Well, summer is over (did it ever start?), the kids are back at school, and for business owners we can now get back to the serious business of growing our companies during the last part of the year. Realistically, we all have three months to generate as much business as we can before the Christmas festivities kick in.
September-November is traditionally the busiest time for Downtown as far as events are concerned. We have a number of gala awards evenings, and a whole host of morning, afternoon and evening forums for our members to connect, and hopefully do some business.
We pride ourselves on hosting events of the highest possible quality and I would always recommend that when you can you should maximise the benefits of our events programme, but we are all getting busier by the month, and so I am using my first blog of ‘the final straight’ of 2015 to highlight an event in each of our regions that I believe are ‘must attends’ for members.
In Lancashire, we have secured Sir Howard Bernstein for our Leaders Lunch at Barton Grange on 28th September. Generally accepted as the best local authority chief executive in the country, Howard has been the architect of Manchester’s devolution deal, and he will be talking about this, the Northern Powerhouse and much more besides at what I am sure will be a fascinating discussion.
For our members in Liverpool we have the inspirational whirlwind that is Michael Finnigan hosting our next ‘Rise & Grind’ forum. The man who has been a mentor and coach to some of the best known business leaders and sporting personalities across the globe will be with us at the Richmond Hotel on the 16th September. If you don’t feel motivated, pumped up and energised at the end of a Finnigan presentation, then my advice to you is to give up on being an entrepreneur and go and work in a library instead.
Mr Deansgate himself, Nik Maguire, will be our keynote speaker at the Manchester Leaders Lunch on the 8th October at the James Martin restaurant. What Nik will talk about is anybody’s guess, but his contributions are always thought provoking, entertaining and controversial. As importantly, our Manchester lunches attract a fantastic crowd, so if you are looking to connect with some of the city’s liveliest ‘movers & shakers’ this one is for you.
Our ‘Leading of Leeds’ series has proved really popular in our Yorkshire base, and our guests this year have included council chief executive Tom Riordan, Local Enterprise Partnership chairman Roger Marsh, and the former council leader Keith Wakefield. Next up, on 26th October, we will be exploring the potential and opportunities that the recently established Leeds Business Improvement District (BID) offers with the organisations chief executive.
Last, but by no means least, we have our launch event in Birmingham at the Marco Pierre White Champagne Lounge. We will be joined by the chief executive of Birmingham City Council Mark Rogers, and the chief executive of Marketing Birmingham Neil Rami, for what I am sure will be the start of an interesting journey in the West Midlands.
A major digital conference in Preston, gala awards dinners in Liverpool, Manchester and Lancashire, plus our regular and outrageously packed out sexy networking evenings; a gathering of the clans’ night and exclusive invitation only dinners means a busy autumn for Downtown. I look forward to seeing you at several of those events. There is, quite literally, something for everyone.