One of Manchester’s familiar faces is Sam Jones, Managing Director of the award-winning creative social content agency, Tunafish Media. Sam joined us on the first Freshwalks back in August 2014 and still finds time to walk with us every few months. Sam is also co-founder of an amazing project called Not Just Soup, a soup kitchen that helps feed homeless people through the support of local restaurants. Find out more on his Linked In profile.
Tell us about your first Freshwalks?
I went on the first Freshwalks not really knowing what to expect and had a great time. Being out in the hills gives you the time to get to know someone and their work properly and I met a lot of interesting people. I signed up for the second one as soon as I got home.
How many have you attended?
About 6 or 7.
Why do you come back?
A lot of networking events are a bit samey, whereas this is completely different. The views are amazing, the routes are brilliant and there’s always a great crowd.
What’s your favourite route?
We went to a waterfall on one of the early ones and that was immense.
The one thing you always bring?
Favourite Freshwalks memory?
Michael Di Paola standing over a ‘puddle’ only for it to turn out to be chest deep.
Has Freshwalks led to any business or opportunity?
We’ve picked up a couple of pieces of work from people we met on these walks. I also met one of my business mentors there and have also been able to pass some work to other people as a supplier.
Recommend three people you have met on Freshwalks?
Steve Bottomley. I met Steve on my first walk and he has become a mentor to me and my business partners.
Chris Xavier. Great guy with a great business as well as being really fun.
Heather Gray. Met Heather on a walk and have since bumped into her at every networking event I’ve been too.
How does Freshwalks challenge typical networking formats?
Most networking events these days seem to revolve around alcohol and this is completely the opposite. You get out in the fresh air with a load of great people and it’s a brilliant way to spend a day. Then you go to the pub afterwards and that’s where the alcohol comes in.
Freshwalks is a combination of exercise, networking, sharing knowledge and thinking time. How do you balance those components?
I probably don’t exercise as much as I should and Freshwalks is a great way of doing this in an environment where you can also make great contacts. There’s a lot of experienced business people on the walks and it also gives you the opportunity to pick their brains and I’ve learnt a lot from being there.
Sum up Freshwalks in three words.
Entertaining. Engaging. Fun.
You can follow Sam on Twitter: @SamJonesMCR