Posted on 25th February 2016
This week members and friends gathered at the Best Western Birch Hotel for the second event of 2016, a breakfast meeting generously hosted by the Management of the Birch. On a cold morning in Brighton, I came over the Downs to see a white blanket of frost over the whole of Mid Sussex. It would not have been a surprise to hear of a few people not being able to make the meeting. However, the turnout was amazing, greater in fact than we had anticipated. So credit and thanks to all of those who came along.
For 40 minutes or so, with coffees and teas in hand, and with Danish pastries and bacon rolls to be consumed, the buzz of chatter and networking was extraordinary. We love the fact that so many people now feel comfortable at events, knowing that there will always be someone there who they have met before.
After Steve Powell (Fresh Display) and Paul Williams (Rewards TRC) had saved the day by solving a technical problem, the Coordinator welcomed every one and reminded all of some forthcoming events which needed support. These included the March 15th Quiz Night and the May 6th Exhibition. Great news of the gallant 42 who had signed up for the Warrior Run was transmitted and then the speaker was introduced.
Mark O’Shea is a Partner at law firm Rawlison Butler, who have been members of the BHBPA for a couple of years. He is a commercial contracts lawyer specialising in all commercial agreements including agency, distribution, franchising and supply of goods contracts and outsourcing. He also specialises in technology and e-commerce, data protection, licensing of intellectual property rights and competition law.
In half an hour he gave us four examples of the sort of cases with which he deals, and he delivered the information in a way which made it interesting and even amusing. Among other issues he told us of some of the legal problems concerning intellectual property rights. I suspect that some in the room, like me, were a little baffled at some of the complexities of the legal issues but Mark certainly succeeded in making it accessible and interesting for all those in attendance.
After questions the meeting was closed and socialising continued for some time before everyone had drifted off back to work for the day. Many seem to feel that a networking breakfast is a good way to begin the day, and initial feedback was very positive.
We thank Mark for his input and also the hotel staff for their impeccable hosting of the event.
"“Sutton Winson have been members of the BHBPA for around 7 years. We have found it a great way to keep in touch with Burgess Hill businesses and to meet with likeminded people. It’s not just another “networking” group, as it tackles the real issues and gets things done”"
"“We have been members of BHBPA from its inception, and seen the organisation steadily grow and expand into the dynamic entity it is today, bringing positive benefits to all its members.""
"This association was started with a lot of effort from a few local businessmen and has proved to be a very powerful and useful tool for our business. The BHBPA has influence at the top level; when action is needed, the BHBPA gets it done. We are kept in touch with all that is happening on our doorstep and will often act because of what is published in the weekly emails / newsletters."
"If Carlsberg did networking they would do it the BHBPA way. Each event is packed with great ideas, thought provoking presentations and fun. As a small business we feel supported and part of the community. We have built friendships and business relationships and there is always plenty of advice on hand to benefit us all so don’t hesitate to join whatever the nature of your business. "