Last week (Tuesday 26th March 2013) I attended the Derbyshire & Nottinghamshire Chamber of Commerce Members event to meet the team and find out what we could get out of our annual membership. There was a great turn out. Around 40 company representatives, approximately 8-10 companies to a table spread over 4 large round tables.
We were given the opportunity to mingle on arrival before being seated at tables. Wendy Hain – Director of Membership opened the session, and after a brief introduction from each of us to the room, every table was hosted by a DNCC staff member who rotated every 10 minutes after going through a particular aspect of membership benefits covering:
- Events (seminars, workshops and conferences at different locations over Nottingham and Derby)
- Specialist Business Forums
- Sponsorship Opportunities, Marketing &Networking
- Training & Recruitment (apprenticeships, bespoke training and coaching)
- Espresso Breakfast Sessions (shot of expertise to start your day)
- Chamber Member Benefits
Some of the chamber benefits were excellent, Legal Expenses Insurance is included in membership with £670,000 worth of cover after 3 months active membership which includes a legal advice line 24/7 365 days a year. There is also access to Chamber HR, a free service which includes unlimited access to HR specialists via a 24/7 helpline, access to 250 downloadable policies, forms, documents and fact sheets, plus a compliant Contract of Employment and Employee Handbook. For an additional supplement per staff member, there is a range of other discounted services/products for businesses, AA fleet assistance, stationery shop, health plan and much more http://www.dncc.co.uk/members/1612/membership-benefits
Following the DNCC spiel, we were provided with an opportunity to informally discuss our work around the table and distribute our literature and business cards. There were a variety of businesses in the room over a range of sectors, so something for everyone. It was interesting to find out what people had to offer and if nothing else, we have all raised awareness of our companies.
After a quick coffee break, we were joined by some of the speed networkers from upstairs for a 45-minutes session on How to increase your profits by giving excellent customer care by key note speaker Mary-Lou Booth from Training Networks. I was particularly looking forward to this session, ’Customer Service’ is one of our unique selling points at Mono Design and is a subject of personal interest and importance to me . The session was highly engaging and Mary-Lou gave some examples of unnecessary poor service that she had received, facts and figures and food for thought. We were provided with 7 pointers to take away to ensure excellent customer care.
Following the buffet/networking lunch, I visited the Showcase Market and Sell event (exhibition) upstairs where 24 companies were exhibiting. Mono didn’t exhibit at this event but possibly will do in the future as this provided a great opportunity to go and meet other local businesses and network further.
All in all it was a well organised and fantastic networking event arranged by DNCC. The event has definitely provided us with some positive potential business opportunities and we will certainly be involved with other DNCC networking events.