Yesterday I poppped up to Birmingham to attend Theo Paphitis' #SBS winners' event, and who better as my plus one than Pip Jolley?!
The #SBS award is a twitter award that Theo awards to 6 businesses every Sunday, in a similar way that Jacqueline Gold does her #WOW (Women on Wednesday). I've actually won both, so hopefully Jacqueline may consider an event one day too! ;-)
We arrived to a busy room, and headed straight to the wine.....well you would wouldn't you?! We soon had people coming over and saying hello, which is always nice. I was asked if I was 'that lipstick lady' on more than one occaison!
I have a very odd knicker line here! Must buy some higher waisted pants! We also had more than one person presume we were 'in fashion' which I found quite interesting!
After some mingling, and some more wine, it was time to hear Theo Paphitis speak. I live tweeted the event, so some of you may have caught my feed and followed along!
I marched Pip right to the front, as I find it hard to focus if I'm sat far away. We actually ended up directly behind Theo on the front row.....I had to resist poking him, despite Twitter egging me on!
They talked a lot about the new #sbs website. And when I say a lot, I mean a lot. Sadly it even started annoying me.....
We then moved on to a Q and A session with Theo, which again I live tweeted each question and answer. Theo is an entertaining guy, who finds it easy to make people laugh, but even so, this did go on for a tad too long. I think it could have worked a little better had people pre-submitted their questions, and then Theo chosen the best/most relevant ones.
Theo puts a lot of effort into running the #SBS and many businesses feel it has benefitted them. But I did feel a little like some people still wanted/expected him to do more for them, which did sit uncomfortably with me.
People seemed to really enjoy the day, and me and Pip had a giggle leaving London and having a day trip away from business!
If I was being picky, I would have preferred it to be a little more structured, and a little more business focused (rather than #SBS focused) but I do not want to seem ungrateful either, we certainly enjoyed it, and enjoyed meeting some new people (including Theo!).
I agreed with Theo on many points about business that he made:
- We make our own luck. The harder you work, the luckier you tend to become.
- High Streets will never be what they were 50 years ago. We need to consider how we use the real estate to help our communities now.
- Social media and the internet has levelled the playing field.
- If you aren't pushing your business hard, someone will creep up from behind you and push harder.
- Small businesses have an advantage over big business - they can respond, move and change so much faster. Play to this and lead the way!
- Small businesses also have the advantage of being able to offer great customer service. No one enjoys dealing with call centres.
- People are still spending. They are just spending in different ways.
Thank you to Theo and Ryman for hosting the event!