Month: June 2018

Entries open for the Waverley BIG Awards 2018

Waverley business leaders, local mayors and councillors launched the inaugural Waverley Business, Innovation and Growth Awards at a reception sponsored by the Lythe Hill Hotel this week.

Following two successful awards programmes in Cranleigh and better known as the BIG Awards, the far larger Awards include Farnham, Haslemere and Godalming and all areas in between!

The Awards have been designed ‘by local businesses, for local businesses’ to recognise, promote and celebrate the achievements of the innovative and entrepreneurial business community, dominated by small and medium sized business enterprises.

Although the four Chambers of Commerce in Cranleigh, Farnham, Haslemere and Godalming have collaborated to design the BIG Awards programme, it is very much open to any business in Waverley of any size and at any stage of growth, including not for profit trading organisations.

The principal Sponsor, Waverley Borough Council’s Economic Portfolio Holder Cllr Jim Edwards said ‘Waverley Borough Council is delighted to be principal sponsor for the first ever Waverley BIG awards. Local businesses play a key part in our community, supporting the local economy, providing jobs and adding to the attractiveness of the borough. The awards are a great opportunity to recognise the outstanding achievements of our businesses’.’

The Waverley BIG Awards 2018 are also sponsored by Dunsfold Park, Edwards Greene, Blynk, Surrey County Council, Taybridge Consulting, SI Capital, Cornmeter, Blue Dot Display, Paac IT, Marley Flowers, The Remarkable Studio, Surrey County Council and Farnham and Haslemere Town Councils.

There are eight Awards, one exclusively for each town and surrounds, or in the case of Cranleigh, village; plus four further Awards across Waverley for Customer Delight, Innovation, Employee Engagement and Community Partnership.

A statement from the Presidents of the Joint Waverley Chambers of Commerce said ‘Our aim is to raise the profile of Waverley as a great place to do business with local businesses, potential start-up and inward investing businesses who may locate in the area. We also want to raise awareness with skilled employees who currently commute out of the area unnecessarily when there are great skilled jobs on our doorstep. Our business community has sometimes been eclipsed by Surrey’s larger towns and London and yet Waverley has real strengths in the digitech, environmental, professional and business service sectors as well as its fabulous retail destination offer’

Application forms are available from the Waverley BIG Awards website at www.waverleybigawards.com and entries are open until midnight on Saturday 1st September.

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Book launch and private signing

Cranleigh Chamber of Commerce members are invited to a book launch and private signing.

Shalini Bhalla is launching her new book, Always With You, at the end of this month.

She is hosting a private book signing on 12th July 2018 at Cranleigh Arts Centre, from 6pm to 8pm, to which members of Cranleigh Chamber of Commerce are invited.

Please see below for details.

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Monkeying around GDPR

Like everyone else, my inbox is full to bursting with General Data Protection Regulations opt in requests, better known as GDPR.

Indeed, I have had to send out my own Opt In e mail, apparently to avoid a fine up to €10m or 4% of turnover.

The whole thing has become such a bonanza for those companies offering paid services to organise it for you. Reminds me of the Millennium Bug although we do not have to fill the bath with water.

Or do we? Who knows? The legislation is such a confusing minefield resulting in misinformation and the good old British solution of just ‘belt and bracing’ everything just in case!

I can just hear the Spanish saying ‘Manyana’, the Italians throwing their hands in the air and the Germans saying, ‘we have already done it’!

What is interesting is watching the different approaches everyone is taking having taken differing advice. My favourite is from a company, that got rather personal asking me to click ‘I love you! Please continue to send me emails.’ Seriously?

Or if I want to be unfaithful, I have the choice to opt out with ‘Please just stop, I can’t take it anymore!’. This is not a fun company but is from a serious business! But it did make me respond immediately and I am hoping for a date soon!

I understand the concept of ‘legitimacy’ in GDPR. An organisation must prove it has a right to contact people. But if I have signed up and paid my subscription to a membership organisation, surely that is clear legitimacy and I do not need to receive an instruction to opt in?

And why did my doctor ask me to opt in? If I do not opt in, does that mean I lose access to the NHS?

And another one is my bank who should be more worried about its IT problems rather than sending me an email that says, ‘But without your permission, we can’t get in touch with you.’ Really? I have entrusted my money to you. Surely that is legitimacy?

I like the simple e mails that only ask you to respond Yes by return. No boxes to tick. Brilliant.

I also like those that are automatically filled in for you and all you must do is click the opt in box. I used that method in my own opt in e mail.

And yet I am still getting e mails from organisations which should know better asking me to punch in every detail almost down to leg measurement! And when I think that ‘well I do not want to give you that much detail’, I discover the boxes are red starred and must be filled in.

Is this not uncalled for data collection which rather spoils the reason of GDPR? So, I do not finish those and think ‘stuff it’.

My final bugbear is those at the end of some emails which insist on checking whether I am a human. I know what they are trying to do but their wording is so unfortunate.

‘Before we subscribe you, we need to confirm you are a human.’ Why not just say ‘To avoid spam emails please tick this box’ or similar?

The whole point of building a successful mailing list is to engage subscribers who want to hear from you, not to be insulted. Not for them to question whether you are a bot or an animal. Particularly pertinent when it is Mail Chimp sending most Opt In requests!

First published in Last Word, South East Business Magazine June/ July edition 2018

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Supporting your tourism business in Waverley

Waverley Borough Council are hosting this event at Charterhouse School in Godalming on Thursday 5th July 2018, starting at 10am.

https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/supporting-your-tourism-business-in-waverley-tickets-45584578702

Boost your tourism business in Waverley.

-Network with local industry colleagues

-Be inspired by James Cretney, Chief Executive & Director of Conservation at Marwell Zoo and Wildlife

-Find out more about trends and marketing opportunities from Nigel Smith, Chief Executive at Tourism South East

Working with Charterhouse school, the event will take place in the Saunders Room where numbers are limited to 25.

This is Waverley Borough Council’s second tourism business event and they look forward to seeing you there.

This event is free of charge with registration online at https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/supporting-your-tourism-business-in-waverley-tickets-45584578702

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Dementia – a Cranleigh conversation

SMART Cranleigh is looking to provide an open forum to discuss how Cranleigh can better support those living with dementia.

If you have an interest in dementia, are a carer or are living with dementia, please come along to Cranleigh Arts Centre on Thursday 14th June 2018 from 7.30pm to 9pm, or on Monday 18th June 2018 from 2pm to 3.30pm.

Just arrive or, for more information, contact rosemary@smartcranleigh.org.

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