25th January 2012
Well, we did it.
We hosted the Governor of the Bank of England, put him in front of an audience of 500 Sussex business leaders and made headlines on BBC News, and many of the broadsheets this morning (Wednesday January 25).
Back in October, Chris Piper, Bank of England agent for central southern England, asked if we had the resources to organise an event of this size and fill the venue with the top 500 companies in Sussex. Being in PR, I told him it would be a piece of cake.
And while nothing in life is exactly a piece of cake, the response from the Sussex business community was amazing.
Within 10 days of the invitations going out, every seat was taken. I'd like to pretend it was down to my little black book and my charisma. However, I think we all know that would be a lie.
The one and only ingredient people wanted was Sir Mervyn King, Governor of the Bank of England.
Sir Mervyn is one of the worlds most influential financial policy makers. When he takes centre stage, financial markets and governments around the globe take notice.
My key task of the evening was to welcome everybody to The Grand in Brighton. Once Sir Mervyn had taken his seat, I jumped into action. I kept calm (I think), didnt rush my lines and did not fall off the stage. So far so good.
Half an hour later, The Governor took his place at the rostrum. He pitched his speech perfectly. He opened with some facts and figures about Brighton & Hove Albion Football Club. Did we know that when the Seagulls fortunes were low, the economy was high? And now that the clubs fortunes were rising, the economy was faltering. He concluded by suggesting that it was time for the club and the economy to fall into line and both soar together. What a crowd pleaser!
Sir Mervyn gave us his thoughts on the UK economy, global influences, the Euro Zone and the challenge of over-inflated bank bonuses.
It was a strong, informed and thoughtful speech which was very well received.
The evening also reminded me of the importance of strong links and working in partnership with other companies and organisations.
The night would not have been possible without the support of our great friends at EMC. They rock!
I would also like to pay tribute to the excellent work of The Grand, in particular the boss Andrew Mosley and his events team of Kimberley David and Sonia Jackson.
My thanks also to the Brighton & Hove Chamber of Commerce, Eastbourne and District Chamber of Commerce and Gatwick Diamond Business Association for promoting this event to their members.
I am hugely grateful to our sponsors for their support last night. They are:
Watch this space for news of our next gig!
Update: You can see a quick snippet of the speech on the BBC website