When I delivered my seventh annual review last year it was optimistic largely based on the fact that our current venue was new, and attendance was up. I feel that optimism was fully justified.
New Members who have joined over the last year have given new life (if this was necessary). Attendance, particularly over the Summer holidays, was excellent and slightly more business was recorded this year than last year.
It was with great sadness that we lost Michael Adelizzi to cancer. We lost a friend and a good member. He was simply a very nice man.
Another casualty of the year was Alan Shaw. He has been missed since he announced his retirement from the group some weeks ago. He is fondly remembered for his whimsical and rather ponderous delivery of his 60 seconds that gave us all great pleasure. He will not easily be replaced. Great moments like the Education Slot with the brick in cistern, advice for saving water and for those who read the Blog his lead role in the School of Whimsy.
Several others have left who have also been missed, Jo Eastwood who made the speakers prize a no brainer and Nikhil Shah. During the year Kelly Walker, Syd Barrett, Rupert Miles all came and went, and we also lost Cathy Neat.
The loss of these members only emphasises how important it is for us to maintain our membership levels.
The Website has worked well in introducing the new members I have already mentioned. Ben Golding, Vince Goode, Saj Sreedharan along with Ellen Beckenham and Anna Marie Cooper, Mason Edwards, Toby Acton, Simon Essex and last week Ashley Bermange.
We started the year with 31 Members, we go into our new year with 31 Members.
Thank you to all of our new Members for helping improve the Group but the message is clear. We cannot rest on our laurels so far as membership is concerned.
The Website is a tribute to Scott Griffiths’ skill and tenacity in helping attract Members, but we must all try on a day to day basis and find and recruit new Members.
More Members does mean more referrals and despite the increase in attendance, to maintain levels in excess of 30 needs a membership approaching 40.
Our collective New Year’s resolution should be for all of us to try and introduce one new member during the course of the year to supplement the effective website that we have.
Brian Painter has successfully acted as our Social Secretary and over 30 Members and their partners enjoyed an excellent Christmas Dinner at the Duke of York in Billericay. Thankyou Brian for not only the the organising but coping with a cancellation from the original venue and finding us such a good replacement.
Getting together with members and partners it is great way of getting to know fellow members better and thereby enabling more referrals to be found.
What we have to do however is make sure that Brian is the organiser but not necessarily the generator of social events to attend. As with finding new members, it is open to all members to introduce social events to our calendar. You have the idea and you link with Brian over arranging it. We have not had much success this year in doing that, but may I once again suggest that each of us makes a resolution to try and suggest to Brian and assist him where necessary in arranging one social event. The size of it does not matter. We are a big enough group to have a diversity of members and there is nothing wrong with small social events aimed at specific group amongst us.
I have made suggestions about us all looking towards recruiting members and creating social events,
1 2 1’s even 3 to 1’s have started happening after our breakfast meeting, and this is a great way to use your time efficiently and get to know other members business.
Richard Reed and Paul Booth continue to arrange for the Business to Consumer and Business to Business Synergy Team Meetings respectively. These take place on the second Tuesday in every month, in Paul’s case and the third Monday in Richard’s case. Thank you both for your efforts over the year and may I again suggest to Members, however difficult it might be, that they all try and pay at least one meeting during the year to a Synergy Team, even if you are not a regular. You will be very welcome, and it helps these teams function efficiently.