Expo, Awards and the future – by the Chamber’s CEO Steven Holbrook

There have been an awful lot of changes happening at the Chamber these past few months. I wanted to pause and take a moment to share some of these with you and also give a taste of the initiatives to come.

The recent Expo received only positive feedback, it sold out early and had the highest visitor numbers ever, making it a tremendous success for the businesses who participated, but also a productive time for those who visited. It was inspiring for me to see so many Island businesses represented and representing what they do. What a diverse and talented group we enjoy here!

The Awards are still a month away, but with more than double the number of submissions this year, it promises to be a highly competitive process. Some major Island businesses will be going head to head, so it’s certainly a significant challenge posed for the judges this year.  For me, more encouraging than who wins, is how many new businesses have engaged, not just with the Chamber, but in analysing and assessing their own business in a different way.  Regardless of the outcome of a nomination, each business who has taken the time to compete will already be better for it.

Unfortunately with so many applications there will be a high number of people who will have a level of disappointment – if that’s you, please come back with a fighting spirit to knock the judge’s socks off next year and show them what they missed. That sort of channelled energy can be very positive and powerful.

Our Patron scheme has been launched and has been very well received with a lot of positive feedback and interest gained from across the membership, with people excited about the opportunities it offers them and their business.  There will be a lot more detail about our first Patrons and the announcement of our Gold Patron very shortly.

The new format for our networking breakfast was really enjoyable and was well received. I know I personally got a lot from the excellent talk by Dale Howarth and I’m keen to be at the next to know about how I can help protect myself against cyber security threats next month. This is such a major threat and issue of the day and I really encourage people to go and learn the lessons as they could prove priceless for you in the future.

Our new free breakfast event (tea, coffee and toast) will be launched soon, meeting the need for greater networking, but ensuring we are offering a wider product offering for all our members. This new, additional breakfast will be just one of a whole host of new initiatives being launched in the New Year. A taster of what’s to come includes monthly lunches and evening events as well as a large and very comprehensive training package, offering something to everyone to enrich and grow themselves and their business.

With so much going on and so much positive energy, I’m happy to say this has also seen our membership grow by over 60 new members in the past three months.  There is an awful lot going on in the Chamber right now. Please come and be involved and join us, whether that’s engaging more as a member or joining as a non-member looking in.  Thanks to everyone for your support.

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