More on the grand, grand later – nothing like a teaser in the headline!
At Exeter Golf and Country Club on Wednesday 10th December the Exeter Business Network event proved successful in many ways…….
Beginning with a seminar titled “Mediation Live” hosted by the team at Compass Resolution who did some fabulous role play to demonstrate the various stages involved in mediation – each stage was based on a real life scenario that had occurred in many different businesses – involving different characters who were experiencing different issues. John Hind (Founder of Compass Resolution) was the mediator in each scenario and Bob Prior was the narrator setting the scene. Helen Shea and Pippa Basset played the various roles. The scenarios included mediation between 2 employees of the same company where there was behaviour from one person that had upset another: a situation where 2 businesses had come to disagreement over technical issues that resulted in an unexpected and very large invoice and a high conflict scenario. Each situation demonstrated how properly prepared mediation can be used to resolve a whole range of issues and that there is always a sign posting to ongoing support once the mediation aspect is complete. Key are the way in which each session is set up, what the participants are there for, the expertise of the mediator in questioning and being equitable for both parties, even the mediator knowing when to speak and when not to, the importance of listening effectively, working to avoid disengagement and capturing what was agreed and acknowledging the way forward – and all of this is confidential (unless of course the issue could be a criminal or health and safety issue. With the average cost of replacing a team member being 1.5x their salary then mediating to resolve issues must be the best way forward not only financially but also to demonstrate that people, the relationship and trust are key components to a successful business.
THE networking lunch opened with two quotes that capture the essence of networking or should I say what happens when people have conversations!
“Friendship is born at the moment when one person says to the other “What you too” and I thought I was the only one” C.S Lewis
“Friendship is one of the most tangible things in the world that offers fewer and fewer supports” Kenneth Branagh b 10/12/1960
Those at the lunch sat at their hosted tables and enjoyed a traditional Christmas lunch complete with crackers! As well as talking about what their business/organisation did and the benefits it brings to others everyone contributed one other thing…. the one piece of music, track, song, record (showing my age!) that they would take to a desert island and why (for those familiar with Desert Island Discs you’ll know that it is a selection of 8 and then this is narrowed to just one!). A simple question like this really does help in getting to know more about the people you are sat with – in many instances causing people to really think – which is great! On my table there were people who represented a mediation company, data cabling business, charity, exclusive hire venue, solicitors firm and business coach – and the choices (match them if you can!) were
- Hey Joe – Jimi Hendrix
- Nothing Else Matters – Metallica
- Do they know it’s Christmas (original version!) – Band Aid
- Wish you were here – Pink Floyd
- I will survive – Gloria Gaynor
- Fantasia – Walt Disney
- Lovely Day – Bill Withers
What a mix and some great tags methinks! And on a second look all very much related to networking! Hey Joe a greeting, nothing else matters – the undivided attention we give to the person we are in conversation with, do they know it’s christmas – thinking of others, I will survive – this event and many more (tenuous I know), Fantasia – the fantastic opportunities that arise from conversations and Lovely Day because your networking should be enjoyable and something to look forward to!
As coffee was being served each of the Exeter Business Network charities took the opportunity of talking about the importance of fundraising in order to help them enhance and grow what they do…..the following are the images that were shown (and even a video) along with links so that you can find out more (and even get involved!)
Ally Colton – Families for Children Trust introduced a video – please watch……
A huge THANK YOU to Graham Barton and Scott Gray (Clive Emson Auctioneers (West Country) Ltd for being such fantastic auctioneers and helping Exeter Business Network Charities……..
The Devon Air Ambulance Trust is the charity which raises the funds to keep 2 emergency Air Ambulances flying. This is no small feat as each and every year we have to raise in the region of £4.5 million to keep both of the helicopters airborne. And to make night time flight time Click here if you woul like to donate
Families for Children place children for adoption from throughout the UK, who have experienced loss and upheaval. We find for them stable, loving families in Devon, Dorset, Cornwall, Somerset and the Isles of Scilly. We are special because we have a ‘forever’ policy of support and this means that we offer support to the child and new family for as long as they need us. Click here if you would like to donate
WESC Foundation’s aim is the education and care of young people with visual impairment and/or complex needs and their transition into school, college and beyond. By providing a specialist centre for education, training and expertise, WESC Foundation create a better life for people with visual impairment. Click here if you would like to donate
The vision of St Loye’s Foundation is that each individual should have the opportunity to achieve their maximum potential, irrespective of natural abilities or setbacks experienced in life.
Mission – St Loye’s mission is to be the preferred choice of people with physical, mental health, sensory and other disabilities, or with long-term health conditions, to improve their quality of life and degree of independence. Click here if you would like to donate
A total of £1,080 was raised which is brilliant and will be split equally between the charities! Now that is a Grand Grand!
A few closing announcements and that was 2014 done for Exeter Business Network events!
Exeter Business Network’s next event 7/1/15 – Preview here! Cafe Style Speed Training seminar before THE networking lunch!
All 2015 Dates here
Exeter Business Network is looking for Joe Bloggs – If you introduce someone called Joe Bloggs, or someone who owns a business called Joe Bloggs – they come to an event and join then I will give you 12 months membership free!
Businesses that could and would benefit from networking - to name a few!
Other ways to get engaged! And connected. Even start a conversation…..
Business Network SW – discussion group on LinkedIn – 1305 members! Feel free to get involved and participate in discussions, comment and post!
“A society grows great when men plant trees whose shade they know they shall never sit in” Greek proverb
What Twitter had to say about the event!
