Maidenhead & District Chamber of Commerce
MEMBER SURVEY – TRAINING & EVENTS
To: all members of the
Maidenhead and District Chamber of Commerce
From: Training & Education and Events committees
The purpose of this communication is to ask the members of the Chamber for assistance in identifying how best the Chamber can support members through the provision of Support and Education.
Your Chamber provides services in four key areas.
Representation – Identifying key challenges faced by members in dealing with local or central government and representing members’ views in order to overcome the challenges.
Information – Providing information to members on the on-going status of projects and key issues locally; helping members to take full advantage of constantly changing trading conditions and/or to protect themselves against impending challenges.
Support – Providing support to members when they are faced with challenges that they have difficulty in dealing with, particularly where such challenges have been dealt with successfully by other members.
Education - Identifying the specific educational and training needs of members and then providing a range of educational opportunities to members that enable them to learn new skills or update existing ones. Building the skill base of members in order to make them more skilled and more effective in their various roles.
There are a range of services that the Chamber can provide in the areas of Support and Education, and we seek feedback from members as to which options would be most beneficial.
What skills would you like help in acquiring? Please let us know the sorts of Support and Education that would be of sufficient interest for you to commit some of your resources to obtaining them. Below we have listed some possible examples, but feel free to let us know any other skills of interest:-
- “how do I use Twitter to attract customers?”
- “how do I get more customers to my website?”
- “how do I manage the performance of my staff?”
- “how do I improve the communications skills of my team so they sell better to my customers?”
- “how do I get PR articles published about my business?”
- “how do I improve my financial management skills?”
- “how do I use a webcast?”
- “how do I protect my idea?”
- “how do I get Merchandising right?”
- “how do I ensure I comply with Employment Legislation?”
What topics are relevant to your business that you would like to find out more about? (for example Pensions Auto Enrolment, Company Branding and Re-Branding, Employment Law, Health & Safety Law and best practice, Apprenticeships, Mentoring, Leadership and Management, Crowd Funding, Business Insurance requirements, Corporation Tax, Exporting, Importing).
Once we have identified the skills you want, we want to understand how you would want to obtain them. There is a range of options; from informal presentations through to accredited formal training courses delivered as a one-off or as a series. We recognise that some members will prefer one, others the other.
The educational opportunities that can be offered by the Chamber cover three broad areas:
Panel Workshops – Where the Chamber hosts a panel of experts in a particular discipline who present their own stories of how they have dealt with particular challenges that they have faced. Following this an interactive session for members to ask questions or provide details of their own experiences and challenges. This promotes the spreading of “best practice” in a fairly informal setting.
An Audience With – Where the Chamber interviews an expert in a particular field who presents solutions to typical problems that have been faced. Following this an interactive session for members to ask questions or provide details of their own experiences and challenges. This promotes the spreading of specialist expertise in a fairly informal setting.
Formal Courses – Courses of various lengths over several weeks, possibly preceded by short “taster sessions”. Examples of what could be provided include:
- Finance for non-financial managers
- Marketing for the non-marketer
- Choosing the right suppliers
- Closing the sale
- Profitable merchandising
- How to use advertising material
- Effective recruitment
- Training the workforce
- How to use Social Media effectively
- How to use Print media effectively
- How to use Electronic media effectively
- How to be a more effective retailer
- How to sell online
- The importance of effective branding
- Good practice in customer service
- Managing change effectively
- Communications skills
The examples above are just a few ideas. Please let us have any suggestions you have by sending an email to email@example.com by the 14 September 2013.
Chamber members have a lot of skills already. What skills could you help other members to acquire and how could you do this? (e.g. with a formal training course as a one-off or as a series, with an informal presentation, with an article, with a webcast, or with a practical “sitting with Nelly” demonstration). Let us know how you could help your fellow chamber members by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org by the 14 September 2013.
We have deliberately structured this communication to allow you to respond in free form, unconstrained by the limitations of, for example, a structured questionnaire. It is our hope that this will enable Chamber members to express what they want in terms of Support and Education. There is a lot that could be provided; please tell us what you value.
Chamber donation to SportsAble
At the Annual Dinner & Dance the Chamber collected £600 which was donated to SportsAble, the voluntary, charitable organisation who provides and promotes sport and social activities and facilities for physically and sensorially disabled people.
Read SportsAble's letter of thanks here
New proposed business waste collection service for Chamber members
Friday, 26th April
The Maidenhead Chamber of Commerce has been working closely with RBWM on a new business waste collection service with a view to reducing the cost of business waste collection for Chamber members. This enables us to utilise the buying power offered by RBWM working with the large shopping centres in the Borough to negotiate extremely favourable rates with waste collection service providers for all participants. In order to commence negotiations with the service providers, our partners in this venture require as much information as possible regarding the amount and type of waste being produced by businesses in the Borough. With this in mind we will be grateful if you could follow this survey link and complete the survey. This will also indicate your interest in taking advantage of this new Chamber motivated initiative. The more information that we gather, the easier it will be to negotiate much more favourable waste collection rates than you are currently paying.
