May the fourth be with you

It may have been Star Wars Day but luckily our 78 members and guests avoided the dark side by arriving at the Hallmark Hotel in Bournemouth bright and early. We enjoyed some enthusiastic networking and a delicious breakfast which helped us to fight the forces of evil and concentrate on the other good and righteous TBN folk.

This month:

Our first presentation was from Richard Mack from RT Promotions, who gave some fine examples of how his company is doing something different in the field of corporate gifts. After outlining the types of products we all know about like branded workwear, pens and coffee mugs, he talked about some of the most unusual yet effective types of giveaway. For instance, lego men made for the NHS where the heads come off, a solar powered, blinking keyring and mints in a blister pack made to look like pills for an IT company whose message was ‘we take away your IT headache’. Richard then gave a hot tip: if you work with a web company who have created your logo and branding, make sure you ask for a ‘eps’ or ‘ai’ file or vectored artwork. Also, find out what the ‘pantone’ colour is for the ones used in your branding. This is really helpful when it comes to making sure your merchandise matches your branding.


Tom Hadley from Agency Interface followed by asking how many of us think that marketing is risky. He says it doesn’t need to be that way and that everything is provable. He also recommended that if we ever hear people talking about marketing as an unknown to challenge them and ask why can’t it be proved?

On Friday12th May Tom is running a Marketing Masterclass at the Hotel Terravina in Netley Marsh, New Forest it is a half day event at which you can learn how to use marketing intelligence to your business advantage. Contact for more details.


Chris Palmer from Anytech Solutions stated that he believed  IT is an incredible tool that can transform a business. But he asked us to think about our clients and how we communicate with them, to think of their journey. For instance, do we bombard them with emails, do they get a real person or voicemail when they phone, are our reports clear? When we look at what we do from the customer’s perspective, it will give us answers that could be improved by the use of off-the-shelf IT tools that could fundamentally change the client journey. As a result, we look more professional and become more integral to their business, and more important and influential in how they do business.


Our final speaker was Dave Fitzgerald from An Evening With, a company that is modernising the sporting speaker experience and dinner circuit. They run a fundraising division called Lashing All Stars, who are the Harlem Globetrotters of Cricket, and on 16th June there will be charity event with the likes of cricketing legends Timo Best, Gordon Greenwich, Devon Malcolm, John Embury & Monty Panesar. This involves a corporate lunch, comedy & music plus great networking opportunities followed by a game of 20/20 Cricket in aid of the Lashing Foundation and Macmillan Cancer Care.


Jay closed the meeting by welcoming new members Oliver Bramford and Clive Thorp.

The next TBN Solent Meeting is on Friday 19th May and TBN Bournemouth is back at the Hallmark Hotel on Thursday 1st June. The TBN Solent Summer Luncheon Event will be held on Friday 16th June at Chilworth Manor – details will be distributed next week.

John Parrett from Fox Tailoring will be staging A Summer Lifestyle Show in aid of Dorset Cancer Care Foundation event at the Vitality Stadium on Wednesday 17th May at 4.30pm – details on Eventbrite

Tara Howard also advised that entries are now open for the Venus Awards

Star Wars image courtesy of