Gallery from the event
The latest survey sent to Business Network SW members in Bristol and Exeter was based upon the Net Promoter System. This system was created by Fred Reichheld, a partner at Bain & Company who (there is a whole host of fantastic tools available on the website www.netpromotersystem.com ). Bain are the service mark owners and I gratefully acknowledge that I can use the emoticons here
From the Bain & Co NPS site a bit of background “Companies with the most efficient growth engines—companies such as Amazon, Rackspace, TD Bank, Harley-Davidson, Charles Schwab, Zappos, Costco, Vanguard, and Dell—operate at NPS efficiency ratings of 50 percent to 80 percent. So even they have room for improvement!
The response rate that I have had to date is 38% and the survey in it’s entirety is here – the questions are in bold and the responses are in italics
How likely is it that you would recommend Business Network SW to a friend or colleague?
- How can be better than a 10?
- I gave a 10 -oops, now I can’t suggest changes for improvement!
- None I can think of, sorry.
- Make it a bit cheaper (although I’m OK with the price)
- It would be great if more people attended the seminars
- Nothing, I like it as it is.
- People want to come and try more than once before having to commit to join and not being able to puts people off
- More members with a higher profile (for us that mean marketing decision makers), less members that sell office supplies and are involved in pyramid type schemes…
- Encourage more online connection between members.
- I can’t give it a higher rating. Perhaps I can add a double star or something **
More new members
- All we need is more people who visit deciding to keep on returning. How this can be done,
- I’m not at all sure, but see a few suggestions below.
- Survey the members regarding the provision of alcohol at the events – possible cost savings for those not wishing to drink at lunchtime
- more attendees is always good
- Not a lot!
- I cant think of anything at the moment.
- Enough time to convert relationships into paying business
Question 2 “What changes would Business Network SW have to make for you to give it an even higher rating?”
- Come to Plymouth
- Very happy with it indeed
- How can be better than a 10?
- to get beyond 10/10 perhaps get some kind of badge for long-term members :-)
- It would be great to see some larger HNW corporations involved as members, to generate an even greater mix of minds, and shake up the SME’s a little!
- Perhaps try to encourage more members from “retail” businesses rather than businesses serving other businesses.
- Maybe hold some yearly event?
- Perhaps monthly is too often to always attend – may be every other month?
- A chance to change tables half way through and introduce yourself again to meet twice as many people (exeter chamber does this). Also not sure about giving out email addresses, it can lead to forced opt in to newsletters and other spammy updates.
- membership to cover Bristol as well
- Bigger business attending.
- Do table hosts give a warm enough welcome to newcomers? Do other members spend enough time trying to help newcomers at the pre-lunch networking, rather than having fun with their existing contacts? How about those visiting a second time? Should they have a special colour on their badges? If they have returned, they are seriously thinking of joining but may need special encouragement. Could we attract newcomers and lock-in seminar-givers by offering newcomers a special package – that if they join they become entitled to a specific set of benefits from any existing members who have given a seminar within the last three years? This would I think be more powerful than the present member offers. For example, one of the benefits could be that” our company” would undertake a free review of their existing marketing arrangements?
- Sorry don’t understand the difference between this question and previous? We could always do better on follow ups etc.
- can’t think of anything
- Enough time to convert relationships into paying business
Question 3 – “What does Business Network SW do really well?”
- Table hosting
- warm and friendly
- Makes the meeting process very enjoayble
- connects me with lots of opportunities
- Relaxed formality. Great hosting. Good locations. Reasonable prices.
- Makes networking an easy enjoyable experience
- Provides a warm social environment in which to relax and network
- Creating a relaxed yet enthusiastic atmosphere for networking. Providing an opportunity to meet a wide range of other businesses.
- Nurturing relationships
- The meals and conversations at this meal works really well.
- Gets the balance right in terms of providing a networking forum.
- It is exceptionally well hosted. The idea of people being seated at tables for their pitch works well.
- Gives me the opportunity to showcase my business
- Ensuring you have the time to speak to all attendees on your table and get to know their business.
- Great organisation, clear instructions, good food, good timekeeping
- Stages great events.
- Everything. **
- The network lunch.
- Creates a friendly environment for networking
- Enthusiastic welcome by Sean Humby Overall format seems very sound to me.
- Encourage members to attend the events and network effectively
- Help new businesses develop contacts in the local network
- Welcoming, supportive, relaxed, personal attention
- great informal atmosphere, condusive to building relationships for both selling and buying.
- Bringing business persons together
- They really have the interest at heart of the local businesses.
- builds relationship creates a great environment to discussion great networking format interesting seminars
- Encourage new and existing relationships. Spotlight members with seminars and information slots.
Respondents 38% ladies and 62% gentlemen
Well, that’s it!
Warts or should I say pimples and all.
What is great is that are plans afoot to improve the experience for all – visitors can experience 2 events (consecutively) before making the decision to join or not; the payment system is being improved with the added bonus of complimentary events – and that’s just for now!
I trust that this has given you an idea of what Business Network SW members feel and again I use the word, trust that this will give you the confidence to come and experience an event!
You can read more about what people are saying about Business Network SW – What others are saying or look on Twitter, look up @seanhumby or search #BNSW
®Net Promoter Score, Net Promoter and NPS are registered trademarks of Bain & Company, Inc., Fred Reichheld, and Satmetrix Systems, Inc.
The NPS emoticons are registered trademarks of Bain & Company, Inc.