What has Peter been up to this week?

The Peterborough Evening Telegraph - - Etbusiness -

Mon­day My role as mem­ber­ship devel­op­ment of­fi­cer means that as well as be­ing the first point of con­tact for po­ten­tial and ex­ist­ing mem­bers, I also get in­volved in many of the 150 events the Cham­bers of Com­merce or­gan­ises across the county each year. This morn­ing kicks off with a de­brief with our co-or­gan­is­ers and spon­sors of the Hunt­ing­don­shire Busi­ness Fair which we held at Wood Green An­i­mal Shel­ter last week. It’s the fifth year the event has taken place and was def­i­nitely our most suc­cess­ful yet. Then it’s off to Ely to set up for an­other Cham­ber ex­hi­bi­tion, the first of its kind to be held in the area, be­fore mov­ing on to The Cut­ter Inn where we hold one of our nine in­for­mal net­work­ing evenings ev­ery month. They’re free to at­tend and open to any­one, so are the per­fect op­por­tu­nity for me to tell lo­cal com­pa­nies about the ben­e­fits of join­ing the Cham­ber. Tues­day It’s back to Ely to help the Cham­bers’ events team get ev­ery­thing fi­nalised for the busi­ness ex­hi­bi­tion, with a few spare mo­ments spent an­swer­ing e-mail queries from prospec­tive mem­bers and ar­rang­ing ap­point­ments to visit com­pa­nies ea­ger to know what join­ing the cham­ber could do for them. There’s a good turnout with more than 150 peo­ple through the door and I have a very busy af­ter­noon on the Cham­bers’ own stand, tak­ing time out only to in­tro­duce a se­ries of sem­i­nars be­ing held on a range of topics rel­e­vant to lo­cal busi­nesses. One of them is on the ben­e­fits of en­ter­ing busi­ness awards, and I draw on my own re­cent ex­pe­ri­ences as a judge to ex­plain to the po­ten­tial en­trants ex­actly what the judg­ing panel will be look­ing for. Wed­nes­day Fi­nally I’m back in the of­fice with a lit­tle spare time to take stock be­fore a trip into the city cen­tre to meet with a lady who wants to hear what join­ing the Cham­ber would of­fer her com­pany. She’s look­ing for new ways to raise her com­pany’s brand aware­ness and signs her com­pany up on the spot. The copy dead­line’s fast ap­proach­ing for the Cham­bers’ monthly mag­a­zine, Your Net­work, so I spend the af­ter­noon on the phone with some of our new­est mem­bers en­cour­ag­ing them to sub­mit ar­ti­cles about their own com­pa­nies and end up writ­ing a few my­self. Then it’s over to Char­ters for our reg­u­lar in­for­mal net­work­ing evening – we’ve held them twice a month in the bar on Char­ters Boat for the last two years. It’s got a great at­mos­phere and we al­ways get a good turnout and var­ied mix of peo­ple com­ing along to broaden their net­work of busi­ness con­tacts. Oh, and it’s free! Thurs­day It’s an early start at the Queens­gate Ho­tel for one of our sa­fari net­work­ing break­fasts. The Cham­ber or­gan­ises one of these events ev­ery 2-3 weeks across Cam­bridgeshire and they’re pop­u­lar be­cause they’re struc­tured, giv­ing ev­ery­one their chance to speak, but the for­mat means that you never have to ad­dress more than one ta­ble of peo­ple at a time. Def­i­nitely good if you’re daunted at the thought of a room full of peo­ple. Then it’s back to the of­fice to ac­tion some emails, fol­low up some mem­ber­ship en­quiries and catch up with col­leagues who are busy book­ing var­i­ous venues and speak­ers for a num­ber of events they have com­ing up in the months ahead. They are al­ready plan­ning a se­ries of sem­i­nars that are go­ing to take place within Busi­ness Fo­cus on Oc­to­ber 13. The ex­hi­bi­tion is cel­e­brat­ing its 10th an­niver­sary this year so those in­volved are pulling out all the stops to make it the most suc­cess­ful ever. I leave them all hard at it and head off to Wis­bech to ex­hibit at a Meet the Buyer event or­gan­ised by Fen­land District Coun­cil. Fri­day To­day is a day full of mem­ber vis­its as I travel across Peter­bor­ough meet­ing with a few com­pa­nies who have shown an in­ter­est in join­ing the Cham­ber and a cou­ple who are al­ready mem­bers but just want to hear about how they can be­come more in­volved and max­imise the ben­e­fits on of­fer. It’s been a busy and var­ied week, and like most of us I’m glad when the week­end fi­nally ar­rives, but I wouldn’t have it any other way.

Peter Watts, mem­ber­ship devel­op­ment of­fi­cer, Cam­bridgeshire Cham­bers of Com­merce

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