Barclays Bank Boosting Business Seminar at the Hilton Birmingham Metropole

Barclays Bank held a Boosting Business Seminar event at the Hilton Birmingham Metropole over at the NEC last night; this was the second such meeting we have attended with the first being over in Telford some 12 – 18 months ago.


The event ran the same format as previously, using satellite link ups with other meetings groups around the country whereby everyone could watch and listen to high profile MD’s and business owners explain their trials and tribulations in how and why they faced the same issues that many SME’s face.


The speakers last night were Will Whitehorn who helped launch Virgin Galactic for Richard Branson’s Virgin Group and Andrew Gerrie who along with his business partner founded the LUSH brand of shops.


Steve Cooper MD for Barclays Business and Personal Banking Solutions was also in the mix - with them all at some point being asked questions by the people attending the various meetings, with such questions being facilitated via satellite link by award winning business journalist Nadine Dereza.


There were also opportunities within each local meeting whereby a Barclay’s representative organised and advised the format, as well as interviewing a successful local business.


Last night the local entrepreneur being interviewed was Stephen Clarke from the Contact Group whose company has a base in Birmingham City Centre and is behind many of the text messages which parents are now starting to receive from schools advising things like the school being closed due to bad weather, your child being in detention…


Prior to the meeting there was of a course a reception room where everyone could relax and meet each other over a drink and a bite to eat, those in attendance were from wide and varied background with many seemingly now being in a start up position.


We tried to speak to many people whom we had never seen before despite our extensive travels to meetings throughout the west midlands region. It never ceases to amaze how different local people are.


Some people we spoke to do not appear to be organised, and if not organised at least focused as to what they’re doing, by this we mean that some people’s business have developed products which they admit are too costly and they do not know how to sell the products, other people are heading off as start ups in new industries without any background experience, or even background research into where they’re heading.


 Our assumption could be that it was these people who left the meeting half way through, perhaps not seeing any relevance to them or their business – one could say there’s just no helping some people.


Other people who we spoke to were engaging in conversation such as Stephen Clarke from the Contact Group, who was also trying to eat a ham sandwich whilst we were firing questions at him, we had spoken to Stephen before the seminar had started so we had a good idea of his background and his business.


We also came across Mick Davies from Mad Computer Solutions Ltd based over in Rubery whose business is not only in fixing computers but also providing a web development and SEO service.


Mick explained that to avoid any confusion that they are in the process of creating a separate company brand which will help better inform potential customers who require web development and SEO services.


Mike also explained that he loved networking and is the current chairperson of a well established blackcountry networking group.


Towards the end of the night we spoke with Dr Kamran Shaikh whose  company Morgan Reach Accountancy was actually exhibiting at the event; based in Hockley his business provides many accounting services to SME’s as they put it “helping to put practical, affordable and friendly accountancy and taxation solutions for everyday business”.


The event finished and off we headed home to the Black Country, with the view being that the Barclays Events was good and it must be hard to appeal to a high attendance number, as many of those there are potentially blinded by their own issues and problems and perhaps do not see the wood from the tree’s when it comes to listening to others speak – sadly viewing what they hear as having no relevance to themselves.