The Rossendale Business League event today felt as though it’s now taken on its own identity.
I arrived early at the Haslingden cricket ground to meet Paul Turpin and Chris Farnell of Astute Networks for our scheduled 1:2:1. Kelly and Richard where already busy setting up the room. They laid out white table cloths, flowers, pitcher of drinking water and instruction cards. Tables neatly laid out in anticipation of a large crowd.
I had been granted the opportunity to present at this event so with the help of Kelly and Richard we set up the projection equipment.
As Paul, Chris and I sat at the back of the room, people began to arrive and the chatter gradually grew louder.
40 minutes later we joined the main body of people and discovered several new faces. As we took our seats it was noticeable that the numbers were down on previous attendances but the room felt alive.
Rob Heys, MD ASFC opened with an apology and explanation for the unshaved look he was wearing. Something to do with superstition and team results but ‘touch wood’, I didn’t take it on board. I didn’t want to jinx my performance.
Bernie was her usual vibrant self and followed Rob’s introduction with a request for constructive feedback on how League members could get involved with ACCROSS College. Then the ‘networking 1st innings’ began.
As each table captain led the team, ACCROSS media students filmed and took promotional pictures. A video camera was also set up to record individual testimonies. Of the 50 people booked thirty five attended. It never fails to amaze me that I learn something new from a pitch – each time I hear it.
Tim Wareing received unsolicited testimony for the efficiency of his fuel saver, Dave Edler of BBFC promised introductions to the clubs network of Business Supporters. First timer was Paul Mountain, SME Invoice finance and Karen Johnson of FURNITURE COMPONENTS (Kitchen, bedrooms and bathrooms).
I noted how more people seemed at ease sharing their knowledge and expertise. Maureen Askew explained the impact of the budget on families and child care credit system. Sue Lawson outlined SDA offering and looked for partners to fill their ‘skills gap’ – enter Wayne Avanson of the action house, complete with professionally prepared name badge. And this was happening on every table.
I was up straight after the lunch break. My presentation charted the growth in use of debit and credit cards, currently turning over around £390 billion per annum. I then discussed the issue of fraud and measures you can take to reduce the risk of becoming a victim before dispelling some common myths around credit & debit card usage.
My reward for presenting was the honour of making the prize draw, which went to Roni Coutts, Financial Planner at Smith Law & Shepherds.
Jo Fulthorpe nee Evans (in2Business) and Chrissy Pilkington (East Lancs Chamber) addressed the guests as co-sponsors of the event. In the final innings, Bernie concluded with announcements of the next event – Close of play.
Several members stayed back taking notes, swopping cards and making arrangements to meet up. I arranged a 1:2:1 with Suzanne of Square Peg Associates. Chrissy invited Suzanne and I to use the chamber as a meeting venue. Prasanna of Super-Network Solutions ordered a Merchant solution. Anita Shaw, Virtual Assistant invited me to her network group next Thursday and scheduled a 1:2:1.
The extra innings would have continued but Bernie had other ideas. Reluctantly we headed out of the door – a full hour and 5 minutes after the official close.
The Business League initiative goes from strength to strength. While one or two may think that the lower than usual attendance is a negative, consider this: (N=35 attendees) N2 – N/2 = 595 two way connections. 595 potential contacts to tap into, opportunities to grow your business – Owz Att?
Thanks Rossendale Business League.