Career highlight

Chair, business events

Chairing the Gloucestershire: Then, Now and Next business breakfast for Insider

Regional business events organised by Insider Media are free to attend and worthwhile for many reasons, not least of which is networking. During my period as editor of South West Business Insider, I chaired three different types of event, and met some interesting people in the process.

Round-table discussions

These typically involved 10-12 people around a table, discussing different aspects of a single topic. The main task as the chairperson is to make everyone comfortable, to encourage debate, and ensure everyone has the opportunity to contribute. Afterwards, I would write a summary of the event to publish in the magazine or online.

Breakfast events

Held in front of an audience of 60-80 people, breakfast events featured five or six speakers — typically business owners, managing directors and professionals. My job was to ask questions of the panellists, individually and collectively, and then open up the discussion to audience questions. My preparation included researching the topic, writing a script, and briefing speakers. Some of the breakfast events I chaired:

  • South West Manufacturing Champions (Swindon)
  • Technology and the Future Workforce (Bristol)
  • Gloucestershire: Then, Now and Next (Gloucester)
  • South West Cyber Security Breakfast (Berkeley)
  • Dorset Business Growth (Ferndown)

 

Live interviews

A couple of events I chaired were slightly different in that the interviews I conducted on stage were as much about the people as business matters. It was essential not only to find out about the person’s life and career but to check the information with them beforehand. It’s amazing how often facts in the public domain can be wrong, and also how quickly things change — when companies are growing fast, last year’s turnover and profit figures are quickly superseded. These are the events, with the interviewees listed:

Powering Business

Interviewees: James Potten (The Curve), Rob Law (Magmatic), Arthur Hindmarch (Commercial Group), Nick Hurst (Artemis Optical)

42 under 42

Interviews: including on-stage interviews with Heather Frankham (Whiteoaks Capital) and Chris Morling (money.co.uk)