How to Work in Private Members Clubs Effectively on Your Own and with a Team

How to Work in Private Members Clubs Effectively on Your Own and with a Team

Private member's clubs are a British invention – started in the Georgian era for nobles, gentlemen and the elite of the era to congregate together.  They were often private houses, luxuriously decorated with rooms like bars, snooker and billiards rooms, sometimes boxing and fencing facilities were included too.

They soon became the place where men would do business together and were the prototype office and place of business, where the staff would often hold records of spending and transactions (as well as debt and winnings).

Fast forward to the 1990s and private members clubs to this day still combine the best aspects of being social, being entertained and doing business.  And thankfully today they are mostly gender-balanced institutions, although women-only spaces exist like the Allbright and The Wing clubs.

So how can you get business done and create connections at a private members club?  The first thing to do is chose the right one for you, as many of them attract a different clientele.  Soho House is famous for its first clubs being targeted at those who work in arts and media and film.  Home Grown is focused on business and is a space for aspiring professionals to connect and work. The Conduit in Mayfair is aimed at bringing NGO leaders and others working in the 3rd (charity) sector together and the Ministry of Sound has a tech studio for members to use.  


Find the right club which has the people you want to connect with.  

Look at the facilities they have on offer too.  A lot of private members' clubs have more than one bar, hotel rooms and rooftop pools, but some also have small screening rooms or mini cinemas, gyms and also salons and yoga studios.

During the day, private members' clubs are often the best places to go for informal meetings if you work remotely or out of town and don’t have an office.  They are often furnished with various different lounge areas of different styles for informal chats, and some have coworking spaces too.  I have also seen people interview candidates at members' clubs.

Private member's clubs are ideal for people who don’t have or need an office but need somewhere to escape to for work and make new social connections.

How do you meet people in a club?  Well, the club will have membership managers who will gladly introduce you to relevant people, and almost all of them have membership lists so you can connect digitally with other members, a bit like LinkedIn but for the club.  And don’t forget to network and say hello to people at the events that are run.

If you have a small team, the best private members clubs are going to be those that have co-working too, with meeting rooms to hire by the hour etc.

The best bit about private members clubs though, is the social aspect. If you are a keen networker and someone who will happily go to things on their own and make new friends easily, this is the place for you.