In a bid to encourage an organic yet active style of networking, Manly Chamber of Commerce recently hosted a unique kayaking, SUP Board/Yoga event to bring chamber members and the business community together.

Attracting 50 participants the event, dubbed ‘Escape on the Water,' saw Chamber members and friends paddle from Manly Wharf to historic Store Beach on a double Kayak, courtesy of Manly Kayak Centre. The group then participated in a SUP Board (Stand Up Paddle Board) and SUP Yoga (Stand Up Yoga) session instructed by fellow member, Flow mOcean.

Hosting the event twice - before and after hours on Thursday 23 February, Manly Chamber of Commerce executive officer, Chantelle Hoare, says the goal was to create a unique experience showcasing fellow member businesses while enabling the local community to get together in a non-traditional networking environment.

“Networking at these events is important and there is plenty of opportunity to do so but it’s also about the relationships formed and experiences gained,” she says.

“Often when in a less pressured environment the business side of networking tends to grow organically as well.”

Free for Chamber members and $25 for non-members the event included breakfast in the morning and drinks and nibbles during the evening session. Due to success the Chamber hopes to repeat the ‘Escape on the Water’ experience twice annually going forward.

“The event is a great morning or evening out and it’s a casual but effective way to network for all types of local businesses - from soloists wanting to get out and make new contacts to bigger companies looking to build employee morale – it’s a win-win all-round,” Chantelle adds.