Friday, January 12, 2007

Breakfast... at the Madagascan Gin Palace?

'New Goals, New Achievements, New Success' This was the upbeat title of this innovative piece of breakfast marketing hosted at the ever delightful Madagascan Gin Palace and organised by the ever charming Ron Webb and even more charming Carol Brown from Hopwood Ash to help them find clients and to help a whole bunch of businesses burst forth into 2007 with the enthusiasm their companies deserve.

It seemed somewhat bizarre to be at the Gin Palace so early in the morning without having had a spectacular 'night before'. Dawn outside the establishment just seemed wrong! Or as the erstwhile owner Richard Hayman commented 'I didn't know there were two 6.30s'. Thankfully the coffee at the Gin Palace was restorative and we were ready for the main event.

This was motivational speaker Gary Jennings, who was actually mercifully gentle for the time of the morning. We needed some solid business tips and would settle for munching hot bacon rolls rathen than trotting barefoot over hot coals.

Gary, who runs GJ International Ltd, knows his stuff; those blindingly obvious business tips that most of us are to busy to see and he must have been rewarded by the gently nodding heads as he spoke.

Admittedly mine stopped nodding when he ventured into PR territory and explained how simple it was to achieve... I began getting expectant looks from fellow guests I knew and was obliged to offer an alternative view when we each had the chance to speak.

Now you know me, and I have praised other businesses in the past on this very blog who offer free PR and marketing advice, but I did feel he was simplifying it a bit too much. It also proves the adage that the first rule of public speaking is 'know your audience'! Still, my riposte prompted other people to approach me and I am thrilled to have several firm appointments from this morning's meeting.

It was also rewarding to make some new contacts and discover some of the exciting businesses out there, including 'Everything Food', a business set up by chef Simon McKenzie and that offers everything from bespoke dinner parties to cookery classeses through to sandwiches for a business lunch. And maybe if you are lucky a story about Gordon Ramsey, one of the big Michelin starred chefs he has worked alongside.

Simon was a genuinely nice guy with an affability that seems contrary to our image of the traditional chef. I get the feeling he would be as comfortable teaching me how to cook something outside my limited skillset (I do PR!) as he would my four-year-old daughter!

Do check out his website and he also has a blog - - it is fair to bursting with restaurant reviews from venues he and his fellow chefs have visited.

It was also interesting to hear from solicitor Marc Chaudhuri about his passion for making legal matters more accessible - if you need convincing just take a look at his website March Solicitors - and the success of his Legal Eagle slot on West Berkshire radio station Kick FM and how much business it is driving towards his practice.

Ron Webb and his team are planning more of these events through the year so be sure to contact him here if you are interested in attending - and be sure to mention it was this fine blog that prompted such affirmative action.

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