If you have any queries please do not hesitate to contact either the Chamber lead member on this project, Mike Miller at email@example.com or Terry Penhaligon at RBWM on Terry.Penhaligon@RBWM.gov.uk.
Tuesday, 23rd April; 6.00pm to 8.30pm
41 Braywick Road, Maidenhead SL6 1DX
Braywick Heath Nurseries in Maidenhead, Berkshire was the venue for the Chamber's latest event, an evening of networking and a presentation by Robin Pemberton, Chairman of the of the Nursery.
Robin outlined the history of the nursery which is located just off the Braywick Road in Maidenhead. The Company is not for profit and works to improve the life chances of people with disabilities, and others needing support, in a commercial environement, by providing Horticultural Employment And THerapy.
After the presentation Chamber members and guests talked briefly about their businesses.
Guests had the opportunity to look around the nursery and glass houses with a glass of wine or a soft drink, during which they were able to purchase plants and garden equipment and enjoy a 10% discount.
The event was sponsored by Braywick Heath Nurseries, Sally Radford at The Amber Zone, Chris Raymond of Cobalt Graphic Design and Ena Quick.
If any other Chamber members would like to be involved in sponsoring Chamber events, please contact us on firstname.lastname@example.org.
Maidenhead & District Chamber of Commerce looks to the future
Chamber Dinner & Dance, Fredricks Hotel, Spa, Restaurant – Saturday 2nd March 2013
Nearly 90 guests attended the Chamber’s annual dinner dance with special guests: The Rt. Hon Theresa May, Home Secretary & MP for Maidenhead, Cllr David Burbage, Leader of the RBWM, Sophie Christiansen, OBE, 3x gold medal winner in the equestrian Paralympics in 2012, Melissa Paulden, Marketing Manager, SportsAble, Amanda Gee, Chairman of Windsor Chamber.
In his speech, Mike Walker, coming to the end of his second year as president of the Maidenhead and District Chamber of Commerce summed up what the Chamber have achieved over the past year.
“What I believe has been key is partnerships. We have strengthened ties with RBWM, and I am pleased to see The Council Leader David Burbage and a number of his colleagues here tonight. Another key partner is PRoM, represented here tonight by Bob Dulson. The Maidenhead Town Partnership Chairman, Cllr Richard Kellaway is here this evening, MTP work tremendously hard to improve the heart of our town. Maidenhead is the ‘Jewel of the Thames’ of course, and MTP strives to renew its dazzle.
Amongst other activities, we have begun a project to connect with foreign chambers from similar towns to Maidenhead, again, with the help of RBWM. We have also begun and will continue to work within other business groups to present joint events.
We have stabilised membership numbers and introduced more robust accounting. As part of moving forward, we are in the final throes of incorporating as a company limited by guarantee. Apart from limiting liability, it protects the chamber’s identity, allows us to pursue and deliver larger projects and services for our members, and make it easier for our partners, such as the Royal Borough to work with us. But apart from any of those things, it’s a statement that we intend grow and move forward.
With the new structure and governance in place, communication will become a priority, both internally to our members, and publicly through better connections with the press and new media. I personally would like to see more of our members take an active role in discussions, projects and the coalface work of the Chamber. We would welcome new members the executive committee in particular.
We will continue to strive to work with other stakeholders such as developers, larger companies moving into the area, organisations such as the Thames Valley Berkshire Local Enterprise Partnership.”
Mike offered his personal thanks to all the members, and in particular the executive committee. Specifically, the Events team who have arranged an excellent evening. Thanks also to the staff of Fredericks for the service, and also their long standing support as members.”
His Pay Off Line: - “Slough has a big trading estate, Windsor has a big castle, but Maidenhead has a big future.”
Sophie Christiansen delivered an inspirational and heartfelt speech about the legacy of the Paralympics and the importance of sport for disabled people; followed by loud applause. Melissa outlined how SportsAble can help disabled people in the local area, several of whom are working towards the Rio Paralympics and asked for donations of time as well as money. The raffle in aid of Sportsable, The Disability Sports Club in Maidenhead, raised £600.
David Gordon-Smith of Donald Reid & Co. was presented with a cup by Theresa May for the work he has done on the incorporation of the Chamber this was followed by dancing to Disco Solutions until midnight.
Life's a Pitch – and then they buy
A select group of Maidenhead & District Chamber of Commerce members of and guests attended a workshop entitled 'Life’s a Pitch – and then they buy' on Wednesday 17th October at Maidenhead Golf Club.
Pitching for Business, an Interactive Workshop delivered by Steve Catchick demonstrated how you can make a big impact on your business sales and profits, and feel comfortable in front of an audience. Using techniques that work in selling from the stage, Steve showed how to improve your delivery whether it be your 60 second pitch, speaking 1-1, or by delivering your presentation to your audience.
