Thursday, September 11, 2008

Business Networking with a spring in the step!

This was a Chamber of Commerce event as you haven't seen one before. Forget the stuffy suits, business card exchanges and networking huddles you might have in mind. Instead picture a team of Chamber staff performing a choreographed dance routine to 400 guests, include diplomats and business leaders.

Last night was less a networking evening and more a party at Studio Valbonne in London. Vodka cocktails flowed, everyone wore black or white with dinner suits and party frocks in abundance. A Rat Pack Tribute band played in the background and the evening ended to the sounds of Abba.

The occasion? Well, in case the inclusion of Abba didn't give it away, it was the 're-invention' of the Swedish Chamber of Commerce for the United Kingdom. After 102 years of existence, the Chamber felt the need for a rebranding exercise, and they celebrated with a bang!

I've been a member of the Chamber for a couple of years, having been invited to speak at their events twice. I have all of the time in the world for Christina Liljestrom, Elisabet Baldwin and their team. I know of few Chambers who put on such a variety of events for their members, work as hard, play as hard or are as inclusive and as welcoming.

I remember walking to the Chamber offices earlier this year, on a very rare sunny day, and hearing a lot of cheering, shouting and laughing from a nearby park. I thought I heard a couple of voices, so I looked over to see the whole Chamber team playing rounders. I later heard that this was compulsory!

Last night, during the entertainment, they announced a special act 'from us to you'. And out came the Chamber team, up to the Director, to perform their dance routine for the assembled crowd.

This is one network it's a pleasure to work with and be associated with.

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