Lessons of the week #HuddersBizWeek

Save, save, save … when writing content – whether it be an event description or a monthly email campaign – make sure, when you whip down the laptop lid and rush off to an exciting and interesting seminar during Huddersfield Business Week, that you SAVE the document!  However, not doing it at all, would have been worse!

Huddersfield Business Week #HuddsBizWeek

Huddersfield Business Week presented a variety of opportunities for learning and reflection.  Of course, the week provided plenty of networking opportunities and brand awareness (because I used social media to tell people that I was there), however my triumphs of the week were Swimming, Quiz Knowledge Skills, Women Power and Public Speaking.

Whilst nothing to do with #HuddsBizWeek, Huddersfield Leisure Centre and their amazing pool was my favourite immediate outcome.  As my attendance was going to inhibit my ability to attend my Sh’Bam dance class at my local KAL centre, I instead manged to squeeze in a 1.5km and 2km swim in the competition pool.  What a special treat!  I shouldn’t tell you; you’ll want to go which will lessen the opportunity of an empty pool! I did however have a lane all to myself for nearly an hour on Thursday.  Bliss, just hearing the water rushing past my ears.

After Thursday’s swim I became part of the awesome Team ‘Do Gooders’ at the Fundraising Quiz with Kate and Gabby who I’ve got to know over the years.  Both work in the third sector, amazing at what they do and are truly beautiful.  We giggled at not knowing, but then randomly knowing, then doubting ourselves … 

Finding out that we didn’t lose was one of the many delights of the evening alongside the atmosphere of Revolution’s roof top terrace bar, the sweet touches provided by KC Communications and of course the quiz compare of the night Eorl Crabtree; who the day before had celebrated his birthday and hosted the Inspiring Women in Business event for the Giants RLC.

I also loved going to Manor House Lindley.  I’d been told it had been beautifully decorated and I had been intending to visit!  I was first there for the Huddersfield Giants Inspiring Women in Business lunch where I spoke to a room of businesswomen (and got them standing) while introducing the FSB – Federation of Small Businesses – as part of FSB sponsorship package with the Club.  We then heard the awe-some experience of Guest speaker, Sara Walters, and how Manor House Lindley came about. What an inspiring story! 

It was great to catch up with so many amazing women I have the pleasure to know through business and networking in the Huddersfield area, too many to name them all, but who also include – Krishna and Mum, Helen from Laura Crane Trust, Eleanor Cummings, Debbie Crellin, Jaine Binns and Olivia Fearon and so many more.

The following day I introduced my FSB colleague, Barney Mynott for to the venue and the possibilities of event space.  The attention to detail at Manor House Lindley is breath-taking. 

What else did I learn as a result of #HuddsBizWeek? Well I think, unless I am mistaken, All the events I went to during #HuddsBizWeek were run by women.  Katrina Cliffe, the wonder woman behind the event, provided the platform for Huddersfield businesses to put on their own events, with a variety of venues kindly making themselves available.  Katrina said her aim was maybe 10 or 15 events, but I understand more than 40 events were registered. 

#HuddsBizWeek started for me on Tuesday afternoon as Marketing Expert at the LEP popup café; A room of experts and funding providers waiting to give you advice, about money and training to help the improvement and growth of your business.  You really should look out for them and get down to one! 

The event was organised by the lovely ladies at the Leeds LEP, including my old networking buddy Sam Melton.  In attendance as experts along with myself were Becky from Social Progress, Rachael Thurlbeck and Gill Watson from Kirklees Council/LEP and Lydia Moi from the DIT.  And a bunch of guys too, but that’s not what this bit is about …. (Sorry Guys, it was super nice seeing you all too).

I did attend two meetings this week ‘chaired’ by men, however admittedly they weren’t part of #HuddsBizWeek.

Other amazing women speakers of #HuddsBizWeek included Kate Hutchinson, Natasha McCreesh and Deborah Ogden.  Kate unravelled the process of brainstorming and strategy building a successful event, involving each person in the room, with every step.  Natasha talked about integrity and having tricky conversations and Deborah delivered her provoking and reminding talk, about the importance of how the world sees you.  All impactful and insightful seminars and it is only with hindsight that this accidental feminism occurred.  This wasn’t by choice, but it was a choice available, which made the most prominent difference.  Well done KC Communications, the team did good!  A fantastic empowering week!

The week ended with me sitting on a panel for Huddersfield Giants Community Trust Dragon’s Den for a wave of NCS students, who’d had only a day to prepare.  Each of the 5 teams bid for start-up money for charity campaigns, to raise awareness and fundraising for a range of chosen charities. 

They all developed presentations, budgets, risk assessments and had considered marketing their adventures.  The understandable element being judged, was the ability to stand up with peers in front of a formidable group.  Each member had varying qualities and it was impressive how well everyone did.  But I would like to assure the students, I was probably ‘****** it’ as much as them! Some people excel at public speaking, some people don’t, but it’s about taking part.  If you are not there to play, you’ve no chance of winning.

There were a variety of opportunities to continue Huddersfield Business Week into Friday evening, but instead, I opted to go home to the famalam and start my weekend.

As much as I really loved Huddersfield Business Week, I am now refusing to leave HD8 for at least a couple of days!  To reintroduce myself to my home, family (and office – I have the event description and newsletter to rewrite remember!).  Leeds Arcade Club was the plan for my husband’s birthday, but he’s opted for a Daddy Daughter Day.  If only we’d gone last week, with a tour guide of Huddersfield and the C index page of countries to occupy me, we might have won the quiz … gaaaaaaaaaaaah!