Category Archives: Networking


Come on, come on, let’s work together

I know we haven’t had a chance to tell you how wonderful Pollen was last month, but rest assured it was wonderful. Thank you so much to the 120-odd attendees who dragged themselves to central London on a Tuesday evening to talk to strangers and play bingo. We had an excellent night and met so many lovely people, and we’re already looking forward to the next one.

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Traditionally, networking events have been something I’ve feared and hated with the passion of a thousand suns. I’m not a natural ‘joiner’, and I don’t even like being around all my best friends at once let alone total bloomin’ unknown grown-ups in suits. Steve is fabulous at chatting to strangers and never runs out of things to talk about, so he can’t understand why I hate these situations so much, but I know I’m not alone! Around 50% of the population are introverts, and if anything sends an introvert into a spiral of fear and nausia it’s a networking event. But they can be so useful in terms of meetings new people, finding potential new clients, maybe hunting for a new role, so it’s a real shame that half the UK avoids them like the plague.

Pollen is great for me because it instantly gives me a reason to talk to people, and that’s always been my biggest worry: won’t people think I’m annoying or weird if I just walk right up to them and start talking? Well, no, they won’t, because that’s sort of the point of networking, but it’s easier said than done. If you’re having trouble with the approach, I recommend planning out what you’re going to say to people when you introduce yourself. Tell them a funny fact about yourself, or something weird that happened to you at work today, or just be honest and tell them you’re a little nervous because you find networking a bit awkward. There’s a 50/50 chance that this person feels exactly the same way and will be delighted to chat to somebody on their wavelength, but if you’ve chanced upon an extrovert, relax: they’ll be more than happy to steer the conversation and prod your sales pitch out of you.

There are loads of websites full of networking tips for nervous Normans like us, such as:

But one of the best suggestions I’ve found is contacting / researching people in advance. Go through the guest list, see who you want to meet and read up on them so you’ve got a ready-made icebreaker when you get there. Email them in advance and tell them you’d love to chat on the night. I, for one, fear the unknown in these situations, so having somebody I can seek out and speak to on arrival makes things a little bit easier. Another tip is to get there early. I usually rock up to these things as late as possible so I get minimum face time, but getting there before everybody else and settling in with a drink positions you as the person new arrivals want to talk to. You’ll probably get chatting to the hosts too, because they’ll be standing around waiting for the masses to show up, and you can grill them for some extra insight into who’s coming and what to expect from the event. Plus, you can leave as early as you like because you were the first one there and that always earns brownie points.

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So, if you are the shy and retiring type or you’ve never been to a networking event and think it sounds dreadful, know that I will do my best to make it easier on you if you come to Pollen! Hang out with me until you find somebody better to talk to. I won’t be offended.

I’d love to know what you like or don’t like about networking events and how we could make Pollen even better, especially if you’re an introvert! Leave us a comment and we’ll send you positive vibes.

Siobhan O'Brien Holmes

Something for the weekend


This week the snow finally made its way to the streets of east London. It was a Christmas miracle, just a month or so too late. Unfortunately no snowmen were made featuring carrots in inappropriate places, nor did we get to go sledging.

Anyway, enough about the weather. Like you come here for my snow related updates. It was actually the London bus drivers that ruined my life this week, you know, those folk that get to go on strike whenever they please, just to annoy us commuters. I could walk to work, but I’m too lazy and it’s cold.

The first week of February has already passed and five weeks of 2015 have come and gone. Where does the time go? #Philosophicalmoment.

It’s been a busy week in’t office again, time has literally passed me by. I don’t actually recall leaving my desk and going home, but I must have done as I appear to be wearing different underpants today. I know that because they say ‘Friday’ on them.

We’ve been working extra hard to find some interesting links to keep you entertained this friday evening and beyond, enjoy.

Instagrams of the week:


Don’t forget, our networking event is on the 25th of this month and there’s still a few tickets left. So if you fancy a night of beer and marcomms chit chat then book your ticket now!

Well, that’s it for this week. See you next Friday, world.

Happy weekend!

The BBS team


Something for the weekend


Hola amigos! It’s Friday, Friday, gotta get down on Friday… sorry.

‘Tis indeed the weekend once again and it’s been an eventful week. That white stuff has been falling pretty much all over the British Isles causing traffic mayhem everywhere. Not that you would have known because no one’s been posting on social media… oh actually they have. I’ve seen more updates about snow this week than I care for.

It’s not as exciting as it was back in the day when I was a lad. You got a day off school because the boiler broke, that was something to shout about! Now it’s just a freezing cold commute that takes about two hours longer than it should. I’m sure there’ll be more exciting snow news to come as the winter continues to ruin my life.

Fortunately for us, the streets of Whitechapel remained snow-free and we were able to work tirelessly into the night. That’s dedication.

This week us copyrighting cool kids have been coming up with some catchy taglines and hashtags, as well as working on another bloody big project which we can’t talk about yet. I’ve had the pleasure of playing on a new language learning app for kids, which made the days even more entertaining. I can now count to five in French, Arabic, Spanish and Mandarin. #multilingual

If you didn’t know already, we’re hosting our very own networking event for you nice people working in marcomms and we’d love you to join us. There’s still some free tickets left so don’t forget to sign up while you can.

Now for the moment you’ve all been waiting for… here’s some of our favourite links from’t t’internet this week:

Instagrams of the week:

That’s it for this week folks, have a smashing weekend!
Stay classy,
The BBS team



Something for the weekend


Good Friday one and all. I hope that, as you read this, you’re slouched back in your chair with your feet propped up on the desk, causally sipping a cup of (Yorkshire) tea. It’s the end of the week, and all that’s left to do is patiently watch the big hand makes its way to five o’clock. Then you’ll be free, released into the wild to follow the herd to the nearest watering hole and scream ‘it’s the weeeekend!’.

Or something like that.

The BBS team went along to the London Chamber of Commerce and Industry networking extravaganza in the West End on Monday night. It was a glam event full of whiskey, canapés and casual chitchat with friendly faces. As a networking ‘first timer’ I wasn’t too sure what to expect, but I managed to survive the event without any hiccups. Hopefully BBS made some new friends – we look forward to seeing you all again soon.

Don’t forget to RSVP to our very own networking event in February.  You can have a chinwag with Steve, our creative director, and the wonderful Siobhan O’Brien Holmes who heads up the content team. There’ll be loads of other cool cats from the marcomms industry to rub shoulders with too. And did we mention it’s free and you get a free drink or two if you’re early enough?! I’m sure we did. So sign up quick sticks. We look forward to seeing you there.

Meanwhile, in the office…

The food highlight this week came courtesy of our very own Miranda, who baked us all a wonderful chocolate coffee cake. It was delish; the next Great British Bake Off gaggle face stiff competition. She’s also a dab hand at graphic design, by the way. In other chocolate news, we tried the new Creme Eggs and they taste exactly the same as always.

So without further ado, let’s see what the internet’s had to say for itself this week:

Intagrams of the week:

Have a bloody great weekend!

The BBS Team