As we come to the 47th and final newsletter of 2016 it is time to look back at the events from a business association perspective and to assess where we are and what progress,if any, we have made.
During the year we have been joined by no fewer than 27 new member companies who had heard about the BHBPA and thought that it might be an organisation worth joining. We hope we can live up to those expectations. Of course, we have lost a few companies during the year, too, and we hope that they will rejoin us at some point just as several former members have rejoined this year.
We have once again held some invaluable and interesting networking events during the year, and we thank all those places who offer to host our events, including this year Ockenden Manor Hotel, Action Press, The King’s Centre, Mid Sussex Golf Club, the Birch Hotel, the Hickstead Hotel, Ridgeview Wine Estate, the Woolpack Inn and Porsche Mid Sussex. They have all welcomed our members and friends in the most hospitable and friendly way and have undoubtedly and unknowingly been the venue for the beginning of many a business deal, link or agreement between companies in the local area.
Speakers at the events have been excellent, and this year we have managed to get to hear about and get an insight into some of the larger member companies, like Edwards, Rockwell Collins and CAE. We hope to continue these popular networking events into 2017, using if possible the same fabulous venues and hoping to attract the same level of support from members as this year.
It is one of the aspects of the BHBPA of which we feel proudest – that we hold regular events which are well supported by members many of whom already know each other from a previous event. It makes the atmosphere very comfortable and unstuffy, and that’s how we like it. We feel as well that we have continued to get to know more of the people who work in companies behind the scenes, especially through fun events like the Warrior Run, which we supported, and the two Quiz Nights, which are always very enjoyable.
In the same vein, we discussed recently that we might make a change and not put on the BHMB exhibition in 2017. This year’s exhibition, in May, which filled the auditorium at the King’s Centre with 75 stands, was probably the best one yet. However, we thought that after eight years it was perhaps time for a change. The Directors came up with the idea that we might put on an awards event instead as our main focus for 2017, and Susan Fleet set about drafting some plans. What we are determined to do is to create an event which is slightly different from other awards events, as we don’t want to simply copy others. We want to get some recognition for lots of people who always work behind the scenes in companies, and we see this event as a good chance for companies to recognise their staff.
To date we have not released the full details as we put them together, but we shall be on the case early in January, when we hope member companies will support the idea. We have booked the prestigious Mayo Wynne Baxter Suite at the Amex Stadium and we intend to have a cracking good evening there on Friday May 5th.
It remains for me to extend my thanks to the Directors of the BHBPA and special thanks to the Chairman Paul Shearing, whose drive, enthusiasm, positivity and humour has been especially helpful to me in this role.
As always this year, any success we have had has been based on word of mouth recommendations from you, the members. We thank you for that, and we hope that you will continue to support us in that way, by spreading the word that the BHBPA provides some support for local business.
I wish you all a lovely Christmas and a prosperous New Year. Many thanks for your support; I hope you will keep reading the newsletters as it makes my job worthwhile.