message out to the group to say “November?” and had some great responses.

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‘So many people wanted to get involved, it's been great to see. In the space of two days we had all the elements in place.

‘At the start I was feeling a bit apprehensive, but it’s been great to see everyone coming together and supporting each other.

‘These events are all about creating relationships, once you have them then everything else falls into place afterwards.'

All profits from the events go to worthy causes, which change for each event, with The Elizabeth Foundation set to benefit from November’s meeting.

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The Elizabeth Foundation, in Cosham, is a charity that helps deaf children.

Ian said: ‘It is a good local charity and we are delighted to help them raise money for such a deserving cause.’

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