Networking blog

Mark Herring, Connector-In-Chief at Urbano Network, and co-founder of Talent Lab, has been at the forefront of networking in London for 20 years, creating innovative and diverse business communities since his early days in Shoreditch.

Back in 2002, networking was a relatively unknown phrase and most events were modelled on the American pitch/referral approach. Based near Hoxton, Mark was then soon asked by the nascent Shoreditch Business Network to create a model to attract and connect companies coming into the area.

Mark focused on developing a series of informal, lightly facilitated events to spark conversations and a website that encouraged relationships and distributed opportunities. This model is now the template for the majority of what we would now recognise networking events, but back then it was considered a radical approach!

In 2010, Mark created Urbano Network, which, combining his unique approach to networking with branding and marketing, has connected over 20,000 companies of different sizes and sectors. It is this experience of the power of networking to help individuals, businesses and areas, that has shaped the strategy and training he delivers for clients.

Leveraging Urbano and the principles of value exchange, through Talent Lab we can deliver training  in a variety of ways, bespoke to each client. This includes interactive workshops, internal team building, graduate and new staff induction programmes, and consultancy to align networking strategy to a company’s business and brand development ambitions.

Experience includes:

  • Networking training workshop for a bank's London team to understand what networking is and isn't, aligned to its key brand focus and new customer drive
  • Networking workshop to bring two different work teams together and ensure brand consistency plus team-building activities followed by drinks
  • Induction training event for new joiners and graduates covering the essentials of networking and increasing confidence
  • Designing strategy with business development team of large company to align networking as brand and contact communication channel; looking at post-event data sharing and utilisation

To view some case studies on how we have helped companies make their team's networking more effective - and enjoyable - visit: