If you have been a reader of my newsletter since its inception you will know that I attend the CIMA Members in Practice Conference each year. In 2020 and 2021 the conferences were virtual and, whilst good, weren’t as good as the in person events.
This year though we were back together again and it was so great to see all of my peeps. It certainly brought home that, whilst you can get some great training on the internet, if you want to network and build relationships there is no substitute for the quality conversations you can have in person.
Of course, we have to be mindful of the ecological impact of our businesses and try to reduce our CO2 emmissions. We need to balance our need for face-to-face events and meetings against environmental considerations, so I don’t think we should get back to the level of travel we previously enjoyed.
Many businesses over the last couple of years have benefitted from various forms of government financing – whether it be the furlough scheme, the CBILS loan or the grants handed out by local councils.
Now these schemes have closed it is more important than ever that you keep a close eye on your cash flow.
Employment (with the increase in National Insurance and pressure to increase wages) and fuel costs are set to rise and with them the general costs of doing business. Make sure you have a clear understanding of your business’s cash flow so you can plan to mitigate any negative effects.
Many businesses are struggling to find their place in the brave new world and hospitality and tourism have been particularly hard hit. Many towns are looking for ways to kick start their local economies and could learn from the example of Glastonbury.
Glastonbury has always furrowed its own path. But in recent times it has looked for ways to enhance the visitor experience by laying out trails to be followed that take the visitor all over the town and surrounding area.
The mural trail takes in nearly 50 murals – big and small – which can be found on the sides of local buildings (see the photo). There is a treasure trail for all the family, which has clues to solve as you wander around the town centre.
But my favourite is the Glastonbury Way which is a longer trail taking in the Tor and some lovely countryside.
We can learn from this inventiveness and think of our own ways to standout.
The moon festival in Wells Cathedral was a two week opportunity for the building to be used in a way which drew, not just the faithful, but a wide range of other visitors.
There were concerts by Fairport Convention and a Pink Floyd tribute band; a tight rope walk across the Nave; art exhibitions; and a performance of a Midsommer Nights Dream. There was also plenty of opportunity to view the magnificent Moon, which dominated the Nave during October.
It was a great example of ways even the church is trying to engage with a new audience, so that its fantastic buildings are used and enjoyed.
I think COVID has taught us all that our organisations have to be flexible and embrace new ideas. Certainly the businesses and charities that I have found have most successfully weathered the COVID storm so far, have been those most willing and able to do things a little differently.