We were very brave. We arranged a trip to the Isle of Man, by ferry, between ex-hurricane Ophelia and the forthcoming storm Brian. We didn't factor the weather when we picked the date and, thankfully, the news about the roof blowing off the Palace Hotel was exaggerated and none of my delegates on the ferry crossing suffered sea sickness.
There was only one small delay in our proceedings as someone overslept after having over done it in the casino on the evening of our arrival. The chants of 'Why Are We Waiting' was suitably reminiscent of teenage years given we were sitting on a 1965 vintage double decker bus, waiting to be transferred to our venue The Ticket Hall for breakfast. Breakfast was literally shovelled in. The pictures prove it.
And there, we were greeted by friends we had yet to meet. Laurence Skelly, Minister of Isle of Man Government, set a scene of warmth, hospitality, optimism for our future collaboration, mutual investment and growth. His presentation was followed by equally warm, informal and engaging talks from Sally Bolton of Corlett Bolton, Miles Benham of Mann Benham, Paul Hotchkiss, Peter Callow of Vannin Ventures, and Christine Walters of Spark Impact.
What struck me most about meeting all of the speakers, IOM delegates, and government representatives, was their willingness to help, to reach out and want to find a way to collaborate. Their messages were congruent and consistent with each other and I'm left with a feeling that they all value new businesses very much. The IOM is most definitely open for business.
After our huge fireman's breakfast and networking we were called to board the Manx Steam Railway for a short excursion to see some of the landscape of the island. It was also a great opportunity to have a quick G&T in the dining car!
As our group chatted away about the World Tin Bath Championships, famous IOM residents, and other fascinating facts, we enjoyed a leisurely lunch on the return train to Douglas where our gathering closed.
It was a great day out which was well balanced with high level business networking and a good dose of fun. I've promised to repeat the event in Spring 2018 and there's a lot of help on offer from my new Manx friends.
Visit our webpage to register your interest for future events.