New Year New Network 2023: Round-Up and Highlights

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On January 19th, BYP Network was excited to host our inaugural New Year New Network event at London’s stylish Sway Bar, sponsored by Gartner. An unmissable event to help strengthen our Black professional community’s networking skills and broaden their professional connections.

At BYP, we know that the power of networking cannot be underestimated or ignored. “Your network is your net worth” stands true no matter what industry you are in. An extensive network, with contacts in the right places, can make a long-lasting and significant impact on your professional career and personal development.

We are proud that the evening was a huge success with 376 in-person and engaged attendees and a large waitlist of people looking to join for the next time.

The proceedings were led by BYP’s own – CEO and Founder, Kike Oniwinde, Community Growth Advisor, Phin Mpofu and Community Manager, Lynn Abhulimen. They were joined by a fantastic panel of speakers: Shuntasha Phillips, DEI Partnerships Director at Gartner; Kojo Marfo, Founder and Creative Director of My Runway Group and Suzi Adan, BY-Peers’ London Chief Activator.

They spoke about topics such as what do to if you’re not a natural networker, how to cultivate your personal network, the importance of networking for Black-owned businesses, and more. Equipped with the empowering panel talk and their exclusive New Year New Network ultimate networking toolkit, our guests all got stuck in connecting with each other about their backgrounds and experiences.

We had a variety of engaging activities for you to get involved in, including:

  • A bingo card in everyone’s swag bag with the opportunity to win a prize
  • A vision board where guests could write down want they want to achieve this year and take stock of their goals
  • A 360-degree revolving photo booth for you to have some fun with props and your new-found connections
  • Speed networking – a chance to get to know people quickly
  • An interactive poll, asking interesting questions to help initiate conversation throughout the evening
  • A chance to upload your CV, to be shared with Gartner in order to reach out with job opportunities
  • Plus delicious food, drinks and a live DJ – which kept you busy and entertained past 11pm!

Watch the video recap on our Instagram page.

Don’t just take our word for it, here’s what you had to say:

Our headline sponsor, Gartner:

“Networking is a fundamental part of personal and professional growth, and this BYP event offered the members a great platform to engage, explore and build meaningful connections. There was a real diversity of life experience in the room, and I personally found my conversations to be inspiring and insightful. I made many new connections, and I am proud that Gartner continues to partner with BYP as we strive to add value not only as a potential employer, but also as a partner that can help BYP members achieve their full potential in whatever field they choose to pursue.” – Shaun Carroll, VP, Recruiting

From our post-event survey, it was many of our guests’ first experience interacting with Gartner, and they left interested to know more about the company.

Alexander Matambo, Digital Analyst at Capco, said:

“The recent BYP New Year New Network event that I had the pleasure of attending was truly an inspiring and uplifting experience. The event brought together a diverse group of talented individuals from various industries and backgrounds, all united by their passion for success and their desire to make a positive impact in their communities.

One of the most striking things about the event was the sense of community and camaraderie that was palpable in the room. It was clear that everyone there was genuinely invested in helping each other succeed, and there was a real sense of mutual support and encouragement. The keynote speakers were particularly inspiring, sharing their personal stories of perseverance and triumph, and offering valuable advice and insights for navigating the unique challenges faced by Black professionals.

The event also provided a wealth of opportunities for networking and building connections, with a wide variety of attendees from different fields and at different stages of their careers. Whether you were looking to make new contacts, find a mentor, or simply connect with like-minded individuals, there was something for everyone.

Overall, this event was a truly invaluable experience for me, both personally and professionally. It was a powerful reminder of the importance of community and support, and of the incredible potential that we as Black professionals possess to achieve great things. I feel incredibly motivated and inspired to continue pursuing my own goals and aspirations, and I am grateful for the opportunity to have been a part of such a meaningful and impactful event.”

Shantel Martin, Retail Operations Associate at Fidelity International, said:

“Last night was amazing. I joined over 300+ Black professionals and partners of BYP Network at Sway Bar, London sponsored by Gartner, looking to enhance their professional connections. This event had a panel of amazing speakers Suzi Adan, Kojo Marfo FRSA, Shuntasha Phillips, MSIT sharing their stories on nurturing and cultivating your network for success.

You could see the power of networking in the room. Professionals and partners collaborating and bouncing ideas off each other, individuals looking for employment and even witnessing potential partnerships through immediate connections. You could just feel the collaborative energy in the room. I was even able to connect with Shuntasha Phillips about the unique perspective and value Black women bring to any industry, as well as reconnecting with Harmony M., while finally meeting a connection I made over social media. What a night it was.”

Did you miss out?

In case you missed the opportunity to connect with Gartner, you can still make yourself known and upload your CV to be in with the chance of hearing about future job vacancies. Check out their employer profile and commitment to diversity and inclusion on our BYP job board.

We have plenty of other online and live events for you to join in with throughout the year – explore our Events page to view our upcoming programme. You can also sign up to be a member of one of our global BY-Peers groups, where you can find your tribe of like-minded peers.

If you’re interested in holding a similar event with us, get in touch with our Partnerships team.

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