Chairman’s Business Networking Blog – Thursday 22nd August 2013
If we had thought that numbers at the meeting had been severely restricted by holidays to date, today proved that we didn’t know the half of it. We only mustered 15; it was raining but there the downside ended. Although we always look on the optimistic side at EBF, what appeared at first sight to be less than average type of meeting turned out just about as good as we have had this year.
With only 15 present everyone had a quota of goodies at the breakfast buffet. It probably averaged out at 2 eggs, 4 sausages, 4 rashers of bacon, 3 hash browns, a spoonful of mushrooms and lots of tomatoes…each… With everyone suitably fortified the meeting went from strength to strength.
The Ed Slot, delivered by our Education and Development Officer himself, was all about elastic bands and business cards. David suggested at least 4 ways we could carry around each others business cards and lots of ingenious circumstances in which we could pass them over. Some of us resisted the temptation to play with the props but frankly, elastic bands are just too much of a temptation.
Previously I had started out reading apologies for absence and decided it was probably easier reciting who was with us. Of this there was much to celebrate. Neal Lewer made an appearance for the first time for many weeks following his leave of absence, he looked all the better for it.
We were quickly into the 60 seconds round where a certain amount of leeway was given over timing.
As a round it was something of a rehearsal of what we all already know about each other. Jason told us that he enjoys lending money, Alan Shaw told us of a party wall issue he had with a neighbour that was solved effectively by Nick Cooke. It was so self evident that Alan Shaw as an architect that he did not bother to mention this. Suitably encouraged, Nick Cooke tried and tell us every single thing that he did within his 60 second rendition. It started at the top, with steel beams for designing a loft and it worked down to the foundations before making brief reference again to party wall matters. Neal Lewer told us the benefits of bespoke joinery and that despite being busy he was still looking for projects, probably slight smaller than the one that currently occupies most of his time. Michael Adelizzi listed everything that was in his shop but went on to talk specifically about power showers and wall tiles. These wall tiles, which apparently could be matched with floor tiles, were ceramic but looked like limestone. Apparently this imitation cuts down on the cleaning etc. By this time I was starting to regret my fourth sausage but this was more than compensated for by Danielle delivering her first 60 seconds, giving an illustration of a particular client she was acting for and generally acquitting herself very well on her debut.
Kevin Brooks maintained the pressure of a serious delivery by explaining the benefits of bills of quantities and his ability to do them. However just when it looked if I was going to regret my fourth rasher of bacon Kevin Radford popped up. He had apparently met a marketing guru. A guru is not an animal!!! I have always wanted to be regarded as a guru but I have not quite found my niche yet. Anyway, this guru suggested that Kevin should look to adopt an animal that would reflect and adequately represent RMK’s image. He quite rightly went to the heart of Africa to get examples of what might suit these rather exciting insurance brokers. Apparently they considered lions, tigers and the cheaters. What they ultimately came up with was a giraffe because it was head and shoulders above all others. In fact, it’s neck and shoulders, rather than head and shoulders but there we are, at least I was starting to digest my breakfast better.
It was now the turn of the 2 fried eggs, what could possibly sooth my stomach to deal with these. Well it was Ed Crocker. First of all his shorts were not quite a garish but hung rather loosely from his sylph like frame. He chose to tell us about tunnels, their respective dimensions and how many heavy goods vehicles were having problems getting through certain of them. The Blackwall Tunnel is apparently a little on the low side but ok. The Dartford Tunnel is much better but has long queues. The best tunnel however is apparently a 6 mile tunnel that goes under Dublin, the Dublin Freight Tunnel, which is apparently 6 miles long. It was deliberately kept low to stop the big juggernaut lorries going through, Transport Minster Paddy O’Rielly felt that the benefits of shovelling all the lorries under Dublin should not extend to the really large juggernauts. It did strike me that if they let the tyres down the tunnel would probably accommodate every vehicle. No doubt Ed will correct me in the comments to this blog.
I was brought down to earth by David Plumley talking about IT matters. The hash browns were starting to make a come-back. He is apparently looking for domestic as well as commercial work and indeed has set up a company especially for it, rather catchily known as Brentwood Computers. Fortunately both the hash browns and the baked beans were suitably dealt with by my digestive juices after I had listened to Marcelle reminding us all that we should keep our jewellery kept up to date by way of valuation for insurance purposes and then John Probert produces a poem!! It rhymed, it was all about Utility Warehouse and their various services and made you realise that the Utility Warehouse should try and represent itself with an animal other than a pig. Perhaps in the light of John’s literary leanings we can think of a suitable animal. Indeed perhaps you would all like to contribute by suggesting animals that might suit any of our members and their business. I was pleased to award him the Oscar!
By the end of the 60 second round the meeting was starting to take on a bit of substance. Marcelle used the projector to illustrate her business and it has to be said that she is the first person to use the new format in any way that could be regarded as effective. In addition she produced a very interesting and entertaining 10 minutes.
It started off with her biography, this produced a little known fact… that she had undergone a course of ninjitsu, which is apparently a form of unarmed combat. It sort of left me with slightly pythonesque image of someone without any arms trying to ward off attackers with other parts of the body…..”stand up and fight like a….”
We then moved to her presentation. Apparently diamonds are a billion years old which should give the creationists something to puzzle over. She also made a rather bold statement, that most diamonds found are under a carat. Of course I immediately thought of “found under a carrot” which made me wonder why they even bothered to dig mines.
She went on to tell us that the biggest diamond was billions of carats in size, it can be found in space and given the weightless nature of things out there, would presumably fit on anybody’s finger.
Initially the diamond was symbol of strength and only worn by kings. Eventually however it drifted down to women and the rest, as we all know, is history.
Cleaning tips were also very interesting. The use of an electric tooth brush is to be recommended; but not a dishwasher.
As you can see, it was very entertaining but also informative.
How, might you say, can a talk about the source of diamonds have anything to do with dealing in them or selling them. Well, its like every business, if you think the person you are defiling with is enthusiastic and is passionate about what they do you will be much more inclined to deal with them than anyone else. In addition to that, most of the people round the table have dealt with Marcelle from time to time and know the quality of her work.
My one regret is that there weren’t more members around to listen to her presentation.
So an excellent 10 minute presentation was then followed by the referrals and testimonials round. The level of referrals and business passed was more consistent with a meeting of 35 than 15. Recorded business was £43,000.00 and there were eventually in excess of 25 referrals, a really good effort from everyone.
And finally,Synergy Teams. I reported on the business of Consumer Synergy Team Meeting which again, was restricted in numbers but very useful. David Plumley no doubt will circularise us all regarding the Business to Business Synergy Team Meeting on Tuesday 27th August 2013 but I would like to repeat his suggestion, if you are not a regular member and probably do not attend Synergy Team Meetings why not try the Business to Business next week and let’s see if we can have a very big turnout. It’s at the George & Dragon at Margaretting, commencing 4.30 pm.
Next week I genuinely expect a much bigger meeting with lots of people coming back from holiday although, however big the meeting it will take a lot to outdo today’s meeting. Congratulations to everyone.