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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Testimonials

"“I can’t speak highly enough of the BHBPA. As a small local business we feel very much part of a community and thoroughly enjoy the annual exhibition and meetings throughout the year. Over the years we have built fantastic working relationships with many BHBPA members and every meeting and event offers us opportunities to work with more. This is networking at its best! ” "

Judi Arditi, Director
(Travail Employment Group)

"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)

"As the local hospice for the area, it’s great that we receive so much support from the BHBPA. Last year the members raised an amazing £2150 through activities such as Bake Off and the BHBiz Awards. Each well planned members meeting enables good networking opportunities and speakers that are relevant to the present climate and local issues. We are proud to be members of BHBPA."

Wendy Agate, Community Fund Raising Manager
(St Peter & St James Hospice)

"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)