The First Brighton Business Summit!

Friday was one of those days that remind me why Brighton is such a cool place to live. There was Summit exciting going down…

I realise it’s Monday and it’s probably a bit too early in the week for bad puns, sorry about that! I guess I’m still hyped up after what was an excellent event held by the Brighton & Hove Chamber of Commerce – their first business summit, hopefully the first of many.


Happy faces at Brighton Summit 2013

Check out the hashtag to see what everyone said: #BrightonSummit.

With the theme “Doing Business In A City Built For Pleasure,” the summit celebrated both 100 years of the Chamber’s existence and also remembered Derek Hunnisett, a local business man and philanthropist. The day bought together 240 people from the local business community for inspirational talks and activities, as well as some DELICIOUS lunch from Jasper’s catering. There’s something really delightful about mini, perfectly formed desserts…

The keynote speakers were crime thriller novellist Peter James and business woman Sam Roddick. It was my job to look after Sam, which really was a pleasure and her speech was inspirational and interesting – remembering her mother and urging us to consider our ethics and the legacy we leave as business people.


Key notes were followed by panels; Media, Pleasure and Arts. I went to the media panel, comprised of Michael Beard (Editor, The Argus), Bill Smith (Director,Latest Media), Adam Tinworth (Freelance Media Egg who also spoke at recent Publishing Expo) and James Ledward (Editor, GScene). I learnt a few things here:

  • Brighton is going to have it’s own regional TV channel! Thanks Bill!
  • The Argus is owned by Americans which makes it hard for them to get involved with this, even if they wanted to. Boo!
  • Apparently, most businesses still don’t know how to write a basic press release (I sense a blog coming).
  • Everyone is still wondering how the media is going to make money in the future – to paywall or not to paywall?


It was a lively panel, although I was surprised that there wasn’t more focus on the community that these media create and are created by. We often seem to think of the community as the purchaser but really they are the product. So is the data they produce – which would have been a whole new discussion on the ethics of collecting and using that data should that topic have arisen. I sense a blog coming on this topic too…

Then there was the Pleasure Hour where you could pick from a range of fun activities such as; chocolate making, meditation and visiting a secret garden. I spent most of this in the gaming session as I’d talked to people for so long I missed the start of the meditation session, oops! Everyone returned from this hour refreshed and invigorated. Think about that, when have you ever felt refreshed and invigorated at a conference?!

After lunch we had the un-conference session which saw local business folks putting themselves forward to speak on a topic of their choice, very brave! There were basically a few rules:

Unconference Rules

I went to a talk by Fay MacDonald, where she considered graffiti, how businesses have been using it and whether that is selling out for the artist. We also got to meet SNUB23 who has made some amazing work. It was interesting to talk to him about the ethics of graffiti and working with businesses; I sensed he had a strong set of ethical rules for himself, as does the graffiti community as a whole.


The other talk I attended was on Gamification from Pete Jenkins. We considered what gamification was and how it could be used in the work place. This was an interactive talk, especially as Pete spent much of it pelting us with small but extremely bouncy balls. Nothing livens up a conference session like wondering who will lose an eye in the next 2 minutes!

We all came back together in the main room to enjoy a poem written live during and about the event by poet Dean Atta – a completely original, wonderful experience. See the poem here. 

The conference ended with wine and a preview of the Brighton Fringe Festival. Not even a little one, we’re talking like an hour of performances from different shows. We even got to see Marilyn Monroe.

Did I mention that I’m doing the Brighton Rocks Synchronised Swimming Show as part of the Fringe? You should go…

All in all this was an amazing conference from Brighton & Hove Chamber of Commerce – big round of applause for all the organisers and I can’t wait for next year!


These were a thank you gift for volunteering and were as delicious as they look! Thanks Brighton Chamber!


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