Our first “mini” Leader Circles event took place on Thursday 3rd of March at Basepoint’s Business Centre in Basingstoke. The venue comprised of a wonderful light filled meeting room which was well equipped with all the presentation aids we required.
So we were off to a good start there, but what makes a Leader Circles event really great is the people. At Basingstoke we had a marvellous group of people ranging from entrepreneurs who were just starting out to others with businesses that have been up and running for many years. All this diversity and experience made for some rich conversations about what works and doesn’t work in business.
A central feature of all Leader Circles is the “clinic” section where the participants share their “hot” topic for the day and break into smaller groups to brainstorm ideas and solutions. This group of Leader Circles participants chose to focus on marketing.
During the breakout session, we covered a lot of ground including:
- Email marketing and the related difficulties
- Social media and how to use it more smartly
- Networking best practice
- Building customer trust
- The power of telling stories
- Identifying your customer and establishing how you can reach them
- Discussing the benefits of using a ‘free to fee’ model
There was a fantastic breadth of knowledge in the room with people sharing what did and didn’t work for them. Later, in the informal section, we had the chance to find out more about each person’s business. What a vibrant and varied set of businesses there were!
Yogesh, from Right Cue Consulting, made our hair curl describing some of the horrors of cyber-crime. Rob and Harald from Yuno Media inspired us with their ambitious plans for a Lead Generation & Outsourcing Platform (Tender Loving Companies) . Heather and Theresa shared PETA’s plans to expand their training courses up to the Basingstoke area. Gordon Hewitt, from CMB Technologies, explained to how to use stories to really connect with people, while Beverley, Essential Empowerment Reiki, shared how her free work transformed into paid work. Phil Jones explained how partnerships helped him build a really customer focused business and John Burke, explained the power of getting out there and meeting the customers where they live.
After the event we had great feedback with many expressing a view that they would have liked more time to raise their issues which is great, because a full Leader Circles event is longer and allows participants to share and generate solutions, thereby making attendance even more worthwhile.
Here are a few things the participants said:
“Great concept. Good to network in a relaxed environment with a high variety of companies.” Theresa Harvey, PETA ltd, www.peta.co.uk
“Wish there was more time.” John Burke, Detect fire and Security, www.detectfs.co.uk/
Phil Jones from Dynamic Maintenance told us it was useful, he liked the informal discussion and he would recommend the event to others. www.dynamicresourcing.co.uk
“Eye-opening ideas” Beverley from Essential Empowerment Reiki
“Great to kick-start networking events” Harold, Yuno Media
“…we liked your approach but the time was quite short. I would love to attend a full day workshop with LeaderCircles and bounce off more ideas with peers.” Sonal & Yogesh, Right Cue, Finance and IT consulting company
“Got people talking. Topic generated by group made it personal for attendees” Heather Williams, PETA ltd, www.peta.co.uk
Thanks again to everyone who took part. We hope to see you in April!