The Bristol and Bath tech cluster has more meetups per head than any technology cluster in the UK – we believe it’s that connectedness, that support and that level of knowledge-sharing that drives innovation, and makes our region the best place to work in tech. So we’ve decided to highlight the awesome groups keeping us connected.

Today we’re introducing you to the Bristol Business Development Meetup. Here to answer our questions is meet up founder, Jack Thompson.

What’s your Meet-up?

Business Development can be a relatively lonely profession. Even if you are part of a larger organisation you may be the only person doing Business Development, and therefore things like peer to peer learning and professional development can be hard.

Having lived this 1st hand for most of my career I had sought solutions to this problem myself, and found that the only decent communities that did exist were very London centric, and although they were often worth the trip to London, I felt there was room for something in Bristol.

When I was working in-house I had no time to organise it though, so it was only when I became an independent consultant in the summer of 2019 that I organised the 1st one. The idea had been discussed with various people over the previous years, so I already had a list of people who said they’d be keen.

We held our 1st event in September 2019, and we’ve had one pretty much every month since.

Who’s it for?

It’s squarely aimed at anyone actively doing Business Development in a B2B organisation as the main part of their job, if not the whole of their job. The current group includes a great mix of in-house BD people, business owners responsible for BD, independent consultants, and suppliers of BD related services.

If that sounds like you, then you’d be very welcome to join.

What’s the format of your event?

The format is a ’round table’ type discussion on an agreed Business Development related topic, where everyone can contribute if they wish, with a maximum number of 15 people attending any given event.

Ironic given the audience but there is a ‘no sales’ rule (although lots of attendees have inevitably done business with each since meeting at the event), and we host the events under Chatham House rules to create a safe space for everyone to share and comment in an honest way.

We started off in-person, using one of the meeting rooms at Runway East. We went online in April 2020 and have stayed online since then.

Like lots of event organisers we are considering going in-person again, and it’s definitely on the cards, but it will remain online for the time being.

If you could invite anyone to your meet-up who would it be?

Stephen Fry, The Dalai Lama, and Dame Dudi Dench.

What are some of the typical subjects you discuss?

It’s always Business Development related, so in the past we have covered things like:

  • Setting Targets
  • Goals & resilience
  • Moving into new markets
  • Positioning statements
  • How to successfully disagree
  • Handling prospect Q&A
  • Aligning sales & marketing
  • Strategic partnerships
  • Cold outbound

Where can we sign up? 

You can sign up for future events here!

Brought to you by Ginkgo Business Development and BeKindred.

If you have any questions about the Meetup please contact the organiser Jack Thompson at