Tips for successful exporting and advice on good communication gave some fifty local business people food for thought at a recent networking dinner organised by Invest Northern Ireland.

The Export Networking Club is a twice-yearly event that gives business people the opportunity to come together to share experiences, network and hear how Invest NI can work with them to develop business solutions. The event takes the form of a dinner at which two speakers share their business experiences and deliver specialist advice.

Guest speakers at the event, held in Banbridge, were Gordon Coulter MBE of The Coulter Group, Kilkeel and BBC’s International Production Executive, Shelley Lowry. Gordon shared his experiences of growing his business in export markets and of working with Invest NI to develop capability and a focused export strategy.

Shelley Lowry, who works as a production executive with BBC Worldwide, underlined the importance of customer care and good communication skills.

”I was delighted to be invited to speak at this event and hopefully have convinced local business people of the need to develop good communication skills especially when dealing in export markets. My own experience has taught me that what works in Europe, for example, won’t work in Japan. It pays to be very aware of cultural differences and to adapt your marketing approach to suit the potential client. “

Mark Bleakney, Manager of Invest NI’s Southern Local Office, commented: “The Export Network Club gives us an opportunity to bring together Invest NI’s export focused client companies in this area, including those who have completed our Marketing Awareness Programme. These companies can benefit from advice and information on the practical issues involved in the further expansion of their business into export markets.

“Feedback from those attending is always very positive and for Invest NI the event is an effective way of demonstrating how we can work with companies to address their particular needs in the area of developing their business.”