News: A Glimpse of the Future at OM

Posted on 22nd November 2017

Ockenden Manor Event Nov 20th 2017

The event earlier this week at Ockenden Manor was a great success, and I feel certain that those 43 members and friends in attendance will have agreed with that assessment. The hospitality OM offers us is just fantastic and the setting could hardly be better.

On arrival the staff were only too willing to help with setting up for our presentations. Professor Karen Cham from Brighton University arrived in good time, as did Dan Soames, a lawyer from Sherrards Employment Law.  With a little help from Jaffer we managed to set up and people began to arrive.

After tea and coffee, we set off with Professor Cham leading off. She spoke at length about the Digital Catapult, a government sponsored initiative in which the University of Brighton has a key role. The technical and scientific aspects of this digital future were largely beyond my comprehension, but many in the audience were intrigued by the prospect of small businesses being able to get involved in the enormous possibilities involved. After a few questions, Karen had to dash off as she is clearly a very busy person. We thank her for giving up time to come and present to our members.

Dan Soanes took us through the main implications of GDPR, the new regulations coming next May to cover data protection. This was interesting to companies of course, as all will have some data stored which may affect clients and for which they are responsible. He took us through a number of ways in which things might change, but the feeling I was left with was that, if common sense prevailed, then most businesses would only be affected in small ways by the new regulations.  As in so many things, future changes are often not as scary as they appear to be, but we do need people like Dan to reassure us that all will be well if we take reasonable precautions.

After the presentations lots of members stayed around to network, meet new people and to enjoy the delicious food on offer along with a glass of wine or beer. It created a lovely atmosphere in the main restaurant at the hotel, and as always we are grateful to the management for affording us such a splendid welcome. I chatted to lots of people there and was left feeling that most had enjoyed the evening and found many aspects of it useful for their social and business life.

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"“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”"

Bruce Millington, Manager
(Sutton Winson Ltd)

"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."

Steve Mooney
(Steven Mooney Machinery)

"I am delighted to have a long-standing relationship with the BHBPA. Since its foundation the Association has gone from strength to strength and there is no doubt that it has brought huge benefits to its members and the business community as a whole through the partnerships it has formed with the local authorities, Sussex Police and local organisations. It is paramount that Burgess Hill businesses have an effective collective voice."

The Hon Nicholas Soames MP

"“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.""

Peter Hook, Manager
(Computer Systems Engineers)