Start your day with a Shimmy!

Abi Wightman presentation at TBN Summer BBQ 2017

Our annual Summer visit to The Italian Villa did not disappoint with clear blue skies and warm sunshine. Unfortunately, this wasn’t what was forecast and we had to make a judgement call on having the tables inside, with vivid memories of what happened last year!

After some informal pre-breakfast networking in the beautiful gardens, spirits were definitely not dampened by moving indoors and we all enjoyed the enthusiastic and upbeat table sessions, including a spontaneous Mexican Wave of clapping and cheering! The breakfast, as ever, was delicious, with many thanks to Tony Beales and his efficient and attentive team. A perfect introduction to The Boardroom Network to our 45 visitors and thoroughly enjoyed by the 75 members. Record numbers for a fabulous event.

The morning was packed with presentations, with our MC Jay Rachet having his work cut out keeping everyone to time.

First up was Tony Beales himself with The Italian Villa Commercial Manager, Justin Cohen. Justin told the story of how The Italian Villa saved the wedding of Gemma & Sean, thanks to networking. They had booked their wedding in June with another venue which, with no notice at all, shut its doors. Thanks to TBN members Chris Palmer & Darren Northeast who tagged Justin into the story which was published in the Daily Echo. From this, Justin contacted the couple and was able to offer the Villa facilities for the date they required. Justin offered thanks for helping him to help them. Tony then read out the testimonial given by the couple who were eternally grateful. Justin then announced that there is some availability at the Villa in January & February next year – look out for more details in an email from Jacqui.

Our second speaker, fresh from her triumphant appearance at Strictly Business Dancing was Becky Craig from Blu Lake. Becky learned how to street dance for the occasion, raising money for charity, and she described how she drew parallels between being in business and learning to dance. First, was that it’s good to have a clear vision of where you want to go and what you want to do but that it’s also ok to go with the flow and make mistakes, some of which might actually improve your performance. Secondly, Becky had her own strengths for the performance – energy, enthusiasm and sense of rhythm – so stick to your strengths but be prepared to stretch your limits. Thirdly, she had been giving a set of judging criteria and was delighted to see that 35 of the 45 points to be awarded were based on attitude, commitment and growth through the process. Whatever the result, Becky felt proud of her performance. What she learned from this was that in business we need to pay attention to feedback but also to trust our instincts to do what’s right for us. Good luck to Becky as she speaks at the 50 Plus show in London next week and thanks to the TBN members who volunteered to do a short piece to camera for Becky talking about the legacy they would like to leave behind.

Sharon Canning from Move On Sales & Lettings followed the table swap. She started by sharing a recent poll which put Estate Agents at 21 out of the 25 most respected professions, just above politicians and journalists! Sharon spoke from personal experience about the poor service she has received from other Estate Agents during her own house buying process. She was born in Poole and has excellent knowledge of the local area. Move On has won multiple awards, Sharon presents a local radio show and writes a monthly column for House magazine. As she said “if you’re looking to rent, sell, buy or invest, then choose Move On because we are the best!”

A highly visual presentation from Abi from Daze Entertainment, a TBN Solent member followed. Abby supplies entertainment for weddings, festivals, awards ceremonies, product launches or kids events, providing people, musicians, magic and dancers etc. Two of her team are flying out to Africa today to do some fire shows & three aerial performers attended a garden party earlier in the week. Abi is an exponent of Burlesque and wanted to explain how some of these techniques can be adapted for business. Three plucky volunteers assisted her by dressing up with feather fans and headdresses to demonstrate three tips:

  1. When you are networking, posture is important – check your shoulders, stand upright, look approachable and confident
  2. Eye contact is essential, be commanding and lock eyes, not deep into both eyes but check they are looking back at you
  3. The Shimmy – we should all start our day with the shimmy to get us in the right mood! Roll your shoulders forward and back but no shrugging.

Dave from TBN Advantage had the unenviable task of following Abby but he rose to the occasion by starting off his presentation by asking how many of the audience felt they were sceptical. He outlined the many benefits of having an Advantage account. Jay Rachet then stepped forward to talk about how he has already benefitted from Fuel Cards which has saved him 5p on a litre of fuel. In addition, he signed up for Experian Leads and targeted charities with information of his services. He received 50 sales leads which converted into two paid jobs. As he repeatedly reminded us “5 minutes of your time, people!” He will be chasing you on Tuesday!

Jay closed the meeting by telling his own story of how diverse his life is. 5 years ago, he was a teaching assistant, playing football with the children at lunchtime. He then travelled to London by train, as he also worked for Sony UK, to attend a party for Sean Paul at Kensington Roof Gardens with the great and the good of the record industry. After this, he travelled back home to pick his wife up from Poole Hospital. He wanted to let everyone know that anything is possible if you put your mind to it!

The next TBN Solent Meeting is on Friday 21st July. TBN Bournemouth is back at the Hallmark Hotel on Thursday 3rd August.