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.
"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."
"The BHBPA is the most effective and dynamic business organisation I have ever worked with in over 30 years in Local Government. It has a very active and large membership whose points of view are taken seriously by all government structures. Peter Liddell does an excellent job in providing unique and enjoyable networking opportunities where members interact and discuss points of mutual interest. It provides a forum for businesses to discuss common issues, to share experiences and to play a powerful and meaningful role in the Burgess Hill community. The BHBPA provides important and credible support for all its members and ensures that their best interests are represented where necessary. "
"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. "
"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."