We are now fully settled into our venue at Calcott Hall Farm and as a venue it continues to stimulate the group reflected both in the good attendance records over this last year and the maintenance of our Membership numbers despite the inevitable departures.
We remain a vibrant group with Members who thoroughly enjoy our weekly Meetings to the extent they are willing to get up either in light or in darkness, sunshine or in rain.
Once again it was pleasing to see how good attendance was over the summer holidays.
Reasons for a loss of Members can be varied. For example, we lost Jill Willis this year but for all the right reasons. Hopefully with the assistance of EBF she had moved her business forward. Kevin Brooks left us, and Alan Shaw retired. Three key Members who were replaced quite quickly. Ford Astbury for Kevin Brooks, Kieran Peaty for Alan Shaw and more recently Paul Dulieu for Jill Willis. We will lose Members for all sorts of reason. It is important that we recognise this and make sure all Members are conscious of our ongoing need to recruit new Members. Indeed, we are about to embark upon a fresh recruitment drive which we are aiming to get under way towards the end of March/beginning of April.
During this year David Plumley has stood down as our Education and Development Officer. Health issues means that he cannot attend our weekly meeting, but we still see him at Synergy Meetings, and he remains involved with our group. His position as Education and Development Officer has been taken by Saj Sreedharan and his enthusiasm makes him an ideal replacement. Watch this space for this year’s recruitment drive.
It is also perhaps worth while noting certain Members Achievements over the year. Ben Ben Golding, as well as acquiring an extra Ben to his name has proudly championed his purple piggy
Saj Sreedharan wore his flip flops bravely and often despite cold weather.
Vincent Goode is now firmly established as the Mayor of Gants Hill Village.
Terry Maylin has provided added value for the group as an active Membership Secretary. Some of you have already experienced the “dreaded” telephone call.
Richard Reed has remained a positive force in the group, not only chairing the Business to Consumer Synergy Group but also as Chairman of the Membership Committee. He always delivers prompt minutes and also keeps us entertained at the end of our weekly meeting with his much-loved announcements.
Brian Painter also deserves a mention. His key achievement this year was an excellent Christmas Dinner at Lo Monaco where we had 31 in attendance; but more importantly a very good evening. He is arranging a Crystal Maze Trip which seems to have attracted a good turnout. Remember, as always, Brian is a facilitator. It is up to us to think of Social Events to put to him so that he can help organise and ensure success.
Big events are always good as with the Christmas dinner, but a social event need not have more than half a dozen people. We have diverse interests and little and often can work.
This year our Synergy Teams appear to have thrived. Business to Consumer, ably led by Richard Reed had a record attendance at one meeting of 13 Members. The Paul Booth’s Business to Business Group also sports a minimum of 6 to 7 Members every week.
In the meantime, our Synergy Teams have expanded with the Trade’s getting together and creating a third Synergy Team Group. Our thanks to John Freeman for initiating and continuing to drive this group forward.
I have mentioned already Richard Reed’s sterling leadership of the Committee. It is felt that however that we need to keep refreshing the Committee and keep it to the forefront of the members minds in order to deal with any issues that might arise. There will be an election for Committee Members in the coming month. Full details will be made available in the next week or so, so that those of you interested in being elected as a Committee Member can get involved.
We are looking to make the elections for the Committee an annual event.
Again, watch this space.
EBF Mark of Excellence
We have refreshed this valuable accolade and I can confirm that both Simon Essex and Toby Acton have been approved by the committee and the mark of excellence has been awarded to them. I can now be proudly displayed by them both on their website and wherever else appropriate. May I encourage all members who have been with us for more than a year to consider applying for it so that the badge can be shown on their profile
The EBF folders and general stationary, after some consideration consultation and research is being altered. We are dropping the larger folders and adopting small card wallets and notebooks.
Although the annual review does by its nature look back over the last year and its achievements it is important that we are focused on moving forwards; getting new visitors to our group, refreshing the Committee on a regular basis and always being on the lookout for Social Events forms a basis for moving forward.
The heart of the success of our group is the high level of attendance at our weekly meetings and at those meetings maintaining our good humour that makes the, meetings enjoyable and a reason to keep coming back.
Statistics and the Performance League
As you know, we make a big effort to record statistics for the group not just for vanity but to allow us to measure how we are performing collectively as a group and also individually as members.
There are many different ways in which we can record statistics, and we are aware that some members are better at some activities, and some to others. Our performance league reflects this and we feel gives everyone an equal chance to score points and have all of their efforts recorded.
For the first time this year, we have begun to record the monthly totals in the performance league in an annual chart, and this forms the basis on how we choose the member of the year, but is also used by the committee to review the contributions of all members during their membership renewals.
We also decide as a board and committee what levels we consider to be benchmarks for attendance, number of referrals given and received, and more. This is something that new membership committee will be asked to discuss and review.
Before I go on to announce the “big stats”, some other changes that are important to explain are that while as a group we allow, infact encourage members to record ALL business that comes as a result of their membership, including business that comes from ex-members, the way that points are allocated to business from ex-members has changed.
We record the monetary amounts in the same way, but points for the performance leagues are limited to just 1 point rather than value-based points. We want to record this but understood the unfair advantage that it used to give the longer-standing members. It has been a level playing-field for this last year and will continue to do so, and there is only a very small advantage now for older members based on their ex-member business.