​bringing professionals together to support and develop the medway towns community

Medway Business Club Launch Event (Friday 28th April, 2017).

The Medway Business Club (MBC) is a not-for-profit organisation with the aim of fostering greater links between business (small and large) and training/educational providers in the Medway area. Its Launch Event on Friday 28th April, at Gillingham Golf Club, which was attended by 70 people, was a great success. Attendees include business and professional people, local schools, colleges, and the University of Kent, and the MBC were delighted that 6th form school students also attended. For my information on the MBC, go to: http://www.medwaybusinessclub.org/

Speakers:

Margaret Wilson, President of the MBC, opened the event with a few words about the club (for quotes, see below).

Margaret was followed Tracey Crouch, MP for Chatham and Aylesford, and Minister for Sport and Hospitality, who noted that such a Club is very much needed in the Medway area and she wished it all the very best and looked forward to seeing it go from strength to strength.

Tracey was followed by ‘The Wiki Man’, Rory Sutherland – the author of a book of the same name. Rory writes a fortnightly column for The Spectator, called “The Wiki Man” - these articles cover his thoughts on technology and the internet.

Rory is one of Britain’s leading advertisers, and an outstanding speaker with the remarkable ability to think outside the box in ways that then seem obvious.

He is the current Executive Creative Director of OgilvyOne, one of the largest advertising agencies in the world.

After graduating in Classics at Cambridge University, Rory joined Ogilvy & Mather where, by his own admission, was notoriously called the “worst graduate trainee that Ogilvy & Mather had ever hired”– but this this not stop him. Despite this shaky career start, Rory is now also Vice Chairman, an attractively vague job title which has allowed him to co-found OgilvyChange, a behavioural science practice. Rory co-heads a team of psychology graduates who look for “butterfly effects” in consumer behaviour - these are the very small changes which can have enormous effects on the decisions people make - for instance tripling the sales rate of a call centre by adding just a few sentences to the script.

After a splendid lunch, the next speaker was Simon Cook, Principal of MidKent College, who pointed out that young people often need a helping hand, and businesses need to recognise that, although the attention span of young people can be short, there are highly creative, flexible and proficient in technology. They have much to offer businesses, and not all need to go on to university – this was a point highlighted by Tracey Crouch too.

Finally, Margaret Wilson, the President and inspiration behind the Club set out its aims and objectives. She had the following to say:

“The event was a great success with many ideas coming from the attendees, one of them being a business market section where businesses can showcase their services and/or products, as well as seek advice from other Club members.”

“On the whole, the feedback was fantastic. The majority of the audience enjoyed the event, there were a couple of people who wanted more networking opportunities but as this was the launch the aim was to inform as many people as possible of the objectives of the club, which I think we done well.  Future events will be held in different venues across Medway, the next one is being held at Priestfied, with Chris Hare from MidKent College presenting a talk on ‘How the College can Support Businesses’, which will be followed by a networking buffet lunch.”

Margaret added the following:

“The Medway Business Club comprises a group of professionals who have the aim of stimulating prosperity in the Medway area by encouraging the business community to support each other to grow. Also, the Club works with the community, and it wants the community to have a voice.”

“One cold November Saturday evening, sipping on a red wine in a local bar, I broke the news to my husband that I was quitting my job, setting up my own consultancy business. As there was not yet a Club to get to know ‘what was what’ and ‘who was who’ in the Medway, it emerged that such a Club was needed. The Club quickly came to life, and the Founding Committee comprised my husband, Philip Corr (Professor of Psychology and go-to person, for me anyway), who was ‘encouraged’ to be the Vice-President; and then, in quick succession, Alex Hyne, as Secretary (Alex is Britain’s youngest magistrate), and Lynsey Atkins as Treasurer – (Lynsey is a newly qualified accountant at Kreston Reeves). Cllr David Carr later joined the Committee, which also includes David Sandys (CDRM Services), Neil Shorthouse (Hospitality Cruise International), Shelley Wilson (Genesis Project) and Sandra Lamb (Bodymind Solutions).”

Margaret went on to say:

“I believe that MBC can work with other organisations and help by filling in the gaps so that we can collectively make a difference to the Medway Towns.  And one of these gaps as I see it, is to engage young people with the business community by inviting them to our meetings.  That way they can build confidence in their communication, their networking skills and they can learn about the varied and wonderful world in which we live.”

“This objective will also give an additional benefit to the Medway networking groups – with the enthusiasm of the young and the experience of the more mature of us here today, we can make a big difference to the future of our businesses, the economy and the Medway Towns community, these young people are our future employees and employers, Alex and Lynsey in particular are testament to this, our young people are to be embraced into our community as soon as possible.”

“Where are we going – the next chapter - will be down to the members. The club is managed by the members for its members – which also means voting in the committee they want to manage their club, which will take place in the not too distant future. The Founding Committee are merely holding the fort at the moment.”

 “So on that note please work with us to help us make a difference wherever we can.”

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The Launch Event - Friday 28 May, 2017