Friday 23 July saw GM Business Connect resume hosting their Friday Afternoon networking events, this time at Hotel Brooklyn on Portland Street. Starting at 4.00pm it was a traditional slot in the networking calendar for business owners to wind down and end the week with a few drinks and the chance to meet new contacts and prospects.
As a magazine we have always enjoyed working with Manchester’s hospitality sector, and this was a chance to introduce the business sector to one of Manchester’s newest hotels. The networking took place on the 9th floor which has been designed as a purpose-built events and banqueting space. Accommodating up to 180 people, the whole floor can be divided to suit, with flexible walls capable of splitting the area into 3 distinct suites – from a cosy boardroom layout to the entire floor catering larger events.
As the networkers arrived they were treated to a complimentary glass of prosecco and hors d’oeuvres supplied by the hotel. As well as the networking guests the hotel was represented by Paul Bayliss, general manager, and his team, who were on hand to help list the many advantages of choosing the venue for corporate occasions. The afternoon progressed with traditional face to face networking, finally without restrictions as we come fully out of lockdown, and culminated in a short speech from GM Business Connect’s Paul Mirage, welcoming everyone, and introducing two charities that as a magazine we have been and will continue to support actively – Speed of Sight and Creating Adventures.
Jenny Allcock from Creating Adventures was first to speak, telling us about the great work her charity was doing helping adults with autism and learning difficulties enjoy activities that helped them with social interaction and life skills. She described the many events that the Warrington-based charity had hosted bringing joy, excitement and inclusion into the lives of challenged adults.
Next was John Galloway and Mike Newman, co-founders of Speed of Sight, a Bolton based charity that offers track day driving experiences for the blind and disabled. Mike himself is blind and holds 9 world records on land, sea and air. He is currently the fastest blind man on land and water on the planet! Both Mike and John spoke about the charities fantastic work, and also Mike spoke about his experiences as a differently-abled person and the challenges everyday life held for him. This dovetailed nicely into the fact that he was staying at the hotel that evening sampling the accessible facilities that are one of the USP’s of the venue.
At this point we presented our very popular business card draw. First prize was a complimentary overnight stay and breakfast at the hotel courtesy of General Manager Paul Bayliss, won by Janice McMahon from Steroplast Healthcare. Second prize was a bottle of Bordeaux offered by GM Business Connect Magazine and won by Mike Newman from Speed of Sight, and third prize was a workplace first aid kit provided by Steroplast Healthcare, won by Jonathan Dobkin from Connections Recruitment.
Straight after this Paul Bayliss gave a short talk on his previous experience in the sector, followed by a review of the hotel and its facilities, including the fact that it had been designed from the start for inclusive use by everyone, regardless of mental or physical differences.