AGM fun and games

It has been a busier than usual week.

I’m close to breaking my SLA of a weekly Blog.

I did do a Blog last week – but it wasn’t on this site.

It was for the Brighton & Hove Chamber of Commerce, about their:


I am well into my second year as a Member of the Brighton and Hove Chamber of Commerce.

In my experience there is no such thing as a bad Chamber event.

I have been to the monthly Breakfasts at Carluccio’s, pop-up breakfasts at the New Club and several others, Bite-size Learning events at the Hub and the Sussex County Cricket Ground, Creative Hub sessions on Intellectual Property and Behind the Scenes tours to the Ridgeview Wine Estate and to Brighton’s Sewers (yes really!).

And of course the annual Summit in October 2015 was just amazing!

Get your tickets for this year’s Summit now!

But I don’t have time to go to everything and I had looked at the Chamber AGM event (20 June 2016) at Grand Central and turned the page. I have been to a few AGMs and I have never found them entertaining or social so I was happy to pass this one by. That is until I was asked if I would write a blog of the event for all those that (like me) were not going to make it.

I took the challenge and I’m very glad I did.

The Chamber Team are basically just really good at events. But how to spice up a dreary sounding Annual General Meeting (AGM)?

First, pick a night when no-one has an excuse that it clashes with something else – i.e. Monday. Second, limit the AGM bit to 40 minutes max .Thirdly provide food. Fourthly provide a free glass of wine (or soft drink). Finally, make it a pre-cursor to a challenging but interesting pub-quiz on the Brighton and Hove area; history, landmarks and people.

Now, I am not fan of pub quizzes really as my general knowledge is hopeless but it was another entertaining way to meet new people including a marketing executive from a local casino and an overseas property finance expert. And that is another thing about Chambers events;

You always meet interesting and nice people!

How do they do that?

So, what can I tell you about the AGM?

Carol Lewis has been President for a year and it has been a good one:

  • 223 new members during the year
  • A switch to monthly Direct Debits for membership subscriptions
  • Lots of social media marketing (but I still don’t get Twitter)

The membership is still heavily skewed towards small and medium enterprises but I guess this reflects the business demographics in the area.

I thought I had gone to a lot of their events but Carol reported that the Chamber ran over 80 events across 10 different types in the last year. Wow!

Carol also reported on a wide range of campaigns, service contracts and city events that the Chamber had supported during the year. I’m impressed by the foot-print the Chamber has.

Chris Ford (Board Member), who joined the Chamber team during the year, gave his report on the Chamber finances for 2015 and budgets for 2016 .

Julie Roff (Vice-President), gave a quick run-down on the results of a recent membership survey – all very positive. Julie has a responsibility for events and announced that in 2016 there would be two new types to add to the already busy programme.

The AGM was over pretty quickly. The quiz threatened to encroach on some of the participants plans for watching football elsewhere – They left sharpish at the end – I hope it was worth it.

So, another fun and social event – not so many AGMs can claim that.

Thank you to the whole Chamber team. You do a great job.

Nigel Stock

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