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Marketing events: You Are The Media - Lunchtime Club

I'm not a marketing person, I'm not a sales person, I'm not a creative person, I'm a geeky techie. After 16 years involved in running e-mango I must be doing a few things right, but they are many other things that I could be doing a lot better. That's why events where local business people can meet, gain some insights into each others work and approaches, to learn from each other in an open way and not be all anally competitive about it, are such a useful thing. I also attend the Fastgrowth meetings.

I will give Paul Tansey from Intergage a shoutout as he is someone that I like what he says and more importantly, how he says it. He is one of the nicest guys I have met in business and runs a very successful business with a great team around him. Who says you have to be ruthless in business to do well?

Coming back off the recent Once Upon A Time event held by Mark Masters, having seem him present in a very interesting and likeable way at a recent Intergage event, I decided to book myself to one of this You Are The Media - Lunchtime Club meetings. It only costs a few pounds but that basically covers lunch. You do not get sold to, no one his pitching to you, you listen in and more importantly join in. Take some learnings from it, and try and put something back in.

Mark's mantras are all about "You are the media", story telling with your brand, and being passionate about something.

Read more: Marketing events: You Are The Media - Lunchtime Club

More Rum night insights

Peter Holland held another Rum night in the Library of Liquor, this time focussing on the rums from Guyana. His previous rum nights have been a kind of Rum 101 broad overview to get people into understanding the differences in making rum and the different historical perspectives.

This time Peter made the introduction but settled back stage to allow brand ambassadors Dean MacGregor (El Dorado Demerara Rum) and Stephen Rutherford (Woods Navy Rum) to do the main event of talking us through tasting of the various rums rums from Guyana.

Read more: More Rum night insights

Once upon a time 6 - storytelling brands

Last year I missed out on the Once Upon A Time event that hosts a quartet of speakers who talk about what their brand means to them and how they built it up. Their story, hence the title, is much more than the product or service. It is about where they came from, what they stand for and the future.

The crux of these events, that Mark Masters from the ID Group puts on, is to show the importance of the company story and values, and the content that can be derived from that rather than the dry product information. The marketing approach and content approach has to touch a potential customer in a much more different than your competitors.

I unfortunately missed last year's event but was glad to have made it to this one held once again at the Shelley Theatre. This year there were these four speakers...

The show started off with Ernest Capbert, co-founder of Who Buys Your Stuff and previously co-founder of Finisterre. A colourful character, as they all are, and colourful as his language. It was all real, no airs or graces. Through sheer determination and not a great deal of understanding of their customers, Finisterre built a huge global brand and defined the Cold Water Surf scene. It was through the realisation that when asked who were their customers spending all this money on their products, the management team just didn't know, or had an assumption on a romanticised version of who they think are buying it, or who they would like to be buying it.

Read more: Once upon a time 6 - storytelling brands

I thought this was 2016 and not the 1980s…

I’ve heard many strange things in business but this week has been particularly peculiar and then outright shocking when I have had chance to digest things.

Whilst I may have my faults and weaknesses in business and in life, and success can be judged on many different relative levels, one thing that I do pride myself in is that I never want to act like a **** to anyone. (insert any appropriate four letter word you would like to use) I aim to act fair and ethically whilst maintaining a friendly and diverse work environment.

This week we had a supplier on site, someone we are paying for the service if not necessarily the pleasure of doing work for us. This was the second time they have been here, and it is actually an individual I am taking to task here rather than the whole company. During the first time, we thought this person’s interpersonal skills were a bit odd and slightly inappropriate at times, but we were heavily focussed on the task at hand. Time passed by when that piece of work finished, but it wasn’t forgotten.

So, come the second visit, the behaviour was much more noticeable and much more uncomfortable for a member of staff, and uncomfortable for me to see.

During his time here his interaction with women in general seemed to be different than towards men, an in particular with a member of staff from Eastern Europe, making quite pointed remarks along the way beyond what could be considered social niceties and chit-chat.

The final straw for me was during our closing meeting he mentioned Brexit and how that would affect the business as this person would need to leave the country. My member of staff calmly pointed out that it would be unlikely to affect people that are already here and working in any case. This is person had the gall to mention not if Nigel Farage got his way.

Having been caught slightly off guard and a little shocked, as is my nature I tried to make light of the situation. However, afterwards we did bring this to the full attention of the supplier and the matter is being dealt with.

For me, as a British Born Chinese person, to have someone in my office directing comments about people having to leave the country to my member of staff is very distasteful. It wasn’t like it was relevant or part of a wider socio-economic discussion, this was IT and business processes. Previous directed comments had included how well they spoke English and how we do things differently in this country. I am very lucky to have been able to taken on someone highly educated, having done a Masters at Bournemouth University, hardworking and fitted so easily into the team, where other “home-grown” applicants have fallen short on even the basics. Thank to the EU, this attitude and approach can help all small businesses and has been a positive impact on us.

The talk of people needing to leave the country was the mantra of the National Front and its thugs whilst I was growing up during the 70s and 80s, in a parochial English town. Being on the receiving end of that vile rhetoric is not a pleasant experience as a child but to have it invoked whilst giving the name of Nigel Farage any credence or validity, in my office is one step too far.

That individual will certainly never be back at our offices nor will that attitude ever be accepted here.

The incident made me recall the time when I was being interviewed in Birmingham by one of the Top-4 accountancy firms during my last year at university, whether my parents were part of the Triads. I thought it might have been one of those interview techniques where they through you a curve ball to see what happens. No, they were just being a ****, insert your own word here.

Heck, it was the 80s after all….

Unlike that time, at least this time I was able to say something, be heard and have something done about it.

Roots Restaurant in Southbourne

Thought I would just quickly post up this collage from when we recently went to the Roots Restaurant over at the other end near Southbourne Crossroads.

We want to go back another time and try out their tasting menu. The food looks fantastic and tasted great.