The audience learnt:
- How to take the focus off yourself and onto your prospects
- How to attract attention How to engage with your audience
- How to give a different and powerful 30-60 second pitch
- A simple 7 step process for selling from the stage that will change your business.
After hearing about these techniques and practicing them the audience felt a lot more comfortable in speaking in public or presenting on a 1-1 basis.
Steve Catchick is a Communications specialist, who helps business owners with Sales, Marketing & Communication skills proven to increase profits. He is a certified NLP trainer, Speaker and Business Coach and mentor for The Business Wealth Club – Maidenhead.
Chamber Marketplace and Networking at SportsAble
SportsAble, The Disability Sports Club in Maidenhead, Berkshire was the venue for the Chamber's latest event, a Marketplace and networking evening on Tuesday 18th September.
Members of Maidenhead & District Chamber of Commerce displayed their products and services to other members and non-members at a series of market style stalls in the bar area of SportsAble.
Those who had stalls included Lost Vegas Casinos, Simon Earle Photography, The Amber Zone, Something Personal, Supporting Services, VectorSign, ImmediaBrand, Paul Mitchell Design, WTT Results, The Utility Warehouse, Immediasite, La Cucina Caldesi and BNI (Business Network International).
Kurl gave short informative talk about SportsAble and some of the successes local paralympians had at the 2012 Paralympics and then Sally Radford, Deputy President of the Chamber introduced the evenings events.
The stall holders and all attendees had the opportunity to do a 1 minute pitch on their businesses. There was plenty for attendees and the stall holders to do - finding out about each other's businesses, winning a BMW Mini, even having a friendly game of Blackjack.
Sandwiches were provided and the SportsAble bar was open.
All in all, a successful evening's networking and we look forward to holding another similar event during spring next year.
Using Google can help your business
A group of members of Maidenhead & District Chamber of Commerce and guests attended an evening about how using some of the free Google tools can help you use and understand your website better and using Pay Per Click (PPC) advertising on Wednesday 18th July at Maidenhead Golf Club.
Chris Raymond of Cobalt Graphic Design and Janak Mistry, an online marketing specialist, guided them through setting up a Google account and using Google Places (now Local Business Center and Google Maps), Google Analytics and PPC / Google AdWords to help improve your their presence and business results.
After a short introduction, Chris gave an informative presentation on the basics to get them started and how to set up a Google Places listing, and then took the audience through the extensive statistics provided by website tracking in Google Analytics and how this may help improve their websites and search engine rankings.
This was followed with a session by Janak who explained the ins and outs of Pay Per Click advertising and why every business should at least consider if it could be part of their overall marketing strategy.
This was followed by how to set up your PPC advertising campaign(s).
At the previous workshop we introduced SIGs (Special Interest Groups), a new initiative by the Chamber to support members who would like to collaborate on certain topics and interests.
The first SIG is Internet Marketing and will be facilitated by Lynda Morten and Chris Raymond. If any members would like to join this Special Interest Group or for more information on SIGs please email either Lynda Morten or Chris Raymond.
The next workshop, Marketing Strategy & Planning Workshop, is on Wednesday 26th September at Maidenhead Golf Club with Jane Blocklebank . If you would like to book please contact the Chamber Secretary - email@example.com - or book through Paypal
- Chris Raymond, Cobalt Graphic Design
01628 637749, firstname.lastname@example.org
- Janak Mistry
07771 752555, email@example.com
Basic Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) Workshop
A select group of members of Maidenhead & District Chamber of Commerce and guests attended an evening of Search Engine Optimisation basics on Wednesday 16th May at Maidenhead Golf Club.
Lynda Morten of Cael Internet Services guided them through SEO basics and how it can help their websites perform better in the search engines.
After a short introduction, Lynda gave a very informative and enjoyable presentation on the basics to get you started and how to optimise your website for better search engine rankings as well as some of the myths and pitfalls of Search Engine Optimisation.
This was followed by a short session introducing SIGs (Special Interest Groups), a new initiative by the Chamber to support members who would like to collaborate on certain topics and interests.
The first SIG will be Internet Marketing and will be facilitated by Lynda Morten and Chris Raymond. If any members would like to join this Special Interest Group or for more information on SIGs please email either Lynda Morten or Chris Raymond.
The next workshop, Using Google to help your business, is on Wednesday 18th July at Maidenhead Golf Club. If you would like to book please contact the Chamber Secretary - firstname.lastname@example.org
- Lynda Morten, Cael Internet Services
01344 319957 email@example.com
The Portas Review - December 2011
An independent review into the future of our high streets. Download the review from her website: http://www.maryportas.com/news/2011/12/12/the-portas-review/ or read a summary of her 28 recommendations.
Royal redevelopment for Maidenhead town centre
Proposals for the redevelopment of a key part of Maidenhead town centre were unveiled today (Tuesday 29th March 2011). The new vision will see the area between Queen St and King St transformed into Kings Triangle, a new mixed-use, high-quality shopping destination in the heart of Maidenhead.