Noisy but Nice & Hot Plates too…….

I think we can safely say that The Boardroom Network has firmly established itself on the Bournemouth scene. The second meeting of 2014 saw almost sixty of us turn up for a good chat, probing questions and some shared hospitality. This time, we enjoyed the company of four new members and a number of guests.It’s funny how simple things make a difference. The staff and management at the Hallmark have been striving to get everything right for our gatherings. Last month, speaking personally, the edge was taken off my breakfast by cold plates. This month, the Hallmark team had drafted in a plate warmer and seemingly had it set to Nuclear Fusion heat! So no complaints about the fine breakfast this time. I’m sure the skin on my fingertips will grow back soon.

Business was soon underway as we arrived at our first tables. Long-suffering MC Simon Scarborough asserted his control to have us visit the breakfast buffet table by table – all very civilised and much appreciated by the Table Ambassadors. We have to be sure to finish our sustenance in time to start the dialogues around our tables; I failed by about two minutes thanks to an impromptu attack of gluttony. No-one really needs three slices of black pudding!

After the initial and notably noisy chin-wag at the first table, we looked forward to the ‘Two Minute Warmings’. Joannah Bishop of Rocket Digital Media took up the gauntlet and proceeded to fire a thousand marketing questions at us. Most were rhetorical, some searching, others puzzling, and a couple embarrassing because we know we really should be doing that stuff. For the answers to those questions, contact Joannah. As a marketing bod myself, I particularly liked the term “spray and pray” in the context of a typical approach to marketing plannig and budgets. I’ve seen that many times, so good on Joannah for flagging it up.

Warming No.2 saw our favourite Aussie, John Attridge, MD of AJD Group, take to the stage. As well as his company’s large format and sticker printing capabilities, John introduced a new initiative backed by the DWP to help get unemployed and underemployed people back to work. Businesses collaborating in the scheme (over 14,000 of them so far), can engage people for up to 16 hours a week without impacting on the individual’s benefits. Sounds like a great way to add resource while helping deserving people onto the ‘CV ladder’. Call John for more information.

The final slot of the morning was given over to James Sale of Motivational Maps. James gave what sounded like a rather stern presentation but with some very serious numbers – like a 10% to 25% improvement in productivity, using technology to drive turnover and profitability. Who can afford to ignore that kind of opportunity? Motivational Maps solutions are available for individuals, managers, team leaders, HR professionals and coaches. If you didn’t write ‘Maps’ on your business card and hand it to James during the morning, just contact him directly to find out more.

We always enjoy feedback immediately after our events, and would like to publicise it, so be sure to let Jacqui know of interesting conversations or business opportunities observed during the table sessions. One such piece of information is from Graham Down of Burton Sweet Recovery (one of last month’s Two Minute Warmers and a Table Ambassador this month) who happily reports a testimonial from Nicky Matthews ofMedia Box for James McCormish of McComish Insurance Services. In addition, Graham secured himself a meeting with Sophie White of Total Tax Limited.

As is the way of things at TBN, Jacqui addressed the room with her closing remarks. High on the agenda was a proposed change of venue. Simon Scarborough had developed an opportunity to move to the Marriott on the Westcliff – invariably the hostelry of choice for visiting political parties during conference season. Simon had negotiated a price with this fine establishment that fitted the TBN breakfast budget, so Jacqui put it to the room, but cautioned about the issue of parking. Democracy was seen to prevail as, despite the obvious attractions of the Marriott, the difficulty and cost implications of parking clearly made the notion untenable to the majority of members. I think that’s a very interesting issue for a business like the Marriott to sort out – a real constraint on the hotel’s appeal. What are your thoughts? Jacqui may send an email to the membership to gain a more scientific measure. Look out for that.

Finally, Jacqui presented the bottle of Champagne to Caroline Swaine of InXpress Shipping & Freight for coercing the most guests to attend the event! With that, proceedings were closed almost bang on 9-o-Clock, as promised, and we all headed back to the day job.

Till next month. In the meantime, keep the stories and feedback coming. All the best – Steve Chapman of Swordfish, aka TBN Blogmeister.



Joanna Bishop, Rocket Digital Media
John Attridge, AJD Group
James Sale, Motivational Maps
Nicky Matthews Media Box Marketing, Media Box
James McComish McComish Insurance, McComish Insurance Services
Graham Down Burton Sweet Recovery, Burton Sweet Recovery
Sophie White, Total Tax Limited
Caroline Swaine, InXpress Shipping & Freight Consultant



Leave a Reply