July’s Boardroom Network is always set to be a special one, as, after the success of last year’s event, we left our “home” of the Hallmark Hotel to go on our “summer holidays” at the magnificent Italian Villa. Given the unpredictable weather of the British Summertime, and despite our best weather dances, unfortunately the gods did not smile down upon us which meant this year’s outdoor barbeque breakfast was off the cards.
However! This did not make this year’s event at the Italian Villa any less special as we had a phenomenal 130 people in attendance, a 30% increase on number of attendees from last year’s event. With exclusive use of the airy and spacious Italian Villa’s two exquisite floors plus the beautiful gardens boasting their full summer colours, there was plenty of room to explore the internationally award-winning venue and soak up the exuberant atmosphere whilst networking.
As our charismatic host, Jay Rachet, led everyone to the Medici Suite we were greeted with a grandiose sight of 14 tables already laid for breakfast with crisp white table clothes, a fruit hamper and bread baskets along with the essentials of coffee and orange juice. Despite the amount of people in attendance, breakfast flowed effortlessly as did conversation, whilst business cards were exchanged and the venue was admired.
After the first round table sessions were called to an end, it was then time for our first of three “two minute warmers” to take to the stage, Gerard Maguire of Riverford Organic Farms. Gerard had already sweetened us all with the fruit hampers which he had provided to each table and promoted the importance of supporting local farming. With all the fruit coming straight from local Dorset farms, we could all truly taste the difference and I am sure he has convinced more than one person to order their fruit hampers which can be delivered straight from the door of UK farms to your work place!
Before the second round table discussion could get underway, Ian Siddall of Piddle Brewery took to the stage in a flurry of energy to deliver an impassioned speech in the stylings of Martin Luther King. However, Ian’s “dream” was that our host venue would stock the delicious Piddle Brewery ales which are well loved within the local area .
With such an enigmatic pitch, producing raucous laughter from the entire room, we are sure it won’t be long until guests of the Italian Villa will be enjoying a pint of Piddle Brewery’s finest.
Following on from the productive second round table discussions, it was time for our final “two minute warmer” – Alan Coote of 5 Digital. Alan reached out to the room of 130 experts, explaining the benefits of appearing on his radio show “Let’s Talk Business”, which is aired on over 60 radio stations across the UK.
As always the event was rounded off with thanks to everyone in attendance and the announcement of the monthly champagne, awarded to the member who had introduced the most members. This prize was given to Mark Blunden of Futurum Ltd., however, given the special occasion, the prize giving did not end there!
The next prize, a bottle of Champagne was awarded to Mark Probee of Dynamica Pilates who was chosen as the winner of the competition organised by Vizz Wi-Fi supplier of the The Italian Villa’s Wi Fi Internet access.
Our final prize winner, Daniel Carey of Business & Management Wessex, won a weekends driving experience driving the luxurious BMW of his choice kindly donated by Ridgeway Ltd BMW Dealership represented in the room by Paul Taylor.
As our second annual summer networking event drew to a close, there was time for Tony Beales, Director of Beales Gourmet to thank Jacqui Frampton Director of The Boardroom Network Ltd for bringing TBN back to The Villa. Tony proudly announced that the Italian Villa has been voted by happy customers from across the globe as the most popular wedding venue in the World at the prestigious Wedding Industry Experts Awards. Given the stunning venue and first class service which we were treated with it is easy to see why. We would all like to extend a massive congratulations to Tony and his team.
Overall, despite not being blessed with sunshine, this did not matter as it was clear everyone enjoyed soaking in the luxurious atmosphere of the Italian Villa and the chance to network with over 130 people from across Dorset’s business elite and beyond.
It was indeed a packed house and full on event as is always our aim to complete our busy agenda and finish on time – which indeed we did! Our Thanks again to The Italian Villa for their brilliant adherence to our timings and hosting another phenomenal summer event.
Next month, we shall be returning to our “home base” at the Hallmark Hotel and we look forward to seeing everyone on the Thursday 6th August to continue our monthly networking activities.