News: Best of Times at Ockenden Manor

Posted on 14th November 2018

Earlier this week we held our Members event at Ockenden Manor. I believe this is the eleventh time we have held an event at this fabulous hotel and the hospitality has always been first class, as indeed it was on Monday this week. We thank the management and staff at the hotel for their generosity, patience and their wonderful service in hosting this event for us.

People began to arrive as early as 3.30, with Jaffer first off the blocks.  I had been there getting organised since 3.15 and thus I encountered Stuart Ritchie, the speaker, for the first time. By 4pm we had a throng in the large room, taking advantage of the lovely drinks and refreshment on offer on arrival. Networking was in full swing by the time Phil Cooper arrived on his motor bike at 4.10, and it continued until I called a halt at 4.20 so that we could hear the presentation by Stuart.

The twenty minute talk was on the subject “Seven Common Mistakes People Make in Networking” and proved to be both useful and amusing.  Stuart has an easy manner which makes it very comfortable for the audience.  He ran through the common mistakes and made use of several audience members to illustrate key points. Among other topics he spoke about the differences between ‘hunters’ and ‘farmers’.  He told of the folly of thinking that in just one event you could tell that ‘this won’t work’ of ‘there’s nothing for me here’.

The audience responded well and several questions were tackled before the advent of the food caused me to end te discussion and order people to sample the refreshment on offer.  As predicted, and as always, it was delicious.  I lost count of how many people there remarked on the fact that the food was delicious! Networking with food and drink is always advisable as long as you don’t spit food or spill drink, and as far as I could tell everyone escaped unsullied.

By 6.30 the numbers left had dwindled, and we were down to the lod regulars holding the fort. The atmosphere was warm, friendly and completely condusive to ‘getting a contact or two’.  The conversation was easy, and it gave me great pleasure to see good people enjoying themselves whilst working.  Once again, thanks to those who came along and, of course, to Stuart, the speaker, and to Adam, Victoria and the staff at Ockenden Manor.

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""BHBPA is a really well organised and run group, great for networking and benefitting from knowledgeable local speakers with real business insight. Peter brings enthusiasm and humour which helps drive the association forward. I am glad to be part of it.""

Dave Farmer, German Translator
(Dave Farmer & Co)

"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

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Peter Hook, Manager
(Computer Systems Engineers)

"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. "

Steve Cridland, CEO
(Burgess Hill Town Council)