The first Members Event of the New Year was held earlier this week at Hickstead Hotel on a very cold winter morning. I left home in temperate Brighton only to discover a very hard frost north of the Downs and some icy roads as I arrived at the Hotel.
However, the early start and below zero temperatures were not enough to deter most of those who signed up for breakfast and some networking. The numbers sitting down to listen to the speaker were near fifty, which is a brilliant effort on a cold morning in January.
The presentations begun with and introduction from the Co-ordinator, who gave out details of the BHBiz Awards programme which is replacing the BHMB Exhibition for 2017. He explained the reason for the change and encouraged members to get involved in nominating people in local companies for awards. He also appealed for companies to sponsor the award categories at very reasonable prices.
Jon Lavelle is a local guy who lives in Burgess Hill and is an expert in the art of negotiation. He has trained professionals from a whole range of fields in all parts of the world. He travels to many countries and has also written two books about the subject of negotiation skills.
In a lively interactive style he spent 45 minutes plucking the answers to questions from the audience, who were very quickly awake, alert and contributing. He gave us interesting and humorous examples of how people negotiate, how they feel when doing so and how their motives and emotions are changing while this is happening. The time just flew by as everyone seemed to be engaged by his quick-fire approach, and before you knew it the time was up and, as he put it, “we could spend two more hours on this topic”.
He was indeed an excellent presenter, lively and animated, with lots of funny stories to relate and an easy charm which endeared him to people.
After the presentation ended many people stayed on for more coffee and croissants and, crucially, more chances to network. There was a wonderful buzz about the room until well after 10am, which is exactly how we like it to be. Reluctantly, the last ones struggled off to work to start their day.
Our thanks go to Giles and his staff for all their hard work in putting it on for us, and for being so helpful and willing. Giles is currently recovering from a knee replacement operation, so wasn’t able to be there unfortunately. We wish him a very speedy recovery.
Thanks, too, to all those members and friends who came to the meeting and made it such a success. Your support is very much appreciated at these events.