Business Festival a huge success for the Chamber and our Business Community!
St Albans Business Festival brings together local business community
The first week long Business Festival organised by The St Albans District Chamber of Commerce was a great success with many events a sell-out.
The week kicked off with the Herts Business Expo at the St Albans Arena. Exhibitors from across the county were there to showcase the services they offer. The Expo was officially opened by David Clarke who was there in his dual role as President of the St Albans District Chamber of Commerce and Head of Centre at Clydesdale Bank, who sponsored the event.
Other events that took place during the week included a sell-out Business Jelly, a Speed Networking event and CEO Advice Sessions at Grant Thornton. The Festival wasn’t just for people currently working in professional services. A Careers fair organised by St Albans Council and Barclays Bank encouraged young people to come and find out more about a career in professional services. Whilst at the Fair people had the chance to have their picture taken with the Barclays Premier Trophy, there was also the opportunity to find out more about St Albans as a City of Expertise.
Spike Brown the festival photographer from Blue feather said “A great week of events to photograph & for local businesses to connect ranging from the busy Expo, to the relaxed networking of the Closing BBQ lunch that launched the Community Business Awards 2015”
A highlight of the week was a Business Breakfast sponsored by Rayden Solicitors at which Bill Grimsey (Retail Expert) spoke about how to prepare the High Street for the 21st Century. Speaking specifically about St Albans Bill said “St Albans is a bubble. We are very different to other towns and cities up and down the country with great independent retailers already here”.
“We need to re-invent the high Street as a Community Hub focusing on: Housing, Education, Health, Entertainment, Leisure and Arts, Crafts even Manufacturing with 3D printing technology advancing ensuring our library remains open as a place for people to work and network.” Bill also stated we should exploit our Roman Heritage as a means of differentiating our city. Speaking on a national scale, Bill lamented the lack of a High Street Minister around the Cabinet table.
A Business Quiz at St Albans School organised by David Hughes from Canopy Law mixed business with pleasure. David said
"I really enjoyed hosting the Business Quiz during the Chamber’s Business Festival. The St Albans business community is close-knit and gets on so well together which makes networking great fun. It is the first year that we have organised this particular event with the St Albans Chamber, and the large turnout from local businesses was very generous support for the charity, Magpas Helimedix. I'm definitely keen to run another business quiz again next year and St Albans School was a very appropriate venue. The Business Festival has been such a huge success. The variety of Business Festival events has provided something for everybody. I've met many business owners this week who have attended a networking event for the first time."
The week ended with a Finale Lunch at The Brickyard where the Chamber launched their 2015 Community Business Awards!
Lisa Bates Executive Director at the Chamber said "What a great week we had delivering the inaugural St Albans Business Festival. So pleased to see so many people taking part and attending the diverse range of events throughout the week! Just goes to show what a dynamic and vibrant business community we have here in St Albans.
We will be back in 2016 and look forward to increasing the programme to work with even more groups and organisations. Thank you to all of our sponsors and partners who made the festival such a huge success. We really enjoyed ourselves!”
View all event photos here: Photographer: Spike Brown, Blue Feather