Well... What a weekend! It all started on Thursday 27th February when I traveled down to Birmingham for this year's first Networking event and for Frantasia Haze to receive our Small Business Sunday Award from Theo Paphitis. Luckily when I arrived on the Thursday is was quite a nice day, so I had a lovely walk through the city centre before getting to the hotel for a quick relax and coffee.
The main Networking day was Friday with the awards in the afternoon. I wasn't so lucky with the weather this day, so, after battling through the streets of Birmingham in the rain, I made it to the ICC. Windswept, but ready for a full day of networking and presentations. Once I arrived and got my first coffee, it was straight to the first presentation with the Autumn Fair. You could find a few presentations going on around the event but I wanted to see the Autumn Fair presentation as they talked about meeting your market, choosing the right trade events and how to create eye catching trade stands to drive more business, it was a great presentation and I took a lot from it.
It was then a chance to speed network and meet the experts, a chance to meet new businesses and also gain some great business advice. Another coffee down and we are on to the start of the main day, Kypros Kyprianuo opens the event and Theo Paphitis has a small talk before introducing the Google Digital Garage session. I have to say, this presentation was the best of the day, I learnt so much about google, search engines and how to maximize your SEO. Most of my notes from the day are from this presentation and I am still working my way through what I learnt.
The other two Top Topic Sessions had to be from Charlotte Davies, Consumer Communications from LinkedIn and Faye McGuinness, Head of Workplace Wellbeing Programmes at Mind. Two great presentations which I learnt a lot from, firstly with Charlotte Davies for LinkedIn as I haven't actually got a LinkedIn account and never thought about it for the business. But since the presentation and Charlotte explaining more about LinkedIn and it's benefits for businesses, it is on my to do list. And Faye's presentation of Mind and Wellbring introduced a new type of structure I could develop into the business to help day to day organisation and keeping your mind clear and looking after your general Wellbeing. A Big Thank You to both!
Then we are on to more networking, lunch eaten and a celebratory glass of bubbles, which was just perfect. And to finish off the presentations, it was a lovely fireside chat session with Theo and his star guest Sara Davies MBE. It was great to hear more about Sara's business journey and both Theo and Sara gave some invaluable business advice and inspiration.
It was then time for the finale, meeting Theo himself and receiving the Frantasia Haze Small Business Sunday Award. Five minutes that went so fast, I can't really remember what we said to each other, but I just remembered I couldn't stop smiling. Probably a mix of nerves and just a happy buzz for Frantasia Haze, and very much ready for a celebratory drink after a long successful day. Although I still felt slightly windswept and ruffled, it could have been worse...
It was an amazing few days and a fabulous event, I'm so happy Frantasia Haze has been picked by Theo to be apart of this Fabulous group. I got so much invaluable advice from so many business experts and I met some wonderful other businesses, which I hope to possibly work with in the future. An inspiring day and a massive achievement for Frantasia Haze... Super looking forward to what this year continues to bring! I am proudly placing my Frantasia Haze Award on my office studio wall, which as you can see has the perfect space to fill, my office wall is growing with inspiration and work that brings a smile to my face every time I walk in : )
A Big Thank You to everyone who made the Small Business Sunday Event Fabulous and it was amazing to have won and celebrated the 10th year anniversary of the awards with you, I am already looking forward to going